Holistic Vitality Massage Techniques
Click one of the following techniques for more information.
Swedish Massage | Deep Tissue Massage | Neuromuscular | Trigger Point Therapy | Medical Massage Sports Massage | Myofascial Release | Thai Massage | Reflexology | Energy Massage/Reiki Prenatal/Postnatal & Infant Massage | Thermal Stone Therapy | Mindful Massage | Lymphatic Drainage Massage Cupping | Geriatric Massage | Chair Massage
Generally regarded as the most common form of massage, Swedish massage involves a combination of five basic strokes and concentrates on the muscles and connective tissues of the body for improved circulation, relaxation, pain relief, and overall health maintenance and well-being.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep-tissue massage utilizes slow strokes, direct pressure or friction applied across the grain of the muscles with the fingers, thumbs or elbows. Deep-tissue massage works deeply into the muscles and connective tissue to release chronic aches and pains; its purpose is to reach the fascia beneath the surface muscles. This technique is useful in treating chronic pain, inflammation and injury.
NMT is massage applied to specific muscles, often used to increase blood flow, release knots of muscle tension, or release pain/pressure on nerves. This therapy is also known as trigger-point therapy in that concentrated finger pressure is applied to "trigger points" to alleviate muscular pain.
Trigger Point Therapy
Trigger points are areas of soft tissue in the body characterized by local pain, tightness, and tenderness. Often trigger points develop because of referred pain, or pain from another source that has manifested itself in a trigger point. Trigger points rarely refer pain to other areas. Trigger-point therapy seeks first to identify trigger points, then apply steady, appropriate pressure to the point to "release" it. This is usually followed by massage to the surrounding area to help treat the cause of the trigger point. Clients are encouraged to drink a lot of water following a trigger-point therapy session to flush out any toxins released when the trigger point is released.
Practitioners of medical massage have a strong background in pathology, disease, illness and injury, and the contraindications of specific massage techniques related to various medical conditions. Medical massage therapists frequently work under the direction of or at the request of physicians.
Sports massage therapies are both preventative and therapeutic, and used for athletes during warm ups, training and competition to treat and/or aid in the prevention of injuries; help improve flexibility, range of motion, and performance; and aid in mental clarity.
Myofascial release deals with the fascia, or connective tissue, of the body. The fascia is interconnected to every other part of the body, and actually helps to support the body's very structure, including the musculoskeletal system. When injury, inflammation, or physical or emotional trauma occurs, the fascia can become tight and cause pain and/or restricted range of motion. Myfascial release -- as its name suggests -- aims to release the fascia and return it to a state of normalcy by applying gentle pressure to the restricted areas. MFR can help with a number of conditions, including chronic pain, headaches, and stress-related illnesses.
Practiced in Thailand for over 2,000 years, Thai massage -- also known as yoga massage, Thai yoga massage and ancient massage -- works to clear energy blockages and restore balance and harmony to the body. The practice combines typical Westernized massage therapy practices, including myofascial release and trigger point therapy, with light stretching similar to that of yoga. It has even earned the name "lazy man's yoga." Like yoga, Thai massage helps to strengthen the body and increase flexibility, while allowing the client to benefit from the relaxation and healing properties of massage.
This technique is based on a system of points on the hands, feet and ears that correspond, or "reflex," to other areas of the body. Similar in theory to acupressure, reflexologists believe that applying appropriate pressure to these points stimulates the flow of energy, thus helping to relieve pain or blockages throughout the entire body. A very pleasurable form of bodywork, reflexology is also used to ease stress and promote relaxation.
Reiki (pronounced "ray-key") is often practiced in conjunction with bodywork. The word Reiki comes from two Japanese words - rei, meaning higher power or universal force, and ki, meaning life energy. Loosely translated, Reiki means universal or spiritually-guided life-force energy. Reiki is used as a method of healing illness and reducing stress through light touch or, more commonly, by placing the hands near or above the body in specific positions or patterns. Through these positions, a Reiki practitioner can correct energetic imbalances in the body by removing toxic energy, improving health and restoring a person's energy levels.
Prenatal/Postnatal and Infant Massage
Prenatal, or pregnancy, massage uses gentle techniques to help alleviate some of the ailments associated with pregnancy, including lower back, neck and shoulder pain; fatigue; joint tenderness; and stretch marks. Prenatal massage can help improve circulation, promote stress reduction and relaxation, and much more.
Infant massage has proved beneficial for both infants and their families on a number of levels. It is used regularly in hospital neonatal units and has been linked with helping premature infants gain weight. Infant massage has been shown to help relieve colic, induce sleep, promote relaxation, improve sensory integration, and enhance neurological development, among other things; moreover, the practice of massage helps build the bond between babies and their parents.
Thermal Stone Therapy
This therapy utilizes heat-retaining warm basalt and cool sedimentary massage stones, and incorporates chakra balancing using semiprecious stones and crystals, and aromatherapy. Thermal conduction in the warm stones brings about local and systematic changes in the body, and influences the energy centers for body and mind balancing. The application of hands in conjunction with the stones helps produce energy that assists with and directs vital flow to areas of blockage. The harmonious use of various massage techniques and the variegated transformational properties of the mineral and semiprecious stones produce a deepened state of relaxation.
The combination of massage, energy work, and mindful concepts focuses on the interaction and alignment of mind, body, and spirit connection.
This technique involves the application of light, rhythmic strokes to help alleviate various conditions related to the body's lymph system. Among other things, the lymph system is responsible for flushing out toxins and draining fluid, which supports a healthy immune system. When lymph circulation stagnates, however, fluid can build up and cause physical problems, such as inflammation, edemas and neuropathies.
Massage cupping has been used in traditional Chinese medicine practices for several thousand years. Practitioners use a bulb-like glass "cup" in order to create a vacuum. The cup is then placed in a stationary position upon the body or moved using gliding strokes, depending on the client's needs. Massage cupping is ideal for performing deep-tissue massage and helps to drain toxins, loosen adhesions, facilitate blood flow, and stimulate the body.
Geriatric massage involves treating the elderly and addressing their needs related to aging, depression and illness. Geriatric massage is usually shorter in duration, and involves the application of gentle techniques to facilitate pain relief, relaxation, and an overall feeling of wellness.
Also known as "seated massage", this form of bodywork is becoming increasingly popular. It can be done in a variety of settings. Clients remain fully clothed and treatments generally last from 15-30 minutes. Chair massage is usually limited to the back, neck and arms.