Updated: Jun 27, 2021
When was the last time you’ve felt genuine, intentional, and intuitive touch?
… From your massage therapist, of course. Why, what were you thinking?
All sensual jokes aside, really take a moment to think about it.
Do you feel calmer by the touch of another person?
Are you someone that feels utterly blissed-out just by the thought of getting a massage?
Picturing yourself laying on the table, with a blanket covering you, a heated pad under your sheets, the warmth begins to cocoon itself around you, and you start to feel more level headed - all before your practitioner even walks into the room.
What if I told you that there’s a type of massage therapy that encompasses all of the stretchy, knot-loosening, jaw-unclenching goodness that traditional massage offers and at the same time heals your body at the cellular level?
Sound too magical to be true? It may feel like pure magic — but this type of therapy is tested, tried, and backed by the latest scientific research.
It’s called restorative massage therapy.
And what better way to learn about this style of massage than to speak with someone who facilitates it herself?
This week I had the opportunity to sit down with Gretchen Newman, owner of Rosaluna Wellness. She's a Licensed Massage Therapist and has spent the last eight years of her life dedicated to bringing people tremendous healing through the art of physical touch.
She graciously shared insights into how restorative massage therapy has helped facilitate her own healing…and now she’s here offering that same healing to you.
If you’re someone who’s been on the fence about getting a massage, by the end of this article you’ll be itching to have her hands on you.
In a hot-stone wrapped nutshell we’ll be covering what restorative massage really is, how it differs from other massage therapies, and the remarkable healing it brings to the mind, body, and soul.
What is restorative massage therapy?
Restorative massage therapy is like… your old masseuse meets a new, intuitive massage technique.
It focuses on the health and integrity of the mind, body, energy, spirit connection.3
People who practice restorative massage therapy understand that there’s an interconnectedness between how you think, how you feel, and how your body and the world around you react to those frequencies.
And when you go too long without addressing those lower frequencies (often looking like negative thoughts or emotions, trauma, etc), they begin to show themselves physically in your body.
Think: pain, tension, tightness, discomfort, or disease.
When you receive a restorative massage, your practitioner will hold space for you to invite awareness into the areas of your body that you’ve been subconsciously operating from.
It does this by utilizing the network of connective tissues in the body known as fascia. With deep, slow pressure applied to your muscles and fascia, this level of touch activates your body’s parasympathetic nervous system.3
Your parasympathetic nervous system is the part of the nervous system that controls your body’s ability to rest and restore itself.
It switches off its counterpart — the sympathetic nervous system — which is our body's natural response to a potential threat. It’s our fight or flight response that is meant to keep us alive.
So you can lay there, fully present, and your body will naturally begin to start healing itself.
***insert excited jaw-dropping gif here***
As your parasympathetic nervous system begins to emerge, your body doesn’t feel a threat to its survival, so naturally, it’ll start to place its energy elsewhere:
Lowering your blood pressure
Heightening your concentration
Lowering the release of stress hormones
Improving your mood
Better quality of sleep
Improving your digestion
With a focus on connective tissue health and nervous system integration, restorative massage is a wonderful addition to your wellness routine if you’re looking to incorporate a more holistic approach.
Is restorative massage therapy different from “regular” massage therapy?
A big distinction between a “traditional massage” and a restorative massage is that restorative massages are given on an intuitive basis.
Taking it down a bit further, it means that when you lay on the table, no massage is predetermined or specified.
Instead, your experienced practitioner will use her knowledge, combined with intuition to assess where the healing is needed for that session, with your feedback of course.
When talking with Gretchen, I asked her what her perspective was between the two:
“When I’m working with a client, I’m looking for structural differences, I’m looking to feel their fascia and muscles and looking for pieces that stand out. I touch both calves, I touch both feet, both ankles, both knees... to find where the imbalances are physically manifesting.”
There seems to be an inherent depth to restorative massage that’s difficult to find in traditional massage techniques.
In just one session of restorative massage not only will you feel more relaxed, but many people also experience the benefits of:3
Improved quality of sleep
Feeling less stressed
Reduced feelings of anxiety
Reduced feeling of pain and tension
Feeling a sense of grounding
Seems a little unbelievable that just one hour on a table could produce such vital and positive side effects, right?
Well, we can thank our fascia for that one. This connective tissue connects the bottoms of our feet to the top of our heads and is essentially what holds every organ, bone, and muscle in place.
This up-close and personal look at how your body is operating lets your practitioner easily find where imbalances are manifesting and how they’re connected to one another.
And who doesn’t want to bring balance back into their bodies?
Restorative massage therapy near me
Are you itchin’ to experience a restorative massage for yourself?
Or at the very least — learn more about it.
You continue to be in the right place. Because you care deeply about your health and mental wellbeing. You want to ensure that you’re getting the most bang for your buck when it comes to any form of healing.
Because if there’s one thing for certain: there’s nothing quite like receiving healing from someone who’s spent their lives implementing and mastering their trade.
When working with Gretchen, everything that she brings to the table (pun intended) is a combination of the last eight years of her journey.
Her therapeutic offerings extend far beyond restorative massage, and include:
Maya Abdominal therapy
Herbal Medicine Support
Here’s a link directly to her offerings page, explaining each one in-depth!
If you’re not local to the New Hampshire area, don’t worry! There are plenty of licensed massage therapists all over the country.
Take your time, research, and find the one that’s the right fit for you. It’ll make all the difference in the world.