Massages

 

What is a Massage?

 


 Massages are usually performed to relieve muscle stiffness, spasms, or cramps.  Massage also helps to relieve anxiety, stress, and tension.  Massage may also help improve or protect your memory.

 

Some of the most common types of massage are: Swedish (relaxation), Neuromuscular Therapy, Myofascial Release,  Connective Tissue Therapy, Lymphatic Drainage, Trigger Point, Deep Tissue, Sports Therapy, Hot Stone Therapy and Couples Massages.

 

Massage Healing

There are four main stages of healing through massage:  relief, correction, strengthening, and maintenance.

 

Relief- The first few sessions of massage therapy are aimed to relieve pain, reduce muscle tension and relax stressed nerves.  These sessions are aimed at the symptoms of the problem.  

 

Correction- When the pain is gone, the therapist will work on the problem that caused the pain.  Techniques will then be aimed at stimulating your lymphatic system and freeing knotted and scarred muscle fibers.

 

Strengthening- Strengthening is important in a badly damaged area.  Weakness at the injury site can mean recurring problems.  Techniques will be aimed at strengthening the tissues near the injury enabling them to provide adequate support when the injury is healed.  

 

Maintenance- Maintenance is the final stage in healing and the first step in preventing other injuries.  Maintenance techniques are aimed at treating the problem and preventing the occurrence of new problems.

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Acupressure

Acupressure is an ancient Chinese technique based on the principles of acupuncture, and involves the use of finger pressure (without the needles) on specific points along the body.

 

Acupressure massage therapy stimulates and activates the body's own energies to help fight illness and restore harmony.   Acupressure can help alleviate ailments such as tension, stress, aches and pains, arthritis,  menstrual cramps, headaches, migraines, insomnia, depression, toothache, dizziness, digestive disorders (including diarrhea and constipation), nausea, morning sickness, motion sickness and tiredness.

 

The purpose of acupressure is to stimulate the body's own recuperative powers by stimulating the various points on the body.  This stimulation removes energy blockages by diffusing the toxic build up that accumulates in the muscle tissue.  The accumulation of toxins causes stiffness throughout the body.  Stiffness in muscles puts abnormal pressure on nerves, blood and lymph vessels. The pressure on blood and lymph vessels affect both skeletal systems and internal organ functioning. 


Acupressure is usually given in a similar fashion to traditional massage.  Points on the body are massaged using a finger or thumb, and sometimes a blunt object, in a fairly rapid circular motion with a medium pressure.

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Swedish Massage

The term "Swedish Massage" refers to a variety of techniques specifically designed to relax muscles by applying pressure to them against deeper muscles and bones, and rubbing them in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart.

 

The main purpose of Swedish massage is to increase the oxygen flow in the blood and release toxins from the muscles. Swedish massage shortens recovery time from muscular strain by flushing the tissues of lactic acid, uric acid, and other metabolic wastes.  It increases circulation, stretches ligaments and tendons, and stimulates the skin and nervous systems and soothes the nerves themselves at the same time. 


Swedish massage techniques include:  long strokes, kneading, friction, tapping, percussion, vibration, effleurage (gliding strokes), and shaking motions.

 

Swedish massage feels good, is relaxing and invigorating.  It affects the nerves, muscles, glands,and circulation, while promoting health and well being.

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Trigger Point Therapy

Trigger point therapy is a bodywork technique that involves the applying of pressure to tender muscle tissue in order to relieve pain and dysfunction in other parts of the body.  Sometimes massage and trigger point therapy are performed together.  Trigger point therapy is also called Myofascial trigger point therapy.

 

Trigger points are areas of tenderness in a muscle.  Active trigger points cause muscular pain and will refer pain and tenderness to another area of the body when pressure is applied.  Latent trigger points only exhibit pain when compressed. Latent trigger points are believed to be one of the causes of stiff joints and restricted range of motion of old age.  

 

Trigger points can be caused by an injury sustained in a fall or accident, poor posture, or overexertion.  The purpose of trigger point therapy is to eliminate pain and to re-educate the muscles into pain free habits.  After several treatments, the swelling  and stiffness of neuromuscular pain is reduced and range of motion is restored.

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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 fiber's of the muscles, tendons and fascia.  

 

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 the muscles not with the grain.  Deep tissue massage helps to break up and eliminate scar tissue.  

 

Deep tissue massage feels good and is beneficial to your health.  When muscles are stressed, they block oxygen and nutrients, leading to inflammation that builds up toxins in the muscle tissue.  A deep tissue massage helps loosen muscle tissues, release toxins from muscles and get blood and oxygen circulating properly.  

 

The purpose is to "unstick" the fibers of a muscle while releasing deeply-held patterns of tension, removing toxins, while relaxing and soothing the muscle.  It is both corrective and therapeutic.

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Sports Massage

Sports Massage is a special form of massage and is typically used before, during, and after athletic events.  

 

The main purpose of sports massage therapy is to help alleviate the stress and tension which builds up in the body's soft tissues during physical activity.   The massage will help prepare the athlete for peak performance, to drain away fatigue, to relieve swelling, to reduce muscle tension, to promote flexibility and to prevent injuries.  Sports massage can help prevent those injuries that so often get in the way of performance and achievement.  

 

The technique often involves a blend of traditional Swedish Massage and Deep Tissue specifically designed to treat each individual athlete.  Sports massage can be aimed to help heal strained muscles and allow healthy ones to reach peak performance and maintain it while minimizing the risk of injury.  

 

Sports massage has many benefits.  It reduces the heart rate and blood pressure, increases blood circulation and lymph flow, reduces muscle tension, improves flexibility, and relieves pain.

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Reflexology Massage

Reflexology is a gentle form of therapeutic treatment applied to the feet and sometimes to the hands.  Reflexology was brought to America in the early 1900s by Chinese immigrants.

 

Reflexology is based on the belief that there are reflex areas on the feet and hands corresponding to all the parts of the body including major organs. It is believed that applying pressure to  specific areas on the feet, hands and ears can affect internal organs and body systems, and therefore promote good health.

 

The therapist stimulates and works these organs and systems through the reflex areas on the hands and feet, applying pressure with thumb and fingers.  Pressure is applied to clear out congestion and restore normal function and health.

 

A reflexology treatment usually lasts between 40 minutes and 1 hour.  

 

Reflexology has many benefits.  It is pleasant and soothing, and relaxes the body.  It helps relieve pain associated with migraines, sinus problems, breathing disorders, digestive problems, circulatory problems, back problems, tension and stress.

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Aromatherapy Massage

Touch, body work, and massage have many positive effects on the muscle, joint, circulatory, and other body systems, and when combined with massage oils create a relaxing, luxurious experience that balances the mind, body, and spirit.

 

Massage therapy has been shown to have a wide array of benefits.  Essential oils (aromatherapy) further support the benefits of massage therapy by enabling targeted aromatic and topical relief.  Topical application of specific oils to various areas of the body brings balance and harmony while fostering a wellness experience.

 

Some of the most common oils used are:

  • Lavender- This oil has a calming effect and is known to help relax the body and help fight insomnia. It has been known to help overcome depression and nervous anxiety.
  • Chamomile- Also known to help with insomnia, depression and stress. Helps minimize anxiety, irritability and nervousness.  Also helps soothe restless babies.
  • Bergamot- This oil is refreshing and will give you a better sense of well-being to calm stress. Has been shown to help with hormonal support. 
  • Jasmine- Shown to be uplifting, help with anxiety, feelings of hopelessness, and nervous exhaustion.
  • Peppermint- Excellent oil for those who suffer from sinus issues, headaches, cold sores, arthritis.  Also known to help with pain relief and to help curb your appetite.
  • Grapefruit- This oil is used mainly for detoxification. Can also help cleanse the kidneys, lymphatic and vascular systems.  Is also useful for fluid retention and cellulite.

These are just a few of the aroma oils that we carry.  If you have other conditions or concerns about your health, call us for a consultation as to what oils would be beneficial to help you. 

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Hot Stone Massage 

Hot stone massage is a massage where the therapist uses smooth, heated stones.  The heat can be deeply relaxing and help warm up tight muscles so the therapist can work more deeply.

 

A hot stone massage can be done a couple of different ways.  The therapist can use the stones as an extension of their own hands, or place them on the body while they massage other areas.  They may also do these simultaneously.  The hot stones are generally placed along the spine, in the palms of your hands, on your belly, and/or between your toes to improve the flow of energy in your body.

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Lymphatic Massage

Lymphatic Massage is a technique used to encourage lymph flow in the body.  A healthy flow of lymph supports the body's immune system in fighting off toxins. 

 

The objective of lymphatic massage is the stimulation and subsequent opening of the lymphatic glands, resulting in an increased flow of lymph.  The potential benefits of lymphatic massage include, but are not limited to, decreased joint pain and the pain of arthritis, mood and energy enhancement, infrequent infections, and improved skin conditions.  It may also alleviate migraines and menstrual cramps.

 

The focus of this massage is primarily on the upper body, including the face, neck and underarm regions.  Typically, the touch is incredibly light, as the lymphatic vessels are located directly beneath the skin.

 

Lymphatic massage can be performed independently or in conjunction with deep tissue massage.

 

As with all forms of massage, it is important to drink plenty of water after a session is completed.  Lymphatic massage releases toxins that water helps to flush out. 

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Couples Massage

Couples Massage is one of the most requested services at spas right now.  Two people are massaged in the same room, at the same time, by two different therapists.  It can be a husband and wife, mother and daughter, girlfriend and boyfriend, sisters, or best friends.

 

Couples massage is a great way to introduce someone who has never gotten a massage before in a way that makes them feel more comfortable for the first time.

 

Couples massage is not just for you and a loved one.  You can bring in your office staff, your sorority sisters, red hat ladies, birthday parties, bachelorette parties, anniversary couples, or just girlfriends day out.  Please see our On Location Page for additional information.

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Facial Massage

Just like any other form of massage, Facial Massage relieves tension, promotes relaxation and restores energy to your face and body by increasing circulation.  Facial massage is a great way to get the blood flowing and to achieve a healthy glow. Regular facial massages also work to tighten and lift the facial muscles, giving the skin a more youthful appearance.  

 

It has been suggested that regular facial massages can keep the skin looking young, smoother, firmer and more beautiful. Facial massage accomplishes this by releasing tension, minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, increasing circulation, tightening facial muscles, normalizing the moisture balance, reducing impurities and toxins, and increasing radiance.

 

To begin a facial massage, the therapist will cleanse the face thoroughly and remove any makeup.  A good cleansing and scrubbing will exfoliate the skin, removing any dead skin cells on the face.  Then the therapist will apply a small amount of massage lotion, specifically designed for the face, which will be absorbed during the facial massage.  This is important because the lotion provides a slippery surface so that the fingers do not pull or stretch the skin.  

 

The therapist uses gentle touch to massage the face. The therapist works to increase circulation and reduce tension in the face by softly working the different areas of the face.  The forehead and nose are targeted to reduce the appearance of horizontal lines. The nostrils are massaged to unclog pores and prevent blemishes.  The mouth and cheeks are massaged to help prevent wrinkles and sagging of the facial muscles.  The area around the eyes is massaged to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and heavy bags under the eyes.  The chin and neck are targeted to promote muscle tone and prevent sagging skin.  Finally, the ears are gently massaged and tugged because they have pressure points that stimulate other areas of the body.  The movement of the fingers is always done in an upward motion.  When done regularly, facial massage will keep your skin looking tight and youthful.

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Chair Massage

A massage chair is a chair specifically designed to apply pressure and relaxation to the muscles.  A good massage chair will provide pain relief and relaxation.

 

The most common type of massage chair is the Swedish therapy chair.  The Swedish chair enables the therapist to use long gliding strokes and kneading motions.

 

There are many benefits of using a massage chair.  Some of these benefits are:  

• Deep relaxation and stress reduction  
• Relief of muscle tension and stiffness
• Reduced muscle spasm and tension 
• Greater joint flexibility and range of motion
• Increased ease and efficiency of movement
• Promotes deeper and easier breathing
• Better circulation of both blood and lymph fluids
• Reduced blood pressure
• Relief of tension-related or eyestrain headaches
• Faster healing from pulled muscles and sprained ligaments    

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