Body Relaxation & Breathing yield greater results – from improving delivery of nutrients and removal of wastes, and soothing intensity felt during certain applications over sensitive unhealthy tissue. How? Keep shoulders/neck/jaw/eyes relaxed; take long/slow, deep, controlled breaths. The key is to tell your body to relax.
Hydrating well after massage will improve results (in order to flush out loosened toxins, which will reabsorb if not flushed out).
Heat treatments before massage, like Steam room or Jacuzzi will dramatically improve massage treatment by making the tissue more pliable (but, any heat treatment will help).
Regularity (progress is accumulative), as with diet and exercise – meaning that frequent regular treatments are important to progressively reverse a soft-tissue problem (as part of a holistic approach); achieving normality initially requires more work, but maintaining is easy.
Clothing & Draping Considerations: The best way to receive a thorough and complete massage is with all clothing removed (while covered under sheets), and this is normally expected by professional Massage Therapists. Specifically, removal of the undergarments allows for massage applications over the lateral hip area and access to the entire legs. Exceptions to wearing certain cloth particles during a massage session can be appropriate and recommended for the following: -When modesty (mental and/or emotional comfort) may otherwise be compromised. -For pregnancy and sports massage (since the common various positioning and arm/leg movements may complicate draping needs and procedures).
Change & Commitment: Self-care and any needed lifestyle (diet, exercise, etc.) changes are essential to effectively progress and sustain any made improvements from massage therapy sessions.
Self-Care *Tip: One effective enjoyable way to relieve muscle tension and aches is to: take a hot (105-115°F) 20-30 min. Epson salt (2-3 cups) bath sometime before bed; hydrate before/during. Frequency: 1 - 3 times a week. Use of jets will drastically improve results!
Bodywork Treatment Enhancements
Aromatherapy & Ambience Special scented candles, sprays and oils plus dimed soothing lighting to heighten your sensory experience during your treatment.
Hot Stone Treatment Highly effective for transferring moist heat into the muscle – making it more pliable and allowing for faster and more soothing results – recommended for spot treatment over dense knotted areas.
Steam Towels Experience an amazingly relaxing difference when applied with massage over face and feet; also great for warming up tight hypersensitive areas – decreasing the amount of pressure needed while lessening the perceived intensity felt during massage applications.
Instructional Self-Care Assistance Invaluable professional bodywork related healthcare advice and assistance – involving the use of proper posture, biomechanics, ergonomic equipment, breathing, stretching and exercise, plus effective self-myofascial release tools and techniques, at-home hydrotherapy, and basic performance-based nutritional concepts.
SWEDISH MASSAGE Serves as the basic foundation of massage therapy … for which more dynamic / advanced techniques overlap with similarities
Primary Purpose is to induce relaxation and improve circulation
- Appropriate for clients seeking a massage for mostly aesthetic reasons (i.e., when little to no soft tissue problem conditions are presently affecting the client).
Encourages nutrition and development of muscles (by stimulating circulation, nerve supply, and cell activity)*
Relieves muscle fatigue and soreness an estimated three times much faster than passive rest of the same duration*
Improves metabolism; digestion, assimilation, and elimination are often improved*
Improves circulation of blood and lymph*
Improves the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the cells*
Enhances the removal of metabolic wastes (such as lactic acid)*
Lessons the work of the heart (Temporarily reduces blood pressure and heart rate)
Improves the blood-making process*
Headache and eyestrain are often relieved
Deep relaxation is induced and insomnia is often relieved
Reduces tension and anxiety*
Calms the nervous system
Promotes a sense of relaxation and renewed energy
Increases the secretion levels of neurochemicals related to elevated moods (feelings of euphoria)*
Helps tone the skin, helps prevent blemished skin, and softens fine lines
Treatments over a period of time impart a healthy radiance to the skin; the skin tends to become softer, more supple, and of finer texture
*Advanced corrective treatments (deep tissue, myofascial, orthopedic, etc.) are designed for specifically addressing excessive conditions of soft tissue pain and dysfunction with optimal results. (*) maximum beneficial result may be achieved using more advanced modalities.
DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE Refers to various regimens or massage styles directed toward the deeper tissue structures of the muscle and fascia – for a greater and more results-oriented outcome
Primary Purpose is to affect the various layers of fascia that support muscle tissues and loosen bonds between the layers of connective tissues
-Appropriate for clients needing quick symptomatic relief from pain and tension.
Causes muscles and joints to become firmer, more supple and more flexible
Soreness and stiffness are prevented and relieved
Heals muscle tissue faster by reducing connective tissue buildup and scarring
Constrictions and adhesions can be reduced or prevented as traumatized muscle tissue heals
What makes Deep Tissue massage so special?
Pumping— The deep stroking movements in massage suck fluid through blood vessels and lymph vessels. By increasing the pressure in front of the stroke, a vacuum is created behind. This is especially important in tight or damaged muscle tissue as a tight muscle will squeeze blood out like a sponge, depriving the tissues of vital nutrients and energy to repair.
Increased tissue permeability— Deep massage causes the pores in tissue membranes to open, enabling fluids and nutrients to pass through. This helps remove waste products such as lactic acid and encourage the muscles to take up oxygen and nutrients which help them recover quicker.
Stretching— Deep tissue massage can stretch tissues that could not be stretched in the usual methods.
Breaks down scar tissue— Scar tissue is the result of previous injuries or trauma and can affect muscle, tendons and ligaments. This can lead to inflexible tissues that are prone to injury and pain.
Improves tissue elasticity— Hard training can make tissues hard and inelastic. This is one reason why hard training may not result in improvements. Deep Tissue techniques are excellent for reversing this by stretching ‘stubborn’ tissues.
SPORTS MASSAGE A recuperative and functional approach involving any combination of Swedish, deep tissue, myofascial release, and/or medical techniques – relevant to the client’s goal and with consideration for the neuromuscular and structural health of the client
Primary Purpose is to help alleviate the stress and tension which builds up in the body’s soft tissues during physical activity – via regular massage
-Best for moderate-to-high physically active clients to combat and prevent the negative side effects of exercise, and to expedite and maximize performance potential.
How does sports-oriented massage work?
Due to overextension and/or overuse, minor injuries and lesions occur in the tissues that can cause a great deal of pain and poor athletic performance, but deep tissue/sports massage can break them down quickly and effectively. ‘Sports’ massage helps alleviate pain and prevent such injuries that greatly effect flexibility, mobility, response time, and overall performance.
It is estimated that massage can alleviate DOMS by approximately 30%.
Heavily exercised muscles may also lose their capacity to relax. This causes chronically tight muscles, and loss of flexibility. Lack of flexibility is often linked to muscle soreness, and predisposes athletes to injuries – especially muscle pulls and tears. And blood flow through tight muscles is poor (ischemia), which also causes pain. A regular routine of massage therapy is very effective in combating the effects of heavily exercised or stressed muscles.
Muscular strain is a common sports-related injury with the potential to chronically impair performance when sound principles of injury recognition, immediate treatment, rehabilitation, and prevention are ignored.
Sports massage should be applied before and after athletic events, with many “maintenance” sessions in-between meets or competitions.
Objective of pre-event massage is to increase circulation and flexibility in the areas of the body about to be used. It focuses on warming-up the major muscles to be used and improves tissue pliability. It also helps get the athlete in a good mental state for competition and prepares them to reach their athletic performance potential. Objective of post-event massage is to increase circulation to clear out metabolic wastes, reduce muscle tension and spasm, and quiet the nervous system—mainly focused upon recovery. Objective of massage during training is to allow the athlete to train at a higher level of intensity, more consistently, with less chance of injury, and to maintain muscles in the best possible state of nutrition, flexibility, and vitality. Objective of massage during rehabilitation is to get the athlete back into full performance asap with less chance of reinjury through any necessary variety of rehabilitative methods (such as R.I.C.E., medical/orthopedic massage, and hydrotherapy).
MUSCULOSKELETAL REHABILITATIVE MASSAGE Also referred to as Orthopedic or Medical Massage Emphasis is placed on understanding both the injury and its rehabilitation criteria
Primary Purpose is to unconstrict the muscle(s) and initiate diffusion to the area(s) to commence healing and reverse the cyclic processes of soft tissue injury, and to remedy myofascial pain and dysfunction by identifying and correcting postural distortion through structural muscular balancing
-Most effective for clients committed to intensive involvement in injury rehabilitation and future prevention — initially requiring preferably 3 massage sessions a week in conjunction with daily self-care practices as well as any needed lifestyle changes