Integrative and Therapeutic, Defined

I am often asked what ‘integrative’ and ‘therapeutic’ mean, especially in terms of bodywork and massage, but also related to nutrition and overall health.

Integrative refers to a full spectrum of modalities I employ in my sessions, that address both the energetic and structural aspects of the body.  I ‘integrate’ these different approaches and perspectives to provide a holistic experience, one that offers both mental/emotional/physical relaxation and a felt, phenomenological sense of ease in the body from muscular tension relief.  Integrative implies whole-ism, that we are not just our parts. It is the opposite of a segmental approach, addressing what ‘hurts’ without considering the larger myofascial patterns of restriction, lifestyle or life event implications. You’d be amazed at how often heart-ache shows up as restriction through the chest and tightness in the upper back, a protective posturing. This same pattern appears with chronic poor posture from repetitive activities such as computer work or driving.  Looking at both ‘external’ and ‘internal’ factors is the essence of an integrative approach.

An integrative approach to nutrition and health is important as well. Because we are all unique, no one way of eating works for everybody. Your constitution, personal circumstances, and goals will dictate what is appropriate for you.  This also means looking at related areas of life and how their health impacts your physical health. Take a look at the circle_of_life, and see where you are strong/weak. Can you see how optimal health is not all about eating broccoli?

In ‘Integration Therapy’,  the etheric ‘field’ is invoked to help you digest and clear blocks to knowing and claiming your highest intentions.  We ‘integrate’ our lightness and our darkness, strengthening the ability to handle challenges gracefully so we can move in choice towards our heart’s deeper desires.


Therapeutic means it has real physiological and psychological effects that heal, or facilitate healing [ie. the resolution of a condition or disease and restoration of health]. Research is showing that some of the benefits of massage include:

  • Depression relief
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improved immunity

Not to mention the probably more obvious benefits such as improved muscle tone and function, less pain and stiffness, and stress relief.

Food becomes therapeutic when we use specific foods or dietary programs to affect a particular desired outcome, such as weight loss, diabetes management, lowering cholesterol, etc.  We can use specific approaches, such as vitamin supplementation, Ayurveda, herbs, cleansing, or Weight Watchers-the choices are endless, and take either great personal insight and awareness [with lots of experimentation], or trained guidance  {ideally both} to find the right fit.   Again, lifestyle choices play a huge role in determining the effectiveness of a dietary program long term.




About Jamie Smith
doTERRA Wellness Advocate + OR LMT #16341+ CHHC

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *