Massage Therapy, also called Therapeutic Massage, includes a wide range of manual therapeutic techniques, joint movements and stretches used on the soft tissues of the body. These techniques may be applied with or without oils or creams, hot or cold, or with the use of specialised massage tools.
Benefits of massage therapy include enhanced health and well-being, a reduction in muscle tension, relief from stress, increased lymph and blood flow and improved sleep quality.
Massage therapy is one of the oldest health care practices known to history. References to massage are found in Chinese medical texts more than 4,000 years old. Massage has been advocated in Western healthcare practices at least since the time of Hippocrates, the "Father of Medicine."
Shiatsu is a Japanese (Asian Bodywork Therapy) form of acupressure. Acupressure applies finger or thumb pressure to specific points located on the acupuncture meridians (channels of energy flow identified in Asian concepts of anatomy) in order to release blocked energy along these meridians that causes physical discomforts,and re-balance the circulation of qi (energy flow).
Shiatsu and other forms of Japanese acupressure are based on the concept of ki, the Japanese term for the all-pervading energy that flows through everything in the universe (a notion borrowed from the Chinese, who refer to this omnipresent energy as qi or chi).
Ki tends to flow through the body along specific energy pathways called meridians, each of which is associated with a vital organ. In Asian systems of traditional medicine, diseases are often believed to occur due to disruptions in the flow this energy through the body.These disruptions may stem from emotional factors, climate, or a host of other causes including stress, the presence of impurities in the body, and physical trauma.
Getting regular massage, like chiropractic treatment, is a necessity to keep your body, mind and soul running smoothly and to help reduce the effects of physical and emotional stress. Your CMT session is a customised blend of massage therapy styles and techniques designed to achieve these aims and support you in whatever you need, wherever you are, in that moment.
It begins with a consultation so that your therapist is better able to understand and address your current massage goals (don’t worry... your massage minutes start when your therapist starts the massage, so you can relax during the consultation). Your therapist will also check in a few times throughout the session to see if any adjustment needs to be made.
Your therapist may pull from training and expertise in any or all of the following:
The most commonly used form of massage. Firm but gentle pressure is used with long gliding strokes, kneading, friction, percussion and shaking or vibration techniques on the muscles ,usually with oils or creams. Swedish massage relieves muscle tension, reduces anxiety, strengthens the immune system, improves blood circulation and promotes the state of deep relaxation, therefore promoting health and well-being.
The roots of Swedish massage therapy go back to Per Henrik Ling (1776-1839) who developed an integrated system consisting of massage and active and passive exercises. Ling established the Royal Central Gymnastic Institute in Sweden in 1813 to teach his methods in order to support the long-term health and rehabilitative care of individuals and athletes.
Similar to Swedish massage, deep-tissue massage is a manipulative therapy that focuses on relieving tension in the deeper layers of connective tissue and muscle. The movement is slower and the pressure is deeper and concentrated on a specific problem, such as:
Muscle tension or spasm
Chronic pain & postural problems
Decreased range of motion
Recovery from injuries (e.g. whiplash, falls, sports injury)
Repetitive strain injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
Osteoarthritis pain or Fibromyalgia
Muscle tension or spasm
Deep tissue massage is not just a regular massage with deeper pressure. It is a treatment that is designed to have a direct effect on helping realign the deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue.
Deep tissue techniques can be especially helpful for injured or chronically tense and contracted muscles that over time have formed adhesions (when sheaths of connective tissue that are meant to allow muscles to move independently or muscle fibers become “glued” together).
Adhesions can block circulation, impinge nerves, create limited movement and become inflamed. All of which can cause pain. Deep tissue massage works by breaking down or unsticking these adhesions from one another to restore the flow of blood to the muscle and free up movement and therefore reducing discomfort.
There may be some discomfort during the massage but it should not be painful.
It is important in any massage for there to be constant communication between a client and a therapist. The therapist needs to know if there is any soreness beyond your comfort range during a massage.
Sports massage is designed to enhance athletic performance and recovery with the use of specific strokes and stretches that help the athlete obtain their best performance and physical conditioning with less chance of pain or injury.
The benefits of sports massage are increasing power, endurance and flexibility before, during, and after an event. Sports massage uses techniques that are similar to Swedish and deep tissue, but are specially adapted to deal with the effects of athletic performance on the body and the needs of athletes regarding training, performing, and recovery from injury.
Prenatal Massage focuses on the mother-to-be as she goes through the changes due to pregnancy, helping to aid her in health, pain management and rapid recovery. Massage therapy enhances the function of muscles and joints, improves circulation and general body tone, and relieves mental and physical fatigue of the mother-to-be.
Proper training of your therapist ensures knowledge of specific beneficial techniques and contraindicated techniques as well as correct positioning of the client using bolsters and pillows during the session ensures comfort and safety for the mother and baby.
Pediatric massage uses some of the same basic massage techniques as other modalities and is specifically tailored to the specific health conditions and needs of the youth (ages 1-16) population.
Not only does massage ease muscle and joint pain, it also:
Reduces anxiety and tension
Increases healing/immune function
Improved gastrointestinal functioning/relief of gas and constipation
Improved sleep patterns
Improved focus and attention span
Improves long-range emotional and cognitive development
Massage therapy can ease both physical discomfort and emotional stress associated with pediatric medical conditions.The Pediatric massage also can help manage chronic conditions such as asthma by providing relaxation and relaxing tight muscles in the neck, back and chest, nausea,constipation and muscle aches (myalgia).
Immediately after receiving massage, children with mild to moderate juvenile rheumatoid arthritis notice decreased anxiety and stress hormone (cortisol) levels. For young patients with autism or ADHD, pediatric massage has been found to reduce their aversion to touch, while increasing their ability to focus. Pediatric patients with cystic fibrosis report feeling less anxious, and their ability to breathe and pulmonary functions improved. Pediatric massage was also found to have benefit in relieving post-traumatic stress.
Geriatric massage is tailored to the specific health conditions and needs of the elderly population. The effectiveness of massage rests in the fact that it impacts the whole body and there are not the side effects connected to medications.
Geriatric massage offers the following benefits:
Increase in blood circulation.
Improvement in lymphatic flow
Alleviation of headache and pain.
Speeding up of healing from injury and illness
Partial restoration of mobility lost due to some disease or arthritis
Mental and physical relaxation
Improvement in length and quality of sleep
Relief of stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness
Improvement of the patient's quality of life and self-esteem
Medical Massage, also called Clinical or Treatment Massage, is not a specific modality or technique, but rather an umbrella term for any outcome-based massage therapy prescribed by a physician.
A modality which helps to bring balance between the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system. It uses advanced techniques of trigger point pressure therapy (intense adhesions that can refer pain to other parts of the body) to increase blood flow and to break the stress-tension-pain cycle. It improves the function of joint, muscles, and movement as it releases endorphins, the body’s own natural painkillers.
Trigger Point Therapy and Myofascial Release are similar forms.
‘Active’ trigger points refer pain or other sensations (numbness, tingling, or burning) while ‘latent’ trigger points can cause weakness and reduced range-of-motion.
Trigger Point Therapy (TPT) is sometimes included in Neuromuscular Therapy and Myofascial Release sessions. TPT is the application of pressure to adhesed or tight bands in muscle tissue, that are usually quite tender, in order to relieve referral pain and dysfunction in other areas of the body (e.g. trigger points in cervical muscles with a referral pattern that causes headaches). Medications often don’t help relieve the referral pain and clients sometimes call it a "ghost pain" because when they try and massage it themselves they can’t find “the spot”.
Trigger Point Therapy was developed by Dr. Janet Travell in the United States in the 1940s. Dr. Travell advanced the theory that pain experienced in one part of the body is actually caused by an injury or dysfunction in another part of the body and sets up trigger points. She mapped the body's common trigger point referral patterns and the manner in which pain/sensation radiates to the other parts of the body. Due to treating President John F. Kennedy for his back pain, Travell's work gained national attention.
A technique for stretching the fascia and releasing bonds between fascia and muscles to eliminate pain while also increasing both ease of movement and range of motion.
Two people are massaged in the same room, at the same time, by two different therapists.
It can be a husband and wife, girlfriend and boyfriend, same-sex partners or even moms and daughters, fathers and sons or best friends.
Mobile massage. Stress free.
Your therapist will come to your door with all her supplies.
Your therapist will set up the massage
table where there is space (you can decide where to put the table). The setup usually takes 5-10 minutes.
Once everything is set up, your therapist will have a quick consultation with you about your health history to evaluate your needs, expectations and any restrictions for the session.
After the consultation, the therapist will provide privacy while you disrobe and get on the massage table. She will likely ask for a place to wash her hands during this time.
The therapist will come back when you are comfortably on the table and start the massage. At any time during the session you can, and should, let your therapist know if the pressure needs to be adjusted.
Once the massage is complete, the therapist will leave you alone for a few minutes to let you change. The therapist may give you some post massage tips.
Your therapist will then pack her massage table and other belongings. This process should take 5-10 minutes.
Last thing, pay your therapist and enjoy.
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