Tickle therapy

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Tickle therapy

Postby bearcatfan on Thu Aug 20, 2009 12:53 pm

I recently joined this board and was surprised to see so many posts on this topic. I go to a LMT who employs tickling during our sessions. I started out going to therapy for my back (scoliosis) but now mostly do it for stress relief. Eventually the therapy evolved into involving tickling and I have found that the laughter generated during the tickling is very stress relieving. My LMT tickles not only my feet but also my sides/belly which I have found I enjoy more and also my back. She gets me to the point where I am laughing hysterically and I feel so much better afterward. Glad I am not the only one who enjoys tickling during massage. Would love to hear other peoples points of view of this.
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Re: Tickle therapy

Postby JasonE on Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:38 pm

bearcatfan wrote:I recently joined this board and was surprised to see so many posts on this topic. I go to a LMT who employs tickling during our sessions. I started out going to therapy for my back (scoliosis) but now mostly do it for stress relief. Eventually the therapy evolved into involving tickling and I have found that the laughter generated during the tickling is very stress relieving. My LMT tickles not only my feet but also my sides/belly which I have found I enjoy more and also my back. She gets me to the point where I am laughing hysterically and I feel so much better afterward. Glad I am not the only one who enjoys tickling during massage. Would love to hear other peoples points of view of this.


Interesting. Ticklishness indicates excessive local muscle tension, and in other folks that same tension might be perceived as tenderness or pain. The way I currently practice, if my client is being tickled by my work, I am doing something wrong. If I can work on them without a problem but the ticklishness returns as soon as I've stopped, something is awry. If the area worked is truly relaxed, it is no longer subject to tickling.

It sounds like you are receiving some short-term positive emotional response, but it is unclear how much beneficial change is occurring within your body to result in a lasting improvement. My business discourages our MTs from practicing any form of "tickle therapy" for a variety of reasons, but we still get good therapeutic results. For scoliosis, I would normally employ fascia work and Active Isolated Stretching, supplemented with other methods as appropriate.
Jason Erickson, NCTMB, ACE-CPT, AIS-TA
Massage Therapist, Personal Trainer
http://www.CSTMinnesota.com

Internet forums are like going to the zoo; if you get enough monkeys together, sooner or later someone will start throwing their poo.
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Re: Tickle therapy

Postby swingingdelirium on Thu Aug 27, 2009 2:54 pm

I would agree that there is great comfort in laughing and to some extent I think it's wonderful that you are comfortable enough with your therapist to feel that playful during your sessions, however some part of me wonders about the phsyiological effects this may have on a client.
Tickling is by all means a type of nervous tissue irritation. The normal spots on bodies considered ticklish are like that because there is a concentration of nerve endings and little protection to the area. Think armpits, back of the knees, neck, face, sides, ect., and therapists are taught to be very cautious with those areas and tissues to prevent an injury to the client. And if an area of the body that is generally not a ticklish spot, but is feeling that sort of sensation I often consider it a sign of muscle irritation, so the nervous reaction is more sensitive, and possibly inflamed.
Perhaps I am closed minded, but this is not the type of thing that I would do during a session. However, I always encourage my clients to enjoy themselves everyday, and laughter is good medicine. Many studies have concluded that laughter can lower cortisol (the stress hormone) levels, increase anti-bodies in the blood, and elevate mood. So who am I to judge?
~Thank you~
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Re: Tickle therapy

Postby ccMarie on Thu Aug 27, 2009 6:39 pm

swingingdelirium wrote:Perhaps I am closed minded, but this is not the type of thing that I would do during a session. However, I always encourage my clients to enjoy themselves everyday, and laughter is good medicine. Many studies have concluded that laughter can lower cortisol (the stress hormone) levels, increase anti-bodies in the blood, and elevate mood. So who am I to judge?


Not closed minded, at all. You & JasonE make some very good points.

I think laughing is one of the funnest things I do, & I try to do it often. I find the more I laugh, allow myself to laugh, then the easier it is to laugh some more, (we all know the cycle of the giggle fit). There are so many physiological things that must happen when we laugh, if we do it often enough, I would bet even just thinking of laughing would cause a similar response in the body.

I also think it's a good thing if a client who wants it can find someone to apply Tickle Therapy & even see the benefit of "release" & "relief" when a laughing/tickle fit is finished. I certainly don't see any thing unethical about it, as long as there is no harm (as in ticklishness indicating a deeper issue as stated above). However, I am a massage therapist. If I can make someone smile, or even chuckle, that is fine, but I'm not a tickle therapist. :smt001
You are not on this planet to produce anything with your body. You are on this planet to produce something with your soul. Your body is simply and merely the tool of your soul.

- Neale Donald Walsh Conversations with God
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Re: Tickle therapy

Postby TouchofGrace on Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:59 am

My therapist doesn't tickle me, but she does try and make me laugh as she's going down my back because when I do, you can feel it releasing all the way down. She told me one day, "Oh Sandra, I have a funny story for ya...oh wait, I'll tell you when you turn over". lol So we use it for a physical release. I guess I could just breathe deeply in and out, but laughing is so much more fun. :grin:
~Sandra

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