Massage is the manipulation of muscle and connective tissue to enhance the function of those tissues, promote relaxation, and well-being. Therapeutic massage can ease tension and reduce pain. Massage can be a part of physical therapy or practiced on its own. It can also be highly effective for reducing the symptoms of numerous conditions such as: arthritis, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other disorders of the muscles and/or nervous system.
Swedish Massage is a very relaxing and therapeutic style of bodywork. Oil or lotion may be used in order to facilitate the application of a variety of strokes such as effleurage, petrissage, and tapotement. The difference between a Swedish massage and a “rub down” is the knowledge that the massage therapist acquired during an extensive supervised training. The Massage therapist, among other things, knows the origins and insertions of muscles, directions of the muscle fibers, and recognizes location of bone structures, tendons, and ligaments. Even though the client may not be aware of this during the massage, by analyzing the information the client provides during the intake, and by assessing the muscles during the massage, the massage therapist is able to strategize the best way to help the client with aches and pains and maximize relaxation time. Some of the benefits of Swedish massage include: relief from aches and pains, promote better circulation, improve the flow of the lymphatic system, and help to decrease stress. Swedish massage is done unclothed and draped with linen or towel.
Shiatsu is a Japanese modality of massage that uses acupressure points along meridians, or energy channels to balance “qi” or life force energy in the body. After an interview with the client, the practitioner palpates the hara (abdomen) to help determine which organs (liver, stomach, heart, etc) are Kyo (lacking energy) or Jitsu (keeping stagnated energy). During a shiatsu session, the practitioner uses stretching, palm, and thumb compression on the meridians and the tsubos (acupressure points). This will promote a better flow of qi, clearing areas of stagnant qi. or energizing areas of deficient qi. Shiatsu is traditionally done on a mat on the floor, but it can also be done on a table. The client receives the session clothed and should wear loose clothing to allow easy movement/stretches.
Reflexology is a modality in which the therapist applies pressure to the specific areas in your feet. Unlike other foot massages that intend to mostly relieve tension in the feet, reflexology is a far more in-depth science that aims to harmonize your entire body. According to reflexology, every part of the human body is mapped into the feet. Reflexology treatments have been found to be highly effective for conditions such as allergies, headaches, and depression.
Chair massage reaches the benefits of the massage but in a session modified to fit the schedule of busy clients. There is no need to change clothes, shower, or leave work to participate. Lasts from 5 to 30 minutes, uses no oil/lotion and takes place with the client fully clothed. The massage therapist usually massages the head, neck, shoulders, back, arms and hands. It can also be adapted to special needs. It is done in a portable massage chair that is designed for comfort and support.
Sports Massage is designed to help athletes or highly active people. A massage for the athlete will help to enhance performance, prevent injury, increase flexibility, and improve the recovery rates. When injury is present, this modality of massage will facilitate a rapid recovery by reducing pain and swelling, help realigning fibrous connective tissues, and reduces muscle adhesion.