It’s all about fascia:

the body’s kinetic home

Session Goals

  • Decrease stress levels
  • Aid relief and healing times after injury
  • Flush out toxins and lagging/stagnating fluids (cellular debris)
  • Break up trigger points and adhesions (i.e., when normal wear and tear on the muscles causes a build-up similar to scar tissue)
  • Help release muscles that are impacting posture and range of motion
  • Reduce the intensity and frequency of spasms and muscle cramping
  • Round out athletic training and self care practices
  • General maintenance (aka: a bodywork scan) to keep all channels nourished and pain free.

Modalities

  • These are slow and steady strokes that stretch, bend, guide, and roll the fascia towards a neutral posture. Our structural balance is dependent on myoskeletal alignment, and this modality targets that goal most effectively.

  • Some of the most flowing and fluid sessions are found in Shiatsu. It views the body in terms of Twelve Meridians— similar to the kinetic chains of the body that all movements follow. It also targets the fascial layer, the home of the body’s kinetic energy. There are special points along the meridians—called tsubos (or acupoints)—that, when pressed, can open the channel and disperse the tension where energy is stuck.

  • Moving joints through mobilizations and appropriate stretching can make a world of difference to the range of motion for all bodies, athletic or not. Compressions and rolling strokes can help flush out soreness and toxins.

  • Trigger points are tender, hyperirritable spots, usually found within taut muscle fibers and the overlying fascia. They tend to refer pain in a predictable pattern—often up or down a Meridian—that causes a shortening and tightening of the affected muscles.

  • Each trimester of pregnancy presents dramatic changes to the myoskeletal system and what it can handle in terms of massage and bodywork. This type of session places mothers-to-be in a side-lying position and work is done to target physical and mental fatigue and discomfort, while caution is used in any areas that might increase pressure on the pelvis, and areas that are contraindicated during pregnancy are avoided.

  • The lymphatic system, unlike the cardiovascular system, lacks a pump. It uses contractions of muscles to help circulate fluid through and out of the body. Lymphatic work is highly beneficial when edema (the local or general accumulation of interstitial fluid) is present. This happens in cancer treatments when lymph nodes are removed, during pregnancy, for people whose occupation demands long periods of sitting or standing, and in cases of sodium retention. The goal of lymphatic work is to help the body drain the lymph more efficiently.

  • Helps to increase circulation of blood and lymph, warm the body for deeper work, and also as a balance to sessions that include more painful clinical work (e.g., after using cross fiber friction to help treat elbow tendonitis, effleurage—a circulatory technique—is applied to the arm to help soothe it).

Cupping

Cupping is my favorite form of bodywork because it combines all of the listed modalities. It marries the Western approach— which addresses specific causes of pain with isolated clinical protocols— to the spirit of (w)holistic Eastern medicine, which treats the channels of energy that flow through the body. Cups can be used on almost any part of the body.

Some of the many conditions it can be used for include:

Deep Tissue / Sports Massage
Stubborn / Orthopedic Issues / Trigger Points
TMJ (Jaw) Disorders
Sinusitis / Headaches
Abdominal Massage / Detoxification / Digestive Problems
Lymphatic Drainage
Foot Massage / Reflexology / Insomnia
Cellulite / Stretch mark / Wrinkle / Scar Tissue Reduction
Many people have a misconception—because of the circular markings—that cupping is painful.

Cupping, like manual massage, has both relaxing treatment techniques and some that feel a little more intense. The goal is to find the tenderness present in the body in the most comfortable way. There are a few special considerations to be made after cupping sessions that differ from massage, which I cover during the initial visit. If you’d like to read more about them now, see the [FAQ]. You can also see the types of cups and what they are used for in the [GALLERY].

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