The identifying dynamics of the Pressel massage entail that only the legs and sacral area are massaged at the first treatment, emphasizing a flow from the feet upwards. At the second treatment only the back and arms are massaged, emphasizing a flow from the head downwards. At the waist there is an invisible dividing line for the therapist’s hands. The effects of the massage radiate to the opposite half of the body, to the part that was not massaged.
The treatments alternate between “upper” and “lower” massages. Both sessions are executed in a rhythmical exchange and can be interpreted as a lemniscate (figure eight or infinity symbol like shape, see top of page) which does not only have local effects, but also works from its opposite pole. An energizing and healing effect begins with the outer treatment of the musculature and from there reaches the workings of the inner organs.
Dr. Pressel’s words about this effect are as follow: “If you blow into a straw from both ends at the same time, everything stands still.”
This image illustrates the most important intent of the Pressel massage: to initiate a current and to stimulate the free energy flow that every human being possesses, upward and downward between feet and head. The self healing force can be experienced in different ways: as warmth (the blood circulation increases), as lightness, as relaxation (muscular), as tiredness (when waste products are excreted), as determination, as peace of mind, lightness in the soul, as music or as spiritual presence.
The composition of a treatment can easily be compared to a symphony that starts out softly and lightly, transforms into movement and bubbeliness, then internal brightening, then a feeling of forthcoming and awakening and so on - in varying rhythms and moods before it finally sings out in thoughtful consideration and enhanced awareness. Even pauses are built into this composition, as well as a rest period at the very end. As a result the enlivening, energetic life current not only is stimulated, but also gets shaped by orderly, forming impulses.
The therapist works with hot water bottles, dry brushing, various oils – sometimes using the entire hand, sometimes only the finger tips and sometimes applying cups (dry cupping).
Cupping is an ancient, traditional healing art practiced in most cultures, but today nearly forgotten in the western world. Recently it has been rediscovered and is starting a comeback. The setting of cups prepares, strengthens and completes the massage treatment in a most wonderful manner.
Every treatment is adjusted to the needs of the individual client in respect to quality and depth of touch and duration of treatment. But as the primary purpose of this massage is to strengthen the flow of the client’s own healing forces, the massage therapist does not focus specifically on problem areas. The areas of the life processes that have gotten lost are put back into functionality by this massage. An awakening on the physical level allows the discovery of imbalances like hardenings and tensions and allows for self participation in the process of change as the power to face oneself is strengthened.
When a creek is obstructed by mud, we can of course dig out the mud with a shovel. Or we can pick up a stick and make a narrow trace with it through the mud: now the water starts running and if we just pay attention and make sure this little channel is kept open it will on its own, little by little, remove the obstructions and grow larger and larger until it has once again become the lively, rushing creek it was meant to be.
The image of the creek flowing freely illustrates the purpose of the Pressel Massage nicely: to create a living foundation for an awakening that will enable healthy interaction between soul and spirit.
This massage addresses what is healthy in the human being and it requires the awareness and the will for self discovery. It is suitable for all areas of illness as long as the patient is capable of and ready for the work of self exploration.
The therapy must of course be adjusted for weakened patients and children, and sometimes it even has to be partially altered.