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Relaxation is one of the main benefits and goals in massage. In this class we will be exploring the relaxation aspect and goal of massage, what we call the relaxation response from different traditions. Specifically we will be exploring restorative yoga, and how we can incorporate aspects of this into our massage practice, the autonomic nervous system, we will explore how our touch can move from the “fight or flight” anxiety pattern system many of us are stuck in and switch to the sympathetic nervous system associated with calmness. Finally, we will be looking at props, bolstering, eye rest pillows, etc and demonstrate how very simple positioning procedures can allow the body to fully rest and receive massage.

Class Objectives

  • Students will learn the theory and some of the history behind restorative yoga.
  • Students will learn about the autonomic nervous system, as it relates to relaxation, and why it is important for massage to maximize treatment outcomes and effectiveness.
  • Students will learn about controllable environmental aspects such as lighting, ventilation, sound, and aromatherapy to further maximize treatment effectiveness and relaxation.
  • Students will learn how to properly position their clients on the table using bolsters as well as blocks, blankets, sandbags, straps, and eye pillows.
  • Students will learn yogic breathing techniques and stillness techniques to initiate a relaxation response in their clients.
  • Students will learn about mindful touch, nonverbal communication, and manual holding techniques for deep relaxation.
  • Students will learn the restorative yoga sequencing pose by pose.
  • Students will learn how to weave the restorative postures into their practice as a massage therapist.