Medical massage is a massage where different medical issues are addressed with hands on body work and different massage techniques.
NMT is a very effective manual treatment of muscular pain. It can be used for acute pain, chronic pain, headaches, TMJ, and loss of range of motion, to mention a few conditions. It's often combined with deep Tissue massage.
NMT focuses on releasing Trigger Points. Trigger points develop due to trauma in muscle and connecting fascia, tendons, and ligament. The cause of Trigger Points developing can be physical and mental stress, poor nutrition, bad posture, injury from an accident, repetitive movements, sports, surgery etc. Trigger points have to be found and treated by the practitioner. They are usually tender to the touch as toxins have built up in the area. By taking a look at a client's posture and palpating the muscles, we can determine which specific muscles need to be treated and released.
The below section explains the difference between a regular Deep Tissue massage and Neuromuscular massage:
Have you ever had an agonizing spot between your shoulders in your neck; a headache coming from seemingly nowhere? You try to rub it out, but to no good. You might have a friend or spouse push on the "knot" between your shoulders, or rub your forehead... but nothing happens. It might feel good for the moment, but there is no or very little relief.
The reason is that your discomfort or pain is not coming from the area you are rubbing. It's coming from a distance place elsewhere in the body and what you feel is referred pain from a trigger point.
Neuromuscular therapy involves work on trigger points and it also involves an examination of your alignment or posture. Your posture is often a reason for the formation of trigger points and therefore needs to be addressed.
When you come in for a treatment with a neuromuscular therapist, a look at your posture can give us a lot of information and a quick idea of what we should address first to lessen your pain/discomfort. Tight muscles can pull you out of proper alignment; we want your body back in alignment and in balance to stop tension and the creation of trigger points. A trigger point can form due to: posture (habitual posture at work), post-surgery scar tissue, disease, illness, vitamin deficiency, stress (mental and physical), aging, metabolic disorders, toxic food, bony anomalies and more....
When I work on someone, clients often ask me if I can feel the trigger point, or how can I possibly end up right on it? Most often I can feel it when working on the tissue, but sometimes I just have a sense of where it is. This "sense" is probably made up from knowing where the general location of the trigger point is in most people and a tissue response, such as a little twitch, a little flutter, resistance to my pressure, or the sensation that the area feels a little warmer than the rest.
By now you're probably thinking, "So, what is a trigger point?"
A trigger point can be small as a pin head, a little nodule pea size, or it can be a large lump, or several lumps together; tender spots in a taut band, hard muscle that feels like a cord or guitar string, ropey and stringy, like spaghetti glued together. There are different theories about how trigger points form. One popular theory is that the root of a nerve is traumatized or pinched, and trigger points form along this traumatized nerve.
If you are one of those who never had a neuromuscular treatment but would like to get more results out of your deep tissue massages, NMT is probably something for you. Neuromuscular work is a form of deep tissue work, but the difference from a regular deep tissue massage and neuromuscular work is the trigger point release. If we treat a muscle and neglect to release the major trigger points, the muscle won't relax much. This is usually when people will say after their massage, "Well, it felt good as long as it lasted, but it didn't do anything." That's probably because the trigger points weren't released. An arm or hand was probably just sliding over the trigger points. A trigger point has to be treated with a static pressure in order to release.
Sports massage is usually done pre- or post sports event. Its purpose is to get the muscles ready for excursion; to perform at optimal capacity, by pumping blood into the muscles for adequate oxygen supply, and breaking down adhesions. this can also prevent injury. Post event sports massage can help sore and fatigued muscles to recover four times faster than without massage by flushing out lactic acid and other waste products, and by bringing in fresh blood with nutrients and oxygen.
Cranio Sacral Therapy
Cranio Sacral Therapy is a light touch therapy involving the "Cranio Sacral System".
It is one of the most successful approaches to mind-body healing.
"Providing access to the unity of structure and function in the organism, such therapy offers a simple, direct, and non-dogmatic means for tapping the body's inherent intelligence in a fluid and spontaneous way.
[Craniosacral Therapy does involve techniques dealing with bones of the cranium, the spine, and the lower back, however, CST is no less than the structural aspect of the central nervous system.
Its methods originate in neural behavior and emotional energy and include their manifestations throughout the tissues and organs of the body.
Both a medical system with precise anatomical criteria and a threapeutic art requiring a practitioner to feel, interpret, and move energy, modern craniosacral therapy offers a unique way to perceive and influence the structural configuration of the brain itself in its relationship to the body's architecture"
(Cohen, Don, D.C., An Introduction to Craniosacral Therapy; Anatomy, Function, and Treatment, back cover, North Atlantic Books, Berkely, California, 1995.)
A deep tissue massage is really what it sounds like. It's always done with a firm and strong pressure. With this technique we reach the deeper tissues; deep muscles, ligament and fascia andit is done for stress and muscular pain relief.
Deep Tissue work is done to treat a body in imbalance, to increase circulation, to increase blood flow and metabolism in deeper muscles, which in turn will make them accessible for nutrients and oxygen, and thereby they can make themselves rid of toxins, waste products and blocks in the flow of energy. It is used to break down adhesions, broaden and stretch the muscle tissues, tendons, and ligaments to restore mobility. To treat chronic pain and injuries Deep Tissue most often need to be applied to relieve accumulated lactic acid, other metabolic waste products and toxins in the deeper tissues.
When we think about getting a "regular" massage we usually refer to the Swedish modality. It's also called Classical Massage. It was originated in Sweden in the early 19th century by Per Henrik Ling, a physiologist and master in fencing. He developed a system what we today would call physical therapy.
Swedish massage applies manipulative techniques such as effleurage, which is long flowing strokes (which mostly signifies a swedish massage in the modern world and in the US), petrissage (kneading of muscles), vibration, friction, and tapotement (tapping or beating of soft tissue). Swedish massage is soothing and effective for stress relief. A Swedish massage feels lighter than a deep Tissue massage, and it is beneficial for lymph and blood flow.
Can be done pre- or post delivery. Many pregnant women, usually in the last trimester get discomfort in shoulders, lower back, and hips due to the additional weight and pressure from the fetus. at this time it can be a tremendous relief on the body to get a massage.
A pregnancy massage is beneficial for both the expecting mother and her yet to be born child. It's been proven that children who receive massage while in the womb, become more peaceful, and have less tendency to violent behavior in life, it has also helped with disorders such as ADD. For the expecting mother, the delivery may be easier, and stress on joints can be relieved. It can also be a special time when the mother gets connected with the baby, which in the hustle and bustle of life, can be forgotten at times....just because, the baby is physically already so close. Post pregnancy massage can help restore torn muscles, make the healing process faster, and will soothe sore muscles.
Reiki is a Universal life force energy; This is the non-physical energy that animates all living things. As long as something is alive, it has life energy circulation through it and surrounding it. If your life energy is low, or if there is a restriction in its flow, you are more vulnerable to illness. When it is high, and flowing freely, you are less likely to get sick.
When a person receives a Reiki treatment, the Rei energy assesses where the person has blocks and then directs the healing energy, usually to the block that is nearest the practitioner's hands. However, sometimes it will go to the block that is most important even if it is far from the hands. The Reiki energy then works with the negative thoughts and feelings that are blocking one's natural flow of Ki and heals them as well. This can happen by flowing through the affected parts of the energy field and charging them with positive energy. Reiki raises the bivratory level in and around the physical body where the negative thoughts and feelings are attached. This causes the negative energy to break apart and fall away. Reiki will improve the results of any medical treatment, acting to reduce negative side effects, such as those from chemotherapy, surgery, and invasive procedures. it shortens healing time, reduces, or eliminates pain, reduces stress and helps create optimism. It has been regularly noted that patients receiving reiki leave the hospital earlier than those who don't.
(Rand, William Lee, Reiki "The Healing Touch; First and Second degree manual, p. 5-6, Jan 2005, Vision Publications, Hilltop St, MI)
Myofacial Release is involved in a Deep Tissue massage or Neuromuscular Therapy. Fascia is the tissue that surrounds all structures of the body: bones, muscles, organs- heart, lungs, liver, etc. It consists of one continuous piece throughout the body and therefore it's easy to understand that everything in the body is really connected with each other through the fascia. "Myo" is the same as muscle, so Myo- facial release means a release of the muscle and connecting fascia. There are several techniques to release the fascia. You may have heard of Rolfing or Structural Integration. These both are modalities that address myofacial tension.
Reflexology is a technique where pressure is applied to feet, hands, ears primarily. Each reflexology point corresponds to an organ or other body part. It can be used as a technique by itself or in combination with other modalities. Reflexology can be a great tool to treat an area that is so tender or sensitive that it cannot withstand any direct pressure or contact by a therapist, but with pressure to the specific point/ points can be treated from a distance within the body.
Acupressure has its roots in the Chinese practice of Acupuncture and treats the physical and energetic body. Pressure is applied with thumbs to different "tsubo" points, equivalent to energy points along the meridians. Methods are used to stimulate and unblock chi, the life force energy, to relieve the client of discomfort, pain, and other physiological imbalances in the body. It's also said to improve the body metabolism. circulation is improved and nerves are stimulated.
The Esalen technique, or philosophy, has been developed on the cliffs in Northern California. and more precisely Big Sur. This kind of massage is both creative, intuitive, and spiritual. The nature of it is caring and nurturing. The therapist never breaks contact with the client as not to break the flow of energy. With this modality you will never feel an elbow working a tight muscle, instead you'll receive long relaxing effleurage strokes. The massage will leave you relaxed and invigorated.
The Actors Massage
The Actors Massage is for those of you who are pursuing an acting or singing career, or have an interest in bettering your performing arts skills. The Actors Massage can greatly improve your performance by loosening up tension and blocked emotions in your body.
The connection between body and voice is inseparable. Therefore, for the serious actor it is crucial to work on both body and voice. It's likewise important to be able to stand away from habitual gestures, speech, and ways of moving the body; it's important to experience freedom in the respiratory system, and to have muscular fluidity. That way the performer can gain full access to the instrument- the body
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