Swedish massage therapy is the modality that comes to mind when most people think about massage. As the best-known type of bodywork performed today, one of the primary goals of the Swedish massage technique is to relax the entire body. This is accomplished by rubbing the muscles with long gliding strokes in the direction of blood returning to the heart. It involves soft, long, kneading strokes, as well as light, rhythmic, tapping strokes, on topmost layers of muscles. This is also combined with movement of the joints. By relieving muscle tension, Swedish therapy can be both relaxing and energizing. This is a very relaxing and therapeutic massage with soft, gentle strokes that promote deep relaxation and relieves tension and stress. But Swedish massage therapy goes beyond relaxation. It may even help after an injury.Swedish massage is exceptionally beneficial for increasing the level of oxygen in the blood, decreasing muscle toxins, improving circulation and flexibility while easing tension. A study conducted by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and published in The New York Times, found that volunteers who received a 45-minute Swedish massage experienced significant decreases in levels of the stress hormone cortisol, as well as arginine vasopressin-a hormone that can lead to increases in cortisol. Volunteers also had increases in the number of lymphocytes, white blood cells that are part of the immune system, and a boost in the immune cells that may help fight colds and the flu. Swedish massage techniques include circular pressure applied by the hands and palms, firm kneading, percussion-like tapping, bending and stretching. Before and during your Swedish massage session, communication is encouraged with your professional massage therapist so that your massage is customized to your specific needs. The four common strokes of Swedish massage are: 1. Effleurage: a smooth, gliding stroke used to relax soft tissue 2. Petrissage: the squeezing, rolling, or kneading that follows effleurage 3. Friction: deep, circular movements that cause layers of tissue to rub against each other, helping to increase blood flow and break down scar tissue 4. Tapotement: a short, alternating tap done with cupped hands, fingers, or the edge of the hand
Neuromuscular therapy is a form of soft tissue manipulation that aims to treat underlying causes of chronic pain involving the muscular and nervous systems. This medically-oriented form of massage addresses trigger points (tender muscles points), circulation, nerve compression, postural issues, and biomechanical problems that can be caused by repetitive movement injuries. Neuromuscular therapy consists of alternating levels of concentrated pressure on the areas of muscle spasm. The massage therapy pressure is usually applied with the fingers, knuckles, or elbow. These time-tested, hands-on techniques are built upon a science-based foundation and guided by clinical evidence. NMT assessments and examinations primarily address issues such as:
ischemia (tight tissue with reduced blood flow)
myofascial trigger points (hypersensitive points within muscles that give rise to referred phenomena, including pain)
neural entrapment (pressure on nerves by muscles and other soft tissues), and nerve compression (pressure on nerves by osseous and other bonelike tissues, such as cartilage or discs).
postural assessment (assessment of the position of the body as a whole)
and dysfunctional gait patterns (manner of movement when walking)
with constant consideration for many other perpetuating factors, such as hydration, nutrition, breathing patterns, and psychologic stress.
NMT is highly effective for clients who present with chronic pain and is often successful in reducing or eliminating even longstanding painful conditions. Some of the techniques can also be applied to acute injuries and for post-surgical care; many help to improve performance in sports activities or dance and to prevent injuries due to these activities.
Deep tissue massage is a technique that focuses primarily on the deeper layers of muscles and the fascia. Sometimes this technique involves the therapist using firmer pressure in order to reach these key areas and get them to release, which is why this particular massage is oftentimes recommended for people who are comfortable with a slightly more intense touch. However, deep tissue massage can also refer to gentle yet sustained pressure targeting the myofascial layer. The belief that deep pressure equals pain is a myth; however, the benefits of deep tissue massage are beyond question.
Deep tissue massage is best for giving attention to certain painful, stiff "trouble spots" in your body. The massage therapist uses slow, deliberate strokes that focus pressure on layers of muscles, tendons, or other tissues deep under your skin. Though less rhythmic than other types of massage, deep tissue massage can be quite therapeutic -- relieving chronic patterns of tension and helping with muscle injuries, such as back sprain. Deep tissue massage therapy is similar to Swedish massage, but the deeper pressure is beneficial in releasing chronic muscle tension. The focus is on the deepest layers of muscle tissue, tendons and fascia (the protective layer surrounding muscles, bones and joints). It's used for chronic aches and pain and contracted areas such as a stiff neck and upper back, low back pain, leg muscle tightness, and sore shoulders.
Sports massage is not a specific technique, but the application of several methods for achieving a sport specific goals. It can be used to recover after a competition or big workout, to treat or prevent an injury, as well as increase athletic performance. Sports massage involves soft tissue manipulation that is done with the intent to improve the athlete’s body. Developed to help with muscle systems used for a particular sport, sports massage uses a variety of approaches to help athletes in training -- before, during, or after sports events. You might use it to promote flexibility and help prevent injuries. Or, it may help muscle strains, aiding healing after a sports injury. The focus of sports massage is to improve circulation, flexibility and range of motion, decrease recovery time from training, prevent injury, and improve muscular efficiency which will result in better performance. Russian massage is a massage therapy technique developed in the former Soviet Union. It’s most often classified as a sports massage. Russian massage is sometimes referred to as connective tissue massage, point massage, or reflexology massage, depending on the techniques used during treatment. One basic but important thing about sports massage is that it allows the body to regain proper alignment and function. There may be some pain affiliated initially, but when done correctly, it can be a good pain you want to work through. Sports massage has an immeasurable physical and psychological effect on the body and mind that should not be underestimated.
Orthopedic massage is a medical massage that involves therapeutic assessment, manipulation and movement of loco-motor soft tissue to reduce pain and dysfunction. Restoring structural balance throughout the body allows us to focus on both prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal dysfunctions. Orthopedic Massage Therapy is a multidisciplinary approach to relieving muscular and soft tissue pain, dysfunction, and injuries. It is also utilized to help clients regain and improve their health and fitness. A multidisciplinary approach is far more powerful than one technique or form of treatment. This is one of my personal favorite massage modalities to use and I often incorporate this into most of my work because of its effectiveness and proven results. Orthopedic massage differs from ordinary massage therapy in that it is a type of massage therapy which is focused on treating painful conditions which affect the soft tissues of the body. Orthopedic massage focuses on problems with the client's musculoskeletal system. The therapist may release tight muscles, help to stretch shortened muscles and tendons, and decompress joints. The goal is to normalize the soft tissues of the body, both to treat specific conditions and to keep clients generally healthy and fit. He or she may integrate a range of techniques to treat these conditions, ideally adapting his or her style for each client, as every person's body is slightly different.
Acupressure is an ancient Chinese healing method that is translated into "finger pressure" and involves applying pressure to certain meridian points on the body to relieve pain. The human body has fourteen “meridians” that carry energy throughout the body. These meridians start at the fingertips, connect to the brain, and then connect to the organ associated with the specific meridian. Acupuncture and Acupressure use the same points, but acupuncture uses needles, while Acupressure uses the gentle but firm pressure of hands. There is a massive amount of scientific data that demonstrates why and how acupressure works to help relieve pain and inflammation in the body. It is the most effective method for self-treatment of tension-related ailments by using the power and sensitivity of the human hand. Acupressure deals with all the aspects of a person as a whole: body, emotions, mind, and spirit as one, not as separate parts. It relaxes muscular tension and balances the vital life forces of the body. Acupuncture and acupressure use the same pressure points and meridians, but Acupuncture employs needles, while Acupressure uses gentle to firm finger pressure. When these acupressure points are stimulated, they release muscular tension, promote circulation of blood, and enhance the body's life force energy to aid healing. Acupressure therapy can be used to relieve pain, calm the nervous system, fortify the reproductive system, detoxify the body for greater health and beauty, and tone facial and back muscles.
Common Benefits of Acupressure: • Relieve stress and tension • Relax mind and body • Increase blood circulation • Aid in the removal of toxic wastes • Provide relief from head, neck and shoulder aches • Promote the healing of injuries • Increase energy levels • Increase overall feeling of well-being • Decreasing labor pains According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are over 800 vital energy points along the meridians that run from the head down to the heels, especially along either side of the spinal column. (The meridians connect the interior and exterior of the body). Every point has specific therapeutic effects on the related organ. By massaging these points, the corresponding body area receives specific therapeutic treatment. It can be used to treat internal organ diseases, relieve internal discomfort, and relax yourself; or to promote overall well-being of the body. I personally believe firmly in acupressure because over the years it has helped to relieve pain and heal my body as well as so many others that I have seen and helped to orchestrate myself.
What is cupping? Cupping therapy is an alternative therapeutic method that has been popular in China since around 1000 B.C. Some records show that variations of cupping practices might actually be much older — possibly dating as far back as 3000 B.C. And for good reason. Cupping therapy has a host of health benefits that can often outweigh modern medicine techniques.
One of the biggest advantages to trying alternative practices like cupping therapy and massage therapy is that these methods don’t pose the risk for unwanted side effects like pharmacological drugs or surgery do. In fact, there’s really no downside to trying alternative practices like cupping, since studies show they can help boost the immune system and speed up healing time without the use of any medications or even herbs. Cupping is very popular for athletes for muscle recovery before and after very intense training or work out sessions. These are just some of the benefits of cupping therapy. Benefits of Cupping Therapy: Most of the validity of cupping as an alternative medical practice comes from its long history of use over the past 3,000 years. Cupping techniques have been used extensively to treat a range of disorders and symptoms, sometimes on their own, or other times in conjunction with other alternative practices. It’s common for cupping therapy to be used along with massage therapy, essential oils, acupuncture or even as an adjunct to “Western medicine” treatments. What we do know from the limited scientific studies that have been done is that cupping works by expanding the capillaries and increasing the amount of fluid entering and leaving tissues. Besides this, cupping therapy seems to provoke a relaxation response in some people, which means it’s useful for lowering stress and its negative effects. While there’s a ton of anecdotal evidence that cupping can be effective and safe, to date very few clinical studies using humans have been conducted, making it hard to “prove” many of the time-honored benefits of cupping therapy. That being said, it’s worked for millions of people over many years, so here are five ways that cupping might be able to help you: 1. Helps Reduce Pain: One of the most common reasons people turn to alternative treatment methods is because they’re looking for a safe way to naturally reduce joint pain, inflammation and muscle pain. After reviewing dozens of randomized clinical trials testing cupping therapy in patients with pain of any origin, a report published in Evidence-Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine found that cupping significantly reduced pain in people with low back issues compared to usual care treatments, showed positive effects in treating cancer pain compared with anticancer drugs and analgestics, and helped soothe pain associated with respiratory issues.
Cupping is thought to release tissues deep inside the body, relax tense muscles and ease stiffness associated with chronic back and neck pains, migraines, rheumatism, and fatigue. Some athletes have been known to use cupping therapy to naturally improve performance and reduce stiffness, muscle cramps, joint pains and scar tissue caused by injuries. Cupping targets soft tissue by applying local pressure to pain points and areas of swelling. As blood flow increases within vessels and capillaries, tissues receive much-needed nutrients and oxygen. Cupping practitioners use pressure, heat, suctioning and needles above or below the site of injury, allowing for energy to travel along the “channels” (meridians) that pass through the injury. For help lowering pain, cups are commonly placed over the following areas: over the fleshy part of the shoulder blades, over the groin/loins, by the neck (for soothing tension headaches, toothaches, or migraines) or around the lower back. 2. Promotes Relaxation: It might seem counteractive, but cupping often helps alleviate physical complaints and allows people to enter a more relaxed state since it sedates the central nervous system. This is similar to acupuncture, which you might assume hurts and is uncomfortable but actually seems to help lower most patients’ stress responses and therefore offers protection against anxiety and depression. How can cupping be relaxing? Just the act of laying still and being “taken care of” during cupping therapy sessions might have a positive effect on someone’s psychological well-being, which could be one reason why it’s used to lower mental illnesses. Once the cups are placed down and suctioned, they might need to remain still for up to 20 minutes, which forces stillness and silence on patients who might otherwise lead very hectic lives. Another reason cupping is soothing is because the cups help lift pressure in tense muscles, which offers a relieving sensation just like receiving a deep tissue massage.
3. Boosts Skin Health: Cupping is used to reduce herpes, cellulite, acne and skin inflammation. While studies haven’t shown it can necessarily help with weight loss, the fact that it tones and firms skin by improving blood flow and expanding capillaries makes it popular among celebrities and people in the spotlight who want to appear to have toned skin. As part of a skin-clearing or cellulite treatment, oil is commonly first applied to the skin before the cups are suctioned and moved around, bringing heat to the area along with various skin-healing ingredients depending on the type of oil used. Because cupping improves blood flow and might help lower inflammation, some studies have found it to be equally or even more effective at treating acne compared to antibiotics.
4. Helps Treat Respiratory Issues and Colds: Commonly used to help nourish the lungs and clear away phlegm or congestion, cupping therapy can be useful for speeding up healing time from respiratory illnesses like the flue or common colds. Cupping helps improve immune function by moving blood and lymphatic fluid throughout the body, which is why it’s been associated with reductions in lung diseases (especially chronic coughs), allergies, infections and asthma. Treating respiratory conditions like pulmonary tuberculosis is one of the oldest uses for cupping and was utilized long before prescriptions were available.
5. Improves Digestion: Acupuncture and cupping are both popular ways to improve digestion and reduce symptoms from disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This might primarily be because they can lower a patient’s stress response, which is highly tied to healthy digestive functioning.
Throughout history, cupping therapy has been found to be beneficial for people with frequent stomach pains, diarrhea, acute gastritic, loss of appetite, gastrointestinal diseases and water retention. For digestive disturbances, cupping is commonly performed in the following areas: around the navel, over the bladder, around the kidneys or over the stomach. The suction and negative pressure provided by cupping can loosen muscles, encourage blood flow, and sedate the nervous system (which makes it an excellent treatment for high blood pressure). Cupping is used to relieve back and neck pains, stiff muscles, anxiety, fatigue, migraines, rheumatism, and even cellulite.
Craniosacral Therapy, or CST as it is generally called, has its roots back in the nineteenth century. Originating in Andrew Taylor Still’s system of osteopathic medicine, it owes much to subsequent pioneers of technique, such as William G. Sutherland who extended Dr. Still's system into cranial osteopathy. This was refined and codified by Harold Magoun in the 1950’s and taught by him to Dr. John E. Upledger in the late 60’s.
John E Upledger took on and developed these techniques into what he called ‘CranioSacral Therapy’, a powerful yet simplified system of treatment capable of being learned by anyone of good intent wishing to study the system. Craniosacral therapy (CST) was pioneered and developed by osteopathic physician Dr. John E. Upledger following extensive scientific studies from 1975 to 1983 at Michigan State University, where he served as a clinical researcher and Professor of Biomechanics. CST is a 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. All events in life are perceived by the body through the sensory network of nerves going into the brain. These events include trauma of any nature; injury, physical or emotional trauma, or could be chemical or biological in nature. Everything the body experiences, is recorded in the tissue and may cause restrictions. These may then manifest as disease, dysfunction or poor healing, as the body’s own healing and self-corrective techniques are overwhelmed and therefore less efficient. Using a 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. CST clears restrictions in the fascial tissues of the body. These are the soft tissue layers that are continuous throughout the whole body and envelop every organ, muscle and bone down to the individual cells. As a light, hands-on approach, CST harmonizes with the body's natural hydraulic forces and movements, thus encouraging and enhancing the body's inherent natural healing abilities. This gentle releasing of chronic tensions within the body can effect major changes in both physical and emotional well-being. 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. Craniosacral therapy enhances the function of the Autonomic Nervous System, which consists of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. The body heals and repairs itself when the parasympathetic is dominant i.e. when we are most relaxed or asleep. The sympathetic nervous system, known as the “fight or flight” system is affected by the modern way of living and this can lead to undue stress. At worst this can be a chronic debilitating condition as we all know. Relaxation has long been valued for its healing and restorative effects on the body and encouraging deep states of relaxation in the body is easily facilitated by craniosacral therapy. The main centers of the nervous system lie in the cranial and sacral regions and the gentle manipulations of CST modulate the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, optimizing the function of both. Craniosacral therapy requires no equipment, only the gentle hands and clear intention of the therapist. Everyone can avail themselves of its benefits, from babies to centenarians (and beyond). CST is useful as both a primary treatment method or as part of a treatment program combined with other traditional or complementary techniques.
Russian massage techniques are similar to most sports massage practices, but they involve slower, softer motions. Russian massages focus on the use of friction to generate heat within the body. The massage therapist combines this with vibration and vibrating friction to ease muscle pain and stiffness. It also relieves mental stress and can help with anxiety. Thischoreographed use of techniques and muscle Assessment uses the basic strokes of classical massage, changing them so each stroke provides the client with the least invasive and most comfortable treatment. Russian Medical Massage, the V- method; RMM is a clinical and physiological treatment used for reasons such as muscle or movement disorders, soreness, tiredness and fatigue,myalgia (muscle pain), emotional and physical stress, headaches and more. This type of massage therapy is strictly based on anatomical structure and physiology of the human body. The RMM is unique because it includes so many different therapeutic modalities including Swedish,neuromusculartherapy, pressure-point treatment, deep tissue, reflexology, and many others. I prefer using this modality on athletes because it is highly effective with muscle recovery and the sore and achy pain that athletes often incur from such regular physical activity. The V-method presents a combination of different hand manipulations in a particular sequence and is very useful and effective in treating patient and clients with specific areas of pain as well as stress management.
The term Medical Massage and therapeutic Massage means basically the same thing. It is called medical massage because the founders and researchers who developed this method called it Medical Massage. Therapy means health benefits to the human body and that is what medical massage therapy stands for. Medical Massage could also be called segment-reflex massage. Massage Therapy encompasses different disciplines, specializations and expertise. For example, Full Body Medical Stress Management Massage associates important methods in managing side effects of stress including high blood pressure, anxiety, tension headaches, ulcers as well as prevention of aforementioned pathologies. Medical/Therapeutic Massage deals with procedures designed to treat back and limb disorders that could be results of sports related injuries, industrial injuries, car accidents, etc. It is important to realize that medical massage therapy is a simple, very powerful and safe therapeutic tool. Why Medical Massage? Medical massage is one of the most effective and simple tools for reaching rapid and sustained results in various disorders including sciatic nerve neuralgia, hypertension, impingement syndromes, and lower back disorders. Medical massage is a comprehensive method of soft tissue mobilization consisting of connective tissue massage (fascia mobilization), muscular mobilization, trigger point therapy, skin mobilization, and other components. It also offers techniques that allow the therapist to palpate and detect abnormalities in the skin, fascia, muscles and for the elimination of tension in fascia and muscles, trigger point therapy, and reduction of high skin density. The elimination of these abnormalities most often leads to immediate results, including the reduction of pain, and release of nerve impingements.
“Gua sha is a healing technique of traditional East Asian medicine. Sometimes called ‘coining, spooning or scraping’, Gua sha is defined as instrument-assisted unidirectional press-stroking of a lubricated area of the body surface to intentionally create transitory therapeutic petechiae called ‘sha’ representing extravasation of blood in the subcutis.” (Nielsen, 2013) Meridian Scraping/Gua sha is an ancient East Asian healing technique taught by only a handful of Western practitioners. In China and Vietnam, scraping is commonly used to relieve the aches and fever associated with the common cold. The Greeks used a similar technique in their daily massage regiments to invigorate the blood and relieve pain. Scraping therapy can be used to address various sorts of conditions. Most commonly used to treat body pain, to boost the immune system and to relieve symptoms of the common cold, this modality can also be used to generally balance the flow of qi through the meridians, to resolve certain psychospiritual issues and to innervate areas of poor circulation such as adipose tissue which can have both a detoxifying and contouring effect. Gua sha provides lasting relief for chronic pain and it gives almost instantaneous relief from pain and congestion as well as freeing up a greater range of movement in joints and ligaments.
Reflexology is a scientific art based on the premise that there are zones and reflex areas in the feet and hands which correspond to all body parts. These areas are believed to correspond to different parts of the body. The physical act of applying specific pressures using thumb, finger and hand techniques result in stress reduction which causes a physiological change in the body. The massage, then, is expected to promote health and well-being. Reflexology is a holistic energy-based modality, working through the energies of the nervous, electrical, chemical and magnetic systems of the body. It utilizes manual techniques unique to the field of Reflexology. These techniques are applied to reflex maps resembling the human body, which are believed to exist on the feet and hands and correlate to the organs and the rest of the body when stimulated. Some of the benefits of reflexology include its ability to stimulate nerve function, increases energy, boosts circulation, induces a deep state of relaxation, eliminates toxins, stimulates the central nervous system, prevents migraines, cleans up urinary tract conditions, speeds recovery after injury or surgery, helps relieve sleep disorders, reduces depression, and relieves pain. It can also help to ease the treatment of various cancer and even helps to soothe the pains of pregnancy, even those occurring after the baby is born. One of the most well-known and verified benefits of reflexology is an improvement in circulation throughout the body, which means that blood and oxygen are being cycled through the body more effectively. This means more oxygen reaches vital organ systems, thereby optimizing their functioning and further increasing the metabolism. This also results in faster healing and re-growth of damaged cells. By aligning the functioning of various organ and muscle systems, reflexology can increase metabolism and energy creation processes within the body. If you need a boost in energy or are always feeling sluggish, perhaps a reflexology session can help put some pep back in your step!
I also offer a relaxing foot massage after soaking my client's feet in warm water with epsom salt and essential oils designed to soothe and relax your sore and tired feet. Foot massage can really help us relax, particularly after a long day of standing up and walking around, when our feet tend to swell up. Sure, everyone enjoys it, but does it really have any benefits other than making us feel a bit more relaxed and relieving some of the pain?There are a several different massage techniques that all promise certain health benefits. Traditional therapeutic techniques focus on relaxing the muscles and joints; acupressure seeks to improve general health and energy flow by acting upon specific pressure points; aromatherapy uses scented oils and relaxing music to add an additional element of relaxation by acting upon multiple senses; and reflexology seeks to improve internal organ function by massaging specific areas of the foot. There are many claims, some fairly outrageous, about what a simple massage can do for you, but there is very little evidence to support them. We will take a look at some of the benefits of foot massage that are supported by actual scientific research – benefits that are either immediate or can be seen and felt after a couple of weeks.
1. Relaxation and Stress Relief: Any type of massage can be relaxing, and can help you let go of the stress you are carrying in your body. Many people tend to consider the neck, shoulders and back as the primary places to massage when looking for stress relief. But a foot massage can be just as effective at easing your worries. Research has found that staff who took care of dementia patients – a stressful and demanding role – experienced lower levels of anxiety and better moods after just ten minutes of foot massage. Earlier research has also found that a five minute foot massage helped relax and reduce stress in critical care patients; while a hand or foot rub was seen to bring emotional comfort to those grieving the death of a loved one. 2. Better Sleep: Just one of the incredible benefits of reflexology is its ability to help you overcome disturbed sleeping patterns and insomnia. Massaging your feet before you go to bed will help you relax and let go of the day’s stresses. To enjoy a really deep sleep, pay special attention to the solar plexus reflex which houses a lot of your stress. The solar plexus can be found if you gently squeeze the top of the foot inward and search for a little dimpled space. Press and massage this area for a blissful night’s rest. 3. Improved Circulation: Thanks to our sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise and restrictive footwear our circulation is often impaired. Ever endure cold or numb feet? Get a tingling in your toes for no reason? Or perhaps you suffer chilblains. These are all signs of poor circulation in the feet – something which can be greatly improved upon with regular foot massages. 4. Lower Blood Pressure: High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a serious condition that can increase your risk of suffering a heart attack, stroke or kidney failure. Lifestyle changes – including eating the right foods – can lower your blood pressure levels significantly, as can regularly massaging your feet. A Korean study found that systolic blood pressure and blood triglyceride levels were both improved following a relaxing foot massage. Other research discovered that hypertensive patients receiving reflexology treatments specifically targeted at reflexes to reduce blood pressure enjoyed so much improvement in their symptoms that they were able to reduce dosages of their high blood pressure medications while undergoing the massage therapy! 5. Injury Prevention and Faster Recovery: Massaging the feet can help with joint pain and aid recovery after an injury, as well as reduce muscle soreness.It can also prevent future injuries such as plantar fasciitis – one of the most common causes of heel pain which sees the thick band of tissue running across the bottom of your foot and connecting your heel bone to your toe becoming painful and inflamed. Too much standing, running, sports involving lots of jumping or hard landing, being overweight and wearing shoes with inadequate support all put you at risk of plantar fasciitis. 6. Alleviation of Headaches and Migraines: If you suffer frequent headaches and migraines, give reflexology and foot massage a go. Danish research, published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, followed the response of 220 patients to six months of reflexology.After just three months , 81% of the patients claimed that the foot massages either considerably helped or completely healed their headache problems, and 19% who previously took medication to manage their condition were able to stop taking it! 7. Decreased Feelings of Anxiety: Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the US, affecting 40 million adults – that’s just under one fifth of the population!Natural remedies for anxiety can be incredibly effective, as studies have demonstrated. In 2002, 67 menopausal women were given nine sessions of either reflexology or non-specific foot massage. Even though the reflexology was not shown to be any more effective than non-specific foot massage in the treatment of psychological symptoms during the menopause, it still led to a 50% decrease in feelings of anxiety, which surpassed the control group two-fold. 8. Natural Pain Relief: Tired and aching feet can always benefit from a foot rub but did you know that the pain relieving powers of massage don’t end there? Foot massage can actually kill pain in other areas of the body too. Research from 2004 discovered that patients who had just undergone an operation enjoyed greater pain relief after a hand or foot massage than did those patients who were only given pain medication alone. More recent research showed that women who gave birth by C-section reported reduced pain after foot massages than those who did not receive the massage. 9. Nail and Skin Health: Regularly using moisturizing natural oils and antimicrobial essential oils on your feet is a fantastic way to ensure healthy, happy skin and nails. Using coconut oil or almond oil can prevent dry, cracked and painful heels that lead to fissures and infections, as well as stopping thick calloused skin forming. Your nails and cuticles will also stay hydrated. What’s more, regularly using essential oils like tea tree, lavender, or eucalyptus will help you avoid bacterial and fungal infections of the nails and skin, including Athlete’s Foot. 10. Cure for Swelling of the Legs: Swelling of the legs and feet due to fluid retention, called edema, can often follow on from long periods of sitting or standing. It is also common during pregnancy. A study published in the International Journal of Nursing Practice found that pregnancy-related edema was significantly reduced by regular foot massage. In fact, the women in the massage groups had distinctly smaller leg circumferences than did the women in the placebo group. It’s important to note that leg and ankle swelling can also signal an underlying issue including kidney disease, heart failure, liver disease and more. Always consult your doctor if in doubt. 11. PMS Symptom Relief: Common symptoms of PMS include feelings of sadness, irritability, anxiety, tension, insomnia, fatigue and headaches, with a full 50% of women experiencing pain.Given what we already know about the benefits of foot massage for most of these problems, it should come as no surprise to learn that research backs up the argument for enjoying regular foot massages while experiencing common PMS symptoms. A 1993 Californian study shows that women who underwent reflexology reported reduced PMS symptoms when compared with the placebo group. The 50% of women who experience painful periods (dysmenorrhea) will be happy to hear that reflexology can rival ibuprofen when it comes to relieving this painful condition. Participants in a 2010 study were treated with either 400 mg of ibuprofen once every eight hours for three days during three consecutive monthly cycles or 10 reflexology sessions at 40 minutes for two consecutive monthly cycles. During the third month when only ibuprofen was given (and no reflexology), the healing effects of reflexology continued on and actually surpassed the pain management quality of ibuprofen – even though no massages were given that month! As well as being associated with a greater reduction in both the intensity and duration of menstrual pain over ibuprofen, the reflexology actually seems to promote healing rather than just pain relief. 12. Cure Chronic Sinus Infections: Inflammation and congestion of the sinuses can also be healed through foot massage. When 150 adults with chronic sinusitis were treated with either nasal irrigation or reflexology daily for two weeks, both groups enjoyed significant and equal improvement.70% of the volunteers benefited from the treatments, and 35% reported that they decreased their sinus medication because of the treatments. 13. Relieve Symptoms of Cancer, Diabetes and Multiple Sclerosis: The symptoms of a variety of serious medical conditions can be somewhat alleviated through foot massage. For example, people with diabetic foot ulcers – a major complication of diabetes mellitus – saw a significantly decreased healing time when treated with massage. It is likely this improvement was caused by increased circulation. Cancer patients enjoyed relief from both pain and nausea when treated to foot massages as part of a study carried out by researchers from the University of Canberra. In addition, breast cancer patients undergoing treatment reported a dramatic decrease in physical symptoms associated with both the illness and the medication, including less shortness of breath and improved energy levels. Reflexology can also provide relief from the fatigue associated with multiple sclerosis, according to 2015 Iranian research. According to the reflexology theory, working the entire foot opens nerve pathways and blockages and promotes relaxation throughout the body, leaving you feeling deeply relaxed and decreasing stress and anxiety levels significantly.
During pregnancy, your body goes through major changes. Prenatal massage can help with these changes by reducing stress, decreasing arm and leg swelling, and relieving muscle and joint pain. Prenatal massage is therapeutic bodywork that focuses on the special needs of the mother-to-be as her body goes through the dramatic changes of pregnancy. It enhances the function of muscles and joints, improves circulation and general body tone, and relieves mental and physical fatigue. The gentle, noninvasive approach of prenatal massage can ease the discomfort associated with pregnancy, help the mother-to-be prepare for labor and give her nurturing emotional support. The benefits of prenatal massage include a wide range of physiological, emotional and psychological benefits:
Assists in remedying many of the common discomforts experienced during pregnancy: muscular discomforts, lower-back pain, upper-back pain, headaches, leg cramps, sciatica, stiffness, tension and knots, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, heartburn and acid reflux, fatigue, varicose veins, nasal congestion, shortness of breath, edema of the lower extremities, neck pain, interscapular pain, sacroiliac and hip joint pain and constipation
Alleviates stress on weight-bearing joints and musculo-fascial structures
Increases blood circulation, which provides more oxygen and nutrients to both mother and fetus and stimulates the lymph system, thereby increasing immunity and removal of toxins
Stabilizes hormonal levels and helps to relieve depression or anxiety caused by hormonal changes
Soothes and relaxes the nervous system by releasing endorphins into the mother’s body. As a result, the expectant mother feels more relaxed and at ease, and will also sleep more easily and more deeply
Assists in maintaining good posture and adjusting to a changing alignment caused by the baby’s increasing weight. Massage increases muscle tone and flexibility, enhancing the ability to carry this extra weight while also relieving aches and pains, leg cramps and muscle spasms
Eases the load on the heart and helps keep blood pressure in check
Enhances the pliability of skin and underlying tissues
Supports the return of blood to the heart and increases blood flow to the uterus and placenta. With the enormous demands placed on the circulatory system during pregnancy, blood volume may increase up to 60 percent compared to pre-pregnancy levels. As pregnancy progresses and the uterus enlarges and presses deep into the pelvic bowl, venous return to the heart is hampered
Prepares the mother-to-be for an easier delivery with its sedating effect on the nervous system, promoting relaxation and stress relief
Offers a natural, safe, drug-free alternative choice for pain relief, since taking medications are often limited during a pregnancy for the sake of the unborn child
In addition to the physical benefits, prenatal massage provides expecting women with the emotional support and nurturing touch provided by nonsexual human touch and energy.
Hot stone massage is a natural therapy in which warmed stones are positioned on parts of the client's body of to maximize the therapeutic benefit. The stones used are typically river rocks or other very smooth-surfaced stones made of basalt. These stones are heated in sanitizing water before use. The high iron content in basalt helps the stones retain heat during the massage. Hot stone massages are beneficial on both physical and psychological levels. Always check with your doctor before getting a hot stone massage; individuals with certain conditions, including pregnant women and people with high blood pressure, are advised to avoid this type of therapy. Some of the many benefits include, but are not limited to:
Muscle Relaxation: The heat from the stones helps your muscles relax, allowing the massage therapist to manipulate your deep tissues more effectively. Overly tense muscles can hinder the massage procedure, so if your muscles are extremely tight or stiff, the heated stones may provide the extra relaxation you need for the massage to be beneficial in releasing tension and easing sore muscles.
Pain Relief: While all types of massage can help relieve pain caused by tense muscles, stiff joints or injuries, a hot stone massage may provide greater relief due to the intense nature of the massage. Because the hot stones allow the massage therapist to penetrate deeper, you may find that a hot stone massage leaves you feeling physically better than a Swedish or deep-tissue massage that does not incorporate heat. It is important to let your massage therapist know if you feel that the heat from the stones is too much or that the pressure he is using is too harsh. Pain or discomfort during the massage process can cause more harm than good after the massage is over.
Improved Circulation: Typically, a massage therapist allows the heated stones to rest on trigger points in your body before beginning the actual massage. As the heat from the stones penetrates into your deeper body tissues, your blood vessels open, resulting in improved circulation. Poor circulation can lead to fatigue, which tenses the muscles, and a buildup of fluid and lactic acid in the muscles. Increased circulation delivers more oxygen to the muscles, which can help ease aches and pains.
Mental Benefits: Hot stone massage can also result in mental benefits as well as physical ones in many people. You may find that the relaxation afforded to you through a hot stone massage helps ease some of your mental stress and tension. A hot stone massage may also help you combat some of the symptoms of anxiety disorders and depression. While massage therapy is not a substitute for traditional medical or psychiatric care, it can be an integral part of your treatment plan.
You're kidding, right? Massage for my dog?Your furry family member's health is no joking matter. As humans, we know all too well the benefits of massage. So, do these same principals apply to animals? Of course they do! Pet massage as practiced by a qualified professional is grounded in real science - anatomy, kinesiology and psychology - and has practical applications for a dog's and other animal's physical and mental health. Since massage looks and feels like pampering, many people automatically discount its value as a serious form of healthcare. Pet owners often fail to realize massage therapy is not merely glorified petting. The skilled manipulation of the soft tissues of the body can have a significant positive impact on virtually all of an animal's biological systems. Massage affects all systems of the body. Beyond the obvious benefits of relieving muscle tension, it can be a powerful tool for realigning the spine and body. Massage aids in the circulation of fluids throughout the body which assists the joints and muscles flush toxins from the tissues. The results include reduced pain and stiffness, more flexibility and greater range of motion. Massage also increases blood flow, lowers blood pressure and improves cardiovascular health. All of the benefits are simply too numerous to list, but the end result is positive to every system of your pet's body. The recuperative and rehabilitative effects of massage therapy make it ideal for geriatric pets or those recovering from injury or surgery, as well as other benefits:
Reduces pain and/or discomfort from stiffness, inflammation & muscle spasm
Improves muscle tone, spinal/body alignment, flexibility & range of motion
Increases energy, concentration and alertness
Reduces anxiety and stress; eases emotional traumas
Promotes blood and lymph circulation
Heightens immune system function
Aids in healing from surgery or injury
Builds trust, self-confidence and sociability
Promotes longevity and slows degenerative processes
Massage provides overall well-being for your pet. There are MANY additional benefits beyond the ones listed above.
In addition to the physical, massage provides enormous benefits for a pet's psychological well being. Many studies suggest that massage stimulates the release of beneficial neurotransmitters and reduces the production of stress hormones. The result is decreased anxiety and an enhanced sense of well being. To keep your best friend healthy, remember to meet all of her needs, not just the physical ones. Don't overlook the positive results for social and emotional health that massage provides. Dogs are pack animals by nature and thrive on close contact with each other and humans. Consistent massage can help to build a dog's self confidence, sociability and feelings of trust and belonging. These benefits are important to any dog, but priceless for those who have suffered abuse, neglect or other emotional traumas. Massage is a holistic form of care. It acts upon the entire body in an effort to restore balance and increase an individual's overall wellness. Used in combination with regular veterinary care, massage proves invaluable benefits for your furry family members, reducing anxiety and pain and increasing energy levels and range of motion.
Although the heart and focus of my practice is massage therapy and the modalities listed believe strongly and firmly in the healing power of plants, essential oils and herbal therapy. I incorporate that and use it daily in my practice on my clients and on myself and significant other. Mother nature provides us the natural ability to help and heal our own bodies, minds and spirits without putting synthetic or artificial substances into them that harm it long term.
I do not add any extra cost for the use of my organic aromatherapy oil blends or for the higher end natural oils and products that I use for my clients. The reasoning behind this is because it isn't primarily about the product at all, it is about giving the best service possible. The focus is on the client and their experience and it is all about them. I always strive to do and give my best. My work and experience simply speaks for itself.
I do make custom blended oils for my clients as I am working on them to suit their individual medical, psychological and relaxing needs to help them unwind and relax during their massage sessions with me. I also make bottled custom blended oils for clients after their sessions so that they can take home the experience as well as treat their ailment and help to heal themselves. Many of those oil blends are listed under the "healing oil blends" page on this site/ This includes a cobalt blue glass bottle with a carrier oil such as organic grape seed oil, castor oil, hemp seed oil, ashwagandha bala, and jojoba oil with therapeutic grade essential oils and plants infused and blended just for their individual needs.
Indigo Body Massage by Jessie firstname.lastname@example.org 512-293-4922 Convenient out-calls at your home or place of business Conveniently Located in North Austin Braker Ln & I-35 (Pioneer Crossing) Austin, TX 78754
I honestly can't say enough great things about Jessie. She is so knowledgeable about the human body and is an outstanding massage therapist. Not only is this woman truly gifted, she is also so compassionate and kind. I have been getting massages for over 20 years and she is by far the very best I have ever experienced!
I am currently suffering from 2 herniated disks. I have been seeing several doctors and therapists and no one has given me the relief she has.
I don't want to forget her extensive knowledge and essential oil blends.....Truly amazing!! - Angela A.