Massage is one of the oldest, simplest forms of therapy and is a system of stroking, pressing and kneading different areas of the body to relieve pain, relax, stimulate, and tone the body. Massage does much more than create a pleasant sensation on the skin; it also works on the soft tissues (the muscles, tendons, and ligaments) to improve muscle tone. Although it largely affects those muscles just under the skin, its benefits may also reach the deeper layers of muscle and possibly even the organs themselves. Massage also stimulates blood circulation and assists the lymphatic system (which runs parallel to the circulatory system), improving the elimination of waste throughout the body.
Although a single massage will be enjoyable, the effects of massage are cumulative and a course of massage treatments will bring the most benefits. Regular massage can have the effect of strengthening and toning the entire body mechanism, and so help to prevent unnecessary strains and injuries that might otherwise occur due to excess tension and any resulting structural weaknesses. Massage can stimulate or calm the nervous system depending upon what is required by the individual and thus help reduce fatigue, leaving the receiver with a feeling of replenished energy. At its best, massage has the potential to restore the individual physically, mentally and spiritually.
Swedish Massage is what most people think of when they think of massage. The massage can be light to firm, depending on the needs and comfort level of the client. The major strokes are long and circular. Swedish Massage is good for reducing muscle aches, improving circulation and reducing stress.
Deep Tissue Massage works to separate the muscle from the connective tissues of the body (the ligaments, tendons and muscle casings, which 'connect' one type of tissue to another). When these structures get sticky and less elastic deep tissue bodywork helps to return these tissues to a supple, fluid condition.
Trigger Point Therapy, also known as myofascial release, is a form of massage specifically directed at loosening taut bands of tight contracted muscles that can cause intense pain. Trigger point therapy can provide effective pain relief for such pain.
A trigger point is simply a hardened band within the muscle on which there is a zone of intense pain. The hardened or taut band may feel like a pea buried deep in the muscle. It maintains a hard contraction on the muscle fibers connected to it.
Shiatsu is from Japan and is based on Acupuncture. Instead of targeting a specific problem the whole body/mind/spirit is considered and treated. By using stretching, compression and finger point work, Shiatsu works to balance the energy flow through your body. Shiatsu is very effective with chronic conditions that don't easily yield to western medicine.
Reiki is an ancient Japanese healing modality. Reiki allows the client to experience the healing effects of the universal life energy present all around us. A Reiki session can be healing, relaxing and rejuvenating. The client's healing comes from the "universal life force" that flows through the practitioner. A Reiki treatment restores balance and harmony to the whole person, bringing about a sense of wellness.