When you hear the term “integrative bodywork”, perhaps it elicits confusion or ambiguity. What is it? What’s the difference between integrative bodywork and other bodywork? These are valid questions! Integrative is an umbrella term in the bodywork world and how it is used varies depending on the practitioner.
In short, Integrative Bodywork is an approach that integrates numerous hands-on techniques in order to tailor a session to a client’s specific needs and address the whole person in their health needs. It is often used in the massage world, a practitioner may mix various techniques, like Thai with Swedish and deep tissue all in the same session.
What does Integrative Bodywork mean at Tend?
Even at our center, the techniques clients receive vary by practitioner, based on their training and skills. The principles and philosophies we adhere to, however, are in alignment with each other
- Client Centered: From how you are met at the door, to how we approach your session, your needs are highlighted, your voice and knowledge are respected.
- Individually Tailored: It’s not a routine or rote set of exercises; sessions move away from the one size fits all approach and towards customized treatment based on the complexity and uniqueness of your needs and goals.
- Whole Person Approach: The therapeutic relationship is emphasized between practitioner and client; we understand and view the body through the lens of relationship to who you are as a whole person; body, mind, emotions, history, beliefs and, dare we say, perhaps even spiritual.
- Process Oriented: Sessions build on each other, addressing the deeper patterns and coping mechanisms underlying the symptoms and pain you’re currently experiencing. The challenges we face are often in a continual complex relationship to our whole, there is no assumption of a “one-fix” solution.
“Pay attention to your body. The point is everyone is different. You have to figure out what works for you.”Dr. Andrew Weil
Integrative Medicine Principles
Growing in popularity in the U.S. since the 1970’s, “Complementary and Alternative Medicine” and Integrative Medicine are a complex and unfolding relationship with conventional, mainstream western medicine. This blog post won’t address that relationship, yet looking at the underlying principles of Integrative Medicine is perhaps helpful in understanding Integrative Bodywork. Although Integrative Medicine is obviously different from Integrative Bodywork, at Tend we align strongly with the following principles.
The Defining Principles of Integrative Medicine
- Patient and practitioner are partners in the healing process.
- All factors that influence health, wellness, and disease are taken into consideration, including mind, spirit, and community, as well as the body.
- Appropriate use of both conventional and alternative methods facilitates the body’s innate healing response.
- Effective interventions that are natural and less invasive should be used whenever possible.
- Integrative medicine neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts alternative therapies uncritically.
- Good medicine is based in good science. It is inquiry-driven and open to new paradigms.
- Alongside the concept of treatment, the broader concepts of health promotion and the prevention of illness are paramount.
- Practitioners of integrative medicine should exemplify its principles and commit themselves to self-exploration and self-development.
At Tend: Center for Integrative Bodywork we chose this term that covers a range of techniques because we recognize and operate with the understanding that there is no “one right” method or technique. As practitioners with various skills and certifications, it’s in our clients best interest to adapt and use various approaches to meet individual needs. Whether you’re seeing one of our Doctors of Physical Therapy, Massage, or Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapists, you can expect a holistic and integrative approach.
Questions? Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 413-349-8289.