Stress is a known cause for many different kinds of ailments. Some people even receive the embarrassing diagnosis from a physician that their problem is psychosomatic, or residing entirely in their head. However, those who study health from a holistic perspective know that all illnesses originate from a person’s thought processes and emotions. By understanding and teaching their clients that emotional health precedes physical health, massage therapists can surpass their contemporaries and step into the role of holistic healer.

Holistic Healing

Many mistakenly assume that, by definition, massage therapy is a holistic profession. However, this is not necessarily the case. Just like their allopathic counterparts, massage therapists can easily focus unilaterally on one issue, such as stress relief, releasing back pain or improving range of motion.

A holistic approach includes all parts of an individual, not just the most apparent manifestation of an illness. While physical discomfort is typically what prompts someone to seek medical help, holistic medicine does not consider physical health in isolation. Instead, physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of well-being are all evaluated for their part in a person’s total health.

A holistic healer recognizes that pain or disease is merely indicative of an imbalance. More often than not, such an imbalance stems from negative emotions. Many holistic practitioners believe that working to modify thought patterns gives people control over their emotions. This transformation eventually creates a joyful emotional state, which will foster spiritual satisfaction and a healthful physical existence.


Humans are energetic beings, with every cell possessing its own energetic vibration. When our cells are vibrating harmoniously, we feel wonderful on all planes. However, a resonance incongruent with neighboring cells creates resistance and can eventually lead to illness. Through emotional awareness and desire for wellness, people can detect an initial incongruence and change their own cellular vibration.

Emotions are really energy in motion, or e-motion. Many leaders in holistic medicine teach that negative emotion is the origin of cellular resistance. This beginning moment of dis-resonance is also the easiest to change. By applying a different thought process to an emotional reaction, people are capable of literally turning their thoughts around. Shifting from a negative perspective to a positive one consequently changes a person’s cellular vibration.


Just like the arrival of chronic illness, a hurricane does not appear instantaneously. If extreme weather arose out of the blue, weather forecasters would be out of a job. Subtle environmental precursors, such as air pressure and temperature, must gradually mount in intensity before gale force winds and torrential rain can affect a community. Similarly, our bodies possess an early indication system warning us when all is not well.

As the primary root of most physical and emotional health problems, emotions serve as our wellness indicator. Awareness of negative emotions is essentially a warning sign of vibratory imbalance that will progress to physical imbalance if uncorrected. Thus, shifting from negative to positive thought patterns is the only lasting way of achieving health. Once a negative emotion is recognized, an adjustment can be made towards a more positive mindset. While this shift requires practice, anyone with an awareness of their emotional well-being can adjust their own vibratory state.

Massage typically feels great and allows a person to deeply relax. Recognizing the impact bodywork has on how they feel emotionally and physically, recipients are more open to the idea of their vibratory resonance or resistance. Massage therapists who understand the interconnectedness of the emotions with physical health can translate this phenomenon to their clients. By learning about a client’s emotional set-point and coaching them to shift into more positive thought processes, massage therapists can step into a holistic healing role. With this added dimension of caring, practitioners can help clients identify their ailment’s true, vibrational cause and offer them hope for lasting wellness.

References:, What is Holistic Healing?, Phylameana lila Desy, Retrieved January 8, 2009,, 2009., How Can I Prevent Stress-Related Psychosomatic Illness? Is It In My Head?, Elizabeth Scott, MS, Retrieved January 8, 2009,, September 2008., Unlocking Your Emotions for Better Health, Jon Greenberg, MD, Retrieved January 7, 2009, Consumer Health Organization of Canada, 2009., Move into health,
Peter J. Rappa, MD, Retrieved January 7, 2009, Proceedings (Baylor University Medical Center), January 2005., It’s All in Your Mind, Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB, Retrieved January 5, 2009, Massage Today, January 2009.