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Health Options



Years ago, the notion of massage was that of an invigorating “rub.” Today, there are dozens of choices in the vast arena of hands-on-healing. The practice of body work is found in clinical settings, spas and salons, private offices and home addresses.

It is often assumed that one disrobes for the familiar feel of oils as in traditional Swedish massage; however, some modalities of touch therapies work with clients garbed in non-restrictive clothing.

Myofascial techniques separate individual muscles from adhesions on dramatically deep levels, while energy techniques incorporate subtle laying on of hands.

How does a client choose?


Some primary considerations are question such as:

  • How deeply do I want my tissue worked?

    (Does light stroking appeal to me more than
    deep pressures or
    kneading?)

  • What environment feels most comfortable to me?

    (Do I feel more relaxed in a gym,
    a beauty salon or
    an office, etc... ?)

  • What techniques and equipment suit my needs?

    (Will I enjoy a session on a table,
    a chair or
    a futon?)

  • Do I need to leave energized or sedated?

    (How will this treatment alter my feelings of
    anxiety or sluggishness?)

  • What are my conscious intention for this treatment?

    (Am I seeking relief from an injury,
    assistance in stress reduction or
    a heightened sense of well-being?)

  • Do I feel safe with this practitioner?

    (This is personal work...
    Am I able to shed resistance
    to physical and emotional holding
    while in the care of this human being?)


Being in the field of bodywork, one answers question like these and others. It’s a good idea to talk to your professional and get a feel for the interpersonal chemistry. Safety, shared focus and clear intentions help create positive movement toward physical balance, pain relief and comfort.



by Toni Zuper
Alternative Healing
Center City, Philadelphia


published in Weekly Press -- October 14, 1999 issue