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About Massage

About Massage

     Massage is one of the oldest, most commonly used healing art forms.  My signature massages fuses science & art to rejuvenate the body, relax the mind, and renew the soul. I incorporate flowing Swedish massage techniques inspired by traditional treatments from around the world. I combine my careful training with innate ability to release areas of tension, stress and strain.  Your session is designed just for you with a combination of techniques to meet your special massage needs.   Massage helps to alleviate emotional stress and muscular tension, stimulates endorphin production, and enhance the immune system. The benefits of massage are cumulative.  Every massage treatment is enhanced by the next; optimum benefit is achieved with regular massage treatments.  This enables your therapist to formulate & achieve your therapeutic goals more easily, such as stress, tension reduction or addressing pain patterns that may be causing you problems. 

I offer the latest in:

  • Swedish Massage Therapy
  • Deep Tissue Massage
  • Mu-xing (bamboo) Massage
  • Hot Stone Therapy

The Massage Strokes

     Swedish Massage was developed in the 19th century. Swedish massage consists of several different types of strokes efflurage, petrissage, compression, friction, tapotament, vibration, Swedish gymnastics. These techniques are not only the heart of my massage therapy practice.  But these Swedish massage techniques have "given birth" to ALL other massage modalities.
 
     Efflurage is the most used stroke because of its versatility.  Also efflurage is probably the stroke most people are familiar with.  It can be stimulating when applied fast and superficially.  It can be sedating when applied slow and deep, or with a slow feather like touch.  Most of the time when I use efflurage I am both treating and evaluate the condition of your body.  Efflurage can be applied with the fingers, hands, knuckles or forearm.  Hands down it is the most versatile stroke in my arsenal against stiff tight muscles, stress and tension.

  • Relaxes muscles
  • Relieves pain
  • Increases arterial and capillary circulation
  • Increases vasodilation (opens your circulatory system)
  • Increases venous and lymphatic flow which removes wastes and reduces edema
  • Improves nutritional status of tissues Increases circulation

     Petrissage is probably one of my favorite techniques.  To get an idea of what pertissage is like just imagine a baker kneading bread dough.  Petrissage has several different variations picking up, kneading, wringing, squeezing, lifting, and perhaps one of the most beneficial, skin rolling.  Petrissage is often used after efflurage and offers the following benefits.

  • Relieves congestion in the muscles
  • Reduces swelling
  • Stretches muscle fibers
  • Stimulates muscle tone
  • Broadens muscle fibers
  • Breaks up scar tissue
  • Increases circulation
  • Enhances cellular waste elimination
  • When done slowly-relaxes nervous system
  • When done fast-stimulates nervous system

     Tapotment is very energizing in its many variations cupping, tapping, slapping, hacking, and my favorite, pounding.  To perform the technique I move my arms hands like drummer in an alternating fashion to produce the following effect.

  • Relaxation of tight muscles
  • When done over the field of the lungs it loosens congestion

     Compression is a massage technique is used after your tissue is warmed up by efflurage and petrissage. To apply a compression technique I rest my body weight onto the the the part of your body I am working on. The pressure generated travels from my fingers, hand, knuckles or forearm into the desired part of your body.  The pressure used varies greatly from a greater pressure used to effect the deeper levels to a pressure that is no more the weight of my hands.  This is known as the resting stroke.  The resting stroke is the first and most important stroke in massage.  By resting my hands on you and not moving it gives your body a chance to evaluate my touch subconsciously.  Ultimately by me keeping light and still your body decided that my touch is safe and thus start the process of relaxation.  Some benefits of deeper compression are as follows.

  • Relaxation of tight muscles
  • Compression and spreading of tissue 
  • Releases the muscle/tendon junction
  • Reduces pain and spasm
  • Increases peristalsis (the movement of the intestines) when done over abdomen

     Friction is a technique can be uncomfortable, however the any discomfort involved is well worth it.  As any of my clients that have had restrictions caused by scar tissue knows.  This is the technique is used if a client has scar tissue from an injury or surgery.  It's usually done with knuckles, index or a combination of index and middle finger together.  To apply this technique I first make sure that there is no oil on the skin.  Then  I place my fingers on the area to be worked.  After that I apply pressure and rub my fingers back and forth or in circles.  I use this technique if a client has a scar, or on a particular muscle that is very tight, or has not responded to any of the other massage techniques mention so far.  You can expect the following benefits from a regular friction massage. 

  • Break up scar tissue
  • Assist in realigning scar tissue
  • Relax muscles
  • Warm tissue

     Vibration is applied in a similar fashion that the friction technique is applied.  The biggest difference between the two is that vibration is usually applied with a lighter pressure.  I normally use my fingertips for a smaller area and my hands for larger muscle groups.  Other note worthy variations found within the scope of the technique are jostling and shaking.   I simply hold or pick up one of your limbs and move it back and forth, or move it in a random pattern.  This causes any tight muscles to let go and relax.  After vibration is applied you can expect to notice.

  • Decreased joint pain
  • Increased circulation
  • Reduced muscle guarding
  • Rejuvenated tired muscles
  • Also depending on the speed it can stimulate or sedate the nervous system

 

     Last but certainly not least is Swedish Gymnastics, which is simply joint movement.  It is performed after the area of the body I am working on has been warmed by other massage techniques.  I make use of it in a four different forms which are active free, active assisted, passive, resistive.  Active free range of motion is when you move the join by yourself.  I may ask you to do this while I am work on a particular muscle group.  Say for example, the back of your legs are tight.  I will ask you to extend and flex your knee to elicit a deeper release.  Passive range of motion is performed when you relax and I move the joint for you.  Active assisted movement occurs when I assist you in moving a joint.  Let us stay with the same example I used before.  So, instead of just doing the motion by yourself, I assist you with the movement of extension and flexion of the knee.  Resistive range of motion is when I provide resistance during the joint movement.  Yet again let us remain with the example I gave previously.  I would provide resistance in either movement flexion or extension, or alternating both while you flex and extend the knee against my provided resistance.  The added joint movement's of Swedish Gymnastics during your massage can provide the following benefits.

  • Stretches muscles and ligaments
  • Increases circulation
  • Increases waste elimination
  • Loosens scar tissue
  • Increases flexibility
  • Stimulates nervous system.

     Deep tissue massage uses the same movements and techniques I described previously under Swedish massage. To refresh your memory they are efflurage, petrissage, compression, friction, tapotament, vibration, Swedish gymnastics.  The main difference is that deep work is much more deliberate and focused work.  It interrupts the pain cycle, so your body can achieve both healing and balance.  Since it is so purposeful, it takes time. Deep work is not a full massage session by itself.  True deep work is meant to accompany a Swedish massage.  You can request more pressure during the massage, however understand that more pressure alone is NOT deep work. During my deep tissue treatments, I make sure you get the focused deep muscular work that you need where you need it.  While in the same session I give the rest of your body the nurturing balancing effect of a Swedish massage.  A common misconception about deep work is that is the pressure is supposed to feel more intense almost to the point of pain... Nothing could be further from the truth.  A deep tissue massage should just border on the sensation of appreciated pain.  It's that feeling you get when something hurts so good.  Deep massage is about encouraging the body to let go of patterns that may have once served to protect you, but now no longer serve your body.  Deep massage is not about a therapist brandishing their elbows into tights spots hoping they will release.  As I said that is just more pressure.  My deep massage work has all to do with the feedback your body gives me.  My hands feel the unwinding happening beneath them and I respond appropriately.  When receiving deep work the speed of the technique is equal to the depth.  So the slower and more thoughtfully I work- the deeper and more complete release you will experience.