Therapeutic Massage is a broad term we use to describe the varying forms of traditional bodywork we both practice. From massage which focuses on gentle relaxation, to deeper tissue work which helps work out problematic muscle tissue, we each have our specialties and the ability to create a session fitting your unique needs and preferences.
Each session is unique.
When you receive bodywork, it is sometimes difficult to describe the type of work you would like to receive, or even to describe what you are feeling in your body! Here are some tools to use when you come in to receive a massage from us (or any bodyworker!) to help you get the massage you truly want.
You will often hear massages described as "deep tissue," "relaxation," or "Swedish." These are forms of traditional massage which can produce a very different experience and have multiple components!
Deep tissue refers to deeper pressure, but should never cause anything beyond a "hurts so good" type of pain. This type of massage is often much slower and methodical, to allow the tissues to become accustomed to the deeper contact. Often used to work out "knots" or "trigger points" and is mostly used for those whose bodies are less sensitive to touch. The practitioner might use their fists, forearms, and palms less than their fingers.
Myo-Fascial work refers to a form of deep tissue massage which works with the connective tissue that keeps our musculo-skeletal system connected. This network can become dense, tight, and stuck, causing pain and dysfunction in our muscles and posture. This work is often slow, working along specific connective lines of tissue along the body to alleviate tension. The practitioner uses much less lubrication (oils or lotions) for this type of massage.
Swedish or Relaxation massages are often lighter pressure, a quicker pace, and involve various techniques like effleurage (a gentle gliding over tissue), petrissage (a sort of gentle pull/squeeze/grab of the tissue) friction (which creates heat in the tissue), tapotement (a rhythmic drumming used to create a vibration effect in the tissue), and compression (a gentle press on tissue to create a sense of solid calm). Usually uses more lubrication to increase the flow of motion during this massage. All or some of these techniques can be used.
Assisted Stretching can be used in all forms of massage, assuming the body is able and willing, to help release tension in the muscles. The practitioner holds and supports the area to be stretched (like an arm or leg, neck, or other area) and gently stretches the muscles. Some practitioners use Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (or PNF) while stretching, which helps our muscles relearn where they are in space.
Aromatherapy is the use of pure and natural essential oils to enhance your massage experience. Different scents have different effects, so it is important to discuss with your practitioner which oil they will be using, why, and how. Always ask for non-synthetic oils, as the synthetic oils can sometimes cause headaches or skin irritations, and will not have the same therapeutic effects as natural essential oils.
Mindfulness is a broad term used for any practice which helps focus or calm the mind. A practitioner who knows how can help you through a guided mindfulness practice. You can also easily experience mindfulness on your own through meditation practice, coloring or art, cooking, exercise, or any activity which focuses your mind and body on one thing and quiets unnecessary thoughts.
What do you feel in your body?
This is completely subjective to your experience, and we know that it can be difficult to put that experience into words. Here are a few ideas. These words can represent both physical and emotional feelings. Which ones resonate with you today?
Dense. Sore. Stuck. Rigid. Inflexible. Throbbing. Tingling. Taught. Sensitive. Tender. Overactive. Charged. Numb. Protective. Ticklish. Prickly. Radiating. Extended. Restricted. Flexible. Open. Flighty. Vulnerable. Heated. Cold. Solid. Soft. Grounded.
Those are just a few ideas. Sometimes a word you come up with yourself is truly the best descriptor!