Infant Massage Workshop at the Mill Ballet Studio in Lambertville, NJ. Sundays, July 23rd-August 13th from 10-11am
Here is a brief description of some of the most common massage modalities:
Swedish- This massage will alleviate stiffness and fatigue as well as improve circulation. Swedish Massage is a general whole body massage using oils on the skin to facilitate treatment using long flowing strokes upwards towards the heart, as well as the use of kneading, stroking, friction, tapping, and vibration . This is the basis of all Western forms of massage treatment.
Deep Tissue- This massage uses slow strokes and deep pressure to work on tight areas to release specific muscle tension and restore flexibility. Deep-Tissue Massage is generally slower than Swedish, this technique goes deeper into the muscle and connective tissue to release chronic tension which might have developed from injury or overuse. Deep tissue massage is a more focused type of therapy that aims to release areas of tension, or “knots,” in the deeper levels of musculature.
Neuromuscular- is an intense form of bodywork that consists of focused, concentrated massage on one specific area of the body. The pressure may continue for a period of up to thirty seconds at a time, and is designed to alleviate tension that extends from a “trigger point” into an entire muscle.
Reflexology- a natural healing art based on the principle that there are reflexes in the feet and hands which correspond to every part of the body. Through application of pressure on particular areas of the hands or feet, reflexology serves to relax tension, improve circulation and promote the natural function of the related area in the body.
Tui-Na- uses rhythmic compression along energy channels of the body, as well as a variety of techniques that manipulate and lubricate the joints. Like acupressure, Tui Na directly affects the flow of energy by holding and pressing the body at acupressure points.
Shiatsu- the aim id to access and increase the flow of your inner lifeforce, known as ‘chi’. According to the theory of acupressure, the body has meridians, which are channels for your chi. Using a combination of kneading, stretching, rubbing and direct pressure to stimulate these meridians with the aim of removing any blockages and turning your trickling chi into healthy torrents.
Myofascial Release- a form of soft tissue therapy used to treat somatic dysfunction and resulting pain and restriction of motion. This is accomplished by relaxing contracted muscles, increasing circulation and lymphatic drainage, and stimulating the stretch reflex of muscles and overlying fascia.
Reiki- a form of therapy that uses simple hands-on, no-touch, and visualization techniques, with the goal of improving the flow of life energy in a person. Reiki (pronounced ray-key) means “universal life energy” in Japanese. Reiki touch therapy is used in much the same way to achieve similar effects that traditional massage therapy is used—to relieve stress and pain, and to improve the symptoms of various health conditions by detecting and alleviating problems of energy flow on the physical , emotional, and spiritual level.
Pre-Natal- focuses on the mother-to-be as she goes through the changes due to pregnancy. This is not a replacement for medical care, but rather as an adjunct to aid in the health and rapid recovery of the mother. Treatment focuses on the concerns of each trimester. After the mother has given birth, treatment will assist in restoring the body back to its normal condition. Prenatal massage may also help reduce and/or eliminate excess water retention. Massage therapy enhances the function of muscles and joints, improves circulation and general body tone, and relieves mental and physical fatigue.
Ayurvedic- these massage techniques provide relaxation, circulation, elimination of toxins, and rejuvenation. They consist of long flowing techniques with the use of lots of oil.
Raindrop Technique Massage- a combination of essential oils, reflexology, and massage techniques in a very gentle way. The essential oils are applied on various locations of the body to bring it structural and electrical alignment, especially good for scoliosis and subluxations of the spine. It is designed to bring balance to the body with its relaxing and mild application. It will help align the energy centers of the body and release them if blocked, without using hard pressure or trying to force the body to change.
Although some of my clients have been seeing massage therapists for years, there are still quite a few who are new to massage. The most common question that a massage therapist may ask their client is what type of pressure they like. Each type pf massage can have varying pressure and strokes. My advice as a therapist is to always communicate with your therapist. If you don't like the way your therapist is doing something or if you feel they are using too much/little pressure, let them know so that they can alter what they are doing to make you more comfortable. Remember they want to help you feel better.
To give clients, old and new, a broader understanding of each of the different modalities of massage I will be posting a little bit of information about each every few days. Below is a description about Swedish massage:
The most common type of massage is Swedish massage therapy. This is the basis of all Western forms of massage treatment. 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. And it can speed up recovery time after an injury. Most commonly, the pressure's used for a Swedish massage would be considered light to medium.
The four common strokes of Swedish massage are:
This massage will alleviate stiffness and fatigue as well as improve circulation. Swedish Massage is a general whole body massage using oils on the skin to facilitate treatment . It is a wonderful massage for everyone, but especially for those with:
Enjoy a Swedish massage today! :)
I originally began using the Raindrop Therapy because my mother was suffering from Lyme disease symptoms as well as a herniated disc in her lower back. After each treatment she felt her nervous system relax, and the pain in her body subside. The results that were achieved and continue to be achieved with every client are remarkable. A couple of years ago I was working with a client who had scoliosis, and after treatments once a week over a three month period he told me his friends and family were all commenting on how much taller he was looking (the muscles around his spine were beginning to relax and release, therefore allowing his spine to gradually return to its original curvature). Recently, I was working on another Lyme Disease sufferer who had decided to try the Raindrop Therapy for the first time, she called me two days later and this is what she said:
“I felt so incredibly open both physically and emotionally after the treatment. It was absolutely wonderful. The following day I kept waiting for my usual pain to commence, but it never did. I couldn’t believe the treatment actually relieved my Lyme symptoms for a few days. I can’t wait to come back!” -Patti C.
These are just a couple of the testimonials of clients who have experienced remarkable changes in their bodies due to the Raindrop therapy. Below is a little bit more information about this fantastic therapy.
What is Raindrop Therapy?
This 70 minute therapy is a wonderfully rejuvenating and deeply relaxing topical application of therapeutic essential oils. Raindrop Therapy combines several holistic modalities to bring balance to the body in a non-invasive manner. It also stimulates all of the body systems on a physical and emotional level. The oils used in Raindrop are therapeutic grade and NOT adulterated oils. Adulterated oils contain synthetic chemicals or compounds and can be harmful to the body.
What Does It Involve?
The relaxing and mild application of the therapeutic-grade oils are gently dispensed like “little raindrops” up along the spine and back. The oils are worked into the skin by using soft feather-like movements and strokes. The essential oils are also applied to soles of feet and shoulders for reinforced benefits.
Why Is It Called Raindrop?
The essential oils are gently dispensed like “little raindrops” along the spine and back.
BENEFITS OF RAINDROP THERAPY:
Reduces Pain – Since its development, it is becoming clear that the elements of Raindrop therapy not only reduces chronic back pain but also benefits other body systems. The analgesic ingredients in the essential oils help reduce pain and discomfort.
Helps Relieve Stress & Emotional Well-being- Therapeutic essential oils have a normalizing effect on the nervous system making them ideal for reducing stress, anxiety and tension (which is why it works so well for those with Lyme Disease).The oils can immediately penetrate cell membranes and diffuse through the blood and tissues instantly in a matter of seconds! The oils also cross the brain-blood barrier and effect the limbic system (the Amygdala) parts of the brain that control our mood, behavior and emotions. So if you’ve lost your “Joie de Vivre” Raindrop therapy will have you smiling and back to your normal self in no time.
Relax’s Muscles – Muscles that are sore, spastic or stressed will also benefit from Raindrop Therapy. Basil, wintergreen, marjoram, cypress and peppermint essential oils help with all the common muscle conditions.
Helps Reduce Inflammation - World wide studies have identified several essential oils as powerful anti-inflammatory agents. These include wintergreen, peppermint and thyme. These essential oils are all used in the Raindrop essential oil body therapy.
Helps Improve Circulation – Essential oils can be most beneficial in boosting circulation due to oxygenating properties. The essential oils of cypress, thyme, marjoram and peppermint all have properties that increase circulation and act as a circulatory stimulant.
Helps Detox the Bodies Systems - The therapeutic oils used in Raindrop therapy are high in phenols hence, cleanse cellular receptor sites and enhance the lymphatic system.
Helps improve Immune function - Thyme and oregano essential oils are known to support the immune system. They also create an unfavorable environment for harmful viruses and bacteria that can hibernate and lay dormant in the body.
In short, the benefits of this therapy go well beyond the physical benefits. Raindrop can not only help relieve pain and restore immediate physical well-being, but it can set in motion the healing processes that will last for weeks.
There are many reasons that someone might feel depressed, whether its the winter blues, a death, a break-up with a significant other, or genetic. Whatever the reason, no one likes to feel depressed, and now there is even more research showing natural ways to help alleviate depression symptoms. Chronic physical pain can often lead to depression, and depression can often cause physical pain. This is why there are quite a few of my clients who come for pain relief who also suffer from depression. Although I am a massage therapist, and not a psychotherapist; but since depression has major physiological and anatomical components massage can have a significant and profound effect against the diseases symptoms.
Treatment with Massage
Depression can leave a person suffering from it physically and energetically exhausted. This is where massage and energy work, such as Reiki and Shamanism, can help in ways that a psychotherapist or depression medication cannot. When someone suffers from depression their muscles will often constrict possibly because they cannot get out of bed and instead lie there in a fetal position or they feel so sluggish that their body is almost collapsing in on itself because the energy and desire to hold oneself up straight and with confidence is no longer there. Therefore, the abdominal muscles shorten, the diaphragmatic muscles tighten pulling the chest down, and the upper back muscles lengthen as the shoulders round forward creating a kyphosis (or hunchback); these positions limit the ability of the diaphragm to arch down towards the abdomen, which would then allow the lungs to expand and take in a full breath of air. All this distortion in the upper body will eventually lead to even more distortion in the lower body throwing everything off balance and continuing to cause dis-ease in the body.
The benefits of massage:
When the client suffering from depression goes to a massage therapist with the above structural distortion, the therapist's goal is to correct the closing up of the body to allow the client to stand up straight and feel supported by their own body, as well as allowing them to breath in oxygen to their bodies full potential. As this release and opening of the body happens, and as air flows more freely in their body the client should begin to feel more hope, support, and strength.
Key areas of the body a massage therapist should work on to release above misalignment:
1) the abdomen;
2) the intercostals, pectoralis muscles, and connective tissue in the front of the chest which are the culprits for causing a sunken chest and medial rotation of the shoulders;
3) the muscles and connective tissue of the shoulder's and upper arms that cause an internal rotation of the arms; and
4) the scalenes, trapezius, sternocleidomastoid, and rhomboid muscles and connective tissue of the neck, shoulders, and upper back.
Furthermore, a review of more than a dozen massage studies conducted by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine concludes that massage therapy relieves depression and anxiety by affecting the body's biochemistry. In a series of studies including about 500 men, women, and children with depression or stress problems, researchers measured the stress hormone cortisol in participants before and immediately after massage and found that the therapy lowered levels by up to 53%. (Cortisol can drive up blood pressure and blood sugar levels and suppress the immune system.) Massage also increased serotonin and dopamine, which are neurotransmitters that help reduce depression.
So let's realign our bodies, breath deeper, and increase our serotonin and dopamine with massage so that we can kick depression to the curb!!
Here's to feeling good!!
Aromatherapy, the therapeutic use of essential oils extracted from plants, has been used for thousands of years.
Essential oil aromas stimulate the part of the brain that affects emotion. The shape of an essential oil molecule is like a key that opens lock-like structure in the olfactory nerve receptors in our nostrils. The impression of the aroma is sent directly and immediately to the limbic system where memories are stored and pleasure and emotions are perceived. When stimulated, the limbic system releases chemicals that affect the central nervous system. Serotonin counteracts anxiety; endorphins reduce pain and affect sexual response.
Inhaling essential oils can help us attain a pleasurable emotional balance. A balanced emotional state in turn can have a therapeutic effect on physical problems, particularly those that are stress-related.
Enhance your mental and physical well-being with essential oils using direct inhalation or diffusion.
Relaxing oils like chamomile, or sandalwood can help with anxieties.
To counteract after-lunch sleepiness diffuse energizing uplifting oils like peppermint, lemon or basil.
Lavender can help with sleeplessness or depression.
Frankincense oil has been used as an adjunct to meditation and prayer for centuries. Its rich, balsamic aroma penetrates deeply into the lungs, inspiring slow, regular breathing.
Ylang Ylang is great for eczema, open wounds, depression, or as an aphrodisiac.
Essential oils have positive effects on every level of being. Their unique properties enhance the mind, body and spirit. Aromatherapy is the creative and scientific application of essential oils to create beneficial changes in our lives on aesthetic, therapeutic and mystical levels.
Essential oils are a great way to enhance the benefits of any massage.