Sophia is a practitioner and author who has taken time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions about what she does and her new book!
Why develop ‘LT Therapy.
Working in Holistic medicine for over 20 years and educated in several disciplines of massage and Ayurvedic Therapies with the IFA, City & Guilds Practitioners Diploma, I developed ‘LT Therapy,’ after seeing a gap in the market where muscular back pain was concerned. I am a member of the Complimentary Therapist Association, (CThA) the leading Professional association representing sport, spa and complimentary therapists in the UK & Ireland. Even though there are a multitude of massage treatments and complimentary therapies, that work to improve the body and aid pain recovery, what I developed goes beyond massage as I identify areas of physical pain held in the neck, shoulder and back muscles specifically linked and created by emotional/mental stress.
Based on traditional Chinese medicine theory, that good health is directly related to the balance between Yin and Yang, they are opposite, yet complimentary forces, constantly working to re-dress the balance and bring about a healthy state to both mind and body. When there is continual imbalance, illness, pain and disease occur.
How my work differs from other holistic treatments & massages?
I specialise in releasing muscular pain held in the neck, shoulder and back. Combining my holistic knowledge of traditional Ayurvedic therapies and classic massage movements from several disciplines, my own treatment evolved, ‘LT Therapy.’ I created a treatment that had a win win formula every time I applied it. Regardless of how acute or chronic the muscular pain is, my method works because of the synergistic application of a ‘Tri-Method.’ The Tri-Method incorporated in ‘LT Therapy’ represents three keys elements which must be used to ensure pain is released at all levels, physical and emotional. The ‘Tri-Method’ consists of an advanced massage technique, volcanic heat and ice marble. Manipulation through massage at various pressure levels, allows oxygenated blood to flood the muscle, volcanic heat releases negative toxins and deep rooted knots, without traumatising the muscle or the client and ice marble, acts as a positive natural anti-inflammatory, super charging the muscles. All three combined, rapidly restores flexibility and texture back into the muscle, instantly decreasing pain, re-establishing wellbeing.
By using heat is this not the same as ‘Hot Stone’ therapy?
There are many different types of stones used in various heat related treatments. I use the same stones as in the ‘La Stone’ method however that’s where the similarity ends. Whenever a therapist learns a treatment over time, they develop it using their experience and adapt it to suit the client’s needs. When I hold and work with hot or cold stones, I use intuition to decide on how they will be used depending on the individual and what problem presents at the time. No two treatments are every the same, the application is constantly changed to resolve the problem and erase the pain. There is no set routine as in most massage and holistic treatments; I use my years of experience and work intuitively, based on the individuals needs at the time. I don’t use the hot stone as placements around the body; I work with each piece, applying various pressures at different angles, into the muscle so that mobility is quickly restored. The same application is made with the cold marble. Other treatments using hot stones are generally placed on the body to comfort the muscles or used in light effleurage strokes. The best way to understand or feel the difference of ‘LT Therapy’ is by having a treatment yourself.
What happens during a treatment?
After the consultation, I tell the client that as I work on their back, I will be speaking to them at various intervals to explain my findings. This is crucial, so that they understand what I uncover, where the root of the problem lies and how they relate to it. Most therapies work in silence so the client relaxes throughout, but as I am working to release both mind and body, this is an important part of the treatment, in order to resolve long standing issues both mentally and physically. I specifically look for areas of deep rooted knots located mainly in the neck, shoulders & back, that can also create referral pain elsewhere in the body. Pains in various areas of the arms, legs or head can be due to key areas blocked in the back muscles.
A pain in the lower right hand side of the back, for example, can refer down the leg as sciatica, or can be felt in an isolated area like the calf or behind the knee. In western medicine most people would think it’s due to a physical strain which it can be, but I look at the person as a whole when I am treating them, which is the holistic view, so I take into account that the lower back relates too (based on traditional Chinese principles) an area in their childhood or teens that may have been troubled. Based on the depth of the blockage, the texture of the muscle, I can determine the length of time it’s been there and the type of person that created it (ie: right shoulder would relate to a close female, member of the family). As I am working in that person’s energy field, I can also pick up whatever emotion that person felt at the time the event took place. Whether the client remembers the event or not, all depends on how the sub conscious mind reacts. As I release the physical pain with ‘LT Therapy’ the client either speaks about the event and releases the emotional pain at the same time ,or if they cannot recall the event, the treatment is still successful as it releases the subconscious mind, the place we store all our history, automatically the mind –body connection principle comes into play.
Who Benefits from this treatment?
Anyone who has continual back pain after going through emotional stress, divorce, bereavement, financial issues, work problems, illness etc. Those who have been down the medical root and the doctors can find no solution to their mystery back pain. Anyone who repeatedly builds up neck, shoulder back pain easily without over doing things physically.
Evidence of the Mind Body Connection.
- Taken from the National Institute of Health report 2008.Although it is generally accepted by medics that emotional stress or psychological factors can make any back pain problem worse, the concept of “stress-related” back pain takes this idea one step further. The diagnosis of stress-related back pain assumes that psychological and emotional factors are of primary influence.
- It should be emphasized that even though psychological factors may be causing the physical symptoms, the symptoms are not imaginary. They are very real physical problems (such as back pain), which are being impacted upon by emotional factors.
- John Sarno, M.D., a physician and professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at New York University, has recently popularized the idea of stress-related back pain, which he terms ‘Tension Myositis Syndrome’ (TMS), although the concept can be traced to as early as the 1820s.
- University of Maryland Medical Centre conducted an in depth report on stress and its effects on the human body. Back Pain was highlighted as a key condition as a result of stress.
- The National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in the US state that there is now considerable evidence that most mind-body therapies can be used as effective adjuncts to conventional medical treatment for a number of common clinical conditions. Mind-body therapies (e.g., imagery, hypnosis, relaxation, massage), when used pre-surgically, may improve recovery time and reduce pain following surgical procedures.
- A study by The National Centre for Complimentary & Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) concluded that there is considerable evidence that mind-body interventions, even as they are being studied today, have positive effects on psychological functioning and quality of life, and may be particularly helpful for patients coping with chronic illness, back pain and in need of palliative care
NCCAM is the Federal Government’s lead agency for scientific research on CAM. NCCAM’s mission is to explore complementary and alternative healing practices in the context of rigorous science, train CAM researchers, and disseminate authoritative information to the public and professionals.
Taken from ‘Family Doctor.Org’.Your body responds to the way you think, feel and act. This is often called the “mind/body connection.” When you are stressed, anxious or upset, your body tries to tell you that something isn’t right. For example, high blood pressure or a stomach ulcer might develop after a particularly stressful event, such as the death of a loved one. The following can be physical signs that your emotional health is out of balance:
- Back pain
- Change in appetite
- Chest pain
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Dry mouth
- Extreme tiredness
- General aches and pains
- High blood pressure
- Insomnia (trouble sleeping)
- Light headedness
- Palpitations (the feeling that your heart is racing)
- Sexual problems
- Shortness of breath
- Stiff neck
- Upset stomach
- Weight gain or loss