Acupressure ~ is an ancient Oriental healing art which involves applying finger or thumb pressure to specific points on the body. These points, called acupoints, are located along the body’s meridians. Meridians are the circuits, or pathways in the body, through which Qi (Chi), or life energy flows. The goal of acupressure is to help the body to achieve and maintain balance, by relieving blockages of energy at the acupoints, and encouraging the free flow of Qi to all the body’s systems. Acupressure is used to relieve pain and muscular tension, as well as to assist with many other disturbances in the body, such as insomnia, headache, anxiety, or acute illness. Acupressure is very relaxing. While an acupoint may be tender at first, as the therapist holds pressure on the point, the discomfort will lessen within a minute or two, and will often disappear completely. Acupressure can be applied in many situations when a general massage would be contraindicated, for example if you are sick with a bad cold or flu, or have a medical condition which precludes traditional massage. Acupressure can be used in conjunction with a regular massage or can be applied as a stand-alone treatment.
Tui Na ~ is traditional Chinese medical massage and, like other Eastern modalities, has the goal of returning the body to balance. Tui Na focuses on promoting the flow of energy, or Qi, through the body’s meridians, as well as within the muscles. Techniques used include grasping, rolling, kneading, stretching, tractioning, striking and frictioning. In general, a Tui Na massage will feel both relaxing and invigorating and will help you feel more energetic. Tui Na has been in use in China for over 2,000 years and is utilized as a treatment, or as a complement to treatment, for a wide variety of musculoskeletal disorders, as well as for chronic stress-related disorders of the internal systems.
Tui Na can be used in conjunction with Western style massage techniques, or can be used alone. Tui Na massage usually does not require the application of oil or lotion, so it can easily be done with the client fully clothed.
Cupping ~ is a traditional therapy which originated in China thousands of years ago. Variously sized glass or plastic cups are adhered to the skin with vacuum suction and are either left in place for 5 to 10 minutes, or moved over the skin. Cupping stimulates acupoints and helps dispel congestion or stagnation in the tissues. It is useful for both internal conditions and for muscular or fascial tightness and pain.
Gua Sha~ is a traditional Asian technique which can be used whenever a client is experiencing pain, whether from an acute or chronic disorder. Gua Sha releases blocked Qi, promoting normal circulation and metabolic processes. The skin of the back, neck or limbs is lubricated with oil and then firmly stroked with a smooth flat tool to produce petechiae, small red spots, which fade within a few days. The petechiae, or “sha”are indicative of stagnation in the tissues. This technique is used to treat a wide variety of conditions including muscular pain and stiffness, as well as acute and chronic conditions involving the respiratory and digestive systems.
Prenatal Massage ~ Studies indicate that massage therapy performed during pregnancy can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health.
Aromatherapy ~ the addition of one or more pure essential plant oils to your massage treatment will enhance the benefits of your session, promoting your physical, mental and emotional well-being. Essential oils are added to the oil or lotion used for your massage, diffused into the room air, or placed on a tissue for inhalation. Many single oils and blends are available, appropriate for your individual needs.
Deep Tissue ~ involves focused work on a specific area, in order to relieve chronic tension and pain in the underlying muscle layers. Strokes are slower and deeper, working the muscles, tendons and fascia, and may include static pressure, or friction applied across the fibers. Deep tissue techniques assist in loosening adhesions in muscle or fascia, allowing increased flexibility and fluidity of the tissues. Increased circulation to and from tissues helps to rejuvenate and heal them. This work is particularly appropriate when an old injury, or chronic muscular tension, is causing ongoing pain and restriction of movement. Examples might include tendonitis of the elbow, or frozen shoulder.
Deep tissue work will be more intense than a Swedish-only massage. Communication between the therapist and client is important, in order to keep the massage within the client’s comfort level. We’re looking for a “good hurt” with this type of work, and application of pressure is tailored to your needs.
Trigger Point Therapy ~ involves application of finger pressure to “trigger points”-- painful, irritated areas in muscles-- in order to break cycles of spasm or pain. Trigger points can be active, meaning they hurt even without being touched, or latent, meaning they hurt when pressed. Trigger points can cause discomfort at just the point itself or can send referred pain or symptoms to other areas of the body. The benefits of Trigger Point Therapy include decreased pain, increased range of motion and flexibility, better circulation, and decreased stiffness.
Swedish Massage ~ is a classic European massage style which involves the use of the hands, forearms and elbows to manipulate the superficial layersof the muscles. Five types of strokes are used in Swedish: long flowing strokes (effleurage), kneading strokes (petrissage), friction, vibration and tapotement (tapping, pounding, etc.). Active or passive movement of the joints may also be a part of this type of massage. The benefits of Swedish massage include mental and physical relaxation, decreased stress, increased blood circulation, relief of tension and pain, and improved range of motion. This is the most common style of massage and is very effective and enjoyable.
Raindrop Technique ~ involves the application of essential oils, in conjunction with light massage, to the spine reflexology points of the feet and to the back. Raindrop Technique focuses on the spine and the nerves, with the intention of promoting healing throughout the body. A Raindrop session will leave you feeling supremely relaxed.
The oils traditionally used for Raindrop Technique are herbaceous, rather than floral: Oregano, Thyme, Basil, Cypress, Marjoram, Wintergreen, Peppermint and a special blend. Heavenly scents! Liz uses 100% pure essential oils, diluted in pure, organic jojoba oil, for her Raindrop Technique treatments.
Hot Stone Massage ~ is a wonderfully relaxing Swedish-style massage utilizing smooth heated stones. Variously sized stones are heated in a clean water bath until they reach the proper temperature. The stones may be placed on the torso, legs, arms, hands, and between the fingers and toes, and are also used for massaging the body. The sustained heat from the stones helps tight muscles to relax more easily, improves circulation and calms the nervous system.