During a swedish massage, the client
will be wearing only a sheet and
blanket/s in winter. I will use high
grade massage oils, and essential oils
to massage the superficial layer of
muscle. I will use long flowing strokes (gliding), knead the muscles, wring the muscles, and apply cross-fiber friction. I will integrate some stretching, and may integrate deep tissue techniques into tight areas upon the client's request. Swedish Massage is one of the most popular types of massage, it is based on Western concepts of anatomy/physiology as opposed to Eastern style massages which focus on energy healing and balancing the qi.
Deep Tissue Massage:
Deep tissue massage is very similar to swedish massage, the client is nude except for the sheet and blankets draped over the body. Massage oil is used to lubricate the skin and prevent friction. Deep tissue strokes will not only include gliding, kneading, wringing, and cross fiber friction; the massage will work the deeper layers of muscle tissue and the connective tissue. Compressions as well as, deeper friction and trigger point therapy will be applied. Deep tissue massage is based on Western concepts of anatomy/physiology as opposed to Eastern style massages which focus on energy healing and balancing of the qi.
Shiatsu massage is an Eastern style of massage from Japan which focuses on the meridians in the body. The goal is to balance your qi, the energy flow in your body. This style of massage can be done on the floor, on a futon mat, or on a table. Shiatsu literally means "finger pressure" and the massage is a series of compressions, performed with fingers, palms (hands), elbows, forearms, knees, and feet. Along with compressions, there is more stretching with a shiatsu massage, because the client is not limited by the sheet. I usually recommend this type of massage for clients who need to improve mobility/flexibility, those who are interested in the "energy balance" aspect of Eastern massage, or for those who prefer to stay clothed during a massage and are not comfortable with being nude and only wearing sheets.
A much more vigorous massage with integrated stretching designed for athletes, to improve muscle mobility, range of motion in joints, flexibility and release the areas of tension that may have shortened muscles due to repetitive movements from sport. (This is not a relaxing massage.) This massage is best while the client wears loose-fitting exercise shorts and a t-shirt.
Cupping can be performed along with a Swedish or Deep Tissue Massage; I have many different sized silicone cups which are moved along the body with oil. The cups cause suction, which may cause some people to have red or purple marks lasting generally a week after the massage session. Not everyone will have marks from the cupping. The suction lifts the skin and creates negative pressure (as opposed to positive pressure from the massage) this can help loosen muscle tissue, connective tissue, and promotes blood flow to the skin surface which can help with cellulite and other issues. Toxins and blocked channels are released and the meridians in the body are rebalanced-when cupping along the meridian channels of the body. Those who should not get a cupping massage: pregnant or menstruating women, those prone to muscle spasms, those with cancer or bone fractures. There have been limited research studies on cupping, but after having cupping therapy done on myself, the area of sore/tight muscle was relieved the next day, the pain was gone, and I did not have any marks on the area. I have informed clients that they can purchase cups online and use self-cupping at home on tight muscles if they wish to, but make sure you research them beforehand, and only use them if your doctor says it is alright for you!
A pregnancy massage is basically a Swedish massage that has some alterations for pregnant women. The massage is done with oils, on clients who are nude, but draped with sheets and blankets. An assortment of pillows are provided for the comfort of the client who will be laying in side-lying positions on the table. You should not book a massage until you are in the second trimester of your pregnancy. If you have any health issues related to your pregnancy please ask your doctor whether you can get a massage.
Therapeutic Passive Stretching, PNF Stretching and Myofacial Release:
Most stretches during massage sessions are passive, this means the client lays back and relaxes and I will stretch them. However, sometimes PNF stretching is needed. The purpose of PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) stretching is to strengthen the opposing muscles that are weak and causing the body to be disaligned. For example, someone with tight/short abductor muscles (outside side of the thighs), may find that their legs seem to be rotating out and that they are not walking properly. Having a client do muscle strengthening (push their legs against my hands when I say "go") can help the legs straighten out. A chiropractor may be able to forcefully adjust someone who is not aligned, but if muscles on one side are tight and shortened, and the opposing muscle is weak and lengthened, usually the new alignment will not last for long! So I think the real solution is discovering what is causing you to be disaligned, and working on loosening those tight muscles, and strengthening the weaker ones.
Click on "benefits of stretching" on the menu bar. These are some basic active stretches you could do on your own for the back, hips and shoulders.
I massage with professional grade nut-free, scent-free, oils, but upon request can add essential oils. Here is a list of essential oils that I commonly use and some of their benefits.
Lavender: promotes relaxation, may aid in scalp and skin issues, relieve aches and pains, reduce anxiety, and may reduce acne. Lavender is extracted primarily from the flowers of the plant through steam distillation.
Rosemary: stimulate hair growth, promote mental activity, aid in respiratory issues, aid with indigestion issues, aid with eczema, boost the immune system, relieve headaches and muscle pain, and aid in relieving arthritis symptoms.
Sage: combat mental fatigue, boost metabolism, supports respiratory, reproductive and nervous sytems. Sage has anti-inflammatory properties, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, antioxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antibacterial, cholagogue and choleretic, cicatrisant, depurative, disinfectant, laxative and its a stimulating substance.
Orange: anti-inflammatory properties, anti-depressant, antiseptic, arminative, diuretic, tonic, sedative, relaxes muscular and nervous spasms, inhibits microbial growth and disinfects, boosts immune system, promotes urination and elimination of toxins, and can aid in constipation.
Eucalyptus: antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties; can help relieve cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, fever and flu (do not book a massage appointment if you have had a fever in the last 3 days!) Eucalyptus may aid with arthritis, ulcers, diabetes and bladder issues.
Cinnamon: improve brain function/memory, relieve nervous/anxiety, remove blood impurities, improve circulation, relieve pain and tension, aid in leveling insulin- for those with type 2 diabetes, cinnamon has antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic properties, facillitates faster healing.
Peppermint: Peppermint is a cross between watermint and spearmint and it native to Europe. Typically peppermint is used for digestive issues, headaches, nausea, nailcare, prevention of UTIs, relieve pain, boost the immune system, promote circulation and may aid in clearing respiratory tract. Peppermint can help nourish dull skin, and aid oily skin.
Grapefruit: helpful for those with skin issues, such as acne; grapefruit is an antioxidant, disinfectant, antiseptic, can stimulate the body and mind, promotes a healthy functioning metabolism, benefits the digestive system, antidepressant, reduces toxins in the body by helping promote a better functioning lymphatic system: diuretic properties.
Tea Tree Oil: Derived from the leaves of a tea tree in Southeast Austrailia. It is commonly used to treat acne, fungal infections, boils, coughs, bronchial congestion, and pulmonary inflammation. The chemicals in tea tree oil may kill bacteria and fungus, and reduce allergic skin reactions. Tea tree has balsamic, cicatrisant, antimicrobial, antiviral and expectorant properties. It's great for hair- can reduce dandruff and reduce hair loss. Promotes circulation, and stimulates the immune system.
Essential oil information found on : webmd, organicfacts, and aroma web.
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