Technique

This page contains a lot of information detailing my practice philosophy, and what kinds of massage you can expect from a session at Massage for Pain Relief.  So read on if you want to understand more about the things that we do.

Massage for Pain Relief is a bodywork practice that is intended to find, address and treat patterns of tension and holding in the body.   When tension is held too strongly for too long, the result is too often pain, discomfort, and a loss of optimal function.  I use a variety of techniques to help the body recognize where tension is being held, and to help the body let go of tension.  This release is accompanied by deep feelings of comfort and well being.

During a session, I bring all of the skills and knowledge I have acquired over more than twelve years of practicing massage to help the body release.  I do not separate my work into one modality and limit the session to just that.  Whatever we determine is the most appropriate technique to address the specific needs of the individual is what we do.  The following modalities are the ones I draw from most heavily:

Myofascial Release: The fascia is a webbing of connective tissue that envelopes every structure in the body, holding it in place and connecting all parts of the body together. The fascia can become tight and restricted, from prolonged period of inactivity, such as sleep, work or driving, from patterns of use and misuse, and from physical or emotional trauma. When the fascia becomes tight, it is like wearing a sweater that is two sizes too small. Fascia responds best to gentle and sustained mechanical force. Myofascial release is the art of applying the appropriate forces to the fascia that will warm, hydrate and lengthen the connective tissue. This gives the muscles, joints, organs and bones more room to move and to breathe, and can be very effective in relieving chronic tension. The forces that lengthen the connective tissue are generally gentle; Fascia will bounce back and contract if force is applied too strongly or too quickly, much like silly putty. Thus we apply gentle pressure over prolonged periods, to slowly and effectively hydrate, warm, and lengthen the tissue.

Neuromuscular Therapy: The muscles are controlled by the brain and nervous system.   The muscles cannot act without input from the brain and the nerves.  Thus when muscles become chronically tight and contracted, it is often the nervous system that is responsible.  Neuromuscular Therapy seeks to provide stimulus that disrupts or inhibits the signals that are telling the muscles to be tight.  This is a very specific approach, where we work on exact anatomical structures, and often we spend a long time working on a small area.

Trigger Point:  Trigger Points are specific points of exquisite pain or tenderness in a muscle, that often can refer pain to other spots than just the trigger point.  These are what are most often the”knots” that we feel.  Trigger points are responsible for much of the pain that arises from the muscle tissue.  Trigger Point Therapy uses direct, specific pressure on the trigger points, as well as appropriate complimentary techniques, to help the trigger points release and to relieve the pain with which they are associated.

Sports Massage:  This is a very broad term, which generally applies to any techniques that are intended to help the body cope and recover from repeated strenuous exertion.  The type of massage will vary depending on the needs of the athlete.  The goals of sports massage are to help the body recover from exercise, prepare if for further training, prevent injury and promote optimal athletic function.

Deep Tissue Massage:  Tissue in the body is layered, with the superficial layers closest to the skin and the deeper layers of muscle laying right on the bone.  Deep Tissue work seeks to access these deeper layers, applying lengthening and broadening strokes to the deeper muscle layers.  Deep Tissue does not necessarily mean a lot of pressure.  In order to access the deeper layers we must first work through the superficial layers, so we often begin with a lighter pressure that increases as the layers of muscle release.  Too much force applied too soon, instead of treating deeper layers, often places excessive force on superficial tissue that has not been adequately released.

Swedish Massage: often used interchangeably with the term relaxation massage, Swedish Massage is a set of techniques that is intended to soothe the body and increase warmth and circulation.  In Swedish Massage we use broad sweeping strokes, kneading, friction, vibration and percussion over broad areas.  This literally pumps fluids through the tissue, as well as stimulating and invigorating the body, creating feelings of deep relaxation and well-being.