There is a local massage therapist who has a statement on her website, “We are here to help you heal yourself.” Yes, I agree that when massage is received, it does help our bodies do what is necessary to heal in many different ways—from helping the body to flush itself of unwanted toxins, to boosting the immune system, increasing circulation through the blood and lymph systems, and helping with increasing the endorphins (those feelgood hormones). All of these benefits help our body to achieve a balance so it can do what it was meant to do.
Last week I had a chat with a new client, who told me what a hand specialist had explained to her. I found it quite surprising and interesting. I did try to research it online and didn’t find anything to back it up. Even so, I thought I would share it with you and give you some food for thought.
The following is a Cliff Notes version of what my client told me. She has a shortened tendon that runs in the webbing of her hand between her thumb and forefinger. She underwent wrist surgery in January to correct an issue in her wrist/ thumb area.
Sometime after the surgery, this tendon in her hand had tightened, causing her to have limited movement in that thumb. Her hand specialist, who is a physical therapist specializing in hands, told her that when massage was applied to the tight tendon, it would help it to heal itself. By way of the massage, the body would generate more cells in that area, allowing the tendon to grow and lengthen, giving back more flexibility and suppleness. Thus, it would increase the range of motion of the thumb.
As I massaged that area, it didn’t take long, maybe 15 minutes, for that tight tendon to loosen and feel softer. My dilemma in all this is, I have never heard of massage helping with an increase in cell production. I’m not saying it can’t, I’m just saying I haven’t heard of this type of healing with massage. (So, if anyone knows anything, positive or negative, related to massage helping in this way, feel free to contact me. Thank you.)
Another type of bodywork called TTouch that helps with healing was developed more than 40 years ago by Linda Tellington- Jones. I was able to take her course two years ago. She says that cells are perfect and know how to heal themselves. When the body experiences trauma, it can mess with the cells, throwing them into a panic and out of their normal functioning state.
When TTouch is applied, it helps cells to communicate just as they did before the trauma happened. When cells can communicate with each other, they heal themselves. Linda says we have 100 trillion cells in our body. And this type of bodywork helps with restoring communication between them by activating both hemispheres in the brain.
The work she developed consist of doing 1 1/4 circles, very lightly on the skin. With eyes rolling, you may be thinking, yeah right, that works. I am here to tell you it does work. I have used it on myself a few times. I have used it to help relieve headaches and to get rid of a bruise on the backside of my hand.
I just had a metal lid come down on my hand. It immediately started to hurt and bruise. So, I set about doing small, light circles directly on the injured sight. Within a couple of minutes (no lie), the pain and bruising disappeared.
So, our bodies do have the ability to heal themselves, given the right modality.
Susan Santi is a certified massage therapist and owner of Ahhh Massage in Virginia, MN. Feel free to contact her with questions at 218-410-2144.