Experience healing massage therapy and discover the many ways it can revive and restore your natural state of being both physically and mentally.
Massage is thought to be an indulgence, however it is proven to be much more- from calming pain and reducing inflammation to melting away anxiety and stress, massage therapy has more purposes than you can imagine.
Benefits of Healing Massage Therapy
Soothe Tension Headaches
Tension causes headaches. Trigger-point therapy massages are an excellent antidote for resolving these stressful headaches.
A trigger point is an area of tightly contracted muscle tissue. Trigger points in the neck and shoulders refer pain to the head as well. By calming active trigger points, headaches will be reduced tremendously.
A massage can disrupt trigger points by manipulating them and forcing them apart from the tightly contracted sarcomeres (proteins in muscles responsible for contraction) as a result, the cells relax and the tense muscles calm and return to a normal state.
Muscle Tension and Holding
Muscle tension throughout the body (also referred to as holding) can cause nasty and painful problems throughout our bodies as well as wreak havoc on our minds.
Sitting for hours, scrunching our shoulders, driving in rush-hour traffic, twisting, turning and tensing up under stress are all daily events that give birth to chronically tense muscles. Muscle tension can restrict nutrient supplies to the tissues and organs throughout the body, restrict blood circulation, affect your posture and even contribute to breathing problems. Healing massage therapy interrupts this negative chain reaction of events and leads the body back into a relaxed state where all systems can recharge and thrive. Hot stone massage therapy works wonders at increasing circulation and calming tense muscles.
If you suffer from tired and aching feet like many of us do, a relaxing foot massage will loosen tight foot muscles and reduce pain.
Relieve Lower-Back Pain Problems
One of the top complaints of people who seek massage therapy is back pain. Massage has been clinically proven to relieve and even eliminate upper and lower back pain. Pair a good back massage with muscle strengthening exercises and a healthy diet and you will be amazed at the relief you will find.
Lower Blood Pressure
Since massage has such a positive effect on restoring muscle vitality and strength as well as reducing stress, it should be obvious how it can benefit the heart. Studies have shown that massage therapy has significantly lowered blood pressure, even if only temporarily, for many individuals which led many doctors to recommend massages.
Reduce Symptoms of Depression
Depression has been very responsive to massage therapy. Research reveals persons who suffer from depression symptoms and receive a massage had their symptoms reduced 73% lower than those who did not receive a massage. The theory is that massage helps release mood enhancing hormones and promotes natural rebuilding of these hormones throughout the body.
Healing massage therapy significantly reduces anxiety. A popular explanation for this is that massage helps lower the body’s levels of cortisol (the hormone that triggers the fight or flight response in the body and contributes to anxiety). The massage also calms and relaxes heightened nerves which soothes anxious feelings and produces a controlled state of mind.
What Type of Healing Massage Therapy is Right for You?
There are many types of massages available depending upon your specific needs. Some massages are more physically intense than others, however, you and your therapist together can determine the massage that will work best for you. We have listed the most popular and beneficial massages available.
Craniosacral therapy: A gentle, noninvasive form of massage in which a therapist uses a light touch to work the cranial bones, the spinal column and the sacrum (a triangular bone at the base of the spine) to balance energy, treat headaches and reduce mental stress. Mild enough for infants, as well as the elderly.
Myofascial release: A light, sustained pressure is applied to constrictions in the body’s fascia, or connective tissue, to elicit elongation and release.
Trigger-point therapy: Trigger points often show up as “knots” in the muscles, most often in the shoulders, upper back and neck. Trigger points are different from acupressure points because they actually feel like lumps. Trigger-point therapy (also known as neuromuscular therapy) uses pressure to dissolve the knots.
Deep tissue: Targeting chronic patterns of holding, deep-tissue relies on slow strokes and targeted pressure, often with a finger, thumb or elbow.
Hot stone: Smooth, warm stones are placed on the body and become focal points of relaxation as the heat penetrates and soothes tense muscles.
Reflexology: Stimulates pressure points on the hands, feet and ears. Each point is believed to correspond to other, less-accessible parts of the body, such as the organs.
Swedish: A combination of long, gliding strokes, as well as kneading, stretching and tapping. Swedish massage is thought to enhance health by increasing blood flow to the muscles.
Lomi Lomi: An ancient Polynesian practice, this style is characterized by the practitioner’s rhythmic use of the hands, forearms and elbows. Long, broad strokes invite relaxation.
Thai: Performed on the floor with clothes on and no oils, a Thai massage involves being stretched into yoga-like positions.
Abhyanga: Based on the principles of Ayurveda, one or more therapists apply herb-infused oils to usher the body into a state of relaxation and balance.
Acupressure: Working with the same theory of acupuncture (but without the needles), acupressure stimulates points on the body to release energetic congestion and open the body’s energy pathways.
Shiatsu: A Japanese style healing massage therapy, shiatsu directs pressure to lines of energy (meridians) considered important for health and well-being.
Sports: Often used before and after athletic activity, the focus is on reducing inflammation, keeping joints flexible and enhancing performance.
Tui Na: A vigorous kneading and pulling of the body, Tui Na (meaning push and grab) is a component of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Like other Eastern approaches, such as Thai massage and acupressure, the goal is to open up the flow of Qi through the body’s energy pathways or meridians.