Therapies:


•Esselin Swedish

•Therapeutic Basic

•Hot Stone

•Essential oil

•Deep Tissue

•Medical

•Pregnancy and Postpartum

•Reflexology

•Sports

•Trigger point

•Myofascial Release

•Energy/ Chi corrections

•Connective Tissue

•Structural Integration


•Esselin Swedish: probably the most classic of the lighter therapies, Esselin was developed to increase blood and fluid circulation, warm and invigorate muscle, ease stress, lower blood pressure, and put the body into a relaxed state to induce calm. The session is about 60 minutes, is full body, and may integrate other light techniques as needed. A very comfortable and pleasant massage.


•Therapeutic basic: a meld of several light to medium pressure therapies, it’s become a standard in bodywork. Not limited to strictly surface work, therapeutic can access deeper tissues gently to flush toxins and ease sore muscle. Pressure levels are kept on the lighter side, and follow personal comfort levels. This session is about 60 minutes, is full body, and may integrate one or two other techniques as needed. Some small discomfort may be experienced, but relief can be profound.


•Hot stone: This application involves integrating heated stones into a therapy session as a tool.
I can access tissue easily, heat and relax a greater area, and use all aspects of the stone’s surface to melt ‘knots’ and sore spots. This session is a little over an hour, is full body, and is integrated into a therapeutic basic session. I have never worked on anyone who didn’t love hot stone therapy!


•Essential oil: this isn’t so much a therapy as an adjunct to healing, but it is very profound and powerful. Professional, food grade essential oils are drastically different from commercial oils in potency and action, and being the hormonal part of the plant or plants that they are extracted from, have direct immediate effects on the body’s systems. Applied specifically, they amplify the effects of any massage modality.


•Deep tissue: this is a misunderstood therapy, and often used incorrectly. Simply, it allows me to access and release the deeper layers of muscle, tendon, and ligament, allowing larger areas of structure to ‘unwind’ or lengthen. I proceed through the upper layers into the deeper ones slowly, so the body is more prepared. It carries some discomfort, but it’s adjustable to increase comfort. It never bruises, traumatizes, or puts the body into a pain response. A full body session it last 90 minutes, integrated with lighter techniques.



•Medical: developed by Ross Turchaninov, M.D., this form of bodywork is specific to an area and the muscle and bony anatomy in that area. I have a very extensive knowledge of anatomy, allowing me to work specifically on individual muscles, tendons, or ligaments. It’s not a session by itself, but applied for healing of any acute injury, chronic conditions like osteoarthritis, and recovery from orthopedic surgeries. It’s a gently applied, slow therapy to ‘reset’ damage or disturbed tissue, allowing proper blood/lymph flow, speeding healing and relief of pain and restriction. It’s a very powerful tool, and carries surprising benefit.


•Pregnancy and postpartum: a woman’s body goes through unbelievable changes in order to make new life. Organs move and change function, posture alters significantly; and weight strain is enormous. Pregnancy massage is designed to alleviate the strains on tissue and allow the spine, shoulders and legs to lengthen. This therapy is used after the first trimester, up until delivery, provided the pregnant woman is comfortable lying on her side. After the birth, it reduces the trauma and encourages all the body’s systems to heal. This therapy is always done side lying, with bolsters and pillow and wedges galore, supporting and cradling everything for ease and comfort. This session is a full body, takes about 60 minutes, and in general is not combined with other therapies. It is gentle, painless and restoring.


•Reflexology: a very old traditional Chinese technique for relieving pain, encouraging organ function, stimulating energy, and correcting imbalances. It is done by ‘referral’, working specific points on the sole of the foot that correspond to areas of the whole body. Pressure is direct and firm, but not painful. A full reflexology session is about 30 minutes, but spot work can easily be built into therapeutic or a lighter deep tissue session. I work the foot reflex points, loosen tendons, free up toe movement, and mobilize the ankle along with working the sole of the foot. When I trained in this modality I was frankly skeptical, until the whole class worked each other’s kidney points and shortly after we all had to go to the bathrooms. It’s a very energizing and pleasant modality!


•Sports: one of the few true massage techniques where the client is fully clothed, sports massage is for warm-up and recovery from an athletic activity. It relies on thumping, rocking, and fisting the muscle tissue, encouraging increased blood flow, and removal of toxin buildup. Contrary to popular belief, lactic acid does not build up in muscle; the main toxins are carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and a lack of available oxygen in an area. Cramping, burning, and fatigue are all signs that an area has become overworked temporarily. Sports work before an event or a visit to the gym preps muscles to work smoother longer, and work after exercise prevents most of the soreness and stiffness. This is a modality for anyone training, working for higher fitness levels, or recovering from strenuous exercise. The session is about 25 minutes, with. It’s not a relaxing modality: it’s meant to energize and tone.


•Trigger Point: developed by Janet Travell, this modality focuses on small areas of muscle that have become ‘ischemic’, lacking blood flow and unable to clear toxins. With deep pressure, the areas are cleared manually. Each point is worked for 10-15 seconds until it flattens, pressure is lifted, and the area resolves itself instantly. Points are in classic areas, and when pressed, ‘refer’ the pain to another area. Neck trigger points, for example, refer pain up into the head or eyes. This is not a modality for a whole session: it is integrated as needed. It can be painful, but the resulting relief is amazing.


•Myofascial release: this area of bodywork is very diverse, and has many styles. From slow work across muscle fibers to heavier pressure strokes, the ‘myofascia’, [muscle and its tendon coverings] are eased and stretched. Lifestyles, jobs, and hobbies all carry particular, repetitive movements, and restrict movement, adapted to specific ranges of motion. Carpal tunnel syndrome is the famous example: repetitive, incomplete use of wrist, arm, and shoulder muscle cause tissue to bind together and cause irritation. Although this modality can be used over broad areas, it’s not applied alone, commonly paired with deep tissue and medical massage. It isn’t painful, but rather soothing. It’s not uncommon for a person to gain an inch in height [temporarily!] by releasing the back fascia.


•Energy/chi correction: this might be the most misrepresented modality. It isn’t magic, voodoo, weaving of spells or mind control. We humans are made of electricity; life itself generates electrical charges. Nerves carry a current of electric impulses, managing all body systems, allowing movement and also giving feedback to the brain and spine. Energy flows get stuck like muscles do, and energetic medicine releases the electric impulses so they can flow freely. Auras are nothing more mysterious than the energetic fields surrounding the body. ‘Reiki’ is a name that most people have heard, but energy work is much more complex. This modality can be a complete session, retuning the body. It is not uncomfortable, sometimes not requiring direct contact at all.


•Connective tissue: this is related to myofascial release and structural work, but is focused on the tendon/ligament webs that encase all muscle and bone. Slow and deep pressure encourages tendons to relax to normal length, removing deep tightness and chronic pain. Lumbar, neck, hip, shoulder and knee dysfunction respond very well to this modality, and although the pressure is deep and specific, it isn’t painful, allowing an area to lengthen at its own speed. This is a type of work integrated into a full session of another modality.


•Structural integration: this is a very intricate and specific modality, requiring profound knowledge of anatomy/physiology, fascia ‘lines’ [planes of tension that hold the body in its various postures] and visual geometries. An approachable picture would be to think of a standing human, divided into blocks stacked on top of each other. Ideally, the blocks should line up perfectly [they never do], allowing a person to stand easily upright, balanced, and steady. Body weight is shared equally between the feet, hips are even, neck and spine are long and mobile, and the head is almost suspended above everything However, taking the same picture, push the blocks back, forward, and off to the sides, so now the human looks like a tower of building blocks ready to fall. All of the line structures, from long bones and spinal column to muscle nets, and from blood/lymph/nerve channels to internal organs, are compromised and cannot function easily. Stress lands on small areas which are forced to compensate, weight isn’t distributed evenly, muscles are cramped, bones are under immense pressures, and organs, blood/nerve channels can’t function. This sounds severe, but it is common. The human body can survive great stress and imbalance and continue to function, but at a cost. Many chronic diseases find their roots in this kind of imbalance. After an imbalance persists for a time, the body forgets ease of motion and concentrates on functioning. Looking at stress lines while a client is standing, walking, and lying down, patterns emerge, and tracing the broken ‘lines’ to sources, the postural nets can be reintegrated. Placing the body passively in its long, clear structure, and then mobilizing short or blocked areas of muscle, ligament, and bone clears the ‘muscle memory’ of dysfunction. It’s a therapy that takes time to be effective, with repeated treatments and focus, and is performed as a full session. It persuades rather than forces, but there is often discomfort as structures ‘unwind’ and get used to being healthy again. It stands as one of the most effective and valuable modalities