Originally based on the work of Wilhelm Reich, this style of bodywork was developed at the Boulder College of Massage Therapy over 20 years ago. To assist in the release of emotional issues trapped in the body, long fluid strokes are used to move energy from the head down and out through the hands and feet. This is combined with the use of deep breath-work to aid the process.
Swedish massage is now known as “traditional” massage. In the 1820s a Swedish doctor, Dr. Per Henrik Ling, developed the first modern method of massage through his study of physiology, gymnastics, and the massage techniques borrowed from China, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Swedish massage includes long gliding strokes, kneading, friction, tapping, and shaking motions. It is effective for most ailments, because massaging the skin, the body’s largest organ, sets up a chain reaction that produces a positive effect on all layers and systems of the body. It affects the nerves, muscles, glands, and circulation, and promotes health and wellbeing. Rated Medium.
This special form of massage is typically used before, during, and after athletic events to prepare the athlete for peak performance, to drain away fatigue, to relieve swelling, to reduce muscle tension, to promote flexibility and to prevent injuries. Depending on the needs of the athlete, a variety of techniques are used including classic Swedish strokes, cross-fiber friction, pressure-point work, and joint mobilization.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is designed to relieve severe tension in the muscle and the connective tissue or fascia. This type of massage focuses on the muscles located below the surface of the top muscles. The term “deep tissue” is often misused to identify a massage that is performed with sustained deep pressure. Deep tissue massage is a separate category of massage therapy, used to treat particular musculoskeletal disorders and complaints and employs a dedicated set of techniques and strokes to achieve a measure of relief. It should not be confused with “deep pressure” massage, which is one that is performed with sustained strong, occasionally intense pressure throughout an entire full-body session. Deep tissue massage is applied to both the superficial and deep layers of muscles, fascia, and other structures.
Dating back 5000 years, acupressure is part of traditional Chinese medicine and is often described as “acupuncture without the needles.” As a non-intrusive precursor of acupuncture, acupressure uses deep finger pressure applied at certain points located along an invisible system of energy channels within the body called meridians. Because these points directly relate to organs and glands of the body, constrictions in the flow of energy at these points causes disease and discomfort. Acupressure stimulates these points to remove blockages, to increase the energy flow, to reduce stress, and to promote health and harmony in the body. Rated Medium
Neuromuscular Therapy is a program of recovery from acute and chronic pain syndromes by utilizing specific massage therapy, including the pressure of trigger points, to eliminate the causes of pain patterns. This approach brings about balance between the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system. It enhances the function of joints, muscles, and movement, and it releases endorphins, the body’s own natural pain killers.
Within the craniosacral system is the cerebrospinal fluid that moves in a slight but perceptible tide-like manner. Craniosacral therapists assist in facilitating change in areas of restriction where this tide-like motion is limited, confined, and immobilized. By using a gentle light touch, this fluid becomes more rhythmic and balanced, and the central nervous system is restored. Craniosacral therapy is helpful to those with nervous disorders, motor-coordination impairments, attention deficit disorders, insomnia, and other problems. Craniosacral therapy was originally developed in the early 1900’s by an osteopath named William G. Sutherland and later refined and promoted by Dr. John Upledger.
Popularized in the United States by physiotherapist Eunice Inghram in the 1930s, this is an acupressure type technique performed on the hands and feet and is based on the ancient Oriental theory that meridian lines or pathways carry energy throughout the body. Because each zone or part of the body has a corresponding reflex point on the feet, stimulating that reflex point causes stimulation in the natural energy of the related organ. Crystalline-type deposits and/or tenderness indicate a dysfunction, and pressure is applied to clear out congestion and restore normal functioning and health.
Reiki (pronounced ray-kee) in Japanese means “universal life energy.” It is a healing technique of transmitting life energy by placing the hands gently in specific positions either on or above the body. This laying-on of hands is designed to relieve pain, restore vitality, heal illnesses, and aid spiritual growth. It was developed by Dr. Mikao Usui, a Christian monk in Japan, who came upon ancient manuscripts revealing the healing system in the 19th century. It was introduced to the United States in the 1930’s by Hawayo Takata.
Pregnancy places strong demands on a woman’s body and is a time for the body to be nurtured and pampered. This massage not only relieves the tensions and aches caused by the extra weight and shift in the center of gravity to the body, but it reduces swelling, soothes the nervous system, acts as a tonic, reduces fatigue, and enhances energy.
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils for curative and rejuvenating effects. Dating back to ancient Egypt, India, and the Far East, this simple therapy has been used for centuries to reduce stress and tension, refresh and invigorate the body, soothe emotions, and clear the mind. After an initial discussion with the client, specific essential oils are used in conjunction with other appropriate techniques, such as massage, acupressure, or reflexology. Used in oils, the essential oil is absorbed through the skin and into the body to affect physiological change. When inhaled the aroma directly affects the limbic area of the brain that is related to emotions and memories.
Myofascial Release Therapy
All muscles, arteries, bones, organs, etc. are held together by a Saran wrap kind of tissue called fascia. Developed in the late 1960’s by John Barnes, Myofascial Release works by the manipulation of the fascia that connects and surrounds muscles. Because the fascia is body-wide, a tension or trauma in one part of the body can affect another part. The fascia responds to the trained touch to release the adverse effects of inflammation, tensions and trauma.
Spontaneous Muscle Release Technique
Spontaneous Muscle Release Technique (SMRT) is a concept that begins with passive contraction of muscles, ligaments, connective tissues, and bones simultaneously to allow spontaneous release of these structures. SMRT stimulates lymphatic flow and creates a natural unwinding of connective tissues, which allows the joints of the body to realign effortlessly, re-establishing correct posture. While doing all of this, SMRT also quickly alleviates soreness in tissue, permitting you to work deep tissues that have not been accessed before. Finally, SMRT release both physical and etheric energy. The release of the ATP necessary to hold muscles tight and joints out of alignment lets the body relax and further the healing in the area. The release of the etheric energy held in the area creates energetic flow through the meridians and chakras of the body.
Shiatsu, the most widely known form of acupressure, literally meaning “finger pressure” in Japanese, and has been practiced for more than a thousand years in Japan. Shiatsu uses rhythmic pressure from 3 to 10 seconds on specific points along the body’s meridians by using the fingers, hands, elbows, knees, and sometimes feet to unblock and stimulate the flow of energy. A session my also include gentle stretching and range-of-motions manipulations. Shiatsu is used to treat pain and illness, to relax the body, and to maintain general health.
In ancient Greece, the pain of sciatica and gout was eased with flute playing; in Biblical times David treated King Saul’s depression by playing the harp. Today, growing recognition that certain sounds influence health, character, mood and consciousness has given rise to the new field of Acutonics, an energy-based therapy. It is part of the larger field of harmonic medicine, which effects healing through vibration and sound.
In this noninvasive treatment, precisely calibrated tuning forks, representing a natural harmonic series based on the orbital properties of the Earth, Moon, Sun and planets, are applied directly to acupressure points, trigger points, points of pain and chakras to access and open the energy pathways in the body. Acutonics is being increasingly incorporated into spas, and is also appropriate for massage therapists in private practice to use.