There’s a reason socialites, models and celebrities visit Marina Baratashvili’s casual massage studio in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. There’s a reason they grin and endure an hour of painful poking, pushing, twisting, and poking. Set up a regimen with Baratashvili and the ability to dig into the core of the body’s fascia – literally – promises longer, learning muscles, less inflammation and sculpted skin. A band of connective tissue under the skin that connects and separates muscles and other internal organs.
Don’t get confused. This is not your typical lymphatic drainage massage. Baratashvili has created his own brand, and as painful as it is, it works. I visited Baratashvili and endured the session, but came out feeling weaker, more sculpted and more energetic than when I walked in. I sat down with Baratashvili to discover how he started his journey through the body and the secrets to solving inflammation. and its famous water regimen (hint: drink plenty).
What is your background that led you to create your own type of massage?
I graduated from Tbilisi Medical Institute in Tbilisi., Georgia. Then I studied at China’s First Military Medical University. I’ve worked in a wide variety of settings, including day spas, fitness clubs, private practice, chiropractic clinics, and physical therapy offices. But the highlight of my career was when I was in Guangzhou, China, meeting Professor Li Wi Kai. I have been practicing Acupuncture and Chinese medicine there 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 deepened my knowledge of muscles. I decided to find out the secret of the gravity of the muscles and today I am happy to have good results in this direction.
Back in Georgia, I worked closely with the Tbilisi State Opera and Ballet Theatre, and for more than ten years established a close relationship with Nina Ananiashvili, the lead actress of the Bolshoi Theatre, the Prima Ballerina. I also spent two months of each year working with the Japan Art Ballet Company during this time.
What makes your lymphatic drainage massage different 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 have helped me understand how the body works and heals, and has deepened my understanding of how to help those suffering from injuries or chronic pain. Beyond simple massage, my unique treatment reduces chronic pain, relieves tired and aching muscles, relaxes the body, calms the nervous system, reduces swelling and accelerates metabolic waste removal. I often use cupping during my procedures. Hijama removes toxins and improves blood flow in veins and arteries. The cup has a detox effect. I found massage to be an ever-evolving way to learn to heal the body, mind, and spirit.
You can immediately see how the forms and contours of the muscles have changed after my treatment. In addition, I can see a difference in the mood of my clients – they are happier, their skin quality is better, glowing skin is easily noticed. I would describe my method as a combination of body contouring, lymph drainage and deep tissue massage.
You do both lymph drainage and cupping….
This combination assists the lymphatic system in maintaining the body’s fluid balance, blood circulation and immune mechanisms. The system’s vascular and nodal network contains lymph, a mixture of water, proteins, components of the immune system, waste products, and other remnants of cell metabolism. Lymph nodes that filter out the debris are located throughout the body. These large collections of lymph nodes allow lymph to pass through as many nodes as possible before returning to the circulatory system. For most of us, the body has the ability to completely empty itself. However, disease, malnutrition, 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 based on the belief that stagnant blood and weak energy can cause certain health problems. The cupping procedure involves placing cups on the skin to create suction.
I use my cupping to treat chronic pain, backache and improve blood circulation. Cupping helps form new connective tissues and create new blood vessels in the tissue. The color of post-cup scars varies from person to person and this is additional information on what kind of problem it might be.
When will you see the changes in your body?
The frequency of your sessions will vary depending on your physical condition and the results you want to achieve. I would say you can experience real results in 24 hours or less. However, lasting results depend on the regularity of your massage sessions. For example, if you are feeling worn out, tired and stressed, lymphatic drainage massage is a great way to refresh your body. Detoxing your system or restoring your immune system for weight loss can be a little more complicated. This is because most of the results depend on you and your commitment to a healthier lifestyle. If you take lymphatic massage sessions and then continue to be malnourished or not exercising, it may not be as beneficial for you as it could be.
You can’t change everything in one day, especially if we’re talking about muscles. It is a really long and difficult process. I need time to work until the muscles become supple, after which I can sculpt them to remove dead epithelium, increase oxygen supply and restore blood flow. Thus, proper functioning of the muscles is ensured. 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 need to age.
What is your advice to those who want to lose weight?
For weight loss or immune support lymphatic massage treatments, my advice is to come to sessions at least twice a week for the first month, reducing to once a week for maintenance after three months; Usually 10 to 15 sessions are required for results.
My clients have different problems and purposes when visiting me. I use lymphatic drainage massage techniques to help reduce swelling and improve circulation. A properly functioning lymphatic system is essential for overall health.
What are the additional benefits of your massage?
My massage technique is effective for pain relief, digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, skin conditions, cellulite, allergies, headaches and other issues. Some clients come to me after plastic surgery to reduce swelling and remove the byproducts of anesthesia from the body.
A few days after the massage, my clients feel like they have some extra energy. they could work without pain and felt an energy boost. They are no longer bloated.
Talk to me about your water regimen.
Staying well hydrated is crucial to good health. Dehydration can cause muscle cramps, fatigue, lack of energy, and other problems. I can always tell if you can’t keep up with your daily water dose.
Water is important in the morning because the kidney meridian works actively during this period. Metabolic wastes flow through the liver. The early morning hours are considered the “golden hours”.
My recommendation is to follow the combination of classical Eastern European water technique and Japanese water therapy. Based on my personal experience here is my recommended drinking water schedule. Morning – drink two liters before 2 pm. Drink another liter from 2 pm to 5 pm. After 5 pm, sip water for the rest of the evening.