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Myomassology is a type of massage which integrates massage techniques from many different disciplines. In addition to bodywork techniques, myomassology also integrates energy work and alternative medical treatments, along with nutritional and physical education. Each myomassologist approaches the technique slightly differently, customizing treatment for the patient to ensure that he or she receives the best care possible. The term was first used by Irene Gauthier, one of the founders of this approach to massage.
This style of massage was a natural outgrowth of Swedish style massage which developed in the 1970s. Massage therapists who learned the basic Swedish technique sometimes wanted to offer more to their clients, and they started integrating techniques from other disciplines. Over time, an all-encompassing style of massage which came to be known as myomassology arose. Numerous massage schools offer training in this method, and therapists can also pursue training independently.
Pretty much any massage style is acceptable in myomassology. In addition to Swedish, most therapists also offer deep tissue, reflexology, and craniosacral massage, along with energy work techniques such as reiki and aromatherapy. The massage therapist may include nutrition education, movement work like yoga, and various herbal remedies in the treatment, although the provision of nutritional information is restricted by law in some regions.
In a typical session, the therapist meets with the client to discuss the client's physical issues, and any sources of emotional trauma the client is experiencing. After meeting with the patient, the therapist steps out so that the client can disrobe and climb onto a massage table. During the session, the massage therapist uses a variety of massage strokes and techniques to create a flowing massage session which addresses specific muscle aches and pains, a desire for general well-being, and any particular issues the client may be experiencing.
After the session, the client will be given "homework" which might involve a series of regular stretches, dietary changes, exercise recommendations, and so forth. If the myomassologist is licensed to do so, he or she may provide medicinal herbs, essential oils, and other products which could be beneficial to the patient.
This style of bodywork relies heavily on a continuing relationship between therapist and client. At least two sessions a month are usually recommended, with some people going once a week, and long-term commitment to myomassology is strongly encouraged. Potential clients may want to try sessions with several practitioners to find one which works for them, and they should ask about discounts for bulk purchases of sessions, as many massage therapists offer these as a form of incentive.