Updated: Nov 19, 2018
Any time I mention to someone that I am a massage therapist they automatically say something along the line of "Oh man, that is so nice! Massage is great" I'll then ask if they receive regular massage therapy and almost always, the answer is no. We know that something makes us feel good, but we fail to add it into our regular schedule. Why is this? It seems that many people look at massage therapy as a luxury or something that people can only get if they want to relax.
What if we started to change our perception of massage therapy? Instead of getting a massage when we are overly stressed out or at our wits end with pain, we could get regular massage BEFORE the issues arise. Yes--massage therapy can be a form of preventive healthcare. Not only can it help you stay healthy, but it can also improve your overall daily performance and functionality of the body. You might be asking how this is possible. Well, there are several types of massage that can target different outcomes.
This is the most common type of massage. It is great for relieving stess as well as preventing the stress in the first place by down regulating the sympathetic nervous system. When the body is in a sympathetic state it is constantly in "flight or fight", which doesn't allow the body to rest as it should. Not only does this type of massage promote a calming effect on the body, but it also helps with boosting the immune system, enhancing blood circulation within the body, improves flexibility, assists in pain management, and can make you leave feeling like a new person!
Most people think that a deep tissue massage means deep pressure, but this is NOT true. Deep tissue massage is a very effective way to release muscle tension, get rid of adhesions (most people say "knots"), start the rehabilitation of injured muscles, lowers high blood pressure, eliminates muscle spasms, reduces stress/tension, breaks up scar tissue, treats pain in the body. When muscles are released, it allows the body to get back to its natural balance. This can not only help with local pain, but often eliminates other pain in the body since we are a whole system. Deep Tissue massage does NOT have to be painful to be effective. I always use a pain scale to make sure clients are always as comfortable as possible.
Joint Range of Motion
This modality is used to take the joints through their full range of motion. Often times pain in caused from lack of mobility in certain joints. Many people that suffer from shoulder, hip, back pain benefit from this type of therapeutic massage. When certain muscles stop getting used to joint pain, it can weaken them. Luckily the muscles can be strengthened again just by improving the joint function. Some benefits of this modality include improved circulation, increased production of fluid/lubrication in the joints, improved muscle strength, enhanced flexibility, eliminates stiffness, better performance, and decreased risk of injury.
If you want to make the most changes in the body, this would be a great technique to use. Our bodies are wrapped in soft tissue called fascia. This is what holds everything in place. However, if we aren't properly stretching or moving regularly, it can cause issues within the body. Myofascial release uses extremely slow and deep movement to release and lengthen the muscles and connective tissue. You can generally expect to see an increase of length in arms and legs when receiving this type of massage.
You can possibly guess what exactly an integrative massage session includes. It is a combination of two or more massage modalities based off the needs of the body. This type of massage is the perfect mix of relaxation with therapeutic results. Each person is different, so what works for one person might not be the treatment that is best for you. Integrative massage is the most popular type of massage therapy treatment at Earth Wisdom Therapy. I will discuss current issues/problems, desired session results, and any other important information with the client. Some techniques that might be included are Swedish, JROM, deep tissue, hot pack/hot stone, myofascial release and much more.
Please feel free to send me an email or contact email on here regarding any questions, concerns, or if you would like to schedule. Let's work together to get your body back in balance!
-Stephanie Kennedy, LMT
Owner of Earth Wisdom Therapy