It is not for nothing that socialites, models and celebrities visit Marina Baratashvili’s modest massage studio in the Hell’s Kitchen district in New York. There’s a reason they smile and endure one hour of painful pushing, shoving, twisting and poking. Create a regimen with Baratashvili, and she promises longer, leaner muscles, less inflammation, and smoother skin thanks to her ability to penetrate – literally – to the core of the body’s fascia – a band of connective tissue under the skin that attaches to and separates muscles and other internal organs.
Do not confuse. This is not a typical lymphatic drainage massage. Baratashvili created her own brand of bodywork, and as much as it doesn’t hurt, it works. I visited Baratashvili and endured a session, only to feel slimmer, more toned and invigorated than when I arrived. I sat down with Baratashvili to find out how she started her body journey, as well as her secrets for dealing with inflammation and her famous water regimen (hint: drink a lot).
What prompted you to create your own type of massage?
I graduated from Tbilisi Medical Institute in Tbilisi, Georgia. After that, I studied at the First Military Medical University of China. I have worked in a variety of settings including day spas, sports clubs, private practice, chiropractic clinics and physical therapy offices. But the most important moment in my career was meeting Professor Li Wei Kai when I was in Guangzhou, China. I have been practicing acupuncture and Chinese medicine there for several months. In Guangzhou, I realized what I had been looking for all my life, what I wanted to do and how to help people. I deepened my knowledge about muscles. I decided to solve the mystery of muscle tension and today I am happy because of the good results in this direction.
When I returned to Georgia, I worked closely with the Tbilisi State Opera and Ballet Theater and for more than ten years had a close relationship with their main star, Nina Ananiashvili, who was also a prima ballerina at the Bolshoi Theater. Additionally, during this time I spent two months each year working with the Japan Art Ballet Company.
How does your lymphatic drainage massage differ from other similar massages?
I can say that I have developed my own style. My training in human movement and my own experience as a dancer helped me understand how the body functions and heals, and deepened my understanding of how to help those recovering from injuries or suffering from chronic pain. In addition to a simple massage, my unique treatment reduces chronic pain, relieves tired and sore muscles, relaxes the body, calms the nervous system, reduces swelling and accelerates the elimination of metabolic waste. I often use cans during my procedures. Bathing removes toxins and improves blood flow through veins and arteries. Shopping has a detoxifying effect. I believe that massage is a way to learn to heal the ever-evolving body, mind and spirit.
After my treatment, you can immediately see how the shapes and contours of the muscles have changed. In addition, I can see a difference in the mood of my clients – they are happier, the quality of the skin is better, the glowing skin is easily visible. I can describe my method as a combination of body sculpting, lymphatic drainage and deep tissue massage.
You do both lymphatic drainage and cupping…
This combination helps the lymphatic system maintain fluid balance in the body, blood circulation and immune mechanisms. The network of vessels and nodes of the system contains lymph, a mixture of water, proteins, components of the immune system, waste and other remnants of cellular metabolism. Lymph nodes that filter waste are found throughout the body. These large clusters of lymph nodes ensure that the lymph passes through as many nodes as possible before returning to the circulatory system. For most of us, the body is quite capable of exhausting itself. But illness, poor diet, lack of physical activity, and other problems can compromise the system, leading to the need for assisted lymphatic drainage.
As for cupping, cupping is an ancient Chinese therapy based on the belief that certain health problems can be caused by blood stagnation and weak energy. The cupping procedure involves placing cups on the skin to create suction.
I use cans to treat chronic pain, back pain and improve circulation. Cupping promotes the formation of new connective tissues and new blood vessels in the tissue. After cupping, the color of the spots varies from person to person, and this is also additional information about what the problem may be.
When will you see changes in your body?
Depending on your physical condition, the results you want to achieve, the frequency of classes will be different. I can say that you can experience real results in 24 hours or less. However, a sustainable result depends on the regularity of massage sessions. For example, if you feel drained, tired and stressed, a lymphatic drainage massage is a great way to restore your body. Trying to detoxify your system to lose weight or rebuild your immune system can be a bit more difficult. That’s because most of the results depend on you and your commitment to a healthy lifestyle. If you receive lymphatic massage sessions and then continue to eat poorly or do not exercise, it may not be as beneficial as it could be for you.
You can’t change everything in one day, especially when it comes to muscles. This is a really long and difficult process. I need time to work the muscles until they are flexible, after which I can sculpt them to remove dead epithelium, increase oxygen supply and restore blood flow. Thus, the muscles can function normally. The good news about aging muscles is that you can rebuild them even if you’re middle-aged or older. I often tell my clients that muscles don’t have to age.
What would you advise those who want to lose weight?
My recommendation for lymphatic massage for weight loss or immune support is to have sessions a minimum of twice a week for the first month, then reduce to once a week after three months for maintenance; Usually 10 to 15 sessions are required to achieve results.
My clients have different problems and goals when they come to me. I use a lymphatic drainage massage technique to reduce swelling and improve circulation. A properly functioning lymphatic system is essential for overall health.
What additional benefits does your massage provide?
My massage technique is effective in relieving pain, digestive problems, hormonal imbalances, skin conditions, cellulite, allergies, headaches and other problems. Some clients come to me after cosmetic surgery to reduce swelling and flush out the byproducts of anesthesia.
A couple of days after the massage, my clients feel that they have extra energy. they can train without pain and feel energized. They are no longer bloated.
Talk to me about your water regime….
Staying adequately hydrated is essential for good health. Dehydration can cause muscle cramps, fatigue, lack of energy, and other problems. I can always tell if you’re not sticking to your daily water intake.
Water in the morning is important because the kidney meridian is active during this period. Metabolic wastes are discharged through the liver. These morning hours are considered “golden”.
I recommend combining classical Eastern European water techniques and Japanese water therapy. Based on personal experience, here is my recommended water intake schedule. In the morning – drink two liters before 2 p.m. From 2 to 5 p.m., drink another liter. After 5 pm, just drink water for the rest of the evening.