There’s a reason socialites, models and celebrities visit Marina Baratashvili’s anonymous massage studio in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. There is a reason they smile and endure an hour of painful pushing, pushing, twisting and thrusting. She creates a regimen with Baratashvili and she promises longer and leaning muscles, less inflammation and sculpted skin thanks to her ability to literally dig into the core of the body’s fascia – the band of connective tissue under the skin that attaches to and separates muscles and other internal organs.
Don’t be confused. This is not your typical lymphatic drainage massage. Baratashvili has created his own body brand and, as painful as it is, it works. I visited Baratashvili and endured the session, only to emerge feeling leaner, more sculpted and more energetic than when I walked in. I sat down with Baratashvili to find out how the journey in her body began, as well as her secrets to resolving inflammation and her famous water regime (hint: drink a lot).
What is your background that led you to train your type of massage?
I graduated from the Tbilisi Medical Institute in Tbilisi, Georgia. Subsequently, I studied with the First Military Medical University of China. I have worked in a wide variety of settings including day spas, athletics clubs, private practices, chiropractic clinics, and physiotherapy practices. But the highlight of my career was meeting Professor Li Wi Kai, when I was in Guangzhou, China. There I have been practicing acupuncture and Chinese medicine for several months. In Guangzhou I understood what I was looking for all my life, what I wanted to do and how I could help people. I have deepened my knowledge of muscles. I decided to discover the secret of muscle gravity and today I am happy for the good results in that direction.
When I returned to Georgia, I worked closely with the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theater and formed a close association for more than a decade with their main star, Nina Ananiashvili, who was also Prima Ballerina of the Bolshoi Theater. . Also, during this time I spent two months a year working with the Japan Art Ballet Company.
What makes your lymphatic drainage massage different from other similar massages?
I can say that I have developed my style. My human movement education and experience as a dancer helped me understand how the body works and heals, and deepened my understanding of how to help those recovering from injuries or suffering from chronic pain. In addition to the simple massage, my unique treatment reduces chronic pain, relieves tired and aching muscles, relaxes the body, calms the nervous system, reduces swelling and accelerates the elimination of metabolic waste. During my procedures I often use cupping. Cupping removes toxins and improves blood flow through the veins and arteries. Cupping has a detoxifying effect. I have found that massage is an ever-changing way to learn how to heal the body, mind and spirit.
After my treatment you can immediately see how the shapes and contours of the muscles have changed. Also, I can notice a difference in the mood of my clients: they are happier, the quality of the skin is better, the glowing skin is easily noticeable. I can describe my method as the combination of body shaping, lymphatic drainage and deep tissue massage.
Do both lymphatic drainage and cupping ….
This combination helps the lymphatic system to maintain the body’s fluid balance, 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 products and other remnants of cellular metabolism. Lymph nodes, which filter debris, are found throughout the body. These important collections 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 perfectly capable of draining itself. But disease, poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, and other problems can compromise the system, resulting in the need for assisted lymphatic drainage.
As for cupping, cupping is an ancient Chinese therapy that is based on the belief that some health problems can be caused by stagnant blood and low energy. The cupping procedure involves placing cups on the skin to create suction.
I use cupping to treat chronic pain, back pain and improve blood circulation. Cupping helps form new connective tissues and create new blood vessels in the tissue. After cupping, the color of the marks varies from person to person and this is also additional information on the type of problem that may be there.
When will you see changes in your body?
Depending on your physical condition, the results you want to achieve, the frequency of your sessions will vary. I can say you can get real results in 24 hours or less. However, lasting results depend on the regularity of the massage sessions. For example, if you are feeling exhausted, tired and stressed, the lymphatic drainage massage is a great way to regenerate your body. Trying to detox your system to lose weight or restore your immune system can be a little more complicated. This is because much of the results depend on you and your commitment to a healthier lifestyle. If you get lymphatic massage sessions and then continue to eat poorly or do not exercise, it may not be that beneficial for you.
You can’t change everything in one day, especially when it comes to muscles. It is a very long and difficult process. I need time to work the muscles until they become flexible, after which I can sculpt them to remove dead epithelium, increase oxygen supply and restore blood flow. Thus, the muscles are enabled to function properly. The good news about aging muscles is that you can rebuild them, even if you are middle-aged or older. I often tell my clients that muscles don’t have to age.
What’s your recommendation for someone who wants to lose weight?
My recommendation for slimming or immune support lymphatic massage treatments is to come for a minimum of biweekly sessions for the first month, then reduce to once a week for maintenance after three months; It usually takes 10 to 15 sessions to get results.
My clients have different problems and goals while they visit me. I am using lymphatic drainage massage techniques to help reduce swelling and improve circulation. A properly functioning lymphatic system is essential for overall health.
What are the added benefits of your massage?
My massage technique is effective in relieving pain, digestive problems, hormonal imbalances, skin diseases, cellulite, allergies, headaches and other problems. Some clients come to me after cosmetic surgery to reduce swelling and eliminate the byproducts of anesthesia from the body.
A couple of days after the massage, my clients feel they have an extra energy. I am able to train painlessly and have felt a burst of energy. They are no longer swollen.
Tell me about your water regime ….
Staying well hydrated is essential for good health. Dehydration can cause muscle cramps, fatigue, lack of energy, and other problems. I can always tell if you haven’t kept up with your daily water intake.
Water in the morning is important because the kidney meridian works actively during this time. Metabolic waste drains through the liver. These early morning hours are considered “golden hours”.
My recommendation is to follow the combination of the classic Eastern European water technique and Japanese water therapy. Based on personal experience, here is my recommended drinking water program. In the morning – before 2pm drink two liters. From 2pm to 5pm, drink another liter. After 5pm just sip some water for the rest of the evening.