Swedish massage therapy is the most popular massage modality in the western world. The primary goal of Swedish massage is to relax the entire body. This is accomplished using gentle to medium pressure, working the muscles with long strokes in the direction of lymph and blood returning to the core. Swedish massage is exceptionally beneficial for increasing the level of oxygen in the blood, decreasing muscle toxins, improving circulation and flexibility while easing tension. It is not uncommon for clients to fall completely asleep during a swedish massage. For that reason the entire session emphasizes a gentle approach and manner from practicioner to client.
Deep Tissue Massage focuses on the deep layers of muscle tissue using compression, traction and friction along and across the grain of the muscle to break up adhesions, scar tissue, release toxins and relieve deeply held tension. Hands, knuckles, elbows and forearms are employed to this end. The technique is both posturally corrective and physically therapeutic, used to treat a range of disorders including sports injuries and chronic pain. Because it works deep into the body, emotional issues may arise, so please be patient and accepting of whatever comes up for you. Deep Tissue Massage may cause some soreness during or after the session though you should feel better within a day or two. Drink plenty of water after a session to eliminate toxins removed from the muscle.
Trigger Point Therapy
Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy is a proven technique used for the relief of soft-tissue pain and dysfunction. Trigger points represent small areas of tightness within muscles, creating knots or lumps of contracted muscle fibers. Nerve signals calling for contraction of these muscle fibers are constant and require manual intervention to help them release. Trigger points cause discomfort when pressed. Pressure to an active trigger point will typically refer the sensation or symptoms to a distinct and predictable target area. In addition to pain, active trigger points may also hinder range of motion, weaken muscles and cause numbness or tingling. Often an active trigger point refers pain to secondary trigger points indicating areas for further treatment.
Suction cups of various sizes are administered to the client causing a vacuum that penetrates up to 4" into the body, essentially the inverse of compression used in swedish, deep tissue and other massage techniques. Pressure can vary from light to deep. Using the cups in a western context, they are moved around the body to release long held adhesions in soft and scar tissue, circulate blood and lymph, remove stagnant fluids from long restricted areas, and promote well being. Trigger points may also be worked on using the cups to an effective end. Some discoloration in certain areas can be expected as old blood is removed from muscle tissue and brought to the surface for elimnation. Clients can expect the discoloration to pass within a day or two.
Sports Massage & Stretching
Sports massage was developed for athletes to prepare their bodies for optimal performance, to recover post event, or to facilitate effective training. Sports massage focuses on maintenance, prevention and healing of injuries to soft tissue. Please note that you don't have to be and athelete to take a sports massage. Sports massage is also good for people with injuries, chronic pain or restricted range of motion. The therapist generally focuses in on the problem area - a strained lower back or pulled calf muscle and related areas up and down stream from the location, rather than giving you a full-body massage. Sometimes people who are shy toward traditional massage may be more comfortable getting a sports massage because it is typically performed with clothes on.
Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization mobilizes soft tissue similar in effect to deep-tissue massage. It is primarily used to identify and break down scar tissue, adhesions, and fascial limitations. These techniques enable the practicioner to locate adhesions and restrictions in the soft tissue through the vibrations and physical feeback of the instruments. Once located the practitioner may then utilize the instruments to create localized microtrauma in the tissue, effectively breaking apart restriction to restore optimal function.
Myofascial Release applies gentle sustained pressure to soft tissue adhesions with the aim of relieving pain and restoring range of motion. A minimum of two minutes is used in every "set" to give the tissue time to elongate and ease out of tension. Techniques are applied directly on the skin without lubricants or tools thus enabling the practitioner to locate soft tissue adhesions and administer the correct amount of pressure to release the fascia.
Chair massage is a seated massage focusing on the head, back, shoulders, neck, arms, and hands which is typically is performed in intervals of 20 minutes or less. The client is fully clothed and the work does not involve oils or creams. The client is seated in a chair specifically designed for massage, with arms supported and face resting in a cradle. The shape of the massage chair supports the weight of the client on the front, leaving the back and neck completely relaxed and open for manipulation. Clients may request lighter swedish techniques, stronger deep tissue or trigger point work or a mixture of modalities and pressures. Chair massage is the ideal type of massage for public applications at special events, conventions, open-air markets, real estate open houses, work places and the like.