Basic Massage & Bodywork
TYPE OF MASSAGE
Swedish Massage is the most well-known massage for it gentleness and relaxation. The standard type of massage offered in most clinics, gyms, spas, and wellness centers, Swedish massage is virtually synonymous with massage therapy. Swedish massage is based on the Western concepts of anatomy and physiology, compared to the energy-centric style more common in Asian forms of massage. Using lotion or oil, massage therapists typically begin with broad general strokes and then transition to specific strokes to address problem areas.
There are five basic strokes in Swedish massage therapy: effleurage (long smooth strokes), petrissage (kneading, rolling, and lifting), friction (wringing or small circular movements), tapotement (percussion), and vibration (rocking and shaking movements). Swedish massage provides full-body muscle relaxation, and it can be especially helpful if you’re recovering from an injury.
This is a great choice when you just want to relax and enjoy a soothing massage. It’s also a good choice for first time massage clients.
Thai Massage also known as Nuad Boran, Ancient Massage and more popular Thai Yoga Massage is an ancient healing art based on restoring the natural flow of energy in the body. By massaging along the energy lines called the Sen or Sib Sen, working on the physical body, the tensions and blockages are being softened and made fluent, resulting in pure health on the physical, emotional and mental level.
Like shiatsu, Thai massage aligns the energies of the body. The massage therapist uses rhythmic compression along the body’s energy lines to reduce stress and improve flexibility and range of motion. It is done fully clothed. This type of massage can reduce muscle spasticity and back pain and has been shown to be useful in treating balance problems and migraine symptoms.
The benefits of Thai Yoga Massage are many. Starting with the physical it is very beneficial for the release of soft and deep tissue, it aligns the body posture, helps the release of pain and brings in more mobility in the joints, by using techniques of blood stop helps in releasing toxins from the blood stream, by massaging the organs helps them reclaim their original tonus and vitality, helps with menstruation problems, back pain, headache, improves mobility, flexibility, breathing, digestion and circulation. Working on a deeper level Thai Yoga Massage can help a lot in emotional and mental release and bring a sense of inner worth, self-love and peace. It is very helpful in releasing stress, anxiety, insomnia and other stressful ailments. It is very common that after a session one feels fully revitalized, energized and full of joyful lust for life.
For centuries, ancient cultures have recognized the belly as a potent source of power and wisdom – where nutrition, information, and emotions are assimilated, stored and processed. If the abdominal is congested, the whole energy of the body is blocked, slowly weakening the internal organs, especially the digestive system, and decreasing vitality and energy in the body.
“This is a 30-60-minute therapeutic massage that is considered an add-on component to one of the full massage services OR standing alone service by itself. The treatment time depends on client’s conditions. The treatment is often used as an integral component of many detoxification programs, PTSD and Trauma Massage, Back Pain Therapy and Fertility Massage.”
The Abdominal Massage is designed to release both physical and emotional blockages in the abdominal region. The massage works directly over the navel and surrounding abdominal areas on specific pressure points and reflex zones. Gentle, soft and deep massage techniques are used to free blockages and increase the flow of energy to the internal organs for healthier functioning. The massage also helps with detoxification, toning of the abdominal muscles and internal organs, and the releasing of unprocessed emotional energy.
Abdominal massage is an area that is often neglected in massage therapy. It is a Digestion Detox Massage. If you often have that “knot in the gut” feeling that is associated with stress and anxiety, abdominal massage may help to relieve some of your uncomfortable symptoms. Abdominal massage is a technique that has been used by multiple cultures since the time of the ancients.
Abdominal massage has several keyways it works to achieve gut health. With the average American having between 5-25 pounds of toxic waste trapped in their digestive tract, it is crucial for digestive and systemic health to help support the movement of this buildup through the system. The relaxation alone that massage provides to the nervous system can significantly help trigger peristalsis – the involuntary contractions that move food and waste in the intestines. Through sensitive touch, abdominal massage encourages the lodging free and movement of undigested foods from the walls of the gut.
Through touch and pressure, massage stimulates the organs and increases blood and lymphatic flow to all the tissues of the abdomen. Toxins are pushed out and the abdominal organs and muscles are flooded with fresh blood flow and vital nutrients, returning vibrancy to the organs and increasing their ability to perform their function of removing waste and maintaining a healthy gut environment.
Abdominal massage releases held emotions, tension, stress that can create blocks and stifle the performance of your gut. Abdominal fascia and muscles commonly store stress, emotions, and tension just as one commonly feels held stress and tension in their shoulders. In our modern day, a constant flow of stressors engages our flight-or-fight response dozens of times a day.
With each fight or flight activation, there is an inhibition of activity and blood flow to the abdominal organs in order to put energy and blood towards your muscles and lungs. The more your stress response is activated, the more constriction is put on the abdominal organs. Also, noteworthy, the more stress we experienced as kids growing up in perhaps hectic or non-nurturing homes, the more we learned to develop patterns of tension in our abdominal organs. For some, it’s a pattern engaged as adults from morning till night, and all beneath our awareness! Mindful, strategic touch can release sensitive emotions from the gut tissues restoring their vitality and performance.
Benefits of abdominal massage:
- The abdomen is the physical center of the body
- The abdomen is the energetic center of the body, the seat of the “hara”
- The abdominal cavity contains the largest concentration of organs in the body
- The abdomen (hara) is the starting point of the energy lines in traditional Eastern medicine
- By working on the abdomen, you affect the entire body
- Abdominal work has a direct effect on over half a dozen organs
- Many people store negative emotions in the belly area which can be released through abdominal massage
- Abdominal massage can have major beneficial effects on your health
- Detoxify and cleanse internal organs
- Releases the body of physical, emotional, and energetic stagnation at various levels
- Improves elimination and stimulation of the lymphatic and circulatory systems
- Strengthens the immune system, enhancing resistance to disease
- Transform sick emotions
- Restore natural posture and structure
- Improve immune responses
- Can help with restructures and strengthens the body
- Works on the visceral structures and positioning of internal organs,
- stimulating them to work better
- Helps correct postural problems resulting from visceral imbalances.
- Relieves deep seated tensions and restores vitality
- Quickly releases negative emotions, tensions and sicknesses, bringing comfort and relief to the abdomen and vital energy to the internal organs.
- Abdominal massage is also effective in the treatment of digestive problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome and bloating and constipation
- It eliminates toxins in the gastrointestinal tract and promotes lymphatic drainage
- Promotes lymphatic drainage and removes toxins and wastes
- Alleviates pain associated with menstrual cramps and menopause
- Releases intestinal blockages
This type of massage for the elderly uses gentle and light application of massage techniques and can include passive stretching and a light oil or lotion to permit your muscles to be worked on without causing excessive friction to the skin. These techniques can help enhance blood circulation, combat depression, improve balance and flexibility, reduce the pain of arthritis, increase joint mobility, improve posture, and encourage overall well-being.
Geriatric massage can be especially helpful for maintaining and improving overall health as we age. Old people often suffer from a variety of such age-related diseases as Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, diabetes, or heart disease. As a result, they have poor blood circulation and limited physical activity. Many of them are also anxious, depressed, and lonely. Geriatric massage can help them maintain and improve their overall health, as well as regain certain physical functions that have been reduced or lost due to aging. In addition, it can relieve anxiety and depression and provide comfort to touch-deprived elderly patients.
The therapist will likely ask you which parts of the body you’d like to focus on. The therapist will use their expertise to combine techniques from multiple massage types to best benefit your specific needs. This blend of techniques should relieve stress and tension in your body and provide pain relief if needed.
A combination massage is a great choice for someone not as familiar with massage. It can help you discover your preferred massage technique in one quick session. Or, allow you to enjoy multiple modalities at once. In addition, certain combinations are said to amplify the healing effects of massage. For example, a Swedish massage combined with a hot stone may increase circulation and metabolism quicker than using only one style.
Combination massage brings balance mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally by using Swedish massage to increase circulation and eliminate toxins, passive yoga therapy or stretching to increase flexibility and range of motion, acupressure to release energy blockages and deep tissue to work on areas of chronic muscular pain or tension. Highly effective, this bodywork treatment relaxes and restores.
Before the massage, don’t be shy in communicating your goals of the massage – such as relaxation or relief of tension. During the massage, tell your therapist if you find a particular style that you like or dislike.
Positioning, pillows and cushions are used to enhance support, decrease pressure and increase relaxation for both body and mind. Mother and baby share in the benefits as stress and tension melt away, leaving you feeling balanced and energized. Relief of stress on feet, ankles, lower back and neck, as well as reducing swelling, are all benefits of a Prenatal Massage.
At HQWC, prenatal massage is only performed after the first trimester. It is advised that you consult with your doctor to see if prenatal massage is right for you. Additional restrictions may apply.
HOT STONE MASSAGE
As the name implies, hot stone massage uses warm stones. The therapist places heated, smooth stones on specific points on the body and also holds the warm stones while giving the massage. The stones are usually basalt (a volcanic rock that retains heat well). The warmth of the stones can be relaxing and can loosen tight muscles so that the therapist can reach areas of muscle tension quickly.
Hot stone massages are beneficial on both physical and psychological levels. Always check with your doctor before getting a hot stone massage; individuals with certain conditions–including pregnant women and people with high blood pressure–are advised to avoid this type of therapy.
***If you have certain medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, or varicose veins, you should check with your health care provider if you plan on getting a hot stone massage. Likewise, if you take any blood-thinning medication, be sure to get a medical opinion first.
Designed to prevent and treat injuries, improve flexibility, and enhance athletic performance, sports massage can be used by athletes of all abilities to prepare for or recover from athletic or sports events. Even if you aren’t an athlete, sports massage may help muscle pain or restricted range of motion.
The idea behind sports massage is to manipulate the body’s soft tissues and focus on certain muscle groups depending on which sport the athlete plays. This type of massage can help with increased blood flow, increased range of motion, and increased flexibility.
In sports massage, the strokes are generally faster than a typical Swedish massage. The therapist may also include compression, pressure point therapy, friction, and joint mobilization.