An integrative massage may employ a variety of techniques, many of which are described below. Understanding these modalities can be useful in describing the type of body work that you are drawn to or wish to receive. Feel free to discuss any questions or preferences prior to your appointment.
This may be the most well known type of Massage, and the basis for many other modalities. Swedish massage focuses on long flowing strokes, kneading, percussion, joint mobility and rhythmic flow designed to, relax the Nervous System, improve circulation, reduce pain and decrease muscular tension.
Deep Tissue/Connective Tissue Therapy
This type of massage tends to have a deeper and more focused pressure than Swedish massage. Through knowledge of anatomical structures, and myofacial connections the practitioner can affect deeper layers and connection points in the musculature and fascia to relieve chronic conditions, patterns of physical tension, and improve alignment.
While not a dedicated technique, it is important to understand what a trained therapist can offer during the perinatal time. It is safe to integrate deep pressure and therapeutic techniques during all stages of pregnancy to create a relaxing and effective session for chronic or acute issues. Massage can help with a variety of perinatal specific concerns such as fatigue, nausea, joint pain, sciatic pain, hip and low back tenderness, swelling and muscular tension. In the last weeks of your pregnancy it is also possible to utilize acupressure and cupping to help prepare the body for labor, and it is possible to accommodate new mothers with their babies in the first few weeks post-partum for a massage. Most sessions during this time will be side-lying supported with bolsters.
Trigger Point Therapy/NeuroMuscular
Trigger Point Therapy is a form of body work focused on finding and releasing trigger points, more commonly referred to as knots. Often a result of trauma to the tissue, these are areas of compression, reduced blood flow, mobility and pain in the muscle. Focused and direct myotherapy can help retrain muscles, ease pain and restore mobility.
This is a Japanese technique that uses energetic meridians as guides for redirecting the flow and movement of energy or "qi" . The practitioner applies pressure along these meridians to restore the innate flow of energy, which according to the traditional system, can become blocked or stagnant leading to physical ailments. While classic shiatsu is often performed on floor mats, aspects of this system can be integrated in a Western table massage.
Chair massage is performed with the client, fully clothed, in a special massage chair that allows the practitioner to work on them while they are comfortably seated. While this can be utilized in special cases where unique physical conditions necessitate it, it is more commonly performed in more public spaces such as wellness fairs, business or corporate events, and other professional settings. Sessions are typically short in duration and often focused on the upper body.
Reflexology uses pressure applied to reflex zones on the hands and feet that are thought to correspond to other zones of the body or organs. Much like energetic systems it is thought to restore the flow of vital energy and re-balance physical function in the body. It can be incorporated into any massage but also excells where, for physical or emotional reasons, full body massage may not be appropriate.
Cupping Therapy/ Fire Cupping
Cupping is an ancient therapy where heated cups are placed on the skin creating an area of local negative pressure. These cups can be placed on the body or can be used to glide across the skin. Fire cupping is available, as are more modern versions where no flame is required.
Cupping is said to strengthen and activate the body's innate healing abilities. The suction lifts and creates space in the muscles and fascia, and is thought to disperse stagnant blood and fluid, removing metabolic waste and allowing the flow of new fluids and nutrients to the tissues. Often used for muscular pain, chest congestion, nerve compression, mensntrual cramps, and headache. Also though to be an energetic medicine for mobilizing stagnant qi, this is a great adjunct, or stand-alone therapy for toning and balancing the body.
Massage For Breast Health- By request only, this will include work on the upper back, neck, shoulders and chest. This type of therapy is designed to relieve muscle tension, and facilitate lymphatic drainage and removal of damaging metabolic waste that can accumulate due to physiologic reasons or other lifestyle factors. This can include work on the breast tissue, either draped or un-draped according to client preference. It is used to support those with edema, fibrocystic breasts, PMS symptoms, pain from breast surgery, lactation issues, or can benefit anyone in supporting proper lymphatic flow. Read more in this Article from ABMP.
Energy Work - This can encompass a variety of techniques that are focused less specifically on the physical structures of the body, but to bring awareness through gentle touch, or touch-less attention that allows space for the body and spirit to align. Creating a peaceful space to focus on the energetic body can result in physical or emotional, conscious or unconscious re-patterning.
Castor Oil Packs - This is an add on session, where warm Castor Oil is placed on a specific area of the body for 15 or 30 minutes. It is used when the body needs extra help relaxing a particularly contracted muscle or can be a great therapy for those dealing with adhesions, scar tissue, or other fibrous growths. This can be used post caesarean to reduce discomfort from scar tissues and adhesions, especially in conjunction with scar tissue massage.