A Hands On Approach
People have been using the power of touch across the globe for thousands of years. Current Massage Therapy practices are distilled from many cultures and long standing traditions to produce the highly effective treatments taught today. Massage is sought out by people of all walks of life to help improve their quality of living, both in conjunction with “western” medicine or as an alternative to it. The goal of massage is to facilitate the body’s natural healing process through muscle manipulation with the application of various techniques.
Massage can be a benefit for a broad spectrum of conditions such as physical aches and pains, to mental stresses, to emotional anxiety and irritability. Some massage methods have a more relaxation focus, often thought of a “fluff and buff” due to their strong relaxation effects. While other methods are more medically focused on alleviating muscle adhesions, trigger points and spasms, and are less relaxing but can be more effective on muscle malfunctions.
Regardless of the methods used by your therapist, the most effective tool is communication. When you are relaxed and comfortable, your massage will be more effective.
Matt’s Methods Include:
This type of massage uses many different massage techniques but takes a more medical view of the body’s pain and dysfunction. While Medical massages includes deep tissue, active muscle, psoas release, stretching, lymphatic drainage, cryotherapy and essential oils, it requires specialized training. This training teaches the therapist how to recognize patient issues and combine the above method’s in a way that best benefits that patient in alleviating and correcting their dysfunction.
Probably the most commonly known type of massage, this treatment uses several different hand movements to help an individual reconnect to their body. Usually using an oil or lotion the therapist begins with wide sweeping strokes to begin assessing the client and allowing the client to get accustomed to the therapist’s touch. From there the therapist and client together embark on a journey of relaxation and discovery tailored to each individual and where communication is the key to a successful therapy session.
A less commonly known treatment, it focuses on light pressure applied in sync with the clients breathing. Often found to be deeply relaxing it can also benefit clients that can not tolerate firmer pressures common in other treatments.
Conditions that are set into the deeper layers of muscle sometimes require the use of more intense techniques. From alleviating adhered muscle tissue to relaxing stubborn tension points, deep tissue work can be a great benefit for those willing to undergo a bit of discomfort.
As the name implies, this modality requires the client to take on a more engaged role in the treatment process. While the therapist initiates an isometric hold on a tender point of a muscle, the client engages the muscle into contraction and then extension several times. The process can be intense, but results are much quicker as well. Usually this treatment is reserved as a final effort for pain relief and to improve the range of motion in an affected joint.
The psoas muscles, located deep in the pelvic region, connect and stabilize the hips with the low back. As such they are nearly always active from the time we wake up until the time we go to bed. Using a variety of tools and stretches, the psoas muscles can be relaxed, allowing for more hip mobility and alleviating low back pain.
The use of plants’ natural properties is the very origin of humanities attempts at healing. Today’s oils are prepared with the utmost care to provide the purest elixirs possible. By incorporating these oils with massage, the skin absorbs the oil just as with any topical cream and provides its benefits slowly over time until it is totally absorbed or washed off afterwards. Though some oils are better absorbed as an aromatic and a diffuser is used instead.
One of the major side effects of massage is increased fluid movement in the treated areas. This is beneficial for the body as massage stretches out muscle fibers and encourages the body to reorient them to their proper state. But if there is already inflammation present and persistent, massage will only make the matter worse. By introducing cold to the inflamed areas the blood vessels contract and fluids are removed from the area. Cold can also be used to reduce sensitivity of a painful joint or nerve if necessary prior to treatment.
One of the most overlooked self-care treatments for pain reduction, stretches with a moment of resisted tension at the end are a signal to certain cells within the muscle fibers that “resets” the fibers resting position.
Encouraging fluid movement is one of the most important benefits of massage; your lymphatic system can be blocked by muscle tension just as easily as a blood vessel or nerve. This technique is mostly used to encourage the body to remove fluid from the area to reduce swelling and improve circulation of oxygen and nutrients.