The Holistic Massage

I am mindful in providing the best massage based on your physical and mental needs at the time of your appointment. I always ask "how does your body feel" and "what do you need from me today" before starting each session. You may benefit from an hour of deep tissue focus or a blend of a few different techniques to leave you feeling your best.

I have been professionally trained in the modalities listed below and have honed my skills over the last twenty-one years of private practice. Which type of massage is best for you depends upon what you need in the moment. You might need complete physical relaxation and time to quiet your mind after a stressful week at work. Or you have just finished an intensive physical training regimen that has left your muscles tight and sore and your joints constricted. So check in with your body throughout the day and, especially, before a massage appointment so that you can get the most out of your time with me.

Swedish Massage

Swedish massage is designed to relax muscles by applying pressure to them against deeper muscles and bones, and rubbing in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart. This increases oxygen flow in the blood while reducing toxins in the muscles. Swedish is probably the most well known and most widely requested massage.

Swedish massage employs five different movements:

  • Effleurage is a series of soothing massage strokes used to warm up the muscle before deep tissue work. Effleurage can be firm or light without dragging the skin and is performed using either the padded parts of the finger tips or the palmar surface of the hands. It works as a mechanical pump on the body to encourage venous and lymphatic return.
  • Pettrisage is performed with kneading movement of the whole palm or fingertips while wringing, skin rolling, compression, and lifting the muscles. Pettrisage is usually applied vertically to the muscle tissue. Oil, cream, or lotion is applied on the skin to reduce friction and allow smooth strokes.
  • Friction is an intense cross fiber motion that is used to stimulate circulation by warming the surface of the body. It is applied with a gentle pressure which helps the muscles to relax and increase blood flow.
  • Tapotement is a light tapping with the fingertips, soft fists or side of the hands that provides gentle stimulation and helps loosen the muscles.
  • Vibration is a rapid small shaking movement that is often used in conjunction with the techniques above. This can help relieve stress as well as limber the joints and is different from the small rocking movements that other styles use.

Massage oil is generally used to facilitate making long, smooth strokes over the body. Swedish massage is done with the person covered by a sheet, a technique called "draping". One part of the body is uncovered and massaged then covered up before moving on to another part of the body.

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep pressure and penetrating strokes are combined with muscle-articulating stretches and movements. This technique may aid injury rehabilitation (depending on the injury) as well as promote pain relief. Techniques are drawn from modalities such as: Neuromuscular therapy, Rolfing, and soft tissue release/rehabilitation.

Deep Tissue massage is designed to relieve severe tension in the muscle and the connective tissue or fascia. This type of massage focuses on the muscles located below the surface of the top muscles. Deep tissue massage is often recommended for individuals who experience consistent pain, are involved in heavy physical activity, such as athletes, and patients who have sustained physical injury.

Neuromuscular Therapy

Neuromuscular therapy (NMT) has emerged as a significant methodology for assessing, treating and preventing soft tissue injuries and chronic pain. It is distinguished from other types of massage in that a quasi-static pressure is applied to the skin with the aim of stimulating specific areas of skeletal muscle. Often these areas of muscle are myofascial trigger points.

Neuromuscular therapy can help individuals who experience distortion and biomechanical dysfunction, which is often a symptom of a deeper problem. It is also used to locate and release spasms and hypercontraction in the tissue, eliminate trigger points that cause referred pain, rebuild the strength of injured tissues, assist venous and lymphatic flow, and restore postural alignment, proper biomechanics, and flexibility to the tissues.

Sports Massage

Sports massage is designed to help athletes prepare their bodies for optimal performance, recover after a big event, or function well during training. This is a good choice if you have a specific problem -- a tender knee from running, for instance.  Focus is generally on the problem area -- a frozen shoulder or pulled hamstring, for instance -- rather than giving you a thorough full body massage.

Chair Massage

Chair massage is a short massage, anywhere from five to 30 minutes, done through the clothing. It typically focuses on key tension areas in the back, neck, shoulders and arms. It is performed in a specially designed ergonomic massage chair.

Chair Massage is surprisingly effective and enjoyable if you only have 10 – 20 minutes to stop, breathe, and relax! I take my chair to offices and homes and provide a much needed break (much better than a smoking break….) to people in the middle of their working day.

Headaches, numbness in the hands and fingers, lower back aches, and that mid-day drowsiness or lethargy can be easily reversed by just 10+ minutes in my massage chair.

Aromatherapy and stimulating tapotement (a percussion technique using the ulnar side of the hand) are used to help refresh, revitalize and rejuvenate! A healthy alternative to caffeine and other stimulants.