My Style of Massage

The clients I have retained appreciate the compassionate attention I bring into my work, as well as the vast knowledge of anatomy and trauma energetics I have come to understand through my own discipline of continuing education.

One of my greatest strengths is the ability to maintain a clinical perspective. My massage is integrative. I utilize a fusion of various somatic modalities depending on the client’s personal needs and requests.

My flow is Swedish in style where I incorporate slow, deep tissue strokes to release chronic tension. By working the attachment points of specific muscle groups, my goal is to correct the holding patterns in your body that may have built up over time. I might also apply Shiatsu pressure points along the energetic meridians and Reiki to calm your nervous system. We can even explore some Thai style stretching to increase flexibility.

Above all, it is my priority to accommodate your unique needs. I offer you the flexibility to customize the session how you see fit. You are draped the entire time except for the area of your body that is being worked on.

The Benefits of Massage *

Massage therapy is the manipulation of soft tissue. The purpose is to normalize those tissues through manual techniques that include applying fixed or movable pressure, holding, or causing movement to the body.

Massage is known to affect the circulation of blood and lymph. It reduces muscular tension or flaccidity and affects the nervous system through stimulation or sedation. It enhances the tissues ability to heal as well as a number of other benefits:

  • Reduction of muscle tension and stiffness
  • Relief of muscle spasms
  • Greater flexibility and range of motion
  • Increase of the ease and efficiency of movement
  • Relief of stress and aide of relaxation
  • Promotion of deeper and easier breathing
  • Improvement of the circulation of blood and movement of lymph
  • Relief of tension-related conditions, such as headaches and eyestrain
  • Faster healing of soft tissue injuries, such as pulled muscles and sprained ligaments
  • Reduction of pain and swelling related to injuries
  • Reduction in the formation of excessive scar tissue following soft tissue injuries
  • Enhancement in the health and nourishment of skin
  • Improvement in posture through changing tension patterns that affect posture
  • Reduction in stress and an excellent stress management tool
  • Creation of a feeling of well-being
  • Reduction in levels of anxiety
  • Increase in awareness of the mind-body connection
  • Promotion of a relaxed state of mental awareness

Massage therapy also has a number of documented clinical benefits. For example, massage can reduce anxiety, improve pulmonary function in young asthma patients, reduce psycho-emotional distress in persons suffering from chronic inflammatory bowel disease and may enhance immune system functioning.

Some medical conditions that massage therapy can help are:

allergies, anxiety and stress, arthritis, asthma and bronchitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive motion injuries, chronic and temporary pain, circulatory problems, depression, digestive disord

Description of Treatment

While massage therapy is applied primarily with the hands, sometimes the forearms or elbows are used. These techniques affect the muscular, skeletal, circulatory, lymphatic, nervous, and other systems of the body. The basic philosophy of massage therapy embraces the concept of vis Medicatrix naturae, which is aiding the ability of the body to heal itself, and is aimed at achieving or increasing health and well-being.

Touch is the fundamental medium of massage therapy. While massage can be described in terms of the type of techniques performed, touch is not used solely in a mechanistic way in massage therapy. One could look at a diagram or photo of a massage technique that depicts where to place one's hands and what direction the stroke should go, but this would not convey everything that is important for giving a good massage.
Massage also has an artistic component.

Because massage usually involves applying touch with some degree of pressure and movement, the massage therapist must use touch with sensitivity in order to determine the optimal amount of pressure to use for each person. For example, using too much pressure may cause the body to tense up, while using too little may not have enough effect. Touch used with sensitivity also allows the massage therapist to receive useful information via his or her hands about the client's body, such as locating areas of muscle tension and other soft tissue problems. Because touch is also a form of communication, sensitive touch can convey a sense of caring—an essential element in the therapeutic relationship—to the person receiving massage.

In practice, many massage therapists use more than one technique or method in their work and sometimes combine several. Effective massage therapists ascertain each person's needs and then use the techniques that will meet those needs best.

Preparing For Your Massage

Going for a massage requires little in the way of preparation. Generally, one should be clean and should not eat just before a massage. One should not be under the influence of alcohol or non-medicinal drugs. Massage therapists generally work by appointment and usually will provide information about how to prepare for an appointment at the time of making the appointment.

Precautions & Contraindications

Massage is comparatively safe; however it is generally contraindicated, i.e., it should not be used, if a person has one of the following conditions: advanced heart diseases, hypertension (high blood pressure), phlebitis, thrombosis, embolism, kidney failure, cancer if massage would accelerate metastasis (i.e., spread a tumor) or damage tissue that is fragile due to chemotherapy or other treatment, infectious diseases, contagious skin conditions, acute inflammation, infected injuries, unhealed fractures, dislocations, frostbite, large hernias, torn ligaments, conditions prone to hemorrhage, and psychosis.

Massage should not be used locally on affected areas (i.e., avoid using massage on the specific areas of the body that are affected by the condition) for the following conditions: rheumatoid arthritis flare up, eczema, goiter, and open skin lesions. Massage may be used on the areas of the body that are not affected by these conditions.
In some cases, precautions should be taken before using massage for the following conditions: pregnancy, high fevers, osteoporosis, diabetes, recent postoperative cases in which pain and muscular splinting (i.e., tightening as a protective reaction) would be increased, apprehension, and mental conditions that may impair communication or perception. In such cases, massage may or may not be appropriate. The decision on whether to use massage must be based on whether it may cause harm. For example, if someone has osteoporosis, the concern is whether bones are strong enough to withstand the pressure applied. If one has a health condition and has any hesitation about whether massage therapy would be appropriate, a physician should be consulted.

* RESOURCE: American Massage Therapy Association. 820 Davis Street, Suite 100, Evanston, IL.