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This is the most common type of massage is Swedish massage therapy, and it involves soft, long, kneading strokes, as well as light, rhythmic, tapping strokes on the topmost layers of muscles, along with gentle movement of the joints. By relieving muscle tension, Swedish therapy can be both relaxing and energizing, it can increase blood flow and break down scar tissue, and it may even help after an injury.
It’s all about relaxing. This style of massage focuses on giving you time to recover from the stresses of daily life. When you experience relaxation massage, you can expect a treatment that involves:
- Long smooth gliding strokes that are rhythmic and flowing
- Pressure that is deeply relaxing, but not painful
- A treatment that is designed to soothe and relax you, not to relieve chronic pain or other underlying ailments
- Soothing music, warm luxurious towels, and occasionally the use of essential oils to enhance both the environment and the effects of the massage
Some of the benefits of a relaxation massage, which can last for several days after your treatment, are:
- Lowering blood pressure – at least for a while
- Improvements to peripheral circulation
- Improvements to skin tone and appearance
- Improvements to gastrointestinal motility (bowel movements will become more regular)
- Some reduction in muscle tension including the relief of muscle tension headaches
- Improvements to any stress-related symptoms. This can include providing a gentle boost to the immune system if you undergo regular treatments.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is best for giving attention to certain painful, stiff “trouble spots” in your body. Using slow, deliberate strokes that focus pressure on layers of muscles, tendons, or other tissues deep under your skin, this style of massage can help to alleviate “knots” and trigger points in muscles. Though less rhythmic than other types of massage, deep tissue massage can be quite therapeutic — relieving chronic patterns of tension and helping with muscle injuries, such as back sprain.
During pregnancy, your body goes through major changes. Pregnancy massage can help with these changes by reducing stress, decreasing arm and leg swelling, and relieving muscle and joint pain. Massage may be particularly helpful during a time when medication and other medical options may be more limited. Using specially designed massage pillows and, most typically a side-lying position, you will be assisted into a comfortable position for this type of massage.
A chair massage is performed while you’re seated and fully clothed in a portable, specially designed chair. It typically involves a massage of your neck, shoulders, back, arms, and hands.
Thai massage, Thai Yoga massage, Thai Therapy, Nuad Phaen Boran, or Nuat Thai all mean the same thing.
Thai massage is most different from other forms of massage in that there is no oil used, the session is completed on a comfortable floor mat (as opposed to a table) and you remain clothed throughout the massage.
Thai massage blends point pressure and stretching, can enhance strength and flexibility, help relax sore or tense muscles, and can help to recapture lost range of motion. By encouraging lymphatic function, this traditional massage can also detoxify the body, heighten the immune system, and prevent disease and/or injury by promoting flexibility.
Luk Pra Kob
LUK PRA KOB is the Thai name for Hot Herbal Compress, a treatment used in conjunction with Thai Massage (Nuad Boran). I can combine this therapy with Swedish massage, Relaxation massage and Deep tissue massage.
This treatment has been used in Thailand for over 400 years. The literal translation of Luk Pra Kob is “pressing herbal sphere” or herbal ball, called samunphrai in Thai. This technique is used to stimulate the Chinese Meridians, or sen lines in Traditional Thai Medicine, the same lines used in the treatment of acupuncture.
These herbal compresses are prepared with a variety of dry herbs, fresh herbs, flower tips, all chosen for their therapeutic and aromatherapy benefits, along with a mixture of freshly crushed ginger root, kaffir lime and fresh lemongrass to give the compress an overall medicinal or healing property, including anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial characteristics.
The compress is then steamed, then applied to areas of bare skin or through clothing. The steaming process of the herbal compress releases essential oils that have aromatherapy benefits that improve colds, coughs, allergy issues or respiratory problems, and may also help relax and clear the mind. Additional benefits of the compress may be useful for the treatment of pain, inflammation, skin diseases or improving overall skin complexion, as well as detoxification.
After the compress has been steamed, it may be used for either hot or cold applications. The hot application is most common and adds a calming effect to the Thai Massage session while increasing blood flow, relaxing muscles, stimulating nerves and improving circulation. The cold compress can be used to reduce fevers, minimize headaches, or first aid for bruises and sprains.
It is recommended that the client not take a shower for at least a couple hours after the session to get the full benefits of the herbal mixture.
Luk Pra Kob is not encouraged for those clients with skin sensitivities to heat or chemicals, recent burns or radiation therapy, recent wounds or scarring, untreated, unstable high blood pressure, diabetes or varicose veins.
The modality is highly recommended for individuals looking for new longevity techniques, deep relaxation, and for those who enjoy facial treatments and bodywork involving heat. Since the compress is not used again with another client, the compress is given to the client at the end of the session to be taken home and used as an herbal bath infusion.
Paraffin treatment with mittens – ½ hour, $35
Paraffin treatments with foot bath and booties – 3/4 hour, $45
Complementary Healing Touch Energy Work Session – During my apprenticeship as a Healing Touch practitioner, I am offering free energy work sessions on select dates through March 1, 2016. For more details and to schedule, please contact me here.
What Are the Health Benefits of Massage?
Many types of massage offer benefits beyond simple relaxation. Here are just a few of the health problems that may benefit from massage. Ask your healthcare provider before using massage for any health condition, though.
- Back pain More than one study has shown the effectiveness of massage therapy for back pain. In fact, one 2003 study showed it worked better than acupuncture or spinal modification for persistent low back pain — reducing the need for painkillers by 36%.
- Headache Another type of pain — headache — also responds to massage therapy, as shown by more than one study. Massage therapy can reduce the number of migraines a person has and also improve sleep.
- Osteoarthritis In the first clinical trial looking at the effectiveness of Swedish massage for knee osteoarthritis, participants who received a one-hour massage either one or two times a week had improvements in pain, stiffness, and function. The control group had no such change.
- Cancer Used as a complement to traditional, Western medicine, massage can promote relaxation and reduce cancer symptoms or side effects of treatment. It may help reduce pain, swelling, fatigue,nausea, or depression, for example, or improve the function of your immune system.
- Anxiety A review of more than 12 studies shows that massage helps relieve depression and anxiety. It lowered levels of cortisol by up to 50%. And massage increased levels of neurotransmitters that help reduce depression.