Massage or Myofascial Release Differences

So, what is myofascial release? How is myofascial release different from massage?

Massage is one of the most common holistic therapies for relaxation, pain relief and healing. Rubbing, tapping and other manipulation of the soft tissue increase circulation, decrease stress, relieve pain, balance hormones and provide nurturing touch.

Myofascial release (MFR) is another form of holistic bodywork. It is the application of gentle sustained pressure into the fascial tissue to eliminate pain and restore motion. These techniques may be used alone or with other manual therapy techniques like massage.

Both massage and myofascial release bring relaxation, comfort, pain relief and improved function, but there are significant differences.

What is the fascia? The fascia is a seamless web of connective tissue wrapping around the muscles, organs and bones throughout the body. Physical injury, emotional trauma, bad posture, stress and inflammation all contribute to tightness and restriction in the fascia—a condition that throws off every other part of the body in a domino-like effect. Tight fascia can bring imbalance, pain and impaired function. Since fascia connects throughout the body, we may experience symptoms in one part of the body, when the root cause is elsewhere. (Examples: Headaches may be caused by a problem in the pelvis, or wrist pain may be caused by a problem in the neck or shoulder.)

Myofascial release reduces pain, increases range of motion and balances the entire body. MFR utilizes special techniques that stretch the fascial tissue, effectively releasing accumulated tension and trauma. In response, the fascia becomes more flexible and “reorganizes” itself. This allows muscles and bones to return to their natural, pain-free positions, tissues to become hydrated and nourished and toxins to be released. In summary, MFR provides deeper healing and lasts much longer than massage.

Experience the Difference

  1. Full Body or Focus Work? Massage often offers a full-body experience, while myofascial release may focus on specific areas that need attention. Myofascial release looks for the cause of the issue, not the symptom.
  2. Lotion or Oil? Massage typically uses oil, lotion or creme for a smoother glide in Swedish style or less oil for slower, deeper work. Myofascial release rarely uses lubricants unless massage is blended with the technique.
  3. Draping and clothing? During massage, clients often remove most clothing with draping used to cover the body. In myofascial release, clients may wear shorts and sports bras (for women) with less draping required. This allows for better assessment before treatment, as well as more stretching and body movement during the session.
  4. Participation. During a massage, you can just allow the therapist to take over and you “enjoy the ride.” In an MFR treatment, you may be asked to participate and give more feedback.
  5. Emotions. Most massages relieve stress and calm the emotions. Myofascial release may “wake up” emotions trapped in tissues, thereby allowing you to face past issues in a safe and comfortable atmosphere for deeper and longer-lasting healing.

Different Results?

  1. Relaxation. Massage relaxes the elastic fibers in muscles while myofascial release goes deeper, releasing stored tension in the collagenous level of the connective tissue. This brings greater release of tight tissue with more lasting results.
  2. Circulation. Massage increases circulation by opening superficial blood vessels, bathing tissues with valuable oxygen, water and nutrition. Myofascial release also increases circulation, but at a level deeper in the fascia, going into the cellular level.
  3. Range of Motion. Massage improves flexibility by superficially loosening muscles and other connective tissues. Myofascial release opens connective tissue much deeper than massage, allowing for a more sustained increase in motion.
  4. Pain Relief. Massage decreases pain by relaxing muscles, removing toxins and increasing pleasurable signals to the brain. Myofascial release goes more to the source of pain by releasing fascial restrictions and reducing the “muscle knots,” which are comprised of shortened, dry and painful soft tissue.
  5. Emotional Healing. Massage is very comforting and nurturing by the very nature of the technique—caring hands providing support. Myofascial release delivers the same feeling but can also unlock emotional trauma that has been stored deep in the fascial tissue for years or decades. This can bring a new level of healing.

Introductory Offer: Free 30-minute consultation with first visit.

Massage vs. Myofascial Release

So, what is myofascial release? How is myofascial release different from massage?

Massage is one of the most common holistic therapies for relaxation, pain relief and healing. Rubbing, tapping and other manipulation of the soft tissue increase circulation, decrease stress, relieve pain, balance hormones and provide nurturing touch.

Myofascial release (MFR) is another form of holistic bodywork. It is the application of gentle sustained pressure into the fascial tissue to eliminate pain and restore motion. These techniques may be used alone or with other manual therapy techniques like massage.

Both massage and myofascial release bring relaxation, comfort, pain relief and impr­oved function, but there are significant differences.

What is the fascia? The fascia is a seamless web of connective tissue wrapping around the muscles, organs and bones throughout the body. Physical injury, emotional trauma, bad posture, stress and inflammation all contribute to tightness and restriction in the fascia—a condition that throws off every other part of the body in a domino-like effect. Tight fascia can bring imbalance, pain and impaired function. Since fascia connects throughout the body, we may experience symptoms in one part of the body, when the root cause is elsewhere. (Examples: Headaches may be caused by a problem in the pelvis, or wrist pain may be caused by a problem in the neck or shoulder.)

Myofascial release reduces pain, increases range of motion and balances the entire body. MFR utilizes special techniques that stretch the fascial tissue, effectively releasing accumulated tension and trauma. In response, the fascia becomes more flexible and “reorganizes” itself. This allows muscles and bones to ­return to their natural, pain-free positions, tissues to become hydrated and nourished and toxins to be released. In summary, MFR provides deeper healing and lasts much longer than massage.

Since fascia connects throughout the body, we may experience symptoms in one part of the body, when the root cause is elsewhere.

Experience the Difference:

  1. Full Body or Focus Work? Massage often offers a full-body experience, while myofascial release may focus on specific areas that need attention. Myofascial release looks for the cause of the issue, not the symptom.
  2. Lotion or Oil? Massage typically uses oil, lotion or creme for a smoother glide in Swedish style or less oil for slower, deeper work. Myofascial release rarely uses lubricants unless massage is blended with the technique.
  3. Draping and clothing? During massage, clients often remove most clothing with draping used to cover the body. In myofascial release, clients may wear shorts and sports bras (for women) with less draping required. This allows for better assessment before treatment, as well as more stretching and body movement during the session.
  4. During a massage, you can just allow the therapist to take over and you “enjoy the ride.” In an MFR treatment, you may be asked to participate and give more feedback.
  5. Most massages relieve stress and calm the emotions. Myofascial release may “wake up” emotions trapped in tissues, thereby allowing you to face past issues in a safe and comfortable atmosphere for deeper and longer-lasting healing.
  6. Massage relaxes the elastic fibers in muscles while myofascial release goes deeper, releasing stored tension in the collagenous level of the connective tissue. This brings greater release of tight tissue with more lasting results.
  7. Massage increases circulation by opening superficial blood vessels, bathing tissues with valuable oxygen, water and nutrition. Myofascial release also increases circulation, but at a level deeper in the fascia, going into the cellular level.
  8. Range of Motion. Massage improves flexibility by superficially loosening muscles and other connective tissues. Myofascial release opens connective tissue much deeper than massage, allowing for a more sustained increase in motion.
  9. Pain Relief. Massage decreases pain by relaxing muscles, removing toxins and increasing pleasurable signals to the brain. Myofascial release goes more to the source of pain by releasing fascial restrictions and reducing the “muscle knots,” which are comprised of shortened, dry and painful soft tissue.
  10. Emotional Healing. Massage is very comforting and nurturing by the very nature of the technique—caring hands providing support. Myofascial release delivers the same feeling but can also unlock emotional trauma that has been stored deep in the fascial tissue for years or decades. This can bring a new level of healing.

Lymphatic Massage Helps Heal Surgeries

Cosmetic surgery can give you desired physical enhancements, but healing and recovery are often accelerated with skilled bodywork. Liposuction, tummy tucks and breast augmentation are invasive surgeries that may require extensive healing. Lymphatic drainage, Myofascial release and specialized massage techniques can enhance the skilled work of your surgeon.

Your body is about two-thirds water. The lymphatic system is a circulatory system that returns and filters extracellular fluids. It is also an important part of your immune system. Lymphatic drainage enhances these functions and promotes surgical healing.

  1. Start with a Preoperative Session. Improve your outcome with a preoperative consultation and massage. Therapy before surgery prepares tissues for surgery, decreases stress and relaxes your body. Your therapist may take baseline body measurements and give helpful advice. This is the best time to schedule your postoperative appointments. Massage can also help you sleep well before your surgery.
  2. Easy Does It with Postop Swelling. Many surgeons recommend lymphatic drainage after surgery for better healing. This gentle and relaxing therapy reduces swelling, filters debris and returns fluids back into the blood stream. Loose proteins are pulled out of the tissues and returned to the blood (proteins can cause swelling.) Tissues are decongested, healing is enhanced and immunity is boosted. Be sure to get a release from your surgeon for lymphatic massage therapy.
  3. Trust Your Guardian Angel. An expert massage therapist is like having a guardian angel. An experienced surgical therapist knows what is normal and can answer your questions. Incision lines, drains, compression garments and postoperative pain often bring concerns. Your therapist is a great resource and will support the surgeon’s instructions. Good advice and affirmation can help you sleep well. (The massage helps, too!)
  4. Gentle Release of Tissue Tightness. Any surgery causes tissue layers to stick together, forming adhesions and scars. Lymphatic drainage with Myofascial release relaxes tight tissues, drains fluids and improves movement.
  5. Standing Up Straight. Cosmetic surgery on the abdomen can pull you forward. Skilled therapy opens your frontline allowing you to proudly stand up straight. Your back muscles will also need care to relieve tension caused by effects of surgery and postural accommodation.
  6. Maintain Your Beauty Treatments. Within two months, your body stabilizes and you should be able to transition to regular maintenance treatments. Whether you need relief of body aches, stress release from daily hassles or just relaxation, you deserve regular bodywork. Your therapist knows your body and can provide holistic health maintenance.
  7. Save Money with Packages. Check with your therapist for prepayment options or other discounts. Make a commitment in advance for therapy that will speed your recovery and provide valuable support during healing.

Welcome to the Third Trimester

As you enter the third trimester, you are probably feeling well and are counting the days until the big day—delivery of the baby that you have carried for six months. The next three months will be exciting as you watch and feel your baby growing and make preparations for Baby’s arrival. Prenatal massage offers effective holistic relaxation and therapy during this important time.

Medical Appointments become more frequent. Be sure to follow medical advice and keep your appointments. Pregnancy is very normal and health professionals will assist you to prepare for a safe and healthy delivery. You should continue diet, exercise and medical routines from your first two trimesters unless advised otherwise by your doctor. These appointments can be exciting as your baby’s birth approaches.

In the Next Three Months You Can Expect significant increase in the size of Baby and your tummy. You will also experience increased size of your breasts, hips, legs and feet. Your doctor will advise you how much weight gain or swelling is normal. You can also expect more baby movement, which will give you comfort because you will know Baby is alive and well. You may start walking with the “pregnancy waddle.” You will notice other changes as you get ready for labor. Some pregnant moms will get leg cramps or numbness in arms or fingers at night. Share with your therapist your concerns so that you are more comfortable and relaxed.

Pregnancy Can Take a Toll on Your Body. Swollen legs, restlessness, fatigue, and headaches are common, especially as the due date approaches. Your shoulders, back, hips and legs will ache and you will tire more easily. Stress is often very high as you prepare for transitions in essentially every aspect of your life.

Massage for Happy Mom and Healthy Baby. Most moms enjoy relaxation during third trimester massage sessions. A skilled therapist also provides effective relief of aches, pains, muscle spasms and cramps, swelling and even numbness. As your baby grows and you approach your due date, your joints begin to loosen from the relaxin hormone that prepares you for labor, but creates discomforts and feeling “loose” with movements. Therapists with special training help the pelvis stay aligned, more comfortable and ready for delivery.

Instruction and Specialized Therapy. Your prenatal massage therapist will help you prepare for labor. Your specialized therapy will include massage treatment, information, instruction and encouragement to help with labor and delivery.

Labor Preparation. Massage therapy relaxes and provides flexibility to birthing muscles, and develops kinesthetic awareness for birthing. Many studies show that labor is shorter with fewer complications for massage clients and there is a lower incidence of C-sections. Massage can improve labor outcome by preparing the pelvis and hip muscles, reducing stress levels and increasing your confidence and knowledge before labor starts. Massage during labor by a midwife or doula is also very effective in facilitating successful labor and delivery. Health scores of babies at delivery are higher when moms receive massage therapy in the last months.

Top Health Concerns of Women

Although men and women share health issues, females have unique health needs, risks, and concerns. Their. Women’s unique bodies and lifestyles explain their distinctive health issues. As women progress through life, health needs and concerns change to match their way of life and risks inherent to age.

Health Concerns by Age Although a woman’s age tends to affect her health concerns, breast cancer remains the number one worry, with every lump causing major anxiety. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women but doesn’t become prominent until her later years. According to Dr. Nancy Goler, a Kaiser Permanente ob-gyn and medical director, health concerns of women run the gamut from stress, cancer scares, and sexual questions/ problems, to weight control, diet, and heart disease. Women in their 20’s are most concerned about birth control, pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases. Weight management and diet become a focus for women in their 30’s. Women in their 40s and 50s are more concerned with perimenopause and may be most nervous about breast health because they start knowing women being diagnosed. By the 60s and 70s, breast cancer starts to fall more into the background as a greater array of health worries arise, such as colon cancer, hypertension, and stroke. (1)

Weight is Is a Hot Topic Based on a recent survey, women are more concerned about diet/weight (56%) and eating right (36%) than cancer (23%), cardiovascular/heart health (20%), and diabetes (18%). (Ref. survey of 3,000 women by Meredith Corp./NBC Universal “What do Do Women Want?” survey in 2008.) While most women like who they are inside and are satisfied with their “identity and development as an individual” (68%), only 4 in 10 women say they are satisfied with their physical appearance (40%) and/or energy levels (37%). (2)

Activity and diet have value beyond just controlling weight. Stressful, over-programmed lives involving family and career lead to sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy diets. Osteoporosis is a significant problem with many women, as well as decreased muscle tone. Women’s bone loss begins in the mid-30s onward, so exercise and diet should focus on bone density as well as heart health.

Stress is Is a Top Health Concern Stress may be a leading cause or contributor to many health issues in women. Most Many women admit to being stressed out and struggle to balance work and home life. Sources of stress range from taking care of young children and aging parents, working hard jobs for long hours, our 24-7 technology diet, and economic pressures of our society. Working moms go from their busy jobs outside the home to demands of the home/household, often managing solo. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 40% of children are born to single mothers. Today, one in three children – a total of 15 million – are being raised without a father and nearly half live below the poverty line. (3) This stress can impact a woman’s health.

Sex and Relationships-The Unmentionables! Sex, relationships, and health issues with the breasts or reproductive areas are often ignored when perhaps they should come first. Younger women seek information about relationships, sexually transmitted infections, birth control, and questions about their reproductive areas or breasts. Approximately half of sexually active people will be infected with an STI by age 25 (4), from benign (e.g., human papilloma virus) to more serious infections. However, few have the courage to openly discuss their concerns and seek information. Pregnancy, breastfeeding, and child child-rearing become very important as women as enter childbearing status years. Infertility and problems with intercourse are common and a major issue for many women. In the 40’s and 50’s, perimenopause brings many questions and concerns. Prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs.) Approximately half of sexually active people will be infected with an STI by age 25 (4), from benign (e.g., human papilloma virus) to more serious infections. Bring your sexual questions (that you are feel you are too embarrassed to ask) to a trusted healthcare professional.

Fear of hormone therapy and the Western medical approach has driven many women to complementary and alternative health solutions. There are very effective holistic approaches to treat all kinds of issues, from smaller, maybe embarrassing issues (e.g.,from breast pain with or pain with intercourse) to more serious issues like infections or pelvic pain. Find a therapist with knowledge, experience, and compassion with women’s health.

Looking to Look and Feel Better After the childbearing years, many some women’s seek cosmetic enhancements from such as tummy tucks and liposuction, to breast augmentations or reductions. Studies show that women are often more interested in looking better taking the “easier” surgical path to the basic road of exercise and diet. Stress, commitments, and limited energy often drive the busy woman to the surgical route, which may yield instant results. Many women often underestimate the pain and recovery with many of the liposuction and tummy tuck procedures. Regardless of which procedure is chosen, self-discipline with attention to exercise and diet are essential to continue looking and feeling better feeling well.

Back to Basics—Fighting the Big Health Risks Aging women will suffer from heart disease, cancer, stroke, osteoporosis, and other health issues. Stress management, diet, exercise, and healthy living will not only make your younger years healthier, but are your biggest weapons to fight the diseases that women face in their later years. Studies indicate that stress, poor diet, and inactivity can be major contributors to heart disease, cancer, and strokes, the three leading causes of death in women. (5) Proper calcium intake can prevent or minimize osteoporosis. So focus on stress reduction, a good diet, and activity to be healthy and stay healthy.

“The burden of heart disease in women is very great,” says Gregory Burke, MD, professor and chairman of the department of public health sciences at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. “The earlier folks adapt healthier behaviors, the lower their overall risk for heart disease or stroke outcomes.” Burke says people can reduce their risk of heart disease by modifying lifestyles to include a well-balanced diet and exercise. (6)

How Do You Start? Start with a good night’s sleep! Then, ask yourself, what brings you energy, joy, or makes you laugh. ? With those answers, I urge you to make time for those things during the day or week or month. Being rested and feeling positive energy will give you the motivation to becoming healthier. You probably already know how to be healthy—you need the energy and motivation to do it! If you don’t know what these things are anymore, start small to find them—and build from there. A good therapist, personal trainer, or even a friend can help you get into balance and move forward.

References:

1. “Real Answers to Women’s Health Questions,” http://unioncity.patch.com/groups/kaiser-permanente-east-bay/p/real-answers-to-womens-health-questions_217d5b47, 9/30/13 posted by Kaiser Permanente

2. “What Issues Matter Most to Women – Growing Financial Pressures on Family Life” http://www.marketingcharts.com/wp/traditional/what-issues-matter-most-to-women-growing-financial-pressures-on-family-life-4365/

3. “Single Mother Statistics,” http://singlemotherguide.com/single-mother-statistics/

4. American Sexual Health Association, http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/std-sti/std-statistics.html

5. “Leading Cause of Death in Females United States, 2010,” http://www.cdc.gov/women/lcod/2010/index.htm

6. “Women’s Top 5 Health Concerns, WebMD, Dulce Zamora,” http://www.webmd.com/women/features/5-top-female-health-concern

Steve Metzger, RN-CMT is an advanced Myofascial release therapist with Revive Therapy in Sacramento CA specializing in holistic women’s health and sports bodywork.

Postpartum Massage

Postpartum massage can be as important and beneficial as massage during pregnancy.

Postpartum bodywork is an effective and holistic approach for the many adjustments to motherhood. You may be surprised to receive much more than a spa retreat.

Massage is well-known for relaxation, stress reduction, pain relief and other health benefits. Unique postpartum benefits include hormone regulation, reduced swelling, better sleep and improved breastfeeding. More advanced therapy helps restore your body to its pre-pregnancy condition, speeds healing and assists with C-section recovery.

The Benefits of Postpartum Massage

Postpartum massage has been shown to be effective for a quicker recovery and better health. Integration of maternal bodywork may add welcome value to your healing journey and transition to motherhood. Consider the many benefits:

Relaxation and Stress Reduction

Massage relaxes muscles, increases circulation and lowers stress hormones, bringing relaxation and stress relief. All body systems appreciate treatment after nine months of change, culminating with the delivery of the greatest miracle in life. Some women prefer lighter pampering massage while others enjoy deeper techniques to work out the knots. Adding myofascial release and craniosacral therapy reaches deeper into the body for more complete healing. Any of these massage styles will bring relaxation and stress reduction.

Anxiety and depression respond very well to skilled therapy. About two-thirds of new moms experience temporary postpartum blues related to hormonal changes, new responsibilities and adjustment frustrations. Emotional support and the other benefits of massage can help during this transition. Postpartum depression is a more serious, longer-lasting condition that affects 10–15% of mothers. Studies show massage to be beneficial for treating postpartum depression. Don’t hesitate to consult healthcare providers for assistance, including a postpartum body worker.

Pain Relief

Residual body aches from pregnancy are normal. Adding breastfeeding and childcare can intensify arm, shoulder and

back pain. Massage is an effective holistic approach that relaxes muscles and relieves pain without medication. A skilled therapist may also resolve even associated numbness and tingling. Chronic or severe pain may require multiple sessions for resolution.

Hormone Regulation

Massage greatly improves postpartum hormone balance. Estrogen and progesterone hormone levels are very high during pregnancy and decrease after delivery. Prolactin and oxytocin hormone levels rise to facilitate breastfeeding. Studies indicate that massage reduces the stress hormone cortisol. Certain essential oils may also bring hormone and mood balance.

Massage also reduces naturally occurring biochemicals associated with depression (dopamine and serotonin) and cardiovascular problems

(norepinephrine), supporting Mom with the challenges of motherhood.

Decreased Swelling

Body fluids need to find balance after pregnancy, in which there was an increase of about 50% in fluid volume. Massage increases circulation and lymphatic drainage to facilitate elimination of excess fluids and waste products. Tissue stimulation assists your body to shift water to the right places. Swelling is also affected by hormones, which go through major changes after delivery. Massage helps hormone regulation, which also decreases swelling (see Hormone Regulation). Continue your high fluid intake for healing and lactation, even though you may still have swelling.

Better Sleep

Most new moms feel exhausted after labor and delivery, complicated with around-the-clock baby care. Massage will ease the fatigue, promote relaxation and assist with sleep. Studies have shown an increase in delta brain waves (those that accompany deep sleep) with massage therapy. That is why it is very common to fall asleep during a massage. Getting enough sleep is key to postpartum recovery. Everything improves when you feel rested! Arrange some help and get regular massages for better rest and sleep. One study correlated better sleep with losing the baby fat on the tummy!

Improved Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is a beautiful gift to your newborn, but can also be a challenge for some moms. Massage therapy relaxes the body, increases circulation and increases milk production. Studies show that massage increases prolactin levels, a lactation hormone. Relaxation in the chest muscles opens the shoulders and improves lactation. New research indicates that breast massage helps relieve breast pain, decreases breast milk sodium and improves newborn suckling. Consult with your therapist about this service as work directly on the breasts may not be legal in some areas.

When Can a New Mother Start Massage?

You may start receiving postpartum massages as soon as you feel comfortable. Your therapists will position you comfortably if your abdomen or breasts are sore. If you have maternal complications, first consult with your medical provider.

What Positions Are Safe for Massage?

Any position is safe after delivery, but may be adjusted for your comfort or specific treatment. Some moms crave being able to lie face-down again after lying on their sides for almost nine months. Others may be uncomfortable face-down because of breast discomfort or the distraction of leaking milk. The side-lying position can be comfortable and very effective to treat specific issues of the shoulders, pelvis or legs.

May I Bring Baby to My Appointment?

Many mothers want to leave their baby in good hands and take a break. However, some moms prefer to bring their newborn with them. Ask your therapist if newborns are welcome. Some therapists support the little visitor. Newborns usually sleep a lot and an experienced therapist will adjust the routine to Baby, if needed (breastfeeding, etc.). Extra time may be necessary if bringing the little one, so get approval in advance.

Aromatherapy during a Postpartum Massage

Holistic treatment with aromatherapy can be effective therapy for postpartum moms. Essential oils are pure extractions from plants and can assist with relaxation, hormone balance, cleansing, and treatment of anxiety or depression. Most high-quality oils are safe and non-allergenic after pregnancy, but let your therapist know if you are nursing. Most aromatherapy can be diffused into the air, added to lotion or applied topically. Inquire about the therapist’s expertise in this area and if there is an additional charge.

Include Postpartum Massage in Your After-Pregnancy Care

Massage can improve post-delivery recovery and health for many women. Supplement the guidance and advice of your medical care provider with massage to support the transition to your new maternal role. A trained therapist will assist you with physical, emotional and educational support as you find the joy of motherhood. Consult with your physician if you have had any complications or have concerns before beginning any new therapeutic practice.

American Pregnancy Association website: http://americanpregnancy.org/firstyearoflife/postpartum-massage.html

Your Health is Your Responsibility

Many of us have been brought up to believe that our health depends solely on the quality of the healthcare we receive. The truth is, your health is your responsibility. You are the only person who can make the lifestyle decisions that contribute to your well-being. You are the one who must take the steps to preserve your health and promote your wellness. Only you have the power to create wellness for yourself.

Your power lies in the choices you make every day on your own behalf. If you react out of habit or fixed attitudes, you may not be using your choices wisely to create wellness in your life. To create wellness you must expand your focus beyond mere physical health, and:

  • Strive to balance and integrate your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects
  • Establish respectful, cooperative relationships with your family, friends, community, and the environment
  • Gather information and make informed wellness-oriented choices
  • Actively participate in your health decisions and healing process

Benefits of Massage

As you lie on the table under crisp, fresh sheets, hushed music draws you into the moment. The smell of sage fills the air and you hear the gentle sound of massage oil being warmed in your therapist’s hands. The pains of age, the throbbing from your overstressed muscles, the sheer need to be touched — all cry out for therapeutic hands to start their work. Once the session gets underway, the problems of the world fade into an oblivious 60 minutes of relief and all you can comprehend right now is not wanting it to end.

Indications for Massage

  • Muscle soreness
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Constipation
  • Relaxation

Herbal/ Mud Body Wraps

Mud or herbal wraps are treatments designed to slim and tone the body, hydrate or firm the skin, or relax and soothe the muscles. Some wraps are also thought to relieve tired and aching joints, ease inflammation, and help to flush out toxins through sweating. A layer of herbs/mud/clay is applied to the skin to detoxify, cleanse and firm. These substances are thought to ease water retention and cleanse the pores by drawing out impurities. Treatments come in varied packages, with one common factor: mummification, or being wrapped in bandages over the mud that has been applied. Sometimes a pvc sauna suit is additionally used to contain the applied ingredients.

Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Within us all there is a silent system working to keep us healthy- the lymph system. Without it our bodies would swell up like balloons, swamping our cells with stagnant fluid. The lymph system’s impact is so far reaching that many don’t even realize that minor aches and pains, low energy or susceptibility to colds and flu may be due to a sluggish lymph system and a compromised immune system. In this article we’ll discuss the anatomy of the lymph system, what happens during edema and how lymph drainage massage can help, as well as contraindications to lymphatic massage.

Medical Massage

Medical massage is useful in addressing conditions such as:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Pain associated with bulged or injured spinal disks
  • Migraines/headaches
  • Pain associated with pregnancy
  • Constipation
  • Range of motion issues
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Back and Neck pain
  • Plantar fasciitis (involving pain in the foot)
  • Repetitive use injuries such as those listed and tennis elbow, Golfer’s elbow
  • TMJ
  • Pain associated with restricted fascia
  • Pain associated with postural imbalances
  • Muscle cramps
  • Restless Legs Syndrome
  • Sports/Exercise injuries
  • Work Injuries
  • Auto Injuries
  • Edema (swelling)

Prenatal Massage

Studies indicate that massage therapy performed during pregnancy can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health.

5 Amazing Benefits of Massage Therapy

Doctors today are quick to prescribe medicine or recommend surgery before trying something often more effective like massage therapy. In most cases, the body can heal itself, especially with the right kind of holistic bodywork to jumpstart the process. One form of bodywork is massage, which has countless benefits.

The key to getting an excellent massage is finding the right massage therapist – someone with whom you feel safe; someone who is engaged and listens attentively, someone who has the depth of skills to effectively treat, and someone who responds caringly to your needs. Energy and compassion are also essential attributes; someone whose touch leaves you with a sense of returning home to your body and soul. With that foundation, here are just five of the wonderful benefits of massage:

1. Relaxation by releasing stored physical and emotional pain
Massage will revive your body and improve your health.

2. Pain relief
Massage brings comfort by relieving tension, improving function and restoring circulation.

3. Stress reduction by reducing pain and eliminating tension
Massage will also assist you to effectively cope with the daily pressures of life.

4. Improved Immunity
Massage boosts the immune system, enhances clarify, and alleviates depression.

5. Alignment of your mind, body and spirit
Massage will help you recover from any of the following:

  • Pain, chronic or acute
  • Tension of muscles
  • Hormonal regulation and balance
  • Abuse: physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
  • Car accidents
  • Over-exertion or physical stress
  • Poor posture
  • Surgery
  • Chronic illness

Want to give your massage session a booster shot?

Research indicates that myofascial release deepens and extends the healing effects of massage. Learn about myofascial release

Why use medicine?

Massage therapy is an effective holistic remedy for health, healing and balance. Many Western doctors are quick to prescribe chemicals that have side effects. Your body is just waiting for the right bodywork to heal itself. Don’t rush to the pharmacy! Rush to a good therapist for safe and effective healing!

Is surgery recommended?

Many bodywork techniques can delay or eliminate the need for surgery, especially when myofascial release applied. Surgery leaves residual scarring and impaired function. Find a skilled therapist that engages the inner physician for natural and effective healing without surgery. When surgery is necessary, go to an experienced therapist for preoperative and postoperative care.

Are you modest or nervous about bodywork?

Massage can be done with clothes on or off, enabling you to receive healing touch within your parameters of comfort.

Introductory Offer: Free 30 minute consultation with first visit

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