I practice an integrative form of massage. This means I blend different massage techniques into the same massage; no two massages are the same. The approach and techniques used will depend on your goals and desires for the session, as well as what tissue restrictions I find in your body. Before each session, we will talk about what is going on in your body and choose an approach that best meets your needs at the time.
Connective Tissue Massage
All the structures of our body are surrounded, supported, and protected by connective tissue, also known as fascia. Connective tissue is a continuous elastic sheath that provides structural support for all our bones, muscles, tendons, and organs. When our connective tissue is healthy it is pliable and hydrated, letting our muscles, tendons, and organs slide over each other and allowing for uninhibited movement. Stress from injury, postural habits, trauma, and imbalanced repetitive movement can result in the connective tissue becoming short, dense, and/or dehydrated--the muscles then become “glued” together, which inhibits movement. Connective tissue massage techniques work to coax the fascia back into a soft, pliable state and to help achieve coordination, balance, and tone within the fascial system. The result? Greater flexibility, resilience, and postural alignment, which lessens the body’s susceptibility to injury and pain.
This therapeutic technique is used to release trigger points in acute or chronically contracted muscles and tendons. A trigger point is a hyper-irritable spot in the connective tissue that is filled with a collection of cell waste due to the contraction of knots in the muscle fibers, which cut-off blood supply to the area. Releasing the contraction of a muscle or tendon allows that area to come into a state of greater function, ease, and flexibility. If muscles and tendons remain contracted over long periods of time, they are vulnerable to pain, dysfunction, and injury. Neuromuscular Therapy is helpful in preventing injury as well as treating areas that have already experienced injury or dysfunction.
The main intent of Swedish massage is to increase blood circulation and promote relaxation. The techniques used are rhythmic and flowing, which encourages the soft tissues and central nervous system to release patterns of stress and enter into a state of relaxation and ease. Swedish massage also helps boost the immune system and prevent injury from overuse and chronic muscular contraction.
Deep Tissue Massage
This technique combines all of the above modalities to address tension patterns occuring throughout the layers of muscle and connective tissue. Although some people associate deep tissue massage with the concept of "no pain, no gain," this is not my philosophy. Deep tissue massage tends to incorporate deeper pressure than a relaxation-based Swedish massage, but it should NOT result in pain that causes you to brace against the therapist's pressure.
Massage therapy plays an important role in preventing and addressing athletic injuries. When athletes boost their training schedule, they almost always overuse their muscles, causing strain, imbalances, and tears in the soft tissue. There are three different contexts in which sports massage happens:
Pre-Event Massage: An invigorating massage that helps athletes prepare for a competitive event. A pre-event massage usually lasts 15-20 minutes and is given through clothing, within an hour of the sporting event, to warm up the muscles.
Post-Event Massage: Like, a pre-event massage this massage lasts 15-20 minutes and is done over the athlete’s clothing. The goal of a post-event massage is to ease muscle pain, soreness, and inflammation by encouraging the return of blood and oxygen to the soft tissue. Post-event massage flushes out the metabolic waste products that build up during strenuous muscle use and aims to calm and relax the body.
Injury Prevention and Treatment Massage: Utilizes deep tissue massage techniques to address specific injuries or strains that have occurred from strenuous physical activity. Receiving regular massages can help athletes prevent injury or speed and improve the quality of healing if injury has occurred.
Massage can help reduce pregnancy discomforts, encouraging relaxation and well-being for both the mother and fetus. The techniques used in prenatal massage are gentle, soothing, and flowing, benefiting the mother and fetus physiologically and emotionally. I require a physician’s approval prior to a prenatal massage session.
Chair massage is great for relieving neck, shoulder, and back tension. Sessions are 15 or 30 minuets in length. Many businesses are starting to incorporate chair massage into their wellness programs in order to reduce the tension patterns that develop from long hours at a computer. Chair massage is incredibly mobile and a great massage modality for workplace, retreat, and special event environments.
CranioSacral Therapy is a gentle, light touch approach that releases tensions in the central nervous system so that every other system in the body can relax, self-correct, and free itself from pain and discomfort. The craniosacral system is comprised of the membranes and the cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. Restrictions in the flow of the cerebrospinal fluid affect the function of the central nervous system and the body’s ability to resolve stress. This can lead to dis-ease or pain in other parts of the body. CranioSacral techniques help restore and rebalance the craniosacral system, release connective tissue restrictions, and calm the central nervous system. CranioSacral sessions tend to be incredibly relaxing and are based on the premise that the body is self-healing.
Hot Stone Massage
As the name suggests hot stones are used in this type of massage therapy. Smooth heated stones are placed on specific points on your body and are also held in the therapists hands as different strokes and techniques are applied. The heat and weight of the stones warm and relax your muscles allowing for the application of deeper pressure to areas of tension. Like Swedish massage the techniques tend to be rhythmic and flowing with the therapist alternating between the use of stones and the use of their hands. Most people find hot stone massage to be deeply relaxing and especially blissful during the cold months. Each hot stone massage is tailored to the individual. Some people just want to relax while others prefer to have deep tissue work incorporated into the session.