Massage Modalities

In order for our body to run at optimum performance, we need to take good care of it. This includes, but is not limited to, getting regular massage.  This”stuff” that accumulates in our muscles is a natural byproduct of muscle exertion. So if you’re moving around at all, and maybe more so if you’re sedentary, then you’ve got knots. This lactic acid and other metabolic waste latch on to your muscles and rob them of the oxygen and blood flow they need to survive causing them to hurt. Massage literally “pushes” this stuff out of your muscles allowing fresh oxygen and blood flow for nourishment.

General Wellness:

General Wellness massages are usually result driven and applied with an appropriate amount of pressure for an individual.  “Deep” and “firm” are relative to an individual.  We are looking for a productive massage at a comfortable level of pressure, that the recipient is going to feel, and feel better for receiving it.

This is not a luxury. We need this. Take time to take care of yourself regularly.  You will be better for it.

Therapeutic Deep tissue with myofascial release:

My “specialty” massage tailored every time to an individuals needs. At the beginning of treatment, a quick postural assessment will show the body in relation to itself and its postural imbalances. This can give an idea of where pain is coming from and a blueprint to go about correcting it.  This is a therapeutic massage and may include techniques ranging from myofascial release, trigger point therapy, positional release, some Thai stretches accompanied with compression, cupping, and deep tissue massage.

Prenatal massage:

For the Mother-to-be, this is a massage intended for nurturing yourself and appreciating this most incredible period of your life. Usually done in a side-lying position, much like when asleep, and using gentle techniques, such as effleurage and gentle petrissage.  Prenatal massage can not only produce a sense of well being and security that is good for both you and your baby, but also help to prepare for labor by alleviating tensions.  This is goodness.  Take some time to honor yourself…. while you still can.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD):

This technique is actually not considered massage. It is manual lymphatic drainage, which is exactly what the name implies. Sometimes the body’s immune system can be sluggish and need an extra push to get going. MLD uses very light pressure (about 5 ounces) to contact the lymph system which lies largely directly underneath the skin.  This helps encourage the flow of lymph towards the closest set of lymph nodes where lymphatic fluid is cleaned then released again for circulation. This technique is wonderful for people suffering from lyphodema, some auto immune disorders, or those who wish to “jump start” the immune response and cleanse waste from the body.

Description of Techniques

These techniques are all in combination with a general Swedish massage. This is the name given to a general massage consisting of flowing or kneading strokes.

Effleurage:

Long flowing strokes that help to loosen and relax muscles as well as give direction for blood and lymph to move.

Petrissage:

Name given to technique that is manipulating muscles much like kneading dough.

Deep tissue:

This therapy is relevant to the recipient. What is deep for one person may not be for the other and vies verse. Deep tissue massage generally means that the pressure goes deep for that person, to the “edge” so to say.   A skilled therapist should be able to discern these pressure needs, yet it is still a responsibility of the recipient to communicate with the therapist if the pressure is too deep.   If the body freezes up involuntarily in response to the pressure, then it is too deep.   A muscle cannot be manipulated if it is in tension.

Myofascial Release:

Everything in a persons’ body is surrounded by a sheath of connective tissue called fascia. This fascia acts as an anchor fastening all of your muscles to bones and organs and surrounding fascia. It is what makes your body one continuous piece, rather than thousands of separate pieces. Sometimes, from repetitive motions, injury, surgery or poor posture, this fascia can adhere to itself, surrounding fascia, or muscles and cause limited range of motion (ROM), and pain. Myofascial release uses mostly dry stretches and massage techniques to separate muscle and break up adhesions, liberating the encased muscle. This work can be subtle and gentle, or on the other extreme very intense and sometimes uncomfortable. However subtle or uncomfortable, the benefits are profound and include: relief from discomfort, postural reconstruction, and increased blood and lymphatic fluid flow.

Cupping:

Cupping has been used in the oriental medicine field for thousands of years. However, my application of the cups are to use them in an entirely western approach. The plastic or glass cup is applied to the skin with an amount of suction force comfortable to the recipient, then moved along the skin to create a powerful myofascial release between the skin and muscle. It is a very helpful “prep” to some deep tissues sessions to help loosen the first layer of fascia. By doing so, the massage can go deeper and thus treat deeper muscles, that otherwise may not be reached.

Positional release:

This noninvasive technique is used to release tension by holding said muscle at a point of tension and folding the muscle over on top of itself.  The position is held for a few moments until the muscle releases and is a very simple an rather effective treatment. Just the same as with all massage, these movements are passive and the recipient should be completely relaxed in order for it to work. A muscle cannot be manipulated while it is in tension.

Trigger point therapy:

Muscles are fascinating in their physiology, yet can be devastating when they turn against us.  Trigger points are one of those times. A trigger point is a point of tension in a muscle that refers pain to another area. There are pain referral patterns all over the body that can make a person think they have pain in one area, when really, the pain is being caused by a trigger point in another area. By working the trigger in one area, pain in another is subdued. David Kent has mapped out and presented most trigger points in the body and their referral patterns in an easy to read chart available for reference at my office.

Thai massage:

This massage is a wonderful component of many massages given by my hand. In my practice, many of these gentle stretches that are traditionally done on the floor have been modified for the table to be easily added to any massage. Thai massage consists of stretches and compression to muscles to improve range of motion, flexibility, and circulation. People are often amazed at the improvement of how loose their body feels from simple Thai massage techniques, and usually report they love what it does for them.