There are many definitions of holistic massage and this is mine based on an experience I had with a lady yesterday.

She had a physical injury for which she was seeing her doctor, a bladder infection, and was worrying herself by researching online its possible causes…her life had also been radically changed a few years ago with the arrival of a brain haemorrhage, and she was very partially disabled in her lower body.

Overall, she echoed a very common theme for our current age, that of overwhelm. Too much on our plates, too much out there, not enough rest and reflection.

A holistic mantra is, ‘as below so above’ and ‘as within so without’…meaning our inner and outer worlds reflect each other.

Interestingly, this lady had instinctively started to declutter at home and literally clear from her plate.

I felt what I was able to do was to help her to declutter internally too.

I noticed that her liver was feeling very toxic and used my hands to balance her body. I combined hot stones with deep tissue massage, working around specific areas where I know the liver meridians run, and addressing the injury.

I reflected on the liver meridian. The Gall bladder represents the wood element, and in our meridians (the context of the five main rhythms, earth:spleen/stomach, wood: gall bladder/liver, fire: small intestine/heart, metal: large intestine/lung and Water: Bladder/Kidney) wood represents all those linear decisions, spurts of energy, determination, goal-setting and saying No! It is staccato in nature. This is very useful in our every-day lives when we need to make decisions, arrive on time, draw the line.

We can have too much of a good thing! Too many decisions, too much efficiency and organisation and not enough flow (stomach/spleen), or chaos (small intestine/heart) – or we can lack the power to decide (too much earth or water), and the motivation which goes with that.

In the case I am mentioning the body was unable to come to decisions, and the realisation had been slow in coming that they needed to be made. By working with her liver and clearing that channel, she may well wake up today and know what she needs to do and have the motivation to do it.

So, in holistic massage, and we all work differently, I work with the muscles for greater range of movement, with the bones for easing and releasing, and with the meridians and acupoints for enabling emotions to rebalance themselves.

I work on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, and this is a very good time of year to be looking holistically at how events in your life reflect how you are feeling in your own body. See you soon!