Touch is a fundamental form of communication and connection, and I suspect that we humans have been touching each other in a soothing and comforting manner since we came into existence. In a therapeutic setting, skilled touch can go a long way towards helping you feel better in your body. It can help you heal from injuries, reduce mental and physical fatigue/stress, decrease muscle tension and pain, promote better sleep, and reduce anxiety. The work itself feels amazing, and can help shift your state of consciousness away from ever-present thinking to one of pure relaxation, drifting in and out of dream-like states.
Many different styles of massage exist, and if you see enough massage therapists, you will realize that no two therapists practice in the same manner. In my twenty plus years of working, I have mostly studied 4 main modalities: Connective Tissue Therapy, Cranial Work, Active-Isolated Stretching, and Sports Massage. In my sessions, I use whichever modality allows your body to truly let go and relax, and produces the best results. Whether you come to recover from an injury, want to feel better in your body, or simply want to slip away into quiet stillness, we can work together to help you achieve your goals.
About the styles of massage I use:
This approach is what many people think of as a traditional massage. It is used to influence better blood circulation, decrease muscle tension, and enhance overall relaxation. The strokes are long and flowing, and the therapist uses either oil or a slippery cream to glide across the skin and rhythmically treat the muscle tissues below. The pace varies from slow to brisk and the pressure adjusts to the client’s comfort.
Connective Tissue Therapy
Connective Tissue Therapy is very different from Swedish Massage — the therapist uses very little lubricant and the pace isvery slow. This more specific approach addresses adhered tissues in the body and positively influences posture. Clients often report feeling lighter, taller, or experiencing dramatic improvements in their comfort. When performed with skilled hands, this work tends to be very relaxing and meditative.
Biodynamic Cranial Touch or Stillness Touch
Designed to help you reconnect to the forces in the body which guide healing, growth and development, this work is pure stillness. There are no “strokes” in this approach, just gentle holds or contacts, and clients stay fully clothed. Holds or contacts are gentle, and the results range from deeper states of relaxation to greater ease in the body, and even to cessation of pain. Receiving the work is a great opportunity to stop, let go, and enter deeper meditative states.
Active Isolated Stretching (AIS)
Developed by fellow Florida resident, Aaron Mattes, over 40 years ago, this style of stretching progressively isolates and stretches all the muscles in the body. AIS can be incorporated in massage sessions or can be the sole focus of a session. Depending on the area(s) of the body, you can expect the stretching sessions to last from 1— 2 hours. This work very thoroughly addresses all the tissues of the region addressed, increases circulation and muscle coordination, and greatly frees up ROM. It also provides information on where chronic areas of tension exist in your body, which gives me cues as to where to focus massage work in our sessions. And as you learn the stretches, it provides you with tools to take care of yourself. More information can be found at http://www.stretchingusa.com/active-isolated-stretching.
Any of the above mentioned modalities can fall into Sports Massage because this approach includes any and all techniques that help a person recover and heal. It helps to ease the tension from overuse, decrease discomfort, and help a person feel more ready for physical activity. Anytime a person is sore, whether it arises from exercise or simply working in the yard, recovery work can help a person resume their normal activities more quickly and comfortably.
Addressing injuries, the work is designed to decrease pain, free up adhesions that perpetuate pain, and increase a person’s ability to function. It shortens recovery time and helps a person learn what activities contribute to pain, and how to better care for themselves.