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What Is Holistic Massage? Explanation & Example (Therapeutic Massage)

What Is Holistic Massage? Explanation & Example (Therapeutic Massage)

What is a Holistic Massage? This is also sometimes referred to as therapeutic massage. In this article you will find an explanation and you will gain insight into the working method of a masseur with a holistic approach.

Guest contribution by Ruben from

What does ‘holistic’ mean?

“Holistic” means “all encompassing.” It means that you are not going to isolate one aspect and only treat that aspect, but that you take into account other aspects of your body or your life.

So what is a ‘holistic massage’?

In a holistic massage you do not consider the parts of your body or life as separate things. You realize that they are in contact with feelings and emotions, for example.

A holistic massage is therefore not only aimed at the relaxation of muscles, but also at mental relaxation. You are treated as a whole: your body, mind, emotions and the contact with your environment.

It is also sometimes referred to as therapeutic massage. In practice it is not necessarily that ‘heavy’ and it means that the masseur has a chat with you and that you also talk about your life.

Example of a holistic masseur

holistic massage meaning

A therapeutic masseur could just tell you a tailor-made metaphor during the massage. Read the metaphor of a therapeutic masseur below …

Story: The failed chestnut tree; how do you become happy and successful without difficulty?

Once upon a time there was an old man with a large garden around his house. In the garden there were many chestnut trees that the man maintained with care. That’s how he was used to doing it since he was a child. The trees had once been planted by his grandfather, and now it was his job to keep an eye on them. The children of the neighborhood loved to pick up chestnuts here every fall. This year they came with extra large bags to take the chestnuts home. And the old man lovingly allowed them into his garden. He had even put some sample chestnut dolls on the windowsill and a bowl of cookies ready.

This year, the old man was not only curious about the number of children who would come again, but also how the chestnut tree in the corner would fare. This tree was particularly beautiful, but had not yet produced a single chestnut. Sometimes it looked a bit like he came along with the other trees, but then it came to a standstill in the department actually producing chestnuts. This was therefore a quiet corner in the autumn period. The children did not come, after all, there were no chestnuts to pick up. The old man felt sorry for the tree, and had already tried everything to help the tree.

The tree itself didn’t like it either. Trying hard every year, but without results. Why did he keep on doing it? The consecutive years that he had failed to supply the children with chestnuts had started to take off. Sometimes the tree felt that the other trees were looking down on it, although they never said it out loud. The deep desire to please the children remained unfulfilled. All he wanted was chestnuts on his tree and drop them for the kids. He hoped to finally make the old man proud and grow chestnuts this fall. Maybe it would work out this year!

The tree started the chestnut season with full courage. He was going to work harder than ever before. If the other trees can do it, surely he can? Do my best this year really hard, thought the tree. It was going to be a tough fight. Sure enough, there was the first chestnut already. A beautiful green spiny ball appeared on one of its branches. And yes, one more there. And a few more chestnuts formed on the branches of the tree. It wasn’t much, but at least better than last year.

When the time of the chestnut falling had begun, the first chestnut fell from the tree in the corner. The tree enjoyed it to the fullest and was very curious about what the chestnut would look like. The green spiny ball falls to the ground, breaks open, and a soft black chestnut appears. Not a success … Then one more falls, but this one turns out not to be a healthy chestnut either. The tree sees it happen and is extremely ashamed. He had done his best this time. But in vain. Shame and sadness fill the heart of the tree and it is pulling back its leaves extra early this year. What a failed chestnut tree I am , the tree thinks to itself.

This tree is a picture of you and me. We fall short in bearing fruit. We fall short in making our children happy, in making money for our families, in performing in our sports, in keeping up with the household, you name it! We can fall short in terms of career, family, relationships, sex, sports, it is too much to mention.

Fortunately, I don’t need to know where you fall short to be able to help you anyway. There is a solution to be able to bear fruit where you did not succeed before. So, do you want to lose weight? Do you want to get rich? Do you want to be happy? Then take note of the secret I’m about to tell you. But first we take a turn so you can understand how I came to this solution.

A chestnut tree with tense muscles

holistic massage metaphor

In my work as a physiotherapist I discovered that almost all pain complaints were caused by muscles that are hard and sensitive. I’m not that complicated type, so I thought, “Then we have to untie that .” And that helped enormously.

The pain usually eased and my client was naturally happy. But unfortunately, the pain and hard muscles returned and we were close to square one.

In a moment of clarification, I thought to myself, ‘Hey, there is something in that person that causes the muscles to harden again and again. But what is that? ‘ I started asking the clients, over and over, with everyone. What makes your muscles hard? Why are your muscles tense? ‘

Those tense muscles have a surprising cause …

I have since started working for myself as a masseur . The physiotherapy dance, so to speak, distracted me from my mission to help people with tense muscles get rid of it permanently. The insurance has requirements on how you do your job, the union as well as the employer. No freedom to really help people from the heart.

Unless your heart happens to match that of the union, insurance and employer of course. But that was not the case in my case.

I already knew that the muscles become tense from overload, so overloading or overloading them. But you would expect someone to exercise 5 times a week, have a really bad bed, or have dug a swimming pool in the garden last week. These, or similar things, were rarely the case.

Over time I found out that sometimes people suddenly started to tighten the muscles during the massage . This happened more often with different clients. I started to notice that this always happened during conversations when it was about a certain topic , with everyone a different topic.

Suppose the chestnut tree is lying on the massage table with tense muscles and I bring up a topic: ‘Hey, did you have a nice autumn? Have many children visited you? ‘ The tree, whose back was relaxed until then, is now suddenly starting to tighten. I keep asking questions and hear his story. About how he is so fed up that he cannot give the children chestnuts. That he feels like he is disappointing the old man. And that the other trees gossip about him. This is more or less the story of many of the clients I have dealt with. And with whom I have been able to achieve a lot of success through the following insight.

How is the chestnut tree helped? How does the chestnut tree become happy?

Let’s do some analysis of the chestnut tree. The tree has only one thing on its mind, which is to grow chestnuts. In this way we can also have one focus, namely bearing fruit.

Some fruits are, for example, that you are friendly or have a lot of patience. That you earn a lot of money and are super healthy. Even being happy is a fruit. It’s everything others can see about you.

The chestnut tree has done everything to bear fruit this year. But it only left the tree with rotten chestnuts. This is an oversimplified example, because if we try very hard, it often pays off. But it always has side effects. Your fruits have a limit, a ceiling that you can never break through. You get burned out after a while.

And it may be that you are successful in one area, but the other suffers. Like the successful businessman whose marriage is on the rocks.

How do you think the story of the chestnut tree continues?

Let’s watch the rest of the story …

After autumn comes winter. The tree is drowning in its shame and sorrow. This turns into anger and eventually the tree becomes bitter and starts to act ugly to other trees. And the tree, which was very beautiful, grows old quickly, and falls over in a severe storm.

End of story.

How could this have been prevented?

The story would have turned out very differently if the old man had told him how beautiful the tree is. And that the tree does not have to bear fruit at all. The tree needed unconditionality . A difficult word for: ‘it doesn’t matter what you do or don’t do, you are super awesome!’ The tree had identified its lack of fruit with its self-esteem .

The pitfall of ‘We are what we repeatedly do’

You believe that? That we are what we do? Are we what can be seen on the outside? The chestnut tree believed this, and tried hard to change. Change to a tree that does bear fruit. So that he could be a successful chestnut tree.

But until then, he was the failed chestnut tree. And that is precisely the problem. The chestnut tree sees itself as a failure. No permanent fruit can grow on this root!

And the solution? How does change come?

The solution is unconditionality and self-esteem. But how can that actually change for you?

We do what we think and we think what we believe. If we want to change ourselves, our thinking must first change. If we want to change our thinking, our faith must first change. Our beliefs, or beliefs, are the foundation of our existence. You could say: the root of the tree.

Our faith determines our thinking and acting. If our faith remains the same, our actions will remain the same. There is one exception. Acting can also be determined by fear.

For example: if tomorrow the speeding fines in traffic are increased by 500 euros, you will suddenly exhibit completely different behavior in traffic. Or the well-known pot of change in the living room, where we had to put a guilder in every swear word, fart or farmer.

So how does change come? Change your faith!

Do your behavior change? Change your faith!

So the only real way for the chestnut tree to grow chestnuts is not by “pressing” fruits, but by paying attention to its root system.

That is also the case with us. We look like a tree. We have a visible side, the trunk with the branches, leaves and fruits. And we have an invisible side, the root, which is underground.

A tree with a healthy root in healthy soil will naturally look good at the top. That is how it works with us. If our beliefs about ourselves are correct , our lives will naturally look good.

Want to become a successful entrepreneur effortlessly? Raise your children effortlessly? Exercise 3 times a week effortlessly? It’s possible! Invest in your carrot. At first it does not seem to work, but in the end it yields limitless fruit, which is also permanent.

Invest in your visible side and it will pay off immediately, such as a strict diet for example. But eventually you yo back onto the couch with a Cornetto in your hand. Invest in your invisible side  – your beliefs – and you will become more and more successful and happier.

How do we change our faith?

It is said of Michelangelo that when he had a piece of stone in front of him, he already saw the desired image in the stone. He only had to take off the pieces that did not belong.

We are also a stone that can be worked by a sculptor. See the person you really are, not the person visible now. See the beautiful sculpture, not the lump of stone that looks a bit like it.

In the next paragraph you will discover more about this sculpture …

Ask the question, “Who am I?”

Of course we will end up with one of life’s big questions. Always a nice to talk about. But it is also often sensitive, because then we come in the field of religion.

I am a religious person myself, I believe there is a maker who designed me. Who made me a beautiful person. And who also made you a beautiful person. Each in its own unique way, but always very beautiful.

This belief allows me to see myself as a perfect human, even if it is not always visible. If I notice that I have been interested in something for a longer period of time, for example making music, then I assume that I was made to make music. Or if I enjoy writing, I assume I was made for it. Even if I don’t bake when I start.

We are not what we repeatedly do!

When we look at ourselves as a piece of Michelangelo’s stone, there seems to be a lot more work to be done with some than with others. Fortunately that is not bad at all, because we are already in that piece of stone.

If there are things in your life that are not right now, then you should know that this is not who you really are. If you are a chestnut tree that cannot produce chestnuts, learn that you are not the failed chestnut tree, but the successful chestnut tree overflowing with chestnuts. Because you think chestnuts are super important, then you must be a tree that can produce many.

How further?

Are you that chestnut tree that is not satisfied with its fruit? Are you that person who always feels inadequate? Maybe you are, you may also fall short …

But think of a way that you can start to believe who you are, instead of linking your identity to what is now visible. Become like Michelangelo and go see the artwork in the rock.

Yes, you are a work of art worth seeing. Believe it, root in this, and the fruit will follow. In the meantime, do not worry about the result, because that has not helped you any further in the past and can now only hold you back.

About The Author


Hello! Thanks for reading these articles. My intention is to make happiness as simple and clear as posssible. By the way, excuse my English. I am not a native English speaker since I live in Amsterdam. Much appreciated if you use the comments to make suggestions on my grammar. See ya in another blogpost!

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