Massage Therapy is the perfect complement to traditional health care and plays an important role in maintaining mind/body health and wellness. There is an ever-increasing number of styles and techniques that serve different therapeutic purposes. If you have a preference, that’s great! If you are new to massage, allow the therapist to blend styles based on your goals for the session.
A Wide Variety of Styles Are Available Including:
Swedish Massage is a classic method of massage characterized by long, gliding strokes and muscle kneading and is useful in promoting relaxation and improving circulation – often used as a warm-up for deeper techniques.
Lymph Drainage utilizes gentle, rhythmic movements to facilitate removal of excess fluid and edema, stimulate tissue healing and immune function, aid in detoxification, and promote overall health and well-being. The body’s lymphatic system consists of
400-700 lymph nodes, 6-10 liters of lymph (plus 3.5-5 liters of blood), and
complex networks of lymphatic vessels. Treatments can be performed as early as 24 hours after surgery to improve healing and cosmetic results.
Deep Tissue or Sports Massage involves deeper pressure into areas of pain/tension to release trigger points and fascial (connective tissue) restrictions to increase joint range of motion and muscle flexibility. Neuromuscular therapy is a type of deep tissue technique typically used for clinical and sport-specific massage applications. The therapist will often use forearms, elbows, and knuckles to deliver this type therapy and achieve great results.
Ashiatsu incorporates a variety of techniques which are performed with the bare feet of the therapist. The name comes from the Japanese words ashi, meaning foot, and atsu, meaning pressure. This technique is thought to have originated from Buddhist Monks who “walked” on people laying on futons. It has been modernized for use with massage tables and overhead bars to create the ultimate deep pressure massage.
Acupressure involves applying pressure to specific points on the body known as “Tsubos” or acupuncture points (Acu-points) in order to provide improved flow of energy along the body’s energy lines called meridians. The pressure can be applied through clothing using the fingers, hands, elbows and even the knees of a therapist. Acupressure is typically utilized for on-site chair massage.
Myofascial Release is a massage technique for stretching the fascia and releasing bonds between skin, the underlying fascia (connective tissue), and muscle tissue. Myofascial release is usually gentle, yet its effect can be very deep.
Trigger Point Release involves searching the body for trigger points and then releasing them via direct pressure. These hyper-contracted spots form in the muscles, tendons and ligaments as a result of stress on those structures. Trigger points are called “latent” when they are dormant and “active” when they are actively producing localized or referred symptoms such as pain, burning, or tingling.
Hot Stone Massage utilizes smooth, ocean-polished stones which
are heated and applied to the body to deliver the dual benefits of heat and massage to help tight muscles. The stones are also used as tools to deliver the massage, as well as laid on the body to impart heat and relax tissue.
Prenatal/Postnatal includes techniques which are safe, nurturing, yet can effectively soothe some of the common discomforts of pregnancy and the early post-partum period. Specialized cushions are utilized to ensure your comfort through the entire 40 weeks of pregnancy and beyond. Note: If your pregnancy is considered “high risk”, please get a note from your doctor.
Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) incorporates the use of tools into the massage to literally roll out or dig into tight tissue for deep effect. The use of tools for this purpose goes back to ancient times with pieces of bone, animal horns and stone, then later ceramics and now – plastics (like the Chinese Gua Sha to the right) and stainless steel instruments (i.e. Graston®). IASTM is having a resurgence as a modality of physical therapy and massage therapy due to its success in breaking up scar tissue and adhesions to normalize muscle and connective tissue. The FasciaBlaster®, invented by Ashley Black, has been proven to be a highly effective tool with a myriad of applications including reduction of cellulite.
Cellulite Massage utilizes the innovative FasciaBlaster® tool to actually break up or “lyse”
cellulite which is the term used for the connective tissue/fascial restrictions that are responsible for the dreaded bumpy, “orange peel” appearance of skin and muscle tissue. The claws of the FasciaBlaster® (see top of above photo) dig deep into the layers of tissue to get to the “root” of the cellulite to create a desirable, smooth-tectured physique.
Cupping Massage is a vacuum-assisted technique (originally from ancient Asia) that involves the drawing of the skin upwards into the cup by creating a vacuum, via heat or suction, over the target area. The cups may be placed over trigger points, acupressure points, muscle knots and tight areas to greatly increase local oxygenation and circulation, stretch out tissue, and flush out wastes. The cups can also be manipulated on the body without breaking the suction for broader effect. The Chinese, Egyptians, and Greeks first performed cupping with animal horns, wooden cups, pottery, and then later, glass. These techniques can help:
- draw out inflammation, wastes, and toxins
- draw blood into stagnant areas to hydrate and oxygenate
- lift, stretch, and separate tissue fibers
- release scar tissue, adhesions and other restrictions
- Releasing Tight, Contracted Muscles
- Pain Reduction
- Lymph Drainage and Detoxification
- Scar Reduction
- Shorten Recovery Time from Surgery
- Body Contouring/Cellulite Reduction
- Enhance Athletic Performance
After vacuum is established, Cups can be left stationary for 2-5 minutes or manipulated as a massage tool. Long movements help with lymphatic draining and short, circular ones help release knotted and tight areas. Cupping therapy is an excellent pre-treatment for other types of massage.
Check out Michael Phelps and his Cupping Treatments during the 2016 Summer Olympics!