Massage Therapy and MindBodywork Techniques

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I understand that everyone is an individual, so every session will be skillfully designed to meet your specific needs. Below, you will find descriptions of the most common massage therapy and mindbodywork techniques that I apply.

Narrative-Based Practice “Connecting with the human in front of us is never out of our scope of practice: it is the heart of our practice.” ~ James Stark

I will allow the time and space for you to tell your story during your intake/consultation. As we continue with the mindbodywork portion of your session, I may ask questions, listen, and give appropriate hands-on bodywork.

I cannot ‘fix’ you. Why would you expect me to fix you when no one else has been able to? Narrative-based practice is more about the individual—the unique experience and narrative that each person carries. Because of previous experience with health care professionals, some of you may not want to open up and just want to be “worked on.” Perhaps that is the best approach to go at the moment. If you return to see me repeatedly, that may be an opportunity to investigate your story a little more. I hope to offer new perspective, one that can provide an actionable plan which includes increased autonomy.

I will listen to your story. I will be curious but not nosy. I will validate your experiences. I will let you talk and I will listen. 

Massage Therapy is a general term for a range of therapeutic approaches with roots in both Eastern and Western cultures.

MindBodywork is any therapeutic or personal development technique that involves working with the human mindbody in a form involving manipulative therapy, somatic experiencing, breath work, or energy work. Bodywork techniques also aim to assess or improve posture, promote awareness of the “mindbody connection”, or to manipulate a putative “energy field” surrounding the human mindbody and affecting health. All forms of bodywork (including Rolfing, chiropractic, and acupuncture) primarily involve and treat the nervous system, which is constantly adjusting muscle tension, movement patterns, perception, and pain sensitivity in response to new sensory information, including the highly novel sensory information resulting from mindbodywork. 

CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is an evidence-based, gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system – comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. CST is not massage therapy. Using soft touch generally no greater than 5 grams, or about the weight of a nickel, practitioners release restrictions in the craniosacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system. By complementing the body’s natural healing processes, CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and is effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction.

Cupping Therapy is the combination of massage movements and negative pressure with the use of a suction device/cup on the skin. The cups are positioned at the area to be treated and a vacuum is created within the cup to draw the skin and underlying tissue into the cup. The produced vacuum creates a suction effect that increases blood and lymphatic circulation systemically and to the local area, relaxes facia and muscle tissues, draws stagnation, pathogenic factors and cellular waste out of the tissue, and releases a myriad of pain causing factors.

Usui Reiki is a Japanese energy technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. Simply put, Reiki is a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the client by means of touch or hovering hands, to activate the natural healing processes of the healing partner’s body and restore physical and emotional well-being.

Swedish Massage is the most common form of massage. Swedish massage involves long, gliding strokes, kneading, friction, and other forms of tissue manipulation to relax and ease muscle tension and pain. Swedish is an integration of ancient Eastern techniques with modern Western principles of anatomy and physiology. Swedish is typically a full-body massage. Techniques and session length can vary.

Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) is a popular treatment for myofascial restriction. IASTM uses specially designed instruments to provide a mobilizing effect on scar tissue alignment and myofascial adhesions.

Myofascial Techniques are used to free the mindbody from the grip of tight connective tissue. Therapists apply mild, yet deep, sustained pressure to stretch and soften the fascia. Results include: restoring more ideal alignment and function, and reducing pain.

Trigger Point Therapy. Trigger points are tender, congested spots within the muscle tissue that may radiate pain to other areas. Trigger point therapy is a technique where the  practitioner applies pressure to these points. Results include: eliminating pain, improving muscle function, and re-educating the muscles to adapt to new patterns.

Deep Tissue massage is a general term for a range of therapies that are used to improve the function of the mindbody’s connective tissues and muscles. This specialized massage technique is intended to release chronic tension by working the deeper layers of muscle and other soft tissues. Deep Tissue techniques are used to encourage the softening of adhesion in areas of chronic muscle tension or injury and increase circulation. Results include: improving muscular health and decreasing pain.

Neuromuscular Therapy is a system of soft-tissue manipulation techniques used to treat chronic pain caused by injury, strain, sprain or stress. Neuromuscular techniques manipulate the muscles, tendons, and connective tissue to balance the central nervous system. In a healthy individual, nerves transmit impulses to the mindbody at a healthy rate. Injury, trauma, postural distortion, or stress causes nerves to increase the speed of their transmission, preventing equilibrium, and leaving the body vulnerable to pain and dysfunction. Neuromuscular Therapy impacts the function of joints, muscles and biomechanics as it encourages realignment of collagen fibers and decreases muscle spasms, normalizing soft tissues (bodywork of any kind does NOT break up scar tissue, but it can be effective in the remodeling process and can improve range of motion in areas restricted by scar tissue).

Sports Massage, for the athlete, Sports massage techniques are used at all stages of pre/post-event training. Sports massage helps to prevent injury, enhance and maximize athletic performance, and reduce recovery time. Sports massage is typically focused on the muscles relevant to the planned athletic event. For athletes who train continuously, the goal is to enhance endurance, lessen the chance of injury, and shorten the time needed to recover from an event (and decrease inflammation). Sports massage may include a variety of techniques such as Swedish massage, trigger point therapy, and hydrotherapy (cold / heat treatment).

Massage and Pregnancy. Studies indicate that massage therapy performed during pregnancy can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health. Massage therapy addresses different needs through varying techniques, one of which is called Swedish Massage.

Swedish Massage aims to relax muscle tension and improve lymphatic and blood circulation through mild pressure applied to the muscle groups of the body. Swedish Massage is the recommended massage method during pregnancy because it addresses many common discomforts associated with the skeletal and circulatory changes brought on by hormone shifts.

Edema, or swelling of the tissues during pregnancy, is often caused by reduced circulation and increased pressure on the major blood vessels by the heavy uterus. Massage helps to stimulate soft tissues to reduce the collection of fluids in swollen joints and tissues. This also improves the removal of tissue waste carried by the body’s lymph system.

Sciatic nerve pain is experienced by many women in late pregnancy as the uterus rests on muscles of the pelvic floor and lower back. The pressure of the uterus spreads tension to the muscles of the upper and lower leg, causing them to swell and put pressure on nearby nerves.

Massage therapy addresses the inflamed nerves by helping to release the tension on nearby muscles. Many women have experienced a significant reduction in sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy through massage.

Women can begin massage therapy at any point in their pregnancy – during the first, second, or third trimester. Many Massage Therapists will refuse to offer massage to a woman who is still in her first trimester because of the increased risk for miscarriage associated with the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. It is your choice.

Disclaimer: Any and all information contained on this website is purely for informational purposes only, and is not to be interpreted as medical advice.