Deep Tissue Massage uses heavier pressures to penetrate the deepest muscle layers, the fascia, and the tendons releasing restrictions and tightness, increasing mobility, and easing pain. The primary goal is less about general relaxation and more about promoting change in the actual structure of the body. Techniques range from slow heavy pressure to quick cross fiber friction and may include active/passive mobility.
There is a misconception of Deep Tissue that the more it hurts, the more effective it is. This is dangerously inaccurate. Deep Tissue may reach a "good pain" level of pressure, but shouldn't hurt much beyond that. Communication with your Massage Therapist is the key to an excellent massage!
"Ashiatsu" is Japanese for "foot pressure." Ashi is a deep muscle style using bare feet. The feet are naturally broad and cushioned allowing deeper work to be less painful and very effective. Light sweeping full body strokes or deep pinpoint weighted pressure are part of the ashi massage. For some areas of the body both hands and feet can be used at once for an undeniably awesome experience!
Geared toward (but not limited to) an athlete's specific goals, this style of massage is great for pre-performance to prevent soreness and injury and recovery from performances, workouts and injuries. Sports massage is a combo of pin-and-stretch techniques, active release technique (ART), deep tissue massage, muscle firing patterns, pin-pointing muscle weakness or imbalance, and calming the nervous system. Deep Tissue work is not usually recommended sooner than 7 days before an athletic event, so that is where modalities like Cupping are handy! Cupping can be done right up to immediately before your event.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) works with your body's sewage system (the lymphatic system). MLD helps clear the system of built up toxins and excess fluids and speeds up its day to day function. It is awesome for everyone, but especially known and used for those with lymphedema and pre/post operative care. MLD is a hands-on light touch technique directly on the skin. It often uses rhythmic "pumping" or "dragging" motions.
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CranioSacral Therapy (CST) works with the cerebrospinal fluid, cranium, sacrum, and fascia (connective tissue). The cerebrospinal fluid feeds nutrients to our nervous systems and CST helps to remove or ease restrictions in the flow of this fluid. This modality has potential to help ease symptoms of autism, sensory issues, post concussion syndrome, PTSD, anxiety and depression, TMJ, headaches and migraines, and a whole lot more. The touch is light and usually long "holds" on a clothed client. It has been known to be meditative and relaxing.
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Energy work is an umbrella term to describe anything that works with the intangible vibration that exists in all things at the deepest level. The forms of energy work that I utilize include the intuitive aspects of lymphatic and craniosacral therapies as well as Reiki. The most common effect of energy work on my table is inducing a between sleep and awake state of extreme relaxation. Intuitive imagery and messages may come to the client or therapist during energy work as well.
A Swedish Massage uses cream or oil to glide over the muscle layers – whether that be on a superficial layer (light pressure) or a deeper layer (firm pressure). There may also be kneading of the muscles, vibration or percussion to stimulate the muscles, and passive and/or active joint movements. All of these techniques serve to increase circulation of blood and lymph, soften and relax the tissues, reduce cortisol levels in the body, and provide a generalized sense of relaxation.
Cupping has a rich history originally from Chinese medicine. It has been adopted here in the US and made popular recently in the 2016 Rio Olympics by Michael Phelps and other Olympic athletes donning the cupping "bruises" before their events. Though they look like bruises, cupping does not actually break capillaries. The marks are old blood often full of metabolic waste brought to the surface of the skin to then be carried off by the lymphatic and circulatory systems. I find cupping to be particularly helpful in breaking up scar tissue, bringing blood flow to chronicly tight muscles, loosening up fascia, and pre and post sporting events.
Consciously working with the pattern, speed, and depth of breath can be life changing. We rarely take notice of our breath much less make a practice of it. I use guided breathwork techniques for relaxation, meditation, invigoration, and somato-emotional connection and release. Guided patterns inlcude the box breath (also known as the Navy Seal breath), meditative breathing, Kundalini Yoga's breath of fire, adaptations of the Win Hof method, and a vigorous 3-step breath pattern intended to move and clear stuck energy.
The body has an amazing capacity to record our life experiences for better or worse. Sometimes traumatic experiences can create physical, mental, emotional, or interpersonal patterns that do not work for us in the long term. There are many means to tap into and release trauma including hands-on therapies. This touch is intuitive and nurturing allowing a safe opportunity for release. Somato-Emotional sessions often include breathwork.
Sound Vibration Therapy
Using specially designed sound vibration instruments, brain waves can be slowed down from the normal waking state (beta waves) to a relaxed conscious state (alpha waves), meditative state (theta waves), or an in between sleep and awake state (delta waves). The delta state is not only relaxing but also healing on a deep cellular level.