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 circulation, lymphatic system stimulation, decreased muscle tension and pain relief are some of the many benefits this technique can provide.
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 releasing 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 and gentle.
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, dehydration, 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 create fascial plasticity to stuck underlying fascia or connective tissue of the body. Just like tension in our muscles, the connective tissue that surrounds those muscles can become stuck and causes us to have imbalanced postural issues that can later cause acute or chronic pain and discomfort.
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 translates from Japanese as Ashi=Foot and Atsu=Pressure. The feet are used to deliver broad, gliding strokes with deep pressure. Many people who like deeper or broad pressure often enjoy Ashiatsu massage as the broad surface of the foot is a great tool to slowly release fascia and 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
*not currently offered*
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 increasing circulation and releasing muscle tension. Cold stones can also be incorporated for injuries where contrast hydrotherapy would be indicated.
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 often thought of as rest and digest. Many of the techniques used are 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 conditions including migraines and tension headaches, chronic tension and pain, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), whiplash, anxiety and stress. Craniosacral can be incorporated into a regular massage session.
Gua Sha is a technique utilizing a massage tool with a smooth edge to scrape lubricated skin repeatedly. The focus of this modality is on the connective tissue or fascia. Creating better glide between tissues makes for better range of motion, decreased pain, increased local circulation, and decreased muscular tension. Gua Sha is traditionally used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to release 'Sha' 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 resolve within a couple days to a week. Due to the effectiveness of Gua Sha, treatment is usually 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.
*not currently offered*
Cupping is an ancient modality from Traditional Chinese Medicine used for a variety of conditions. For the purpose of soft tissue release, cupping therapy 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. Cupping pulls the tissue layers up and away to create better glide and movement of tissue, bringing fresh oxygenated blood flow to the area and promoting movement of stagnant blood, lymph fluid, interstitial fluid and cellular waste. 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, relaxation, improving range of motion and circulation. Cupping pairs beautifully with other styles of massage and can be incorporated into a regular massage. Oftentimes cupping can cause some red/purple marking on the skin from the suction called petechiae. Petechiae can be caused by drawing serum or interstitial fluid up into the superficial blood vessels from suction. Petechiae is painless and is comparable to a hickey mark. Marking from cupping typically dissipates within 7 days.