My view on the body, mind, and getting through this crazy world in one piece...
The basic principle that I work with is: The body wants to keep itself healthy, and it knows the best way to do it for each person.
There will be times that the body gets out of whack - infections, injury, stress all affect the tissues in the body and cause dis-ease. Many time the body can fix itself by adjusting the chemicals produced, sending compounds to repair bone and muscle, or just shutting down when overtaxed so it can work on its repair without the owner trying to push it more. This isn't to say that everyone consciously knows when, say, their liver secretions are out of line - but their liver does.
When the body can't fix itself, it asks for assistance from the brain: sometimes it will be an unquenchable thirst to increase water intake, it may be sleeping through the alarm after too many nights of not-enough sleep, and often times it is pain.
Pain is the the body's way of saying: "There's something wrong here I need you to address." The problem is that in this always-rushing world of instant gratification and "gotta have it done yesterday", people don't have time for pain. They take pain-killers and ignore the underlying causes of what's really wrong so they can stay on the run. And the body keeps on going the best it can.
Western medicine does many wonderful things and has made great advances over the years, but my two main complaints about it are the tendency to focus solely on a problem area and the tendency to have a pill to fix everything. (Sometimes it seems the pills come first, then they name a "syndrome" to cure it...) Don't take it that I'm bashing doctors - I hope to develop relationships with many of them, but their training doesn't usually lead them to look at the entire body as a unified organism. If you go to the doctor with a chronic shoulder pain, he may give you a cortisone shot and tell you to ice it, which helps for a short time. What the shot doesn't help is if the pain is due to a holding posture that you unknowingly fall into when you're under great stress, and the stresses keep piling up and the muscles are constantly contracted causing the pain. To confound it further, assume that the opposite arm has the holding pattern and the sore arm is due to compensating for the stressful posture.
Massage relaxes the whole body. It helps engage the parasympathetic nervous system - which is what the body uses to recover from stresses. When a person is startled, the "flight-of-fight" sympathetic kicks in, pumping adrenaline, increasing blood flow, dilating pupils and other physiologic signs of being frightened. The parasympathetic nervous system counteracts these activities and helps calm the body and reserve energy. Massage can help not only the sore shoulder, but the also opposite side's tension, as well as kick-start the parasympathetic nervous system into easing stress in the entire body. Massage doesn't take away the stress from work, school, the bills, or the jerk that cut you off on the highway; but it does allow your body to settle down from it and be able to regain focus to deal with life on a calmer level.
The other wonderful thing about massage is that it gives you a full hour (typically) of having someone being there for you. The therapist's only focus is on bringing ease to you with a caring touch. We are creatures who crave touch, but live in a society that has a low touch tolerance.
So, that is my mission: to treat the body as a unified system, bringing relief and presence to as many individuals as I can.