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The Healing Power of Touch

Yomassage is a fully immersive mind-body experience that combines restorative stretch, mindfulness meditation, and therapeutic touch.

Picture this: While you are lying down in the most comfortable and cozy restorative stretch, you are guided through a themed meditation that takes you even deeper into the relaxation experience. While you are relaxing and meditating, your Yomassage® practitioner provides head-to-toe therapeutic touch.

Why do we combine touch, stretch, and breath?

While all of these modalities are amazing on their own, combining them in a single session provides a unique opportunity for healing and relaxation. When you experience Yomassage, you will activate the parasympathetic nervous system and create an environment for your body to relax and relieve stress. And it only gets better the more you practice!

Yomassage can:

• Release more muscle tension than regular massage

• Get deeper into the connective tissues without accessing pain receptors

• Activate more sensory receptors than in a normal massage

• Empower the client to continuously release tension during and after the session

• Help the client relax and release earlier in the session

• Maintain a deeper state of relaxation throughout the session

• Help maintain a balanced nervous system after the session

• Make the body and mind more resilient to stress

What is a restorative stretch?

Yomassage positions are inspired by restorative yoga. In restorative yoga, you relax in gentle, restorative stretches supported by props that allow you to slowly lengthen muscles and get into the deep connective tissue over 8-15 minutes.

Gentle stretching is similar to massage in that it increases dopamine (the happiness hormone) while decreasing cortisol (the stress hormone) and the body’s stress response.

Yomassage is a fully immersive mind-body experience that combines restorative stretch, mindfulness meditation, and therapeutic touch.

Yomassage takes it further by adding therapeutic touch and mindfulness to each position.

The restorative positions we use in Yomassage are accessible to everyone who can get up and down off of the mat. You don’t need to be “flexible” at all or have any prior yoga experience!

Meditation can be hard.

But it doesn’t have to be. There are so many positive benefits of incorporating mindfulness and meditation into your routine. But it’s easier said than done. In our Yomassage sessions we take a beginners approach to mindfulness and meditation. Through guided breathwork and themed meditation prompts, you will forget you are meditating as you enter into a deeper state of relaxation.

Why do we crave therapeutic touch?

We all know that after a massage we feel better… but why? Why do we look forward to the yoga instructor’s adjustments or light touch at the end of class, or feel better after receiving a hug?

Research shows the right kind of touch can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol levels, stimulate the hippocampus (an area of the brain that is central to memory), and drive the release of a host of hormones and neuropeptides that have been linked to positive and uplifting emotions. The physical effects of touch are far-reaching.

To sum it up:

• Touch is essential to the human experience.

• Touch can impact anxiety, depression, stress, and the nervous system.

• Infants can have developmental delays associated with touch deprivation.

• Massage decreases symptoms of PTSD among military veterans.

• Touch trains neural pathways —safe, therapeutic touch re-trains the brain to predict safe interactions.

While yoga has been shown to be extremely beneficial for both the physical body and emotions, adding the powerful element of touch has the potential to exponentially increase positive effects for the mind and body.

Using trauma sensitive language, I can partner with recovery institutions in being a facilitator for Yomassage classes to help those struggling with addiction to self soothe.

by Karen Lurie:
Karen Lurie is a Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Yomassage Instructor working in Southern Maine. For more information, contact her at lurie.karen@gmail.com

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