"What is a massage?" There are as many different answers as there are fruits and vegetables and they all offer body benefits. And like fruits and vegetables most service providers mix types together, a salad of body work techniques. And like having a favorite restaurant, you can have a favorite massage therapist or massage technique and still enjoy sampling another one. The more you experiment, the more you know yourself. And you will probably find your favorite remains a favorite or . . . you may discover something wonderful!!
Two of my favorite massage techniques allow the client to be clothed during complex and comprehensive assessment and treatment of the body, Foot Reflexology and CranioSacral Therapy:
Foot Reflexology is a science treating the points on the feet that affect the associated part of the body, including all of the organs, glands and other places hard to reach directly. It is also valuable to speed healing to an injured area that may not be directly touched. In communication with the client, foot reflexology is an excellent way to quickly find the stressed areas of the body and plan a focused treatment. I am a student of the Ingham Method of Reflexology. and a practitioner of light to firm touch reflexology, addressing tender places without forcing the issue.
Craniosacral Therapy is often chosen by people looking for deeply transformative work. People suffering from chronic pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, TBI (traumatic brain injury),TMJ and PTSD are some of the reasons people turn to CranioSacral Therapy. Informed light touch You can see my CS background at the Upledger International Institute website.
A Word About DEEP TISSUE massage.
People asking me for deep tissue work usually have chronic pain. They have received deep heavy pressured work. Often the work is painful while on the table and the next day too! You might wonder why someone would want this kind of bodywork. Such a client will experience a release of endorphins the body's natural pain killing, feel good chemicals shortly after, if not during the treatment. Even more important to the deep tissue victim is the increased range of motion, the enhanced ability to move. This 'benefit' is achieved by breaking connective tissue and muscle fibers. Breaking body tissues results in a disorganized matrix of tissues to be laid in while the body heals it's structural integrity. Think internal cast. Once the layer of healing support tissues form, mobility is again impaired. The desire for another deep tissue massage arises. Repeated damaging of the body's tissues will result in thicker less flexible structures. This lack of flexibility will increase the probability of injury. Any lack of benefit noted by the client is usually referred to as 'I am just getting old'.
An alternative approach to general deep tissue, heavy pressure massage, is to understand the root cause of the pain and restriction. Stressed tissues are easily nurtured with light, respectful educated body work. Compensatory stresses for example in the shoulders may be cleared by balancing the hips or the spinal cord, or releasing the diaphragm. A professional body worker trained in full body assessment can help you understand the wondrous intelligence of your body as a whole. With understanding, you can work with your body towards more harmonious function into a joy filled old age.
There is no work deeper than addressing the tissues of the spinal cord with craniosacral work; restrictions release without breaking tissues.