Massage & Oriental Body Therapies
Massage is used in the working of superficial and deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue using various techniques, to enhance function, aid in the healing process, and promote relaxation and well-being. Massage involves working and acting on the body with pressure – structured, unstructured, stationary, or moving – tension, motion, or vibration, done manually or with mechanical aids. Target tissues may include muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, skin, joints, or other connective tissue, as well as lymphatic vessels, or organs of the gastrointestinal system.
This relaxing technique uses five styles of long, flowing strokes to massage in the direction of blood returning to the heart. The five basic strokes include circular pressure applied by the hands and palms, firm kneading, percussion-like tapping, vibration/shaking, bending and stretching.
Beyond the relaxation of Swedish massage, it also has exceptionally valuable therapeutic values, known for increasing the level of oxygen in the blood, decreasing muscle toxins, improving circulation and flexibility while easing tension and stress.
Hot Stone Massage
The rejuvenating properties of hot stones for healing dates back to ancient times, promoting deeper muscle relaxation through the use of smooth, water-heated stones at key points on the body. The warmth of the hot stones is comforting and relaxing and allows the therapist to work the muscles without using deep pressure. The hot stones also expand blood vessels, which encourages blood flow throughout the body. The hot stones have a sedative effect that help relieve chronic pain, reduce stress and promote deep relaxation.
Prenatal massage shares many of the goals of regular massage — to relax tense muscles, ease sore spots, improve circulation and mobility, and to ease stress. But it’s also tailored specifically to the needs of pregnant women and their changing bodies.
Massage therapy during pregnancy, improves overall health and eases many discomforts associated with pregnancy, such as back and pelvic pain. While the increased circulation, helps reduce swelling.
Carrying a baby changes your center of gravity and puts a lot of stress on your back, neck, abdominal muscles and shoulders. Pregnancy also relaxes your ligaments, so that your pelvic joints are less stable, and changes your posture, pulling your pelvis forward. Add to that the extra weight you’re carrying and you’ve got yourself an aching lower back. Massage alleviates pelvic pressure, eases back pain, reduces swelling, improves breathing and reduces muscle tension and fatigue.
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Massage is very beneficial on its own, however when used in conjunction with essential oils, these two therapies can be synergistically more beneficial than when performed separately.
Aromatherapy uses essential oils extracted from flowers and plants with an aim to balance the emotions and improve general health and well being. Your therapist will carefully choose a blend of essential oils to address your symptoms or mood. These are added to a carrier oils and applied to your skin through massage.
These impactful treatments work to accelerate the bodies healing abilities. This is done by creating a deep relaxation aiding the body in the release of stress and tension while raising the vibrational frequency of the body to cleanse and clear the chakras.
Tui na is a form of Chinese manipulative therapy often used in conjunction with acupuncture, fire cupping, Chinese herbalism and qigong. It is a hands-on body treatment that uses Chinese principles in an attempt to bring into balance the eight principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The practitioner may brush, knead, roll/press and rub the areas between each of the joints (known as the eight gates) to open the body’s defensive (wei) chi and get the energy moving in the meridians as well as the muscles. The practitioner can then use range of motion, traction, massage, with the stimulation of acupressure points; this is known to treat both acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions, as well as many non-musculoskeletal conditions.
Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a local suction is created on the skin; practitioners believe this mobilizes blood flow in order to promote healing. Suction is created using fire. The air inside the cup is heated and the rim is then applied to the skin, forming an airtight seal. As the air inside the cup cools, it contracts, forming a partial vacuum and enabling the cup to suck the skin, pulling in soft tissue, and drawing blood to that area. It can leave temporary bruised marks on the skin.
Gua Sha involves repeated pressured strokes over lubricated skin with a smooth edge. Commonly a ceramic Chinese soup spoon. The smooth edge is placed against the pre-oiled skin surface, pressed down firmly, and then moved down the muscles or along the pathway of the acupuncture meridians, along the surface of the skin, with each stroke being about 4-6 inches long.
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