Does the machine replace the hands?
Is the machine a tool to replace the hands? Is everything I’ve learnt up to this point useless now when I have this machine?
Double NO! says Märta LIndqvist, who writes about her experiences using the Swedish Fascia Vibes Machine, as well as her hands.
Several times I’ve come across resistance against “being replaced by a machine”. I guess that is a rather natural response. I myself hesitated at first and felt anxious about putting old routines aside and changing treatment technique.
But that was only a vague and short-lived reflection since I had bought the machine after it had helped me getting rid of all my physical problems: neck pain, stiffness, tinnitus due to a stiff neck, sore hips, locked shoulders, migraines on and off, etc. (read more here about my first encounter with the machine).
Getting well was the persuasion I needed. But still, changing my work routine was a bit tough. After all, we humans are creatures of habits (with egos that talk incessively…)
There is one more aspect that plays a big part in this. The identity and joy of wanting to be strong and unique, being that person with magical hands that heal and take away pain, is powerful.
Of course it concerns me that a machine is to do what I do with my own hands. My hands – unique for me and something I put power and concentration behind and keep investing in training.
During a training event where I was talking about the machine, I heard someone say:
– Oh, so what we learn about massage is now useless?
My respons to that is: NO, NO, NO. Rewind that tape!
All we learn about the body, all anatomy we read, the practising we do to get the right feel in our hands are super important!
I still view my hands as the most important instrument. I am also an artist and illustrator and depend on my hands in all I do. They are my top priority – always.
With my hands I feel the structure, tension and toughness in the tissue. Does the surface feel cold and turned off, warm and hyperactive? Spongy and swollen? Are the hips aligned? It takes trained hands to assess and recognize how someone else’s body is doing.
But I also take good care of my hands.
I don’t see a great value in wearing out my shoulders, wrists, hands and tumbs – day in and day out – treating others’ tension.
The type of massage I provided for 15 years was very effective. I had no problems in getting clients.
But eventually my body said stop. It couldn’t handle standing all day long, working on treating other people’s issues.
The quality of my treatment depended on my level of energy. If I was tired, felt a bit down or weak, I didn’t have enough power to get through the largets cold blods or those factory workers with bull necks and backs hard as bricks.
I came in contact with the machine when the insight had hit me that I may have reached the expiration date for my thumbs. They were rather worn out and inflamed. My neck was plaguing me with enormous pain from having to work long hours, reaching up to high horses and leaning over my massage table.
An old whiplash injury and falling off a horse a few times, combined with a long neck and hypermobile joints meant being immune to traditional treatments such as massage, chiropractic and exercises. But the machine worked like magic and tricked the pain away after the first trial!
I still massage in the traditional sense. All human clients on my table are treated to a genuine Swedish massage, but a short version. It feels good, stretches out the last bit of what the machine has loosened up and give an overall sensation of having been softened up.
On the other hand, I rarely massage horses. In my opinion they usually get touched enough by hands and they don’t seem to much enjoy being poked and squeezed randomly.
Sure, some horses love being touched all the time but my professional experience is that they appreciate more being treated when they are sore, in areas where they are tense.
Some horses have refused manual treatment (those I have worked with) completely. Their integrity says no to being fingered and squeezed.
In general horses prefer a scratch, a gentle pat or tender stroke to a massage. But again, the hands are the most valuble instrument in getting to know the body and finding the area that needs to be worked on. The eye is of course also very important, but in the end it’s the hand that is going to confirm what the eye sees. After a carful manual and occular inspection, I lastly use Swedish Fascia Vibess to loosen the tension or stagnation that is causing the movement disturbance or pain.
Greetings from Märta!
Masseuse and Swedish Fascia Vibes Therapist