Relaxation or Swedish massage provides relaxation and relief from everyday stress. The most widely recognized and commonly used type of massage. Swedish massage uses a variety of gliding techniques, speeds and pressures. Increased mental and physical relaxation, increased blood and lymph flow circulation which increases immune system function, decreased muscle tension and pain relief are some of the many benefits this technique can provide. This modality is great for those seeking stress relief and relaxation.
Deep tissue massage focuses on the deeper tissues of the body, and is used to relieve chronic muscular and postural problems. While sometimes Deep Tissue may require a deeper sustained pressure, it is not synonymous with deep pressure. Techniques are generally slow and specific, with a goal of breaking up restrictions in muscles, tendons and fascia to allow more freedom of movement and less pain. While some of these techniques include intense, localized pressure, deep tissue massage can also include subtle, gentle movements. This type of massage is great for individuals dealing with chronic pain or injury. This technique can be used to focus on specific areas in a regular session.
Our fascia is like a spiderweb of connective tissue that wraps around our entire body, covering all of our muscles, bones, and organs. Injuries, repetitive movements and poor posture can create adhesions in tissue that can stick to other muscles and structures to limit movement, cause pain and dysfunction. This technique works to release, unwind, and stretch stuck underlying fascia or connective tissue of the body. Just like when our muscles get tight, the connective tissue that surrounds those muscles can become stuck and causes us to have imbalanced postural issues that can cause chronic pain and discomfort. This technique promotes proper postural holding and is typically used with techniques that focus on releasing muscular tension like Deep Tissue.
Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage
Ashiatsu massage is a modality in which the therapist uses their feet to perform the massage with the assistance of overhead bars for balance. Ashiatsu literally translates from Japanese as Ashi=Foot and Atsu=Pressure. The feet are used to deliver broad, gliding strokes with deep pressure. Often called the deepest, most luxurious massage on the planet, Ashiatsu blends eastern barefoot style massage with western Swedish flowing strokes to give you a deeply effective and relaxing form of massage. Many people who like deep tissue style work often enjoy Ashiatsu massage as the broad surface of the foot is a great tool to slowly release large muscle groups with steady deep pressure. Ashiatsu massage does have some contraindicated health conditions that hands on massage does not due to the deep compressive nature of the work. Be sure to discuss with your therapist during your health intake if Ashiatsu is the right modality for you.
Hot Stone Massage
In this modality the therapist uses heated stones and oil to promote deeper relaxation, and release muscle tension. The massage is similar to swedish relaxation style, but the therapist will also use the stones as the massage tool in addition to their hands. The heat from the stones makes for a luxuriously relaxing experience and is very effective at loosening 'trouble spots'. Cold stones can also be incorporated for injuries where contrast hydrotherapy would be indicated. Hot and cold stones can be added to any massage session, just let your therapist know when scheduling. Hot stone massage is contraindicated for pregnant women.
Craniosacral is a gentle non-invasive technique that uses light touch, usually no more than the weight of a nickel, and focuses on releasing restrictions in connective tissue and tension within the nervous system. CST has a deeply relaxing effect on the body by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, otherwise known as rest and digest. Shifting the body out of stressed out fight or flight mode, sympathetic nervous system, allows the body to begin to rest and heal themselves. Many of the techniques use static head holds to focus on balancing the slight movement of the cranial bones that are influenced by the pumping of the cerebrospinal fluid from sacrum to cranium that bathes the spinal cord. Craniosacral Therapy is a wonderful supportive therapy to many issues including migraines and tension headaches, chronic tension and pain, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), whiplash, anxiety and stress. Craniosacral can be scheduled as a full hour session or incorporated into a massage session.
Gua Sha is a technique utilizing a massage tool with a smooth edge to stroke lubricated skin repeatedly. The focus of this modality is on the fascia (connective tissue), creating better glide between tissues makes for better range of motion, decreased pain, increased local circulation, and decreased muscular tension and fascial adhesions. Gua Sha is traditionally used by Acupuncturists in Traditional Chinese Medicine to release toxins through the energy brought to the surface of the skin, but for the purpose of a massage treatment goals are oriented towards soft tissue release. Often times Gua Sha can leave a dark red colored blemish on the skin called Petechiae, which is caused by interstitial cellular fluid, or serum, leaking into superficial blood vessels. Although it sounds a bit alarming, petechiae caused by Gua Sha is actually painless, harmless and is comparable to a hickey mark. Blemishes from Gua Sha ,if any, typically last 2-4 days. Due to Gua Sha technique's quick effectiveness it typicaly only recquires about 5-15 minutes per area, so it is most often used within a normal massage session. If you are experiencing decreased range of motion, carpal tunnel, headaches, low back pain, repetitive strain injuries, or muscle tension/pain ask about incorporating gua sha into your next massage session.
Scent is one of our most powerful senses, linked to the limbic system, scent can have profound effects by evoking deep memories and feelings of wellbeing. Aromatherapy is an excellent way to add a deeper level of relaxation to your session, choose an oil or oils to be incorporated into your treatment via a diffuser, blended into a massage oil, or simply inhaled.
Cupping Therapy is an ancient modality from Traditional Chinese Medicine that utilizes silicone cups on the skin to create a vacuum like suction of tissue. Think of cupping as a reverse massage of sorts. Regular massage presses tissue down against other soft tissue or bone to release adhesions. Cupping pulls the tissue layers up and away to create better glide and movement of tissue, releasing stuck spots. Cupping can be used statically in one spot or dynamically moving the cups around for a massage like effect. Cupping is an excellent modality for pain, sore muscles, inflammation, relaxation, improving range of motion and circulation. Oftentimes cupping can cause some harmless red/purple marking on the skin from the suction called petechiae, which is just due to serum being drawn to the superficial blood vessels from the suction. Petechiae is harmless, painless and is comparable to a hickey mark. Marking from cupping typically dissipates within 7 days.