Descriptions of Various Modalities:
The main form of Traditional European Massage. It uses a system of long gliding strokes, kneading, friction, percussive, and shaking motions or vibration techniques on the more superficial layers of muscles. It affects the nerves, muscles, glands, and circulation, and promotes health and well-being. Swedish Massage also relieves muscle tension, reduces anxiety, strengthens the immune system, improves blood circulation, detoxifies, balances the nervous system, and facilitates states of deep relaxation that may open a door to the soul and spirit in the process.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep Tissue Massage is designed to reach the deep portions of thick muscles, specifically the individual muscle fibers. Using deep muscle compression and friction along the grain of the muscle, its purpose is to un-stick the fibers of the muscles and release both toxins and deeply held patterns of tension
Neuromuscular Therapy is a program of recovery from acute and chronic pain syndromes by utilizing specific massage therapy, including the pressure of trigger points, to eliminate the causes of pain patterns. This approach brings about balance between the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system. It enhances the function of joints, muscles, and movement, and it releases endorphins, the body’s own natural pain killers.
Connective Tissue Therapy/Myofascial Release
Myofascial Release is a gentle therapy, consisting of a mixture of light stretching and massage work. During a session, the therapist will apply hands-on massage strokes in order to release tension from the fibrous bands of the muscles, bones, nerves and joints, by unblocking any scar tissue or adhesions due to injury in the muscles and surrounding tissues. Through Myofascial Release, clients have found relief from acute and chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, movement restrictions, fibromyalgia, TMJ, plantar fasciitis, and a host of other conditions.
Craniosacral therapy is a bodywork modality and pain management technique focusing on the manipulation of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain. The technique combines alternative healing practices with traditional cranial osteopathy by applying massage to the head and spine with the goal of unblocking points of tension. Craniosacral therapy is based on the notion that releasing restrictions in the craniosacral system will improve the functioning of the central nervous system.
Shiatsu, the most widely known form of acupressure, literally meaning “finger pressure” in Japanese, and has been practiced for more than a thousand years in Japan. Shiatsu uses rhythmic pressure from 3 to 10 seconds on specific points along the body’s meridians by using the fingers, hands, elbows, knees, and sometimes feet to unblock and stimulate the flow of energy. A session my also include gentle stretching and range-of-motions manipulations. Shiatsu is used to treat pain and illness, to relax the body, and to maintain general health.
Kinesthetic Awareness Through Movement
Based in the Feldenkrais Method and Alexander Technique, this modality aims to reduce pain or limitations in movement, to improve physical function, and to promote general wellbeing by increasing the client’s awareness of themselves by subtle facilitated movement that allow for organic proprioception and natural range of motion.
Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Lymphatic drainage massage is a specialized massage technique for the purpose of reducing swelling in the body and increasing the flow of lymph. This technique uses very light pressure of the fingers and hands, just slightly moving the skin, a technique quite different from the long deeper flowing strokes of regular massages. The pattern of strokes in lymphatic drainage massage is very small and precise, moving very slowly and rhythmically, and repeating over and over. Great for anyone with cellulite, scars, post-cancer surgery, or simply looking to detox and reduce inflammation.
This special form of massage is typically used before, during, and after athletic events to prepare the athlete for peak performance, to drain away fatigue, to relieve swelling, to reduce muscle tension, to promote flexibility and to prevent injuries. Depending on the needs of the athlete, a variety of techniques are used including classic Swedish strokes, cross-fiber friction, pressure-point work, and joint mobilization.
Reflexology is based on the principle that certain parts of the body reflect the whole. Reflex points, which relate to all parts of the body, can be found in the feet, hands and ears. These points respond to pressure, stimulating the body’s own natural healing process. The body starts progressively clearing blockages, re-establishing energy flows and balancing itself, resulting in better health. There are many different styles and approaches used in reflexology, however the basic principle is constant. Subtle yet powerful, reflexology is becoming increasingly popular in the world of complementary therapies.
Polarity therapy is a holistic, energy-based system that includes bodywork, diet, exercise, and lifestyle counseling for the purpose of restoring and maintaining proper energy flows throughout the body. The underlying concept of polarity therapy is that all energy within the human body is based in electromagnetic force and that disease results from improperly dissipated energy. Polarity therapy unblocks and recharges the flow of life energy and realigns unbalanced energy as a means of eliminating disease. Patients learn to release tension by addressing the source of the stress and by maintaining a healthy demeanor accordingly. This treatment may be effective to promote health and healing to anyone willing to embrace the appropriate lifestyle.
Reiki means “universal life energy” and is an ancient system of natural healing involving the laying on of hands. During a Reiki treatment, the practitioner places their hands in a number of positions on the client’s body, sending healing universal life energy wherever it needs to go in the body. The energy is channeled through the practitioner from the universe, so the practitioner never uses his or her own energy but is merely a channel. Reiki helps to break up energy blockages within the body, allowing healing energy to flow again freely and stimulating the body’s natural ability to heal itself on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level.