Kinesiology and Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is a touch intensive treatment with the overall goal of using pressure, stretching, and kneading to help the body heal and maintain its health.

Since massage is a hands-on treatment that directly affects not just circulation and relaxation, but also the muscles, it is important to know how muscles work together as the body moves. With this understanding, the therapist can learn specific treatments that allow the muscles to work as they were intended.

Not only is it important to work on the physical body, however, but the client’s mental processes regarding their health are also important. Kinesiology integrates both the mind and the body, giving the therapist the skills to determine the underlying causes of pain and to work to treat them as part of a comprehensive massage therapy plan.

What is Kinesiology?

Kinesiology is the study of how the human body and its muscles work together in both healthy and unhealthy ways. It has been well-documented that stronger muscles may begin to compensate for weaker ones, which can lead to pain, discomfort, and functional issues within the body.

In massage therapy, kinesiology is important because it teaches how muscles work together so that treatment can be tailored to the client’s specific needs. By utilizing pressure point therapy with the understanding of how the muscles work together, energy blockages can be discovered and treated, allowing all muscles to work in healthy unison.

Another important aspect of kinesiology is taking into account the ways in which the body may also have mental blockages that could be resulting in physical issues. The mind and body have a strong link, after all, so it’s important to determine the true source of the physical manifestation. Visualization exercises are sometimes given along with pressure point treatments to help clear energy blockages. This allows the body to function with the all muscles taking on their proper share of the workload.

Why is Kinesiology Important?

Kinesiology is important because it addresses the link between the mind and the body in order to treat the body holistically. Addressing physical pain and range of motion alone isn’t enough. While these two things are certainly an important part of any massage, kinesiology is a practice that requires active intent on the part of the client. Together with the therapist, the client works to create mental goals as well as physical ones that will, in turn, influence the success of the treatment.

By determining energy blockages in the way muscles work together as well as in how the mind perceives the health conditions and the process, work can be done to relieve both issues. It is believed that energy follows intention, so working mentally to create a healthier body allows the treatment to be more effective and beneficial on the physical level, as well.

Applying Kinesiology to Massage Therapy

A massage therapist, by the nature of his or her work, applies quite a bit of touch, pressure, and stretch to the bodies of clients. Because of this, professionals need to have a keen understanding of how the body works and how the various muscles and connective tissues operate together. They need to understand how this happens in both healthy bodies as well as in ones that are experiencing dysfunction. Because of this, kinesiology is an important part of the working knowledge of any massage therapist.
By understanding how to determine if there are muscles that are over compensating for weaker muscles, massage therapists can begin to use pressure points to redistribute the body’s energy as part of the massage practice. They can work with the client to increase muscle length, function, and range of motion.

The therapist can also bring the mind-body link into their therapy sessions. By actively working with the client not just to reduce pain and tension, but also to help the client visualize the results they are working toward, even greater progress can be made toward the end result of a more functional and healthier body.

A massage therapist has a variety of techniques at his or her disposal. From the amazing range of massage types to a variety of complementary treatments to incorporate with the therapy, treatment can be tailored to each individual client.

Kinesiology helps with this goal by giving the therapist not only a better understanding of how muscles work together, but also the means to reduce energy blockages and to make the client and active participant in the treatment process. From hands-on touch and pressure to mental visualizations of a healthier body, kinesiology is an important part of the massage therapist’s repertoire.