Each of these techniques is a valuable tool.
I use them in combination during a single massage to achieve results
in the most effective way possible.
Medical Massage is targeted treatment of a condition or problem. In the late 1990s, Peter Spairring of Renton, WA, added "medical" to his business name to indicate the elevation of massage therapy to a modality which brings about specific outcomes for targeted conditions. These can include injuries from overuse, sports or exercise; painful syndromes such as carpal tunnel and piriformis and traumatic injuries from accidents.
I trained in the Strenta Method at the Swedish Institute.
Without fascia, our bodies would fall apart. Every fiber in every muscle is wrapped in a layer of fascia. The layers all come together at the end of the muscle to become the tendon that attaches to the bone. Your ligaments, holding the bones to each other, are made of fascia. Every organ is covered by fascia and just about everything in your body is connected, supported and protected by fascia. It's a big, strong network.
Sometimes, an area can become restricted because of injury, overuse or inactivity. The goal of myofascial work is to soften the affected tissue and bring it back into its normal pattern with extremely slow, gentle action. Working on that part can then bring other connected areas back into balance.
My work is based on Taylor Techniques for myofascial release.
Shiatsu is Japanese for "finger pressure". Tokujiro Namikoshi opened the first Shiatsu college in 1940. Working along the same meridians used by acupuncturists and employing many of the same points, Shiatsu uses pressure and stretching to open up the flow of "qi," the energy that flows through the body. The result can be relaxing or invigorating, depending on your needs and can relieve, among other things, pain, fatigue and anxiety.
I use the "Five Element" style of Shiatsu, balancing the elements of earth, metal, water, wood, and fire.
There are tomb pictures from ancient Egypt that show people apparently having their feet massaged. Reflexology is a technique that uses pressure, or "reflex" points on the feet to affect the entire body. In the 1930s and 1940s an American nurse and physiotherapist named Eunice D. Ingham mapped the body and its systems on the feet.
Most people find Reflexology relaxes them and relieves their stress. The effect can extend to relief from back pain, headaches, insomnia, menstrual discomfort and digestive disorders.
I studied Ingham's method and frequently finish a massage session with Reflexology.
There are many kinds of Energy Work that follow different traditions such as Reiki, Cranialsacral and Qi Gong. There are even methods that have no name. It's a field that has almost as many ways of working as there are energy workers. In all forms, the goal is to achieve a balanced flow of energy through the body.
I have many years of experience with energy work.
Based on the body's anatomy and physiology, Swedish (or "Classic") Massage uses oil, cream or gel, five basic massage strokes and some gentle stretches. Swedish is well known for unraveling tense muscles and for enhancing muscle function.
Its first cousin, Deep Tissue, targets deeper muscle levels of particular body areas for athletes, dancers and other people who tend to overwork their bodies. These are the only forms for which I would usually use cream or gel and in which the client would be undressed and formally draped.
I have used these traditional techniques ever since I graduated from the Swedish Institute.