What Massage Therapy Can Do For You

Today, the majority of us on the planet have stress induced illness of one kind or another. Massage helps to bring the fight or flight syndromes of our body back into balance. When the hormones that create the fight or flight patterns are used on a regular basis and are not counter balanced with action, our bodies have a tendency to become tired and hold stress in our weakest areas.

This is not an uncommon event. We live in a very fast paced world. Not only is our every waking hour accounted for, we either stay up late or get up early to have time to care for ourselves. The majority of our life is spent doing something for someone else. This is a good thing and if we do not take care of ourselves, then we cannot care for others either.

If you have any physical aches and pains, massage can prove to be an avenue of retreat from the pain. If you do anything with repetition, someday your body will speak to you from the area of overuse. Massage can help reduce the tensile like muscles that come from over use.

Massage Modalities

Swedish Massage

The most common form of massage. This massage combines long gliding strokes (relax and connect the entire body strokes can be superficial or deep), kneading strokes (lift, separate and milk the muscles), friction (increase circulation and reduce scare tissue), percussion (tap, cup to create an aesthetic effect or to wake the tissue up), vibration (relaxes the nervous tissue), range of motion, (passive stretches that increase and strengthen muscle tissue).

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Neuromuscular Therapy

There are many styles of Neuromuscular therapy. Each style uses a different order of similar techniques to establish the same results. These groups of techniques are to enhance communication of the muscular and nervous system. The relationship between these two systems is crucial in normal ranges of motion and movement, without pain. This system releases muscle stress, strain, stuck fasia and nerve entrapment from injuries, habitual movements and over use of a particular area on the body, recreating alignment in the musculoskeletal system.
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Carpal Tunnel

Carpals are located at the wrist and are held in place by tendons, ligaments, and muscles that accompany the tendons. Often times massaging the arms can handle the problem of tight muscles that reduces blood flow to the hands. Friction, gliding, kneading and ROM is key strokes in this treatment. Usually this treatment is a combination of appointments, with homework for the client to do in-between office visits.
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TMJ Syndrome

TMJ is an abbreviation for the bones called temporal and mandible joint; located near the ears were the upper and lower jaw come together. Often time’s people with TMJ suffer from, headache, jaw pain, ear aches. The treatment is usually in a series; using strokes include friction gliding, active resistive stretching and some times oral massage. The anterior and posterior neck and shoulders also address as part of this treatment.
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Prenatal Massage

Massage for the mother-to-be. This massage is a combination of stroke as in Swedish. The difference is the positioning of the client. It is important to have a certified therapist perform this wonderful massage; it benefits the fetus as well as Mom. Relaxation is part of this treatment, aches and pains from the body changes are addressed. Not to be performed during the first trimester, the body is working hard to attach and create the fetus quickly. There are also other precautions in second and third trimesters ask your therapist and express any changes in the pregnancy or discomforts. Baby’s born to mom’s that have had massage usually love to have massages, ask your therapist about infant massage.

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Shiatsu

The medical massage of Japan. The treatment is received fully clothed. Acupressure points (tusbo points) are pressed rhythmically with the hand, finger, feet and elbow. The tusbo points are located on the 12 meridian lines (energy pathways). Stretching is part of this wonderful balancing technique. Shiatsu can be given on the table or on a Shiatsu mat on the floor. The times are different: table usually 50 minutes, floor 90-120 minutes.
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Aromatherapy

There are many types of massage that incorporate aromatherapy. Aromatherapy in and of its self is the use of essential oils in a base oil or applied directly to a tissue, cotton ball, diffuser, to be picked up by the olfactory nerve and taken to the brain. Relaxation and healing can be the result of aromatherapy. Often times a client is invited to smell some oils to see what ones they would like to have incorporated with a massage.
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Music & Sound Therapy

The use of music to relax, rejuvenate, and relieve unwanted tension. Sound is vibration and everyone has their own vibration, think of the different types of music there are. Music for health has been studied for centuries. Steve Halprin was one of the first to enhance music’s return in today’s world of healing. All the sounds of the world create feelings. Music in this setting is to sooth the body, mind and spirit in order to realign the energy centers and the major systems of the body.
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Rolfing

Known as “structural integration” was developed by Dr. Ida Rolf in 1950. Rolfers are certified at the Rolf Instituted for Structural Alignment, located in Colorado. Rolfers are massage or body-worker before they become certified. This is deep massage that works with the fascia. Fascia is a connective tissue. Fascia is displaced by shortening and bundling due to stress whether it is physical or mental, it is said that the body will compensate because of this stress and cause poor body alignment.
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T'ai Chi

Is brought to the United State from China. This ancient artful movement, breath and stillness to improve the flow of chi (energy) in the body and maintain balance both physically and mentally. This form is best studied with a teacher and helps to clam the mind and improve self-healing. Tai Chi is often times called “meditation in motion”.
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Qi Gong

Literal translation means energy work. A component of Traditional Chinese Medicine is an art form using instinctive movement of animals to increase balance, strength and health to body organs. Qi Gong can be a used passively as in the client receives a treatment from a therapist (emitting chi) or active where the client is engaged in the movements.
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Sports Massage

Is a massage technique that is used at all levels of sporting events. Most massage therapists are trained in post sports massage. There is special training and a certificate awarded to those that have taken the National Sports Massage Exam; not all therapist that are trained choose to take this exam. Most of the strokes used in a posts sport are compression and stretching after the client has cooled down if the massage takes place at the event. In the office a sports massage will take on a very different characteristic. There maybe some deep muscle-work with compression and range of motion with stretching and active resistive movements as well.

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Accupressure

Often described as acupuncture without needles. This technique is also brought to us from Traditional Chinese Medicine. Acupressure is using the fingers, thumbs, elbows on tsubo points (acupressure) points to increase chi (energy) flow allowing balance and harmony which in turn increases overall wellness.
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Feldenkrais Method

Physical Reeducation exercises involving body awareness, improving flexibility, and confidence which enhance well-being. Functional integration with minimum effort and maximum efficiency is the key to the movements used in the Feldenkrais Method. This new awareness of movement replaces old patterns to increase body ease also the use of touch and manipulation. Each treatment is individualized. (Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, founder.)
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Alexander Technique

Founder F. M. Alexander an Australian actor discovered (by loosing his voice) that movement tightened and loosened muscles. He study restrictions in the body and the release of these restrictions with movement. Alexander believed that habitual poor posture from misuse of movement creates stress and strain on the body. Alexander instructors help clients to be aware of the misuse help prevent stresses caused by poor posture.
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Reflexology

This ancient Egyptian/Chinese practice uses the foot and hand as a map to the entire body. This technique uses pressing, rolling, and movement to the different areas of the foot and hand to affect the organ that is related to the specific area being manipulated. Also known as zone therapy. The pressing cause a reflex effect on the organs that is associated with the reflex points.

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