For those unfamiliar with the different types of massage and bodywork, below are descriptions of the different modalities offered. Most sessions consist of a blend.
Manual Medicine techniques adopt a wholistic approach of viewing and treating one's entire being, not just tight muscles and soft tissue. We are looking at the spiritual being underneath, trying to treat the source of the issue, not just the symptoms. It is a gentle, hands-on approach which blends the use of specific pressures plus energy, matching the tensions found in the person being treated, at whatever level the tension resides, to facilitate release. Sometimes we work with soft tissue, sometimes bones. Other times, we may be working the fluids or viscera, and sometimes, the tensions are found in the energy body of the individual. Each treatment is different, depending on what the body presents at that given time. This is a gentle, safe way to relieve tension and trauma that have become stuck in the body.
Neuromuscular techniques are used in treatment work and consist of thumbstripping, friction, applying static pressure to triggerpoints (see trigger point therapy), followed by stretching. Muscles are worked specifically and thoroughly, including their attachments and tendons if needed. These techniques can be used on ligament injuries as well.
Neuromuscular therapy will feel uncomfortable at first, but the pressure of the massage should alleviate muscle spasms and trigger points. While working with your therapist, it is extremely important to communicate with them regarding the pressure - whether the pressure is too much, too little, getting better, getting worse. The therapist should listen and respond accordingly. It should never be overly painful where you are splinting or bracing against the work. Discomfort is ok, pain is not, though many people describe the pressure as “good pain”.
What to expect after Neuromuscular Therapy
Following a neuromuscular massage, any soreness that presents itself should fade after twenty-four to forty-eight hours. The muscles that were tight and painful should remain noticably looser depending on stress, activity levels, and severity of pain prior to beginning massage therapy.
Myofascial techniques are done without the use of oil or lubrication. Slow gliding and stretching of tissue, combined with specific movements and sustained pressure into myofascial restrictions help to eliminate pain and restore motion.
Fascia is dense connective tissue that covers and penetrates our entire body. It is one structure that exists from head to toe without interruption. Therefore, every part of our body is connected to all other parts by the fascia.
In a normal healthy state, the fascia is relaxed. It has the ability to stretch and move without restriction. When we experience physical trauma, scarring, or inflammation however, the fascia loses its pliability. It becomes tight, restricted and a source of tension to the rest of the body.
Swedish Massage is a very relaxing and therapeutic style of bodywork. It combines oils or lotion with an array of strokes such as stroking, kneading, and percussion to help the body improve its circulation and release tension. Some of the benefits include relief from aches and pains, decreased stress levels, enhanced mental clarity, improved circulation, and deep relaxation.
Trigger Point Therapy refers to a style of bodywork that focuses on stimulating and releasing trigger points or "knots" in your body (see neuromuscular techniques). Trigger points are a neuromuscular dysfunction that are identified by referred sensations felt elsewhere in the body, as well as discomfort at the site being pressed. For example, a trigger point in a scalene muscle, found in the neck, may refer pain, tingling or other sensation into the back, chest, or down the arm into the wrist and hand. This can mimic or be misdiagnosed as carpal tunnel syndrome. Trigger points are a result of physical, mental, and/or emotional stress.
During a treatment session, friction and focused pressure are applied to try and release trigger points. This process can be quite uncomfortable at times, but the effects are lasting and profoundly transformative.
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a very gentle form of bodywork that focuses on releasing restrictions in the CranioSacral system which consists of the membranes and fluid that surround, cushion and bathe the brain and spinal cord.
This work helps heal the body through improved function of the central nervous system. CST effectively enhances your body’s natural healing process, and has been known to help alleviate a wide variety of problems including:
- Central Nervous System Disorders
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
CST is generally done with clothes on. It is unlike other forms of bodywork in that the therapists hands touch very lightly without a lot of movement. Gentle cradling or tractioning of specific areas help you feel safe and allow you to relax, releasing tension and holding patterns.
Deep Tissue Massage is a generic term referring to bodywork that aims to relieve tension in the deeper layers of tissue in the body (see Neuromuscular Techniques and Myofascial Techniques). Deep Tissue Massage is a highly effective method for releasing chronic stress areas due to misalignment, repetitive motions, and past lingering injuries. Due to the nature of the deep tissue work, open communication during the session is crucial to make sure you don’t get too uncomfortable. Keep in mind that soreness is pretty common after the treatment, and that plenty of water should be ingested to aid with the flushing and removal of toxins that will have been released from the deep tissue during the session.
Reiki is a form of energy work that reduces stress and promotes relaxation. As a result, the body’s natural self-healing mechanisms strengthen, helping to establish optimum health mentally, physically and emotionally. It is administered by a gentle "laying of hands" from a practitioner who has been attuned by a Reiki Master. It is based on the idea that universal life force energy flows through each us. If one's energy is high, they are more able to be happy and healthy. If one's energy is low or out of balance, they are more likely to get sick or feel stress.
Reiki treats the whole person including body, mind, emotions and spirit creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and wellbeing. It is a simple, natural, safe method of healing that everyone can use.
Reflexology is a type of bodywork that focuses on applying pressure to the specific nerve zones in your feet. Unlike other foot massages that intend to mostly relieve tension in the feet themselves, reflexology is a far more in-depth science that aims to harmonize your entire body. It is believed that every part of the human body is mapped into the feet. Reflexology treatments have been found to be highly effective for conditions such as allergies, headaches, and depression.
Lymphatic Drainage Therapy aims to gently and rhythmically move the lymph through the body, especially swollen areas of the body, relieving pressure and enhancing the functioning of the immune system. As both a preventative and remedial technique, lymph drainage can be used for a wide range of purposes including faster recovery from injury, reduction of swelling and discomfort from pregnancy, and strengthened resistance to illness.
Hot Stone Therapy is a type of bodywork that uses deep penetrating heat from specialized stones. It delivers a profound reaction inside your circulatory system, improving the function of your lymphatic and immune systems, and enhancing your body’s self-healing mechanisms. This style of bodywork takes you into deep states of relaxation, releasing stress and anxiety, detoxifying the body, and balancing your nervous system.
701 Linda Vista
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Hours by appointment only:
Mon - Fri: 10AM - 7PM
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