In the past several articles I’ve really emphasized the spiritual and / or energy side of the work I do. I love energy work and the results I see with it. I love teaching others how to perform energy work. I love the fact that we in the West are finally beginning to open up to energy work… but I’ve come to realize that I’ve been a bit negligent in discussing the hands on healing methods that I have been trained in and how they can benefit you.
Massage is a wonderful addition to regular healthcare whether preventative or rehabilitative. Most of you reading this know what massage is. I’m hoping to give a little insight to what I do with massage therapy, and as a client help you make better, more informed decisions on what exactly you want and or need done when you visit your massage therapist. If you’ve never had a massage for one reason or another… not knowing what to expect, not knowing what to ask for, not knowing the different modalities available, cost, not sure how to find a qualified Massage Therapist… whatever the reason, I’m hoping I can clear some of that up in the next several weeks and give you some insight.
With that being said, let’s look VERY BRIEFLY into the different modalities that I am trained:
1. Integrated Massage: Our bodies are made of muscles, nerves, tendons,, systems, organs, bones… we don’t have time for a basic physiology or anatomy lesson here, but long and short of it, we’re far more than just muscles and bones. With Integrated Massage, we look at the person as a whole – physically, spiritually, and emotionally – and customize the experience of the massage specifically to the clients’ needs. We take everything we’ve learned and combine it in a way to best suit the clients’ needs.
Sounds pretty broad-based, doesn’t it? It is. With Integrated Massage, one technique isn’t used specifically. We take everything we’ve learned and combine it in a way to best suit the clients’ needs.
There may be a need for deep tissue massage to ease sore or strained muscles. There may be a need to work the Fascia to ease the tension in the soft tissues, there may be a need to have your massage therapist perform trigger point release to ease a muscle that has clenched up from overuse or downright abuse after a long run or walk… the possibilities are endless. You may simply need to be pampered to help relieve some stress …
What are the SPECIFIC techniques of Integrated Massage? That’s for another article (sneaky, huh?).
What are the benefits of Integrated Massage? Before I answer that, let me say this… Massage therapy should be used in combination with your regular medical and or psychological care. At no point am I advocating no longer visiting your healthcare professional. With that being said…
- Assisting with rehabilitation after accidents or sports related injuries.
- Healing and assisting with pain management associated with chronic illnesses
- Complimentary therapy for Arthritis or other inflammatory disorders
- Assists in boosting the immune system to aid in immune system issues
- Assists in lowering blood pressure
- Assists in the treatment of depression
- Assists in relaxation from stressful professions
- Increases the flow of oxygen and blood which improves joint flexibility.
- Massage just feels good and increases the production of endorphins which is the body’s natural pain-killer.
2. Hot Stone Massage: So often, when I see advertisements for health spas, I see images of clients
lying face down on the massage table with stones lined up along their spines. What in the world is a hot stone massage? How is having rocks laid on ones spine beneficial?
Hot stone massage takes basic massage techniques – long fluid strokes with deep pressure and incorporates the use of smooth river rocks heated to 120 and 150 degrees to assist in relaxing the muscles and increasing blood circulation. While one part of the body is being worked on, another part may simply have a hot stone lying on it to loosen the muscle until the practitioner works her way up to work on that set of muscles. The stones may be used as a tool to work deeper into more tensed up areas that just need a little more persuasion to relax. Again, it depends on what you as the client needs.
Just for clarification… 120 – 150 degrees sounds pretty warm, huh? Well, it is. For this reason, at no point are the stones laid directly onto the flesh. There is always a protective surface between you and the stones–typically a towel.
The benefits of hot stone massage include:
- Stimulation of the lymph nodes to assist in moving waste.
- Stimulation of the immune system
- Increased relaxation of muscles and soft tissues
- Pain reduction
- Promote calmness
3. Lomi-Lomi: This is a two hour voyage to heaven on earth for both the practitioner and the client. Lomi-Lomi is a Polynesian form of massage taught by the master healers of Hawaii. Lomi-Lomi is also known as “Loving Hands” massage. With Lomi-Lomi we strive to bring harmony to the client through the use of gentle, long flowing strokes and gentle stretches. It is said that some people describe Lomi-Lomi as rhythmic waves of the Pacific Ocean moving over the body washing away the stresses of the day, week, month…
4. Chair Massage is exactly what it sounds like. It truly is possible to get a great massage while sitting in a chair designed to hold the client in a supporting comfortable manner for the MT to work away pains and strains.
The client sits fully clothed with his or her face cradled and his or her back is to the therapist, and the shoulders, back and lower back are worked. The biggest advantage to chair massage over other forms of massage is convenience.
- Chair massage can be performed practically anywhere.
- Chair massage can be incredibly effective in as little as 10 minutes.
- Chair massage is GREAT release for high stress jobs that need quick releases to regroup.
5. Myofascial Release: fascia is a layer of fibrous connective tissue that surrounds muscles, groups of muscles, blood vessels and nerves (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascia). As with muscles, there are different types of fascia, and each type of fascia performs a specific job. Sometimes, the fascia gets overworked or strained. When this happens, there can be pain ranging from mild to severe… that is where Myofascial release is advantageous.
Myofascial release is actually the gentle stretching of the effected fascia. Myofascial release is used in conjunction with other forms of massage because it is not, in and of itself, a massage technique.
Myofascial release is incredibly beneficial to those suffering from headaches, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Plantar Fasciitis, TMJ, and Whiplash and on and on… so many injuries can have the healing process sped up through gentle manipulation and stretching which is what this technique is specifically designed to do.
There are an incredible number of techniques for massage therapy. In order for me, or whoever you choose to be your Massage Therapist, to perform our best for your benefit, we have to have absolute honesty.
If one technique is too strong, or not strong enough, if you are uncomfortable or at all curious about anything your MT is doing, ask questions. When your MT asks you a question: “is this pressure alright? Are you experiencing any pain? Tell me where you hurt.” PLEASE be completely honest.
As a licensed Massage Therapist, and with the number of techniques and the training I have received, it is my responsibility to set you at ease and leave you with an experience that is relaxing and therapeutic for your mind and body.
I am incredibly fortunate to be able to have a vocation that calls to me. I’m so fortunate to be a part of a community whose purpose is to provide comfort to those in pain whether emotional or physical. I’d be honored if you gave me a call at 317-623-8868, sent me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or shot me a quick note on my website (http://stressknotskneaded.com/contact-me.html) so that we can discuss how I can assist you.