Massage therapy is the scientific manipulation of the soft tissues of the body for the purpose of normalizing those tissues. It has been used for thousands of years to promote wellness and treat pain.
Massage relieves muscle tension, stimulates the nerves, and stretches muscles and connective tissue. It promotes healing by moving blood and lymph and increasing oxygen supply to the cells.
Massage may be effective in many conditions: stress-related insomnia and headaches, muscle and joint pain, back pain, depression, anxiety, digestive disorders, sports injuries and cancer pain.
Most commonly used is Swedish massage which uses long gliding strokes, kneading and friction techniques on the more superficial layers of muscles, generally in the direction of blood flow toward the heart, and sometimes combined with active and passive movements of the joints.
Massage therapy shows many positive benefits for many mental health conditions as well as physical illnesses. Massage boosts the immune system and raises levels of dopamine. It also provides a positive kinetic and sensory experience capable of reversing a negative body image.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep Tissue Massage is a massage technique that focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue. It aims to release the chronic patterns of tension in the body through slow strokes and deep finger pressure on the contracted areas, either following or going across the fibers of the muscles, tendons and fascia.deep tissue massage
Deep tissue massage is used to release chronic muscle tension
through slower strokes and more direct deep pressure or friction applied across the grain of muscles not with the grain. Deep tissue massage helps to break up and eliminate scar tissue. Deep tissue massage usually focuses on more specific areas and may cause some soreness during or right after the massage. However, if the massage is done correctly you should feel better than ever within a day or two.
Mayan Therapeutic Uterine Massage (MUM) incorporates abdominal and cloth massage, as well as delicate energetic focuses to relax the solar plexus and reposition the uterus, alleviating a variety of uterine and abdominal issues.
Mayan Uterine Massage is an ancient technique used in ceremony and in medicinal practices throughout Central America for a range of physical and spiritual ailments.
Thai Massage is an interactive manipulation of the body using passive stretching and gentle pressure along energy lines. These movements help to:
- Adjust the skeletal structure
- Increase flexibility
- Relieve muscular and joint tension
- Stimulate internal organs
- Balance the body’s energy system
The effect is uniquely relaxing as well as energizing. Receiving a Thai massage is a bit like doing yoga without putting forth any effort while also getting acupressure treatments!
Lomilomi – Hawaiian Style Massage
Lomilomi practitioners use the palms, forearm, fingers, knuckles, elbows, knees, feet, even sticks and stones. Lomilomi practices varied by family, ahupua’a (region) and island. Traditionally, lomilomi was practices in four contexts:lomi lomi
- As a healing practice of native healers – kahuna la au lapa ‘au (healers) and kahuna haha (diagnosticians)
- As a luxury and an aid to digestion, especially by the ruling chiefs (ali’i)
- As a restorative massage within the family
- By olohe lua (masters of the Hawaiian martial arts)
Although the word kahuna lomilomi is widely used in contemporary writings, traditionally the people who performed lomilomi were called ka po’e lomilomi (the massage people) or kanaka lomi (massage person). A related term, kauka lomilomi, was coined in 1920 to describe osteopathic physicians. The word kauka is the Hawaiianized version of doctor.
Like all endeavors in old Hawaii, lomilomi was conducted with prayer and intention. Hawaii kupuna (elder) Auntie Margaret Machado describes lomilomi as “praying” work.
Hawaiian Hot Stone
Hot stone massage is a specialty massage that uses smooth, heated stones. They are often basalt. a black volcanic rock that absorbs and retains heat well.
It is a deeply soothing, relaxing form of massage. The heat helps tight muscles to release.
What Happens During a Hot Stone Massage?
- hawaiian hot stoneBefore you arrive, the massage therapist sanitized the stones and heats then in 120 and 150 degree water.
- The therapist uses traditional strokes of Swedish massage while holding a heated stone. As the stone cools, the therapist replaces it with another.
- The therapist might also leave heated stones in specific points along your spine. or in the palms of your hand, or even between your toes to improve the flow of energy in your body.
- If you have inflammation or muscle injury, cold stones are sometimes used.
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.
Craniosacral Therapy, or CST, is a gentle, hands-on manipulation of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system. This system is compromised of the soft tissue and bones of the cranium (or head), the spine and the pelvis. Massage therapists that perform craniosacral therapy also target the membranes and cerebrospinal fluids that surround and cushion the brain and spinal cord from injury during a therapy session.
Due to its influence on the functioning of the central nervous system, craniosacral massage benefits the body in a number of ways. It is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease and alleviate a wider range of specific medical conditions including:
- Chronic back and neck pain
- Chronic Fatigue
- Post traumatic stress disorder
- Emotional difficulties
Craniosacral massage has also proved effective in treating stress related dysfunctions and various sensory disorder.