The session starts with a discussion on how the client’s body feels. Are there any areas of pain or recent injuries that need attention? Together, we evaluate any limits to the client’s range of motion and then plan what type of bodywork would be best to meet his/her needs. The table work typically begins with gentle compressions, rocking movements and lighter touch as I assess how the muscles and connective tissue respond. From here the bodywork may move into some myofascial release, cranial sacral work, or some firmer compressions and kneading strokes to the muscle, leading into some deeper tissue muscle therapy – it all depends on what and where the restrictions are in the body.
Integrated muscle therapy works the body in a more specific manner, so it is important to know what to expect. During myofascial release the connective tissues are undergoing a change in consistency that allows for movement and the creation of space between the tissues. Initially it may seem as if the therapist’s hands are barely moving. It may take up to several minutes in one spot before the tissues begin to let go. Once they start to release, the client may experience a slight pull or burning sensation under the skin. It is essential to breathe during this process, both to aid in relaxation and to provide the muscles with oxygen to facilitate the process. The end result of the myofascial release should be a greater sense of openness within that area of the body.
The elements of Thai and sports massage that are incorporated into the bodywork session involve movement and stretch for flexibility. The integrated muscle therapy sessions focus not only on the muscle, but the joint spaces as well. We move our bodies constantly throughout the day, placing stress on the joints and the muscles that cross over them. For this reason, joint spaces need release and balancing as much as the muscles. To most effectively receive this work, allow the body to be heavy and relaxed – there is no need for assistance in any of the movements. From a client’s perspective, all of the stretches are passive movements performed by the therapist as the client is taken through various ranges of motion, sometimes adding pressure to the muscle as it is stretched.
While the deeper tissue and Swedish work generally employ the use of massage oil or cream, the myofascial, sports and Thai components of the session are performed upon dry skin to allow the therapist to accurately feel the restrictions and apply the correct amount of sustained pressure.
Typically Swedish massage is done on a massage table with the client undressed and under a top sheet. The client’s comfort is of the utmost importance so the level of undress is a personal decision. Only that part of the body being worked on is undraped and exposed.
The work is very general, using light compression, rocking movements as well as long gliding and gentle kneading strokes. A natural, cold pressed oil or massage cream is used to ease the movement across the body. Generally the full body is addressed in a Swedish massage, but at your request, more attention can be placed on one area of the body or specific regions can be skipped.
Swedish massage helps improve circulation, relaxes the body and brings a general sense of calm.
You will first be asked what it is that you would like the therapist to work on – this could be a physical discomfort or ailment within the body; an emotional issue; a desire to find clarity and direction on an aspect of your life; or any other matter that is causing imbalance in your life.
Upon your laying down on the massage table, the therapist will begin the session by laying his hands on the body in various locations, listening to what your body is telling him. Once all of the information is gathered, the therapist will proceed with the treatment by laying hands on or above the body and directing the flow of the appropriate elemental energies – fire, air, water, earth – into the body, restoring them to their proper fullness, quality and balance.
Receiving this healing work can have subtle to profound effects, some of which may be experienced immediately, while others may present themselves over the coming days.
Reiki is a non-manipulative treatment. In other words, there is no physical movement to the muscles or on the body, therefore undressing is not necessary for this type of session. The therapist simply lays his hands on or above the body while channeling the healing energies.
Reiki is spiritually guided energy so it flows to the areas of the body that are in greatest need.
Most clients experience a deep sense of calm and inner peace at the end of a session.