Bodywork Modalities

Your Body’s Response is the Key to How Massage Works

Massage therapy is a wonderful form of healing art that causes major physiological changes in your body by triggering mechanical and relaxation responses.

Mechanical responses are simply the physical effects that take place when varying amounts of direct pressure are applied to the soft tissues of the body. One of the major benefits that occurs from effective massage therapy is improved blood and lymph circulation, which initiates a chain reaction of sorts. The improved circulation enhances the delivery of oxygen to the muscle cells. This, in turn, leads to reduced swelling in the tissues and also allows them to function more efficiently. continue reading »

Connecting Cultures: Massage Therapy & Tui Na

tui-na-20140414Dating back to 1700 B.C., Tui Na (pronounced “twee-nah”) is an ancient Asian form of bodywork and healing. It is recognized as the precursor to most forms of Asian bodywork, and in many ways, it mirrors the foundations of Western Massage Therapy. continue reading »

The Most Popular Types of Massage to Get You Started

massageDeriving from the French word, meaning the “friction of kneading,” massage is a wonderful form of working or acting on the body with pressure using various techniques to obtain different benefits for the body and mind. During your post-holiday stress release, it can be a great way to sort of take a step back and relax. The following are the five most popular types of massage that can assist you with your post-holiday calm down routine.

  1. Swedish – This is the single most common form of the art in the United States, and is also what most people are referring to when they mention, “massage therapy” as a generalized term. It is very gentle and relaxing, while being a good choice for a first-timer to get acclimated to a new routine of relaxation.
  2. Aromatherapy – Think of this option as a way of customizing a Swedish massage with the addition of a selected scent to accompany the therapy. Often times the scent is selected based on what the massage recipient is hoping to accomplish with the therapy, whether it is to release stress or for other conditions that have an emotional attachment.
  3. Deep Tissue – Massage therapy that has a more physically therapeutic effect perhaps than any. The massage therapist will usually apply slower stroke techniques across the grain of the muscle to achieve a beneficial effect for chronically tired, sore, or injured muscles. Sometimes this form of massage therapy can involve a recovery period of a day or two of soreness, but is often the best medicine for the people who need it.
  4. Sports Massage – Geared more towards preventing injury and increasing athletic potential, you don’t need to be a professional athlete to reap the benefits from this type of massage. You just need to be physically active. Generally, a good sports massage involves faster strokes and a stretching routine to help loosen the muscles and increase flexibility.
  5. Prenatal – More and more pregnant women are citing the benefits of prenatal massage to increase their comfort level during pregnancy. This session can be customized to suit the recipients needs to reduce stress, decrease swelling, relieve aches and pains, and reduce anxiety and depression.

The preceding list is just a quick selection of five choices for effective massage therapy; many more exist, including: reflexology, shiatsu, hot stone, and more. Call your local licensed massage therapist today to make the selection that will be best for your individual needs, and start reaping the rewards of this effective therapy immediately.

Energy Healing: Let the Good Vibes Flow

Acupuncture point Hegu (LI 4)

Acupuncture point Hegu (LI 4)

In a sense all therapeutic massage techniques promote good vibes, due to their relaxing and deeply quieting nature. While energy healing is often thought to influence mainly spiritual and mental aspects of oneself, significant physical benefits are also notable. Science verifies that the body is bio-energetic, and thus your body can benefit from creating a harmonious balance of its energies.

Energy healing can be conveyed via direct hands on techniques; by working with the energy field itself without direct contact; and indirectly, such as when we are exposed to certain outside stimuli. Nowadays, most of us are aware, and it is commonly accepted that various external forces have an immediate effect on our state of well-being: imagine the relaxing sound of soft rain, or the comforting smell of vanilla or cinnamon.

The practice of massage therapy, including many energy healing techniques, serves as a medium of sorts to transfer good vibes between the body and mind, leaving a sensation of ultimate relaxation. Direct energy-healing modalities take this concept even further by targeting principally the bio-electric energetic forces flowing through all of us more specifically than others do. At the same time, these techniques provide wholly physical benefits as well, making them a vital tool for heightened of mental and physical well-being.

Some such techniques include: continue reading »

Sports Massage

Sports Massage is available to directly address the unique needs of athetes related to their particular sport or activity.  Both the type of activity and the way one trains will influence tendencies toward irritation and patterns of overuse in the body.  Sportsmassage enables one to recover faster, to avoid injuries, and to improve performance in one’s chosen athletic endeavors.  Additionally sportsmassage may provide greater kinesthetic awareness and promote the body’s natural immune function.

I incorporate the principles of postural alignment, and I provide a thorough and objective analysis of current posture, along with movement and self care strategies during each session to enable you to balance and stabilize your body, and to help you return to your sport/activity as soon as possible.

Prenatal Massage

Prenatal Massage is created especially for pregnant women. Mothers-to-be may undergo new and often dramatic physical and/or emotional changes, and massage therapy provides additional support at all stages of your pregnancy.  With techniques specially developed for the expectant mother, prenatal massage can help release general discomforts and/or joint pain which may occur with weight gain and structural/postural changes.  Additionally, massage can be a source of emotional support and encourages healthier breathing, relaxation, and heightened body awareness.   Postpartum massage can assist mom in reclaiming her body and restoring energy and balance.

In addition to specialized training I have completed for prenatal massage, I have attended two births and assisted in teaching prenatal classes.  I look forward to helping you relax and prepare you for your upcoming childbirth.

Swedish Massage

Swedish Massage techniques are utilized to help one become calm and centered, and to instill a deep sense of peacefulness and relaxation. One may also experience relief from aches and pains, increased body awareness, enhanced mental clarity and greater flexibilityI blend softening, lengthening effleurage with focused massage in specific areas to release more deeply held tension and strain patterns – all to help you quiet down and feel better.

Cream is well absorbed without leaving any “greasy” feeling or need to shower after session.

Lymphatic Drainage

Manual Lymphatic Drainage, as developed by Dr. Bruno Chikly, may be employed to reduce swelling and  pain in superficial and deep tissues.  This technique involves very light touch on the skin to gently and rhythmically move the lymph fluid though the body.  MLD may also enhance the functioning of the immune system.  I have used MLD with phenomenal results with persons with Fibromyalgia syndrome, as well as those recovering from injury or surgery, and to reduce swelling and discomfort during pregnancy.  

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage is utilized to target areas of the body that require more specific and focused attention.  There are a variety of ways to access deep tissues, often very subtle yet profound in their effect. Best results can be obtained by maintaining connection and communication in the moment with the client and their tissues. Deep tissue massage is very beneficial for chronic strain and overuse conditions, persistently irritating areas, and to help dissolve tough tension patterns. 

I interweave general lengthening and calming strokes with deeper touch through each session, and I believe that balancing these strategies offers the best of both worlds and promotes optimal healing.

Neuromuscular Therapy

Neuromuscular Therapy, as developed by my primary teacher, Paul St. John, is a scientific and detailed application of techniques of massage therapy and movement, which are carefully choreographed to relieve pain patterns in the body. Such pain may be a result of overuse or injuryimbalances in posture, unhealthy or unconscious movement habitsincomplete nutrition, or very often some combination of the above.

My protocol includes a comprehensive historical intake and discussion with you, a thorough and objective analysis of posture and movement patterns, and a subsequent plan for therapy. With this information, I can readily determine which tissues are likely to be overloaded, and whether or not there may be nerve entrapment or compression, trigger points and/or oxygen starved (ischemic) areas, all of which may contribute to pain. I utilize all my varied training and communication skills to engage with each person and to assist them in restoring true health.