Benefits of Massage

For thousand of years cultures worldwide have used massage for communication, relieving pain or discomfort, healing or improving overall health.

The benefits of massage vary depending on what you wish to achieve during a session.  Well known effects of massage include:

  • relaxation
  • stress relief
  • reduction of muscle painMassage
  • improved range of motion and joint flexibility
  • improved mood
  • improved digestion and immune system
  • enhanced health and nourishment of the skin
  • enhanced athletic performance
  • improved posture

 

Physiological Effects of Massage

Massage affects the physiological functions of the whole human body, in particular:

  • integumentary system (skin)
    • enhanced heat and circulation
    • reduction of adhesions in subcutaneous layers increasing local flow of blood and lymph
  • skeletal system
    • integration of joint movement with improved joint mobility
  • muscles & fascia
    • reduction of fascial restrictions/adhesions
    • increased oxygen and nutrient flow to muscle tissue
  • nervous system
    • parasympathetic nervous system response of relaxation
    • soothing effect through change in blood levels of neurotransmitters and hormones associated with pain (dopamine, endorphis, enkephalins, oxytocin, serotonin, cortisol, ...)
  • circulatory system
    • increased blood circulation enhancing delivery of oxygen and nutrients to tissues
    • increased lymphatic system circulation
  • respiratory system
    • slower and deeper breathing
  • digestion
    • stimulation of cellular metabolism
  • thermoregulation

 

Massage Modalities

Swedish Massage

Widely recognized and used, swedish massage includes light to vigorous techniques including effleurage (long gliding movements), petrissage (kneading), tapotement,  and friction applied to superficial tissues of the body.

Mechanical and reflexive benefits include increased circulation of blood and lymph, increase in joint range of motion

 

Deep Tissue

Deep Tissue massage aims at breaking up adhesions in tissues deep in the body thus restoring increased range of motion, eliminating pain and postural tension patterns, and increasing blood and lymphatic flow.

Strokes are typically applied slowly through sustained gliding stokes and sustained pressure. 

Muscle soreness after the treatment is common due to the toxins released by tissues - and abundant fluid intake helps flush toxins.  

 

Lomi Lomi

Lomi Lomi is the Hawaiian term for massage. 

For more details please read our Lomi Lomi page.

 

Hydrotherapy

Refers to the application of cold or heat.  Ice is typically used in acute conditions in which inflammation, spasms, and pain are present. Heat applications enhance circulation and is relaxing.

 

Stretches

Sessions might include stretching with the purpose of either testing joint range of motion, increasing the production of synovial fluid in the joint, opening areas of restrictions in muscles.  Stretching might either be passive, as performed by the therapist, or active, involving the client.

 

Myofascial Release

Myofascial release is the three-dimensional application of sustained pressure and movement into the fascial system in order to eliminate fascial restrictions between fascia, integument and muscles in order to reduce/eliminate pain and increase range of motion; it can also facilitate the emergence of emotional patterns and belief systems that are no longer relevant or are impeding progress.  First, an assessment is made by visually analyzing the human frame, followed by the palpation of the tissue texture of various fascial layers.  Upon location an area of fascial tension, gentle pressure is applied in the direction of the restriction.  Myofascial release is an effective therapeutic approach in the relief of cervical pain, back pain, fibromyalgia, scoliosis, neurological dysfunction, restreiction of motion, chronic pain, and headaches.

 

Neuromuscular Therapy

This comprehensive program of soft-tissue manipulation balances the body’s central nervous system with the musculoskeletal system. Based on neurological laws that explain how the central nervous system initiates and maintains pain, the goal is to help relieve the pain and dysfunction by understanding and alleviating the underlying cause. Neuromuscular therapy can help individuals who experience distortion and biomechanical dysfunction, which is often a symptom of a deeper problem. It is also used to locate and release spasms and hypercontraction in the tissue, eliminate trigger points that cause referred pain, rebuild the strength of injured tissues, assist venous and lymphatic flow, and restore postural alignment, proper biomechanics, and flexibility to the tissues.

Based on the discoveries of Drs. Janet Travell and David Simons in which they found the causal relationship between chronic pain and its source, myofascial trigger point therapy is used to relieve muscular pain and dysfunction through applied pressure to trigger points of referred pain and through stretching exercises. These points are defined as localized areas in which the muscle and connective tissue are highly sensitive to pain when compressed. Pressure on these points can send referred pain to other specific parts of the body.

 

Special populations

Groups of clients present with special conditions and require special considerations to receive bodywork.  It is crucial for the therapist to evaluate the specific needs in order to determine which techniques are appropriate and which should be avoided.  Essentially the same massage strokes are used but special considerations are given to session duration, pressure, areas to avoid, positions to avoid, precautions to take, and equipment to use.  Special populations include athletes, geriatric, prenatal, infant, physically disabled clients.