Massage Service Descriptions
Described below are the basic types, or modalities, of massage I practice. During your free consultation, you can decide which modality you prefer, and we can tailor your session to meet your particular needs.
Swedish massage is the most commonly offered and best known type of massage. It was developed by a Swedish physiologist, Henri Peter Ling at the University of Stockholm in 1812. It uses a firm but gentle pressue to improve the circulation, ease muscle aches and tension, improve flexibility and create relaxation.
Swedish massage employs five different movements:
- long, gliding strokes
- kneading of individual muscles
- hacking or tapping
The therapist generally uses massage oil to facilitate making long, smooth strokes over the body. Swedish massage is done with the person covered by a sheet, a technique called "draping." One part of the body uncovered, massaged, and then covered up before moving on to another part of the body.
Swedish massage is the foundation for other types of Western massage, including sports, deep tissue and aromatherapy
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is a type of massage aimed at the deeper tissue structures of the muscle and fascia, also called connective tissue. Deep tissue massage uses many of the same movements and techniques as Swedish massage, but the pressure will generally be more intense. It is also a more focused type of massage, as the therapist works to release chronic muscle tension or knots (also known as "adhesions.")
Will A Deep Tissue Massage Hurt?
It shouldn't hurt, but it's likely to be a bit more uncomfortable than a classic Swedish massage. You should always feel free to speak up if the pressure is too much for you.
How Fast Will I Get Results With A Deep Tissue Massage?
It's important to be realistic about what one massage can achieve.
Many people ask for more pressure, thinking that if the therapist just pushes hard enough, they can get rid of all their knots in an hour. This just won't happen. In fact, undoing chronic knots and tension built up over a lifetime is best achieved with an integrated program that includes exercise, work on your posture and ways of moving, relaxation techniques and a regular program of massage.
Finally, while deep tissue is certainly valuable, you should be aware that gentle styles of massage like craniosacral therapy can also produce profound release and realignment in the body.
Cranial Sacral Therapy
Cranial Sacral or Craniosacral therapy is a method of complementary and alternative medicine used by massage therapists, naturopaths, chiropractors, osteopaths, occupational therapists, physical therapists, nurses, dentists, and doctors who manually apply a subtle movement of the spinal and cranial bones in an attempt to bring the central nervous system into harmony.
This therapy involves assessing and addressing the movement of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which can be restricted by trauma to the body, such as through falls, accidents, and general nervous tension. By gently working with the spine, the skull and its cranial sutures, diaphragms, and fascia, the restrictions of nerve passages are said to be eased, the movement of CSF through the spinal cord can be optimized, and misaligned bones are said to be restored to their proper position.
This therapy is said to be particularly useful for mental stress, neck and back pain, migraines, TMJ Syndrome, and for chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia,
Neuromuscular Massage (Trigger Point Therapy)
A trigger point is a hyperirritable spot that is painful. It is called a trigger point because it "triggers" a painful response.
But a trigger point is more than a tender nodule. It affects not only the muscle where the trigger point is located, but also causes "referred pain" in tissues supplied by nerves.
Trigger points are located in a taut band of muscles fibers. The trigger point is the most tender point in the band. The therapist will locate and deactivate them using finger pressure. One technique is to pick up the muscle fibers in a pincer grip.
What You Should Know About Trigger Point Therapy
It is used to treat painful trigger points that cause referred pain.
It took a while to get the muscle in that condition, and it will likely take more than one massage to get rid of it.
These points are often areas of chronic "holding" and you need to learn how to move in different ways to keep them from recurring.
Sports massage is designed to help atheletes prepare their bodies for optimal performance, recover after a big event, or function well during training.
But you don't have to be in the Olympics to benefit from sports massage. Sports massage is also good for people with injuries, chronic pain or restricted range of motion. This is the type of sports massage that you see in the spa.
What Happens During Sports Massage?
Sports massage is a type of Swedish massage that stimulates circulation of blood and lymph fluids. Some sports massage movements use trigger point therapy to break down adhesions (knots in the muscles) and increase range of motion.
There are four types of sports massages:
* pre-event sports massage -- a short, stimulating massage 15 - 45 minutes before the event.
It is directed toward the parts of the body that will be involved in the exertion.
* post-event sports massage -- given within an hour or two of the event, to normalize the body's tissues.
* restorative sports massage -- given during training to allow the athelete to train harder and with less injury.
* rehabilitative sports massage -- aimed at alleviating pain due to injury and returning the body to health.
A stiff neck. Aching wrists. Shoulders that feel as if someone folded them up. Anyone who has ever sat behind a desk all day will recognize the symptoms of workplace fatigue.
According to David Palmer, co-developer of the first massage chair and founder of the TouchPro Institute in San Francisco, most office-related physical symptoms can be attributed to loss of circulation. Tight muscles caused by stress and sitting behind a desk all day, especially at a work station that is not ergonomically designed, can impede blood and lymph flow through the body. The result is mental fogginess, decreased energy and susceptibility to repetitive stress injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome.
Chair massage counters the circulatory problems inherent with office work—and provide a appreciated break for employees. Sitting in a massage chair opens up the back muscles, relieves strain on the neck and provides a gentle respite for eyes usually glued to a computer monitor. Even 15 minutes of massage to the neck, back, arms and hands can increase circulation, returning energy levels and helping keep the body injury free.
(Source: Office of Health Education, University of Pennsylvania)
Therapeutic Massage / Clinical Massage