Massage therapy is the manipulation of soft tissue using the hands and arms as tools. Depending on the needs of the client during a session, a variety of modalities, depths of pressure, and techniques can be employed. Massage should not cause pain, but deep tissue massage can cause discomfort if pressure is employed too deeply or too quickly. Generally speaking, massage should offer a deep sense of calm and tranquility.
Swedish massage includes long, rhythmic strokes, kneading, friction, vibration, and stretching. Deep tissue massage allows the massage therapist to work more deeply into the musculature and surrounding soft tissue after it has been warmed and softened. It is especially beneficial in injury rehabilitation and works to break up and realign scar tissue to strengthen new muscle, tendon, or ligament fibers.
A pregnant woman's body changes weekly from conception until delivery. Massage during pregnancy can alleviate stress, diminish aches and pains, and provide nurturing support to both mother and fetus. After delivery, postpartum massage can help a new mother feel better physically and emotionally as she adjusts to the many changes associated with becoming a parent.
Like a Balinese dance for the body, this 75-minute treatment begins with a foot bath and scrub followed by a full-body massage with aromatherapy oil. Swedish technique combines with acupressure and stretching to make this the ultimate in relaxation. (Please note that this modality is offered only at my Second Avenue location.)
In this highly relaxing treatment, Claire Marie Miller describes Integrative Reflexology® as a modality that stimulates reflex points on the feet, hands, and ears to "tap into and open up the systems and organs to allow the body to transport important information about the source and nature of any neurological and metabolic imbalances within the body." For those seeking hands-on healing without massage or the need to disrobe, consider Integrative Reflexology®. The only contraindications are being acutely ill or having certain foot fungal or viral infections.
According to The International Center for Reiki Training, Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by "laying on hands" and is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one's life force energy is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy. There is no need to disrobe for a Reiki treatment.