Swedish / Relaxation Massage
Swedish massage is the most common type of massage people request. If you’ve never had a massage before, this is a great place to start. The therapist will use smooth, slow, kneading, decongestive strokes of varying pressure. This is to reduce stress and muscle tension and increase circulation. Swedish massage will be used during most sessions, in combination with focused treatment techniques where needed. The pressure can be adjusted from light to firm to suit your preference. The therapist may use traction and passive stretching to increase joint range of motion.
Deep Pressure / Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage uses moderate to deep pressure, based on the client’s comfort, to access deeper layers of muscle and fascia. It also breaks up adhesions (“knots”) in the muscle fibers. The strokes are much like those for a Swedish massage, but slower, more focused and with deeper pressure. The therapist may also use direct friction techniques at the muscle attachments to increase mobility. This kind of massage is particularly effective at reducing chronic pain and postural distortions. It is not uncommon to experience some inflammation and soreness 24-48 hours after your massage. This is due to microabrasions in the muscle fibers from prolonged deep work in a specific area. The resulting swelling also brings fresh oxygen and nutrients to repair the muscle tissue. Deeper pressure is sometimes necessary to override the pain response from affected nerves, but that pressure will vary from person to person. It is not necessary to use overly painful, deep pressure to access deeper muscles. It will in fact make it more difficult to release muscle contractions if you are tensing and guarding during the massage. Feel free to communicate with your therapist about pressure and what is comfortable for you. Be sure to drink extra water and you can use an ice pack in the affected area to reduce soreness. If you are feeling overly sore after your massage, bring this up to your therapist at your next session.
Neuromuscular Therapy engages the relationship between the muscular and nervous systems to change muscle length and increase proprioception (where and how your brain perceives your body at any given moment). Neuromuscular techniques are useful for breaking the Pain-Spasm-Pain cycle of chronic muscle tension. Muscle fibers reflexively contract to protect and support muscles and joints. Sometimes they get stuck, trapping fluids, causing swelling, pressure on nerves and pain. This pain further tightens the muscle, restricting the flow of fresh, nutrient-rich blood, oxygen and lymph necessary for proper function. Neuromuscular techniques are often essential to injury recovery and chronic pain management, especially when deep tissue techniques have not proved sufficient. The therapist will use different positional techniques to reset the spasm reflex with trigger point therapy and myofascial release to reduce postural dysfunction. Chronic tension and adhesions can sometimes take longer to release. It is recommended you choose a 90-minute massage if you will be introducing neuromuscular techniques into the session, particularly if in more than one area of concern.
Trigger Point Therapy
Trigger points are bloodless nodules in muscle fibers that affect nerves and can cause referred pain, tingling and numbness. They can be caused by chronic muscle constriction, poor postural habits and stress. The therapist will apply sustained pressure to the adhesion with their fingers, knuckles or elbows, combined with positioning techniques to release the bundled, ischemic muscle fibers.
Fascia is the biological fabric that holds us together, a network of connective tissue, made primarily of collagen, wrapping around and within all structures of our body. Chronic muscle tension deprives the connective tissue of fluid and lubrication and it becomes gummy and tacky, sticking to the surrounding tissue and inhibiting movement. The sheath around the muscle effectively shrinks and limits the fibers ability to properly lengthen. Fascia is responsive to heat and softens with friction techniques used to generate heat within the muscle tissue. The therapist will use myofascial drags and skin rolling techniques without lotion, targeting a specific area, usually at the start of a session. However, some can benefit from a full myofascial session. Myofascial strokes are very effective at reducing scar tissue.
Pregnancy is a time of momentus change! It is vital to take extra care of yourself and reduce stress during this magnificent period of transition. Massage can greatly reduce the discomforts associated with the dramatic physiological changes you are experiencing. It is very effective at treating nerve impingements and reducing swelling. It can also reduce stress, improve sleep and mood, and lower blood pressure. Regular massage can be extremely beneficial for your little one. We will happily work with you during all trimesters of a healthy, low-risk pregnancy. The therapist will use cushions to ensure comfortable and safe positioning of mom and baby. Ask your midwife if massage is right for you.
Ashiatsu Deep Feet Therapy
Ashiatsu uses the application of deep, compressive effleurage strokes with bare feet that glide over the body. Bars are used above the therapist’s head for balance. We combine flowing centripetal force, deep static holds and effleurage movements to relieve symptoms of chronic soft tissue damage and in some cases a structural change. This massage is perfect for the client seeking that extra pressure.
What to expect from your first massage
Please arrive ten minutes early to fill out paperwork. Your therapist will go over your intake form, discussing symptoms and treatment goals before the massage begins, in order to customize your session. You will be given privacy to undress and will always be covered by a sheet and blanket during the massage, except when an area is being worked on. The amount of clothing you choose to wear is based on your own comfort. Typically people will undress completely or leave on their underwear, but this is not at all required.
The massage will take place on a table with warm sheets in a dimly lit room with soft music playing. The therapist will begin the session by assessing the muscle tissue to decide which areas need the most work. From there, you may decide to spend the whole massage in one area or work on the entire body with more emphasis in one area. If more than two areas are very sore, we recommend a 90-minute session. Different bodies relax at different rates and respond to different techniques; we will work together to find what works best for you and the therapist will ask periodically about pressure. You are encouraged to speak up if something is not working for you or you feel any discomfort during the session. The therapist may use pillows and bolsters to provide optimal comfort during your massage.
You will be notified when the massage is over and the therapist will leave the room so you can get dressed. The therapist will discuss what they observed during the massage and give recommendations for treatment. Payment in full is due at the end of the massage.