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about massage

Massage is a unique combination of a treat that feels good and is good for you. Though it may feel pampering, it's still just as therapeutic. It contributes and supports overall health in a number of ways. Physically it reduces pain, increases range of motion and joint flexibility, enhances immunity, and improves circulation. On an emotional level, it can bring perspective and clarity, lessen depression and anxiety, and release feel-good endorphins.

What's even better is that benefits of regular massage can really add up over time. Not only can you immediately feel better, but it can help manage the stress that has been found to be so destructive to our bodies. Professionals at the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami agree that ninety percent of disease is stress related and high stress is the top reason we age. Stress in our fast-paced world is a fact of life, but massage can be a wonderful way to keep stress from ruling and shortening our lives. With the deep relaxation of a massage, you can decrease your worries, sleep better, feel more energetic, and improve your concentration. In other words, you can fully enjoy your life!

even if you're already healthy, massage can benefit in many ways:

    •Flush out toxins and increase immunity by stimulating lymph flow.
    •Increase joint flexibility and range of motion.
    •Improve the condition of the skin.
    •Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, supporting good circulation.
    •Help athletes prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts and events.
    •Promote good quality sleep.
    •Provide a sense of well-being, increased energy and mental clarity.
    •Feels good!

massage can also help with specific health concerns:

    • Reduce spasms and cramping, relaxing tired and overused muscles.
    • Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
    • Ease medication dependence, especially for pain management.
    • Lessen depression and anxiety.
    • Arthritis sufferers report decreased aches and less stiffness and pain.
    • High blood pressure patients demonstrate lower diastolic blood pressure, anxiety, and stress hormones.
    • Alleviate chronic low-back pain.
    • Help asthma suffers with better pulmonary function and increased peak air flow.
    • Reduce edema.
    • Relieve migraine pain.
    • Assist expectant mothers with easier labors and shorten maternity stays.
    • Premenstrual syndrome sufferers have decreased water retention and cramping.
    • Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.

about swedish massage

Swedish massage was developed by Per Henrik Ling in the late 1700's, a Swedish physiologist, who wanted to help his gymnastic students perform at their best. By his death in 1850, his work was recognized all over the world and was taught throughout Europe. Johann Mezger later applied massage techniques to physical rehabilitation, also giving it French terminology still used today. Word spread to America and by the early 1900's the general public was learning about the benefits of massage.

There are 5 different types of strokes used in Swedish massage. Effluerage are long, flowing strokes that give continuity to the massage and stimulate circulation. Petrissage strokes are kneading or compression and lifting movements. They warm and soften fascia, bring nutrients, decrease muscle tension and restore mobility by decreasing adhesions. Friction strokes apply deeper pressure in localized areas, breaking up adhesions and scar tissue and bringing more oxygen to the area. Vibration strokes are small, trembling movements that give variety to the massage and stimulate nerve activity. Tapotement are percussive strokes that tone muscle and stimulate the nervous system. Depending on speed or intensity, any of these strokes can either sedate or energize the client.

There are many benefits to Swedish massage. Moving blood and lymph allows for increased efficiency of metabolic systems, including flushing toxins out of the body and reducing constipation. Massage also engages the parasympathetic nervous system, decreasing effects from daily and chronic stress. Massage can give a sense of emotional well-being, easing pain from isolation, depression and psychological wounds.

Therapeutic Swedish massage is done in a setting to maximize its benefits, while maintaining professional standards. The room is dimly lit and has soft, soothing music playing to encourage relaxation. It's done on a table and the client undresses completely or to their comfort level and remains under a sheet and blanket for the entire session. Oils or lotions are used and as the therapist works, she carefully undrapes the part of the body she is going to treat and then she re-drapes it when she finishes. The client is kept comfortable and safe at all times for the best possible experience and the results can greatly contribute to overall health.

about reiki

Reiki is a type of Japanese work in which the therapist acts as a conductor of universal life energy. Reiki translates to spirit-guided life force energy. The therapist is attuned to channel this energy to you in the method created by Reiki Master Mikao Usui. Reiki treatments can offer a greater sense of well-being, balance the life force within you and remove physical or emotional blocks we may or may not be aware of within the body.

More and more, the value of Reiki is being recognized as a complimentary treatment. While many of the healing aspects of Reiki have not yet been proven, many people find it reduces their pain, lowers stress and decreases blood pressure. The American Hospital Association reports that in 2007, 15% 0f 800 hospitals offered Reiki treatments to their patients. Whether the results they achieved were a placebo effect or something more, any means of healing is worth exploring. I invite you to try it for yourself and see how you feel. To learn more about reiki visit www.reiki.org for more information.

about shiatsu

Many people in the west have heard of Shaitsu, but fewer are familiar with the premise, the procedure or the potential benefits of it. Of the numerous bodywork modalities practiced today around the world, Shiatsu, which means "finger pressure" in Japanese, is a holistic treatment based on Traditional Chinese Medicine that can heal and promote health. Since its inception in the early 20th century in Japan, many have experienced restored energy and a greater sense of well-being after receiving Shiatsu treatments.

Traditionally, a Shaitsu session is done on the floor, on a cushioned mat, but can also be done on a low table if preferred or necessary. The client remains fully clothed, as no oils or lotions are needed. To encourage relaxation, the best setting is one in which visual, physical or auditory distractions are limited. Soft music can be very soothing and is often helpful to center a scattered mind. Bringing the senses into a focused and relaxed state is both the process and the product of the treatment. With this clear focus and the power of the practitioner's touch, the techniques of Shiatsu can contribute to healing, as well as being a way to maintain established health.

Based on the theory that the body has a network of energy pathways called meridians, the treatment focuses on stimulating acupressure points along these paths where there may be imbalances or blockages to ensure an even, steady flow of energy, or chi. Following the ebb and flow of the breath, point work, softening and percussion techniques are combined to increase circulation, release tension and support optimal function of the all systems of the body. Shiatsu also includes stretches and rotations to increase joint mobility and decrease joint pain. Overall, the client will generally experience an increase in energy and relaxation, with less stiffness and fewer aches and pains. The massage feels good when given, but the long term results can be even better.