Open for Healing
massage and reiki

Massage Techniques

Curious about the different techniques offered? 

Read below for more specific descriptions of the styles and benefits of each massage style offered:

Relaxation techniques are generally incorporated into every massage, especially as the way to begin and end the massage, and sometimes this is the primary modality used when indicated, such as for clients with fibromyalgia, chronic pain, or serious medical conditions.  Relaxation techniques are generally lighter in pressure and often slower, helping the breath to deepen and the body to relax.  When the body relaxes, the nervous system relaxes, which improves circulation, digestion, immune function, and allows your body to repair and rejuvenate itself, much as it does when you are sleeping. 

Therapeutic, aka Deep Tissue techniques are generally focused on releasing patterns in the muscles and connective tissue that are causing pain, limited mobility, weakness, or other conditions interfering with your optimal health and functioning.  These patterns are often caused by newly acquired or old injuries, repetitive motions or postures due to your job, sports, or daily activities, and sometimes simply from stress.  These techniques are often called other names, such as myofascial, trigger point, positional release, stretches, etc., but they all focus on releasing tightness, reducing "the crunchies", and increasing strength, function, and range of motion.  Some people think "deep tissue" means "deep pressure", but that is not necessarily the case.  The pressure used in a massage is generally determined by the client's preference and the condition and needs of the area being worked.

Swedish techniques are a bit of a combination of relaxation and therapeutic techniques, with the primary goals being to increase relaxation and facilitate circulation and lymph flow in the muscles and body for overall health benefits.  In this style, there is an emphasis on sweeping and pumping motions that encourage blood to flow into the muscles and then back to the heart, where it is cleaned and detoxifed.  Some massage providers use this term to mean a more relaxing, flowing type of massage versus the deep tissue type of massage that can feel more uncomfortable when working specifically on areas that are tight and painful.

Integrative massage means that we are combining more than one technique in a session, which is how many massages are conducted.  I will often add a little acupressure for sinus congestion, or a few cranio-sacral release techniques for headaches, or some Reiki to assist the body in an area that is under a lot of stress, and sometimes clients request a combination of techniques they like and/or are interested in trying.

Pregnancy or Prenatal massage includes special positioning and considerations to accommodate for the changes your body goes through during pregnancy.  I have special pregnancy cushions with cut-outs for the belly so that you can lie on your stomach if you prefer and also pillows and cushions for lying on your side if that is more comfortable.

Shiatsu, aka Acupressure,  is a type of massage originated in Japan and China, that is based on the Chinese Medicine Model that incorporates the ideas of meridians, or energy pathways, in the body, and promotes balance and harmony in all aspects of mind-body-and-spirit.  This massage is generally offered clothed, and pressure is applied along the meridians, with the focus being on releasing any tension or blocks found along the way, as well as tonifying or strengthening what may be weak.  The massage school that I attended focused predominantly on this technique, including classes related to 5-element theory and the balance of yin and yang.

Aromatherapy, aka Essential Oils can be added to any massage, generally free of charge (except for the Raindrop Technique, explained below).  Essential oils are distilled directly from plants and flowers and used for their benefits, such as being antibacterial, relaxing, rejuvenating, expectorant, antiviral, etc.  I have a large collection of essential oils, mostly from Young Living, who pride themselves on the therapeutic quality of their oils.  I make my own "pain relief creams", using oils specifically designed to reduce inflammation and pain, that I often use in massages where it is indicated, and I am happy to custom blend your own combination of oils for your massage.

Raindrop technique uses a specific set of nine essential oils that are dropped (like raindrops) along the spine, and then massaged into the back and neck for ultimate benefits of the oils. These oils reduce inflammation, fight off germs and illnesses that may be present in the body, or lying dormant along the spine, relax and relieve muscle tension, and reduce pain.  Due to the extra cost of the oils, this technique costs an additional $5. 

Reiki is a Japanese energy healing technique that helps the mind and body relax, thus helping the body's natural healing abilities to awaken and kick in.  It can be given with hands resting on the body and/or above the body, working on the energy field surrounding the client.  Reiki is a very noninvasive relaxation method that can always be given, with no contraindications, which makes it unique among all bodywork techniques.  The most common reaction to receiving Reiki is to feel relaxed, and often times it puts people to sleep!

Energy Healing techniques are like Reiki in that they are given with hands resting on the body and/or above the body, working in the energy field.  They focus on clearing and strengthening the energy in your body, such as working with the chakras, aura, and meridian lines.  A lot of the techniques I learned are taught in Healing Touch classes.

Cranio-sacral techniques are very subtle techniques focused on freeing restrictions in the cerebral-spinal fluid and rhythm, that can be the result of injury or stress, and can be causing issues such as migraine headaches, sinus pressure, or other chronic problems in the head or spine.  They are given with a very light touch, with me very gently pulling apart the cranial bones, or gently "unwinding" the limbs.  People often feel very relaxed when receiving these techniques.



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