What is Therapeutic Massage?

Far from being a frivolous luxury, massage is a remedy as old as humanity itself.  It’s natural and instinctual to touch, rub, or squeeze an injury.

The power of touch is well documented.  Therapeutic massage therapy may very well be amont the best things you can do for yourself on a regular basis, as part of a balanced lifestyle — encouraging your body to heal itself by allowing it to remember a more effective state of being.  And it just feels good.  Even deep tissue work needn’t hurt!

With so many choices...

Today the field of massage therapy seems to include an overwhelming variety of types & styles to choose from — for example, much has been made to distinguish massage therapies into categories such as:

• swedish • deep tissue • medical
• sports • orthopedic • myo·fascial
• neuro·muscular • scar tissue

In fact, all massage (especially modalities of “European” origin) uses essentially the same techniques, simply in different ways and to varying degrees, such as:

• gliding • compression • kneading
• rocking • friction • percussion
• vibration • traction

(Therapies of “Eastern” origin differ in their underlying philosophy and approach, tho still generally use touch in some of these specific ways to elicit the desired response.)

What Works Best?

No one-way is better or worse than another, tho some techniques are more beneficial to particular conditions and situations. Hence, it is essential that a knowledgeable massage therapist develop a well-stocked toolbox of skills in order to tailor the best treatment for each client.

(Therapists specializing in a particular type of treatment will certainly be helpful to those clients whose conditions respond well to their therapy.)

What's the Goal?

The objective for a massage session (or series of sessions) necessarily guides the intention and combination of techniques and methods chosen by the therapist; such goals may include:

• relieving aches, pain, tension, stress, stiffness, fatigue, depression
• improving flexibility, mobility, mood, immunity
• injury rehab, prevention
• workout recovery
• enhancing well·being, body awareness

How Does It Work?

The true cumulative rewards of massage arise from a cascade of internal physiological changes that benefit mind, body, & spirit:

• easing muscle stiffness & aches
• releasing general tension & pain
• increasing flexibility & mobility
• reducing mental & physical fatigue
• soothing & balancing the nervous system
• encouraging blood & lymph circulation
• stimulating the immune system
• assisting cell function, metabolism, & recovery
• improving overall body function
• improving posture
• enhancing body awareness
• supporting self-empowerment
• fostering calm / peace of mind
• mitigating negative effects of stress & anxiety
• promoting overall balance & well·being
• allowing release of emotional build-up
• reducing stress hormone levels
• increasing serotonin & endorphin levels
• promoting the brain & body’s natural healing relaxation response