Stress Busting: Your Massage Superpower
A 2-Hour Continuing Education Course by Eric Brown
The general public doesn’t typically come to you, as a massage therapist, for rehabilitation. In a recent AMTA consumer survey, only 5% of respondents said they received a massage specifically for injury recovery or rehabilitation.
Why do most clients book an appointment to see you? It’s for your superpower ability to destroy their stress, ease their muscle tension, and help them relax. In fact, 70% of massage consumers get massage specifically for relaxation and stress management.
Stress is truly one of the most prevalent and devastating diseases of the 21st century. It destroys the quality of people’s lives as they grapple with a range of stress-related symptoms from insomnia and anxiety, to back pain, neck pain, and headaches. Stress also plays an underlying role in a large number of today’s most common disorders and diseases.
It's time to reclaim the incredibly valuable role you play in improving people’s lives through the power of relaxation. You’re not “just” doing a relaxation massage; you are transforming people’s physiology. You are restoring their bodies and minds to a state of optimal functioning, even as they are faced with a sustained assault of stress that’s endemic to our modern world. Your work as a relaxation specialist is vitally important and needed more than ever.
So put on your superhero cape, wear your underwear on the outside of your pants, step into your session room and transform into the stress-busting superhero that you are! Dr Evil Stress is always raising his ugly head. It’s time to banish your archenemy once and for all. To defeat it, you’ll have to get yourself in superhero shape by delving into the science behind stress and relaxation. And that’s exactly what you’re going to do in this course. What you'll discover through this fascinating journey may challenge what you believe about massage. And at times, may shock and amaze you.
Here are just a few of the questions we'll be exploring in this course:
- Is stress is really a sympathetic nervous system response, as we often call it? And if so, why do the most obvious symptoms like muscle tension seem to be activated by the somatic nervous system?
- What exactly are tone and tension and what are the physiological mechanisms behind these?
- Can you really tell if someone is “tight” by feeling their muscles?
- Is there a tension thermostat? And if so, how do we dial it down?
- What is it that makes massage relaxing?
- According to research, what are the most relaxing massage techniques?
- In a ground-breaking study, researchers found that massage is as effective as psychotherapy in treating these two stress-related disorders. What are they?
Hold onto your hats, and let's dive in!
We'll start the course by taking a deep dive into stress. First, we'll look at the scientific definition of stress to help improve our understanding of the mechanisms involved in eliciting this response. Next, we'll look at stressors (the things that cause stress) and how our appraisal process can magnify or reduce their potential negative impact.
We'll look at the stress response itself and go beyond the catchphrase "fight or flight response" to discover what really goes on in a person's body when the response is elicited and why we need to stop calling it a "sympathetic response." We'll also examine whether there is such a thing as good stress or bad stress.
Although your focus as a massage therapist is often on dealing with tension, few therapists really understand the mechanisms behind tone and hypertonicity. So, you'll learn about the science of tension. You'll discover the body's tension thermostat, which is governed by the gamma motor neuron system. You'll also discover why you can't tell whether someone is tense by simply feeling their muscles, and in the process, you'll learn the only way to truly differentiate healthy tone from tension.
You'll learn about the three areas of stress management and how massage fits into the bigger picture. In addition, you'll better understand the relaxation response and how it is elicited. In the process, you'll find out why many people show an increased sympathetic nervous system activity in response to massage.
Lastly, you'll delve into the practicalities of relaxation massage. You'll learn how to treat stress as the pathology it is and how to have an objective way to assess stress. You'll learn the preconditions that must exist to elicit a relaxation response and discover the mechanisms behind relaxation, as well as some important cognitive skills your clients must master before they can truly learn to relax. And we'll wrap up with a series of guidelines to help ensure that your clients have the most healing relaxation response possible.
All Massage Mastery Online CE courses are accessible on a computer, laptop, tablet, or phone with an Internet connection. This course features striking visuals, easy navigation, downloadable resources, videos, and text translation.
Category: Advanced Science
CE Hours: 2 CE Hours
CE Approvals: NCBTMB approved for 2 CE hours. Accepted in most states, including New York and Florida. Please note this course is NOT approved by Alabama, Arkansas, and Louisiana.
Subscription Period: Ongoing access.
After Purchase: Once you purchase this course, you’ll log into massagemastery.online with your email and password. The course will be waiting for you on your dashboard. Click the course access button and follow the directions.
LESSON 01: WHAT IS STRESS?
- Defining Stress
- Stressor Appraisal
- The Stress Response
- Beyond Fight or Flight
- Good Stress, Bad Stress
- Stress and Disease
LESSON 02: MUSCLE TENSION
- The Science of Tension
- The Trouble with Tension
- The Tension-Tone Spectrum
LESSON 03: STRESS MANAGEMENT AND RELAXATION
- How Stress Management Works
- The Relaxation Response
LESSON 04: RELAXATION MASSAGE
- Assessing Stress
- Factors Affecting the Relaxation Response
- Relaxation Mechanisms
- The Power of Massage
- Relaxation Massage Guidelines