Body Sense Massage Therapy
   Descriptions
   Swedish Massage
   Sports Performance Massage
   Deep Tissue Massage
   NeuromuscularTechniques/
  
Trigger Point Therapy
   Hydrotherapy Heat/Cold
   Myofascial Release 
   Joint Flexibility
   Signature Body Sense Compressions

   Commonly Used Massage Terms

 

 
   Commonly Used Massage Terms
   Effleurage
   Petrissage
   Friction
   Muscle Stripping
   Tapotement
   Vibration
   Muscle Energy Technique
   Adhesions
   Neuroreceptors
   Vasodilation
   Vasoconstriction
   Fascia

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

    Quick Links
     Effleurage
     Petrissage
     Friction
     Muscle Stripping
     Tapotement
     Vibration
     Muscle Energy Technique
     Adhesions
     Neuroreceptors
     Vasodilation
     Vasoconstriction
     Fascia

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swedish Massage
As you reflect on your daily routine do you ever find yourself traveling from work straight to school, another job or to perhaps your child's activities; then finally arriving home only to put on your chef's hat? Do you sometimes feel your feet dragging and pretend not to notice the fatigue sneaking up on you? More importantly are you ready for some quality R & R time? It may just be time to give yourself the gift of Swedish Massage. 

Swedish Massage is the most well known and commonly sought out type of massage. The use of firm but gentle pressure improves circulation, eases muscle aches and pains as well as supports an increase in flexibility. All of this promotes stress reduction and relaxation which clearly makes this the type of massage perfect for anyone.

Swedish Massage utilizes five different movements:
bullet Effleurage
bullet Petrissage
bullet Friction
bullet Tapotement
bullet Vibration
Professional massage therapists use massage lotion or oil to facilitate making long, smooth strokes over the body. All massage is received with the body covered by a sheet and/or blanket; a technique called "draping".  One part of the body is undraped, massaged, and then covered up before moving on to another part of the body.  To assure that the recipient is completely at ease they are instructed to disrobe to their level of comfort.
Sports Performance Massage
You have purchased an in home workout routine that requires a commitment anywhere from 60 to 90 days. "I am committed!" you say and so the strenuous day to day training begins. All of those pushups are creating a nagging ache in your right elbow but your philosophy is no pain no gain! Sports and activities of any kind tend to create problems and imbalances in soft tissues due to overuse. Reason being that athletes and individuals participating in active roles are looking to improve their performance, increase their competitive edge and lose body weight by taking on an intense training schedule to enhance their unique skill, strength, stamina and speed. The aim is to push the body to a gradual and controlled state of overuse. If the muscular imbalances are ignored by the athlete, such as a tight hamstring or achy elbow, it will create chronic pain and will hinder the rate of improvement in terms of their performance level and may be more susceptible to developing conditions that are more serious such as a torn hamstring or "tennis" elbow. Preventing injuries is the real name of the game. A Sports Performance Massage can prevent injuries by utilizing techniques from Swedish, Deep Tissue and Joint Flexibility while applying them to the athletes specific needs. It is important that the professional massage therapist has an understanding of the event or sport that the individual is participating in so that they may place emphasis on the specific overused muscles and joints.
Sports Performance Massage can prevent injuries by:
bullet Locating and eliminating spasms, tension in muscles and trigger points
bullet Improving movement patterns and restoring postural alignment
bullet Restoring and increasing joint flexibility and blood flow to the tissues
bullet Rebuilding strength of the injured, weak or atrophied tissues
Deep Tissue Massage 
Are there any times you notice a nagging pain in between your shoulder blades and into your neck?  Perhaps you feel an annoyance within your muscles or joints throughout your entire body. Everyday normal activities such as looking at a computer screen for hours, holding your children, playing video games, or even taking a lovely stroll in nature are often the source of these aggravations. Whenever you just need someone to "work out the kinks” consider Deep Tissue Massage as your friend who can do just that for you.

Deep Tissue Massage focuses on the deeper connective tissue structures such as the muscles and fascia. The pressure is more intense than classic Swedish Massage utilizing the same techniques and movements. At times this may feel a bit more uncomfortable as the intention of the massage is to release chronic muscle tension or knots (also known as "adhesions.")  A seasoned massage professional works closely with their client and instructs them to speak up if the pressure is not right and adjusts accordingly. Additionally client education is often introduced concerning posture awareness, exercise, rest and relaxation techniques.

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Neuromuscular Techniques/Trigger Point Therapy
Do you have a body part that you have been unable to use normally for quite some time? Tried ice, heat, self massage and more but are running out of ideas? If you are nodding your head “yes” ask yourself if it is time to seek the service of a skilled massage professional with knowledge and experience with trigger point referral patterns.

A trigger point is a taught band of muscle that can refer pain to various parts of the body. It affects not only the muscle where the trigger point is located but also branches out speaking to other areas of the body supplied by nerves. For example, when addressing pain along the neck, it may be discovered that this pain may be due to a trigger point within the shoulder. This therapy helps to locate and deactivate both the source and referred pain by using finger pressure and/or picking up the muscle fibers and pinching it. The "pain-spasm-pain" cycle between the taught band of muscle and the neuroreceptors within the brain is broken; creating a Trigger Point Release.

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Hydrotherapy Heat/Cold
Do you remember your mom coming to the rescue only to place a bag of frozen peas on that that nasty bump you got when you stumbled and fell down? Have you noticed after sitting in a Jacuzzi that along with feeling relaxed, your aches and pains are miraculously gone? Pre -massage Moist - Heat therapy may be the answer to what ails you. 

Applied to overused muscles this therapy helps to reduce stiffness as well as promote healing within the muscle group and/or joint. Heat induces vasodilation which sends a rush of fresh blood, water, oxygen and nutrients to the effected muscles. Cold therapy offers benefits of vasoconstriction which slows down the bloodstream into the injured area; encouraging less swelling, bruising, and stiffness post injury. Cold therapy is also beneficial in reducing the buildup of lactic acid after strenuous activity. Recovery from injury and muscle soreness is enhanced with the use of Hydrotherapy. Receiving within the 24-48 hours after trauma reduces the risk of swelling and bruising that cause inflammation and pain.

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Myofascial Release   
 Have the stretches you've been so diligently performing just not brought home that high level of relief that you need? Are you beginning to accept stiffness and achiness as your new level of being? Don’t give up before giving Myofascial Release a chance.

This technique changes and improves tightness by breaking up, or "releasing", constrictions in the fascia caused by adhesions or scar tissue. The perfect candidate for Myofascial Release are people who experience aggravating low back pain, headaches, neck stiffness, shoulder and neck injuries, arthritic conditions, breathing difficulties, sciatica and many more.

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Joint Flexibility
Did you learn to dread stretching because of an overbearing P.E. teacher who forced you to touch your toes or to have you stretch one leg while standing on the other? You are not alone if you resonate with this experience!

Good news, there is a kinder, more gentle way to stretch that will rid nagging tension and tightness in your muscles. The result is an all over feel good body! All you need to do is lie back, consciously breathe and enjoy while I perform passive stretching modalities such as Muscle Energy Techniques. These stretches work with your muscles and joints never requiring you to reach farther than what you can tolerate. Everyone can increase their physical capabilities and benefit from the powerful tool of stretching.

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Signature Body Sense Compressions utilize my unique spin on the traditional technique taught in massage school. These compressions are just one of the many methods I use to ensure that my clients receive “their” personalized massage rather than “my” massage. Performed in a rhythmic manner, pressure may range from light touch to extremely deep and are dependent upon the needs of the recipient. The initial intention is to prepare the body to accept deeper touch, soften the tissues and allow me to discover which areas of the body are holding onto tension. The magic of mid massage SBS compressions is the integration of the work completed, allowing the client to consciously absorb the shifts without leaving their deep state of relaxation. Bottom line, Signature Body Sense Compressions gently connect the dots bringing the body back into synchronicity and the mind back to a place of peace.
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Commonly Used Massage Terms

Effleurage
The bread and butter of all massage techniques is effleurage. It’s purpose is to introduce the therapist’s hands to the clients body while evenly spreading lotion or oil on the skin. Using light to deep pressure , long, steady, soothing, rhythmic strokes are applied with the forearms, knuckles or just the fingers. This technique is a wonderful diagnostic tool to assess the possibility of inflammation, injury or stress in the clients body. Additionally, effleurage may also aid to the flow of the massage as it allows the therapist to remain in continuous contact with the body. Transitional, or connecting strokes are more than often well executed with effleurage.
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Petrissage
If you have ever made bread from scratch and kneaded raw dough by hand then you have a pretty good sense of this technique. The primary goal of this technique is to stretch and relax the connective tissue, reduce adhesion's and produce increased blood flow. This flushes out toxins and ultimately facilitates healing. While petrissage may be incorporated into all types of massage it is especially useful with Sports massage due to the quick warm up of tissues and stimulation of major muscle groups. Petrissage differs from effleurage in that the strokes, while they can be relaxing, are generally stimulating to the body. Kneading + lifting + wringing + muscle and skin folding = Petrissage.
 
bullet Kneading is where the therapist picks up and squeezes the tissue in a circular fashion
bullet Lifting is similar to kneading only that the tissue is picked up then squeezed, with no circular movement involved
bullet Muscle rolling are where lifting and compression movements are engaged against the fibers of the muscle
bullet Skin rolling is simply lifting the skin where both are accomplished by rolling between the fingers
bullet Wringing is compressing the tissue against the underlying structures, such as muscle against bone, and then lifting the tissue only to compress and lift again

The common thread of the all the strokes listed above is the push-pull of tissue and the rhythmic motion of the movement.

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Friction
Cave men didn’t need to use the word friction to understand and utilize the concept. They simply rubbed two sticks together tightly to create heat. Today, utilized with massage, friction is a great technique used on the body to create heat to break up chronic muscle tension or knots (adhesions). The finger tips are used to first pin down the adhered tissue onto the underlying structures, usually the bone, and produce either a circular or transverse, oblique, movement. The fingers are pressed firmly onto the skin, which then moves the underlying tissue. Some level of discomfort during and after this technique has been applied is common. It is important that you always keep your therapist informed of your range of comfort.
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Muscle Stripping
The goal of Muscle Stripping is to elongate and create space within muscle fibers while minimizing the size and feel of adhesion's. It is applied with either the knuckle, thumbs or fingers and require a very deep stroke along or across the muscle fibers. Large muscles groups like the hamstrings or quadriceps of the upper leg may be stripped by using the elbow. It is important that this deep stroke is done toward the heart to avoid damage to the valves within the veins.
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Tapotement
This technique is a famous one seen in films, especially in sport warm up scenes. Tapotement is executed with quick, alternating and rhythmic use of cupped hands, fingers or the edge of the hand that stimulate the body and is best used during pre-event sports massage.
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Vibration
We often will find massage chairs in beauty salons and other nurturing establishments. These chairs offer a fine and gentle vibration through repetitive movement, however rarely produce long term results. Vibration utilized in a professional massage offers deeper results as it stimulates blood flow, relax underlying tissue and to aid friction in breaking up adhesion's or scar tissue. It is performed by the hands or fingers with a gentle trembling on a region of the clients body.
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Muscle Energy Technique (MET)
While stretching is a useful tool to increase the length of a muscle and Joint Flexibility, it can also be quite painful when it is forced. Muscle Energy Techniques; however guide tight, overused muscles into a kinder, healthier lengthened state by utilizing the stretch reflex sensory organs called Muscle Spindle cells and Golgi Tendon organ.

Muscle Spindle Cells monitor the length of the muscle on a continual basis, sending information to the spine to convey the message to trigger a stretch reflex.

Golgi Tendon organs measure the changes within the muscles and tell the muscles to relax. The Golgi Tendon is a part of the stretch reflex which attempts to stop the change of length of the muscle. This is an important part of the human body as this relay of information serves as protection from injury. The use of Muscle Energy Technique's is to use the process of the stretch reflex to our advantage.
 
Muscle Energy Technique's (MET's) is performed with 5 easy steps.
bullet The client is guided into a stretch by the therapist.
bullet The client is directed to push or pull against an anti-force, which is resistance performed by the practitioner.
bullet After several seconds of holding the contraction the client lets go and completely relaxes the muscle and joint.
bullet As soon as the therapist notices the muscle and joint relaxing, they will stretch the muscle a little deeper.
bullet The sequence is repeated 3 times to accomplish a desirable stretch and to obtain a full range of motion within a joint.

*Reciprocal Inhibition is another form of MET. It is a theory in which the muscles on one side of a joint will always relax to accommodate the contraction of muscles on the other side of the joint when pressure is applied. For example, while the quadriceps, or the front part of your thighs are contracted, the hamstrings which are on the back part of your thighs will be relaxed.

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Adhesions
After several months of healing a badly sprained joint it may still have a limited range of motion and be holding on to chronic pain because the inflammation has not been released. After trauma, the body naturally goes right into its healing process which includes building collagen, scar tissue or adhesion's that can ultimately block circulation, cause pain, and limit range of motion. This band of painful rigid tissue that is laid out to protect and heal the muscles, tendons, and/or ligaments do serve a good purpose. However, to relieve pain and restore movement some of the collagen, scar tissue, adhesion's need to be broken up to relieve pain. As previously discussed above with the technique called Friction, it is applied in circular or transverse movements across the grain of the muscles, tendons, or ligaments. It is recommended to apply ice to the area to reduce further stiffness or pain.
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Neuroreceptors
"Ouch, that's hot!" is a common response to the stimulus of touching something that was hot. Nerves are comprised of neurons which thrive on excitement. Neurons like to pass on excitement (information) to or from the brain. Neuromuscular/Trigger Point Release techniques were designed to shut off the "pain-spasm-pain" cycle that the neuro-receptors carry to and from the brain. For example, a muscle that contains a taught band of tissue or a "knot" triggers a response from the tight area of muscle to the brain where the neurons in the brain trigger a response back to the taught band of muscle telling it to tighten up more, for protection. That response of tightening up more only causes more tightness and pain, and the neurons carry that information from and to the brain causing the "pain-spasm-pain" cycle.
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Vasodilation
Relevant to Hydrotherapy and its many benefits, a rush of blood is one of them! When moist heat is applied to any region of the body Vasodilation occurs. The diameter of the walls of blood vessels expand enforcing more fresh nutrients, oxygen, and of course, blood. The purpose is to facilitate the healing process.
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Vasoconstriction
The use of ice in Hydrotherapy is the exact opposite of Vasodilation in that the diameter of blood vessels become smaller therefore reducing the flow of blood. Vasoconstriction is an important bodily response if trauma has occurred to reduce bruising, inflammation and edema as blood flow to the area has been decreased.
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Fascia
The structure of a knit sweater and the fabric weaves in and out to create the shape of a torso. Like the yarn of the sweater, fascia makes up a 3-D body suit. The threads weave in, around, and out of the musculature and organs throughout the entire body. You can make out a silhouette of an entire human body if you were left with just the fascia. The length, width, and circumference of the body can be identified simply by viewing an individual’s fascia. This explains how interconnected we are to every portion and every cell of ourselves. When trauma occurs from whiplash, repetitive stress injury, or even habitual poor posture, the cumulative effect may cause discomfort and tightness. Myofascial Release technique can relieve chronic pain, tightness, scarring, and increase the fascia's pliability.
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