“My approach to the therapeutic massage session involves a holistic integration of modalities drawn from Swedish massage, deep tissue, myofascial release, acupressure, isometric stretching, and reflexology, while also incorporating therapeutic-grade organic essential oils that contain the highest quality for the body, mind, and senses when necessary. Each session is tailored to your specific needs.”
=Leona Harter, L.Ac, LMT
Does tension, pain or restricted movement keep you
from living the life you want?
Massage therapy can help!
Swedish Massage is known as the foundation of western massage, incorporates long fluid, gliding strokes and muscle kneading using massage lotion. Its goal is to increase blood and lymph circulation throughout the body, to facilitate the release and movement of toxins out of the body, while activating the parasympathetic nervous system-encouraging relaxation and stress reduction, and prepares the body for deep tissue work.
Deep Tissue Massage is defined by different people in different ways. I was taught deep tissue as myofascial release combined with active and passive stretching. By combining these techniques with the use of the clients breath, we are able to release both the superficial and deep fascia with work that is gentle and pain-free. When applying these techniques to contracted, tight areas or what we commonly know as “knots” along and across bands of muscles, tendons, and fascia, we can begin to loosen muscle fibers from its holding pattern while breaking up and eliminating any scar tissue, thus, releasing toxins and encouraging better blood and oxygen flow into the area. During this time, I encourage feedback, as, I believe, to work beyond one’s pain threshold is counterproductive to the session. Working beyond the pain threshold may trigger the muscles to seize and tighten further inhibiting the purpose of the work. By using a lighter pressure, we activate the parasympathetic nervous system, taking the body out of flight or fight and into a relaxed state where healing can occur.
As deep tissue work aims to access the deeper muscle fibers, it may create a slight soreness in the area in the following couple of days. This response is normal and part of the process of releasing toxins and increased blood and oxygen flow to the area. It is therefore IMPORTANT to drink plenty of water to continuously encourage toxins to flush out of the body while applying ice to the area encourages the reduction of soreness and inflammation. However, this work should never be painful so please let your therapist know if pain occurs at any point so that the work can be modified to fit your individual needs.
Therapeutic Massage can be used to treat specific physical or stress related conditions. It uses a combination of techniques, including, but not limited to, Swedish, deep tissue, Craniosacral, Neuromuscular, Myofascial, and/or medical massage. When physical symptoms are the result of stress related issues, a Swedish massage becomes much more than a feel good massage. It becomes therapeutic!!
Accident, repetitive actions, and everyday stresses can cause problems that may seem to take up permanent residence in a person’s body. A gentle, effective therapy, massage can relieve pain and help heal certain conditions and prevent their return.
Benefits of Massage
Research shows that massage decreases muscle tension, increases circulation, and calms the nervous system. The result is a cascade of physical and mental benefits that can help alleviate a wide variety of conditions.
Massage therapy is one of the best known antidotes for stress. Reducing stress gives you more energy, improves your outlook, and has even been shown to reduce the likelihood of injury and illness. It can also relieve symptoms of conditions aggravated by stress such as asthma or insomnia, and provide excellent support for people in counseling.
Pain or tingling in the arms or legs.
Muscles can become so contracted that they press on nerves to the arms, legs, or hands, causing pain or tingling. If this happens, a massage to release muscle spasms in the neck, shoulder, or hip can bring relief.
By relieving chronic tension, massage can help prevent injuries that might be caused by stressing unbalanced muscle groups, or by favoring or forcing a tight, painful area.
Massage releases restrictions in muscles, joints, and surrounding connective tissue coverings. This frees your body to return to a more natural posture. Massage can also relieve the contracted muscles and pain caused by abnormal spinal curvatures such as scoliosis.
Tight and Painful Muscles
Massage can stretch and knead away muscle tension in anything from a short-term muscle cramp to an habitually clenched jaw or tight shoulders. In addition, massage works gently on the nervous system, sending a message to muscles throughout your body to let go and relax.
Massage can help heal injuries such as tendonitis, ligament sprains, or muscle strains. It reduces swelling or inflammation by helping to remove wastes and bring healing nutrition to injured cells. In addition, certain techniques can make old scar tissue more pliable and, in new injuries, limit its formation.
Pain or Restriction in Joints
Massage releases tight muscles that restrict joint movement. It also increases circulation to the joints, which can improve their general health and natural lubrication, and relieve pain from conditions such as arthritis.
Massage and the resulting increased circulation helps drain your tissues of excess fluid caused by recent injury, surgery, or pregnancy.
Post Exercise Sorenss
After vigorous exercise, a build up of waste products as well as microscopic tears in your muscles can leave you feeling tired and sore. Massage improves circulation, cleansing tissues of irritating wastes and bringing in oxygen and nutrients to relieve pain and speed recovery.
Massage can relieve secondary pain that may accompany and even outlast its original cause. Some examples are headache from eye strain, backache during pregnancy, or the protective tensing of health muscles around an injury.
The Ill Effects of Restricted Activity
When you are forced to limit physical activity because of injury, surgery, paralysis, or even normal aging, massage can relieve general aches and pains and improve your sense of vitality and alertness.
Massage on normal tissue is almost always pleasant. In an area of injury or chronic pain, massage may at first cause some discomfort which usually subsides quickly. Your therapist knows ways to minimize pain without sacrificing effectiveness. Tell your massage therapist if you feel any discomfort so that the approach can be adjusted.
Because there are some conditions for which massage is not appropriate, inform your therapist of any problems, no matter how minor. Also be aware that some conditions require ongoing communication between your therapist and primary health care