Frequently Asked Questions ...
- What is Biodynamic Massage Therapy (BMT )?
Biodynamic Massage Therapy (BMT ) is both a complementary therapy and a method in Body Psychotherapy.
Cambridge Biodynamic Massage Therapy (CBMT ) offers biodynamic massage at a complementary level.
BMT as a complementary therapy is a psychophysiological form of massage which aims to amplify how we experience
our-self at all levels: physical, mental and emotional.
BMT is a 100% individualised treatment and every session is unique,
as our body continuously reflects life circumstances, which are never exactly the same.
The term 'Biodynamic' derives from the Greek word 'βίος' or 'bio', which means life, and 'dynamic', which means movement or force.
Thus, biodynamic massage is concerned with the reestablishment of the natural life force in the body.
The main meaning of the concept of 'biodynamic', or 'life force', is for someone to follow and enhance their natural impulse for development, which is the most sustainable and powerful way to do so.
A key question to ask yourself is:
' -Where does my energy want to go? '
BMT has a lot of similarities with classic massage therapies, however, there is an essential emphasis to the quality of touch, which is 'affective' and 'communicative' at an essential level, and sustains a unique deepening in the experience.
In BMT we do not use any mediate means of relaxation like oils, music or candles. This is because we aim to bring your attention to your self and to stimulate your inner capacity to soothe yourself and to fire up your self-regulation.
What also is unique in BMT, is the use of an electronic stethoscope, which is useful to listen to your intestinal sounds.
This helps the therapist to follow your pace and to adjust the technique on your biological rhythm.
BMT cultivates self- awareness through anchoring the different levels of experience in the body (embodiment).
A biodynamic massage therapist is trained to embrace a state of embodiment and they recognise bodily patterns that hold your energy away from this state.
Having BMT on a regular basis will help you to rebalance your nervous system, feel revitalised and experience your self in your body more fully. It follows you will have a positive impact at your home, social and work life.
BMT works across a wide spectrum of techniques, from periosteum massage to deep tissue,
muscle and connective tissue massage, as well as aura massage.
There are eleven main techniques that are commonly used and these are:
'basic touch', 'connective tissue massage', 'energy distribution', 'resistance work', 'packing', 'emptying', 'deep draining', 'polarisation', 'hypotonus massage', 'lifting', 'aura work'.
For a brief description of the techniques, you may visit our Association website (ABMT).
However, BMT does not follow a rigid technique, and it is adjusted on every client and on every session!
'BMT is not about applying a treatment to you,
it is about developing a treatment for you!'
Each session of BMT is designed to meet the particular needs of each client.
The client has a leading role during the massage by giving verbal feedback and more interestingly with
the feedback of their 'psycho-peristaltic' sounds.
(We use an electronic stethoscope to listen to the sounds of your intestines.)
There is nothing being done 'to' the client, but everything happens 'for' the client,
to embrace the healthy expression of their needs.
This is why particular attention is being paid to create a comfortable and safe environment,
with a welcoming atmosphere and good communication, at all times!
The relationship between client and therapist is a core element of biodynamic massage because we aim to develop a trusting space for the client to develop.
- What is the history of BMT?
Gerda Boyesen from Norway is the founder of 'Biodynamic Psychology' and 'Biodynamic Massage'.
In 1947 she read a book by Wilhelm Reich on neurotic character, which made a strong impression on her.
Shortly thereafter she began therapy with Ola Raknes, a vegetotherapist who had been trained by Reich. Later she studied psychology in Oslo and received training as physiotherapist which led to work with Aadel Bülow-Hansen, a physiotherapist who developed her own way of massage, surprisingly similar to the basic Reichian understanding.
Through her own therapy, Boyesen got to know the connection between repressed emotions and muscle tensions.
Through these experiences and discoveries, Gerda integrated various methods of working, which then became part of the biodynamic massage techniques.
In 1969 she left for London and opened a practice and later an international teaching and training institute (IOBM).
In addition to client-oriented work, other focus areas were included, most notably she was the first woman in Europe to establish her own psychotherapeutic training institute.
Gerda Boyesen, also developed, the theory that the dismantling of psychological stress is also connected
with the digestive system.
She came to the conclusion that certain massage techniques could bring to completion the expression of unwanted feelings, or "incomplete cycles," and this release of emotional charge would entail similar noises from the intestines as during digestion of food.
Boyesen called these noises 'psycho-peristalsis'.
This process of 'digesting' psychological problems is often accompanied by new insights.
To Boyesen, it was a good sign when the client's 'psycho-peristalsis' was in a particular way at the end of a session.
That meant it was resolving somewhat and would be able to organize a new without the old restrictive pattern.
She concluded that when she used more light type of massages, guided by the sounds of the 'psycho-peristalsis', clients developed fewer symptoms and achieved a deeper sense of well being!
- Who is suitable to receive BMT?
Biodynamic Massage Therapy is suitable for everyone.
You do not have to be ill or have any particular symptoms to benefit from biodynamic massage!
Managing daily stress and anxiety, and anxiety-related illness
Cope with a sense of internal pressure, or with a sense of emptiness
Cope better with sleeping, digesting and breathing difficulties
Feel vitalised and part of the world
An increase of self-awareness and of the sense of boundaries
Support for personal development
Extra support to cope with a particular symptom or illness
Support to manage the lack or the excess of energy
Support to manage chronic and acute musculoskeletal pain
Complementary support with chronic syndromes
- How many sessions of BMT I need?
Although you may feel some benefit from one session, a sustained change is only possible
with regular sessions over a period of months.
The recommended therapy course consists of six weekly sessions as a minimum.
This is so because repetition is mandatory for the benefits to develop and lay a foundation.
The commitment to the therapy creates a unique therapeutic space, which the therapist keeps safe for the client.
Ideally, the client and the therapist meet once a week at the same place at the same time over a period of time.
Therapeutic continuity becomes quickly essential.
It is an experience that enables the client to become engaged with their process and find a meaning of what is going on.
Some people would find the support they need within one course of six sessions, and some would gain more benefits with having biodynamic massage as an ongoing therapy.
- How does a BMT session develop?
Before we arrange your consultation appointment, we need to have a brief phone conversation to discuss of
any questions that you may have and to make sure that BMT is the best option for you at that particular time.
At the consultation appointment, we will spend some time (15 min) to take a brief history of your health and of your lifestyle, and also, we will set up a therapy plan based on your needs.
This is a good time to let me know of anything you would like to share and to ask any questions you might still have.
We will also set our next appointment dates, so it will be useful if you bring your agenda!
After the paperwork is done, we will have our first session (40-45 min).
At the follow-up sessions, I will ask you to provide some feedback on how your week was, and then you will 'pop on' the table for the session (55 min). Taking off your clothes is not mandatory, but it is recommended if you feel comfortable.
At the sixth session of each therapy course, we will have some time left after the massage, for discussion and feedback.
You might decide to have another course, or not!
(Please, be sure that any information given is subject of the General Data Protection Regulation, and that you have the right to ask for access to the notes and the contact details I keep of you, at any time.)