Modalities, Training, and Philosophy
What does "Deep Tissue Massage" mean? In short – many things! A variety of styles and techniques (often referred to as "modalities") exist promoting work with the deeper tissues in the body. I have studied Neuromusular Therapy, Myofascial Release, and Swedish massage, all of which use varying pressures and angles to treat tension in the muscles or connective tissue.
I believe that deep tissue massage doesn't need to be painful to be effective. That being said, occasional discomfort – referred to as "therapeutic pain" – can occur when working with particularly sensitive trigger points or deep-held patterns. When working on areas of focus, I use a slow and steady increase in pressure just up to the client's edge of tolerance and check in to see how the person is handling the work. Although I have many tools at my disposal to interpret how the pressure feels, only the person on the table has access to his or her own nerves, and how it feels to them is the most important feedback. I feel strongly about empowering my clients to speak up and let me know if adjustments need to be made.
Relaxation massage works to engage the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). When the PNS activates, it stimulates the body's own systems for relaxation – lowering cortisol (the stress hormone) production, deepening the breath, and aiding in digestion.
The main Relaxation modality I use is Swedish massage – a variety of flowing and kneading strokes which aid circulation and muscle relaxation. This type of massage is often associated with spas.
Relaxation massage is a great option for anyone needing to destress – whether that stress is from work, school, family, or physical exertion. It can be particularly helpful to clients who are especially sensitive to pressure.
What to expect during your session:
You can expect a clean, comfortable, and calm atmosphere with good light, soothing music, and a non-judgmental, open welcome from your therapist. After you fill out an intake form, we will sit down in the massage room for a short check-in about your needs and goals for the session.
My work is done most effectively over bare skin; however, my first priority is for my client to feel comfortable. You are welcome to remove some or all clothing, knowing that there will be appropriate and modest draping during the massage. I’ll give you privacy to disrobe to your comfort level and get under the sheets. I’ll knock before I re-enter and begin the massage.
Most sessions contain a combination of techniques to address my client’s specific needs at the time (unless otherwise requested). If you are seeking a total relaxation massage, I can happily provide that. If you are coming in with a specific pain area you are looking to address, I like to engage my clients through guided breathing, movement, and a dialogue about their physical experience of receiving the work. Our perception of pain is often influenced by our attitude around it, therefore, I encourage my clients to approach these areas with a curiosity – put a name to the sensation, refine the location, and how it interacts with the rest of their body. I find understanding the pain we experience takes the power out of it and as a result, it becomes less painful. My goal is to help my clients improve their overall daily functioning by exploring more options for movement and refining body awareness. I aim for my client to leave to session feeling relaxed and empowered.
You may experience “massage brain” following a session – I recommend leaving some time directly following the session before your next obligation to integrate the work. It may take several days to feel the full effects of the massage and it is not uncommon to feel some discomfort following deeper work, especially around chronic pain areas. Trust the process as your body adapts and integrates the new shifts that have occurred. Since all bodies are different, I cannot always accurately predict how your body will respond to the the techniques I use. I encourage feedback during and after the session so that I can continue to provide you the best care possible!