Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress-related. And perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. Massage is an effective tool for managing this stress, which translates into:
- Decreased anxiety.
- Enhanced sleep quality.
- Greater energy.
- Improved concentration.
- Increased circulation.
- Reduced fatigue.
Massage can also help specifically address a number of health issues. Bodywork can:
- Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion.
- Assist with shorter, easier labor for expectant mothers and shorten maternity hospital stays.
- Ease medication dependence.
- Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body's natural defense system.
- Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
- Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts.
- Improve the condition of the body's largest organ—the skin.
- Increase joint flexibility.
- Lessen depression and anxiety.
- Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
- Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
- Reduce postsurgery adhesions and swelling.
- Reduce spasms and cramping.
- Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
- Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body's natural painkiller.
- Relieve migraine pain.
Hot Stone Massage
Hot stone massage is a specialty massage that uses smooth, heated stones. It is a deeply soothing, relaxing form of massage. The heat helps tight muscles release and detoxes the body.
Before you arrive, the massage therapist sanitizes the stones and heats them in 120 and 150 degree water. The therapist uses traditional strokes of Swedish massage while holding a heated stone. As the stone cools, the therapist replaces it with another. The therapist might also leave heated stones in specific points along your spine, or in the palms of your hand, or even between your toes to increase the circulation of blood in your body.
Note: A hot stone massage is more expensive than a basic Swedish massage because it requires more preparation and more time to preform a truly therapeutic massage.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep Tissue Massage is a massage technique that focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue. It aims to release the chronic patterns of tension in the body through slow strokes and deep finger pressure on the contracted areas, either following or going across the fiber's of the muscles, tendons and fascia. Because many toxins are released, it's important to drink plenty of water after a deep-tissue session to help eliminate these toxins from the body.
The purpose of Deep Tissue Massage is to "unstick" the fibers of a muscle while releasing deeply-held patterns of tension, removing toxins, while relaxing and soothing the muscle. It is both corrective and therapeutic.
Russian massage is considered less invasive and more relaxing than many other forms of massage therapy. It uses four principal techniques:
- Petrissage: a stretching or kneading motion
- Effleurage: a gliding, relaxing stroke
- Friction: a rubbing action
- Vibration: a continuous stroke ranging from very fast to very slow
Benefits of Russian Massage
Practitioners say that Russian massage is useful for a wide range of musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, neurological, gynecological, internal disorders and post-surgical situations. Patients describe it as "waking up" body and mind. It has been used to increase circulation of blood and lymphatic flow, to stimulate production of endorphins, control physical and mental stress, and to increase range of movement. Ailments said to benefit from massage therapy include asthma, insomnia, arthritis, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome , hip sprains and strains, rotator cuff injuries, myofascial pain, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems, headache, spastic colon, colic, constipation, and immune function disorders. Because of its gentle, non-invasive nature, Russian massage is considered especially suitable for seniors.
Shiatsu is a hands-on therapy technique originating in Japan. The thumbs, palms, and fingers (no knees or elbows are used in the foundation form of shiatsu therapy) are used to apply pressure to designated areas of the body. This promotes good health by "stimulating the body's energy flow (Ki)".
The session often begins with gentle stretching and manipulation techniques to help stimulate the movement of energy and to relax the muscles. Pressure can be applied to both wide areas as well as precise points and varied according to the body's needs. Sometimes the pressure can be deeply stimulating. The amount and type of pressure depends on the specific needs of the individual.