The term “Swedish Massage” refers to a variety of techniques specifically designed to relax muscles by applying pressure to them against deeper muscles and bones, and rubbing in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart. This form of massage was created at the turn of the century by Henry Peter Ling in Sweden. It involves the use of kneading, stroking, friction, tapping, and vibration and may provide relief from stiffness, numbness, pain, constipation, and other health problems. The main purpose of Swedish massage is to increase the oxygen flow in the blood and release toxins from the muscles. Other possible benefits include stimulation of circulation, an increase in muscle tone, and a balance of the musculo-skeletal systems. Swedish massage shortens recovery time from muscular strain by flushing the tissues of lactic acid, uric acid, and other metabolic wastes. It increases circulation without increasing heart load.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy that focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. It is especially helpful for chronically tense and contracted areas such as stiff necks, low back tightness, and sore shoulders.
Some of the same strokes are used as classic massage therapy but the movement is slower and the pressure is deeper and concentrated on areas of tension and pain.
When there is chronic muscle tension or injury, there are usually adhesions (bands of painful, rigid tissue) in muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Adhesions can block circulation and cause pain, limited movement, and inflammation.
Deep tissue massage works by physically breaking down these adhesions to relieve pain and restore normal movement. To do this, our massage therapist often uses direct deep pressure or friction applied across the grain of the muscles.
Scalp and Facial Massage
A focused massage on the scalp, forehead, and facial areas of the head. There are cranial sutures in your skull that expand only slightly to relieve cranial pressure. A scalp and facial massage is excellent for headaches, sinus pressure relief, and to relax! If you have never had your head, or face massaged, I advise trying it once.
A form of therapy that involves treating the whole body, or specific parts of the body through the feet. It has been observed that there are reflex areas in the feet which relate to all the body parts and organs, therefore, the whole body can be treated through the feet. This is a great treatment for those who can not have work done to specific areas for any reason, you have stiffness and/or immobility in the feet, or if you love your feet being rubbed.
An assisted stretching massage is the lazy man’s way of becoming more flexible, or wanting to lengthen any tight muscles or joints. The therapist does all the stretching for you while you relax and enjoy it on the table with occasional help for muscle mechanic techniques. I incorporate a lot of muscle mechanics into the stretching massage for those with hard to move joints or who truly want to increase their flexibility. For an assisted stretching massage, the client keeps their clothes on.
Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Most people have never heard of the lymphatic system or it’s vital role in our everyday life. The lymphatic system is what keeps our bodies from swelling up and it keeps our immune system in check. A lymphatic massage aids in the removal of proteins which is essential because they draw water to themselves, so excess protein in the interstitial spaces causes swelling or edema. During the massage, the interstitial fluid flows into the lymph vessels and starts to move along the channel collecting dead cells, waste products, bacteria, viruses, inorganic substances, water and fats. Although only 2-3 liters of lymph is filtered through the lymph system per day, it is vital because it helps to remove proteins that are too large to get back through the capillary wall. By performing a lymphatic drainage massage, we can stimulate the opening of the initial lymphatic and increase the volume of lymph flow by as much as 20 times. With an increase of lymph flow, immune function is increased. Harmful substances are removed from the tissues and neutralized in the nodes. It has also been shown that an increase in lymph flow stimulates an increased production of lymphocytes- enhancing immune function.
(Acute inflammation, Malignant tumors, Thrombosis and major heart problems are all contraindications to lymphatic drainage massage.)
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD) Massage
TMD occurs as a result of problems with the jaw, jaw joint and surrounding facial muscles that control chewing and moving the jaw. TMD is the dysfunction of that joint in some way, making it painful to use your jaw in everyday activities such as talking, chewing, or sleeping at night. Sometimes with TMD your jaw will also lock, pop, or grind while it is used. Some of the causes for TMD is grinding or clenching the teeth, which puts a lot of pressure on the TMJ, dislocation of the soft cushion or disc between the ball and socket, presence of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the TMJ, and most definitely stress, which can cause a person to tighten facial and jaw muscles or clench the teeth. With regular massage, TMD can be relieved with certain external and internal oral techniques as well as stretching and relaxing techniques practiced at home.
Pregnancy can have some physical and mental wear and tear on you. Getting a prenatal massage can help eliminate many of those stresses. Major benefits include reduction of lower back pain, reducing swelling in legs and joints, improve in circulation, oxygenation of soft tissues and muscles. Having a better nights sleep will improve as well as your mood, which ultimately lowers your stress levels for you and baby. With the extra weight being carried around you could potentially have muscle tension, headaches and edema, and having a regular prenatal massage could help reduces these and maintain a healthy pregnancy.