Understanding Massage Therapies

AcupressureAcupressure Bodywork is the traditional Chinese medicine art of balancing Chi energy—the circulating life force in the body—by stimulating its healthy flow along energy pathways called meridians. Practiced through clothing, practitioners utilize finger and elbow pressure on the same meridian points stimulated with needles in Acupuncture. During treatment there is elongation of the muscle fibers, which contributes to the release of toxins and waste materials within the tissues, and an increase in the circulation of oxygenated blood, thereby promoting cellular nutrition and stronger resistance to disease....[more]
acupunctureAcupuncture is one of the oldest and most respected alternative medical treatments in the world. It originated in China over 5,000 years ago and has a proven history of effectiveness. More than eight million Americans have used acupuncture to treat a variety of common health conditions. Acupuncture treatments are holistic and preventive, treating the entire person, not just the part that hurts. Chinese medicine utilizes acupuncture needles to access and balance a person’s qi or vital energy, by stimulating points along energy paths called meridians. [more]
Cranio-Sacral TherapyCraniosacral Therapy is one of the more gentle yet powerful therapies. William Sutherland, an osteopathic practitioner in the early 1900’s, discovered that gentle manipulations and adjustments at the sutures of the cranium, sacrum, and tailbone released tension from the membranes of the entire system, allowing the body to self-correct.

This modality uses gentle, fluid movements of the bones and tissues of the head, thorax, and hips to enhance the flow of cerebrospinal fluid.... [more]
Deep TissueClinical Deep Tissue Massage works through tension, layer by layer, reaching the deeper muscles where persistent discomfort can be released. Much of the work is focused on bringing the body back into balance by working on the fascia—the soft tissue component of the connective tissue system of the body. The work is usually localized, and the client must be relaxed to permit the practitioner to work deeply.... [more]
Esalen MassageEsalen Massage is a nurturing, flowing massage that incorporates long strokes, gentle rocking, passive joint mobilization stretches, and the flow of breathing. Flowing, light-oiled strokes are intrinsic, and therapists switch between using hands and elbows for deeper work and stretches. Founded at Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California, this approach supports the whole person, rather than disjointed parts....[more]
Feldenkrais MethodFeldenkrais creates a more natural and efficient movement pattern in the body to enhance health and well-being. It can be used to reveal and change habitual body behaviors that are responsible for chronic tension and pain, to recover movement after injury or trauma. Athletes, dancers, musicians, and others may improve their skills by using the principles of this method. This bodywork can also help accident victims, people with polio, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis. In addition to the physiological changes, improvements are made in digestion, sleep, alertness, flexibility, stress reduction, and relieved hypertension. [more]
Hot Stone MassageA stone massage is a massage that uses smooth, flat, and heated rocks placed at key points on the body. Stones (usually basalt) are placed into an electric slow-cooker or a purpose-built heating device which is filled with water. The water is typically heated to 52-54 degrees Celsius (122-127 degrees Fahrenheit). Once the stones have heated sufficiently, some are placed onto specific points on the body (such as the back, hands, etc.) and others are held by the massage therapist and used to work the muscles. The heat warms and relaxes the muscles, which allows the therapist to apply deeper pressure, if desired. The warmth of the hot stones improves circulation and calms the nervous system. Many people find the warmth of the hot stones to be comforting and they are often used in relaxation massage....[more]
Lomi LomiLomi Lomi is an indigenous Hawaiian healing practice which usually includes massage – but not always. Many believe that this art was brought to Hawaii by the earliest Polynesian settlers while others believe that this beautiful art, so deeply infused with the practice of ‘living aloha’ is a carry-over from ancient Hawaii and the mystical land of Mu.

Lomi Lomi encompasses many different ‘styles’ each unique to their geographical location and/or their family of origin. Lomi Lomi was practiced by the native healers (Kahuna lā’au lapa’au) and was used as a restorative health practice within families... ... [more]
Lymphatic DrainageLymphatic Drainage Massage is a gentle, connective tissue massage technique that accelerates the movement of the lymphatic fluid that bathes the tissues, through the lymphatic system and into the bloodstream. The lymphatic system is responsible for keeping the connective tissue surrounding cells free from excess water, proteins, bacteria, viruses, inorganic materials, destroyed cells resulting from surgery or trauma, red blood cells, and other dead cells. [more]
Pregnancy MassagePregnancy Massage is designed for women who are pregnant, and they can receive this massage at any point in their pregnancy. Pregnancy massage therapists should have had specific training in this field. Often the client receives the session in a side-lying position with pillows and bolsters provided for support and maximum comfort. Other therapists may use a pregnancy massage cushion or Belly Pillow. The treatment consists of specific features of tissue sculpting, Swedish massage, joint mobilization, foot zone therapy, and connective tissue work to alleviate many of the physiological, musculoskeletal, and emotional stresses that can accompany pregnancy. [more]
ReflexologyReflexology Massage uses various touch techniques on specific points of the feet and hands to normalize body function, restore energy throughout the body, and maintain optimum health. Reflexology practitioners theorize that there are major reflex points in the hands and feet corresponding to each organ and major muscle group in the body. Pressure on these points releases restricted energy flow and improves blood supply. Since the extremities have a rich supply of nerve endings, stimulation to these points can have far-reaching effects [more]
ReikiReiki Bodywork is a Japanese hands-on healing system that works with the human energy bio-field. Reiki is also the word used to identify the healing modality that accesses the very high vibrational force in all living beings. To tap into this universal energy, or reiki, the practitioner attunes the person’s bio-energy field to accept reiki frequency. Reiki is practiced through loose, comfortable clothing. It is administered with a light touch of the practitioner’s hands upon various parts of the recipient’s body, in a pattern that promotes optimum energy... [more]
Shiatsu MassageShiatsu Acupressure is an ancient Japanese bodywork system that uses hand, knuckle, palm, elbow, and foot pressure on specific points located along energy pathways called meridians, in order to promote the free flow of ki energy, the circulating life force. Oriental medicine maintains that disease occurs because of stagnation or blockage in the flow of ki energy. Shiatsu uses pressure techniques to affect the interrupted energy flow throughout the meridians and related organs, thus restoring balance to the body. The practitioner’s techniques may include ... [more]
Sports MassageSports Massage Practitioners concentrate on working the whole body, and they also pay particular attention to those muscle groups that are involved in a specific sport or activity. The four basic strokes used by a sports massage therapist are direct or trigger point pressure, cross fiber friction, compression, and percussion. It is a specialized and often eclectic form of Swedish massage that focuses on enhancing athletic performance and facilitating post-event recovery. It benefits the professional or amateur athlete, dancer.. ... [more]
Swedish massageSwedish Massage is the classic style of bodywork. Also called Western massage, it is the most popular and familiar massage method being practiced today, and it has served as a foundation for many of the massage techniques developed in recent years. Swedish massage is a scientific system of manipulations on the muscles and connective soft tissue of the body for the purpose of relaxation, rehabilitation, and health maintenance. It is comprised of five basic strokes and their variations: effleurage (sliding or gliding), petrissage (kneading), friction (cross fiber), percussion (rhythmic tapping), and vibration .. ... [more]
Trigger Point TherapyTrigger Point Therapy utilizes various methods to relieve and eliminate a hypersensitive area—known as a trigger point—in the muscle, its tendon, or fascia. Usually the trigger point is not in the area of pain, but digital pressure over the point will elicit pain in a referred area. Trauma is a common cause of trigger points, either by direct injury or excessive stretching and contraction. Once these fibrous sensitive regions form, repeated muscular stress will activate the pain in a reference zone. It is often possible to have more than one trigger point associated with a particular condition. .. ... [more]