Massage technique descriptions

Usui Reiki – Reiki loosely translates to “Universal Life Force Energy.”  It is a form of energy work, the practitioner basically functions as an antenna for the client.  This is achieved through very light touch to no contact, working just off the body, with the client.  Reiki treats the whole being, mind, body and spirit, and it is something we all inherently know how to use. 

 

Swedish Massage – Using hands, forearms, and elbows to manipulate superficial layers of tissue.  Benefits can include increased circulation, decreased muscle tension, and improved range of motion.  This is typically done with oil on skin, however, can be modified if client needs to remain clothed.  Strokes are long smooth light, in the direction of the muscle fiber and always toward the heart.  If an area of tension is discovered, and does not respond to this type of touch, it is left as is.

Deep Tissue Massage – Once the tissue is warmed up with light strokes, the practitioner uses slow strokes and sustained pressure, compressing tissue against deeper tissue or bones.  Working in muscle bellies as well as connective tissue.  Strokes are with the direction of the muscle fiber, perpendicular to the fibers, as well as static pressure.  The intention is to help break up scar tissue that forms following an injury or repetitive movement.

 

Cupping – This is an ancient technique used by every culture in the world.  Cupping tools are even depicted on the pyramids.  The cups provide negative pressure lifting tissue off deeper tissue and structure.  The vacuum created can leave cupping marks.  Cups can be placed and left static or can be moved across the tissue.  The intension, much like deep tissue, is to break up congestion in the tissue.  Facial cupping can be instrumental in treating TMJD and headaches, and rarely does it leave marks.

Gua Sha – Another ancient technique, also called scraping or spooning.  The practitioner uses a tool to scrape the surface of the oiled skin stimulating microcirculation of the soft tissue and breaking up scar tissue adhesions.  This technique can also leave marks which typically do not last beyond 24 hours.

 

Stone Work – Hot and cold basalt stones are used together.  Hot stones “melt” into the tissue softening fascia and allowing deeper work.  The large flat nature of the work is often soothing.  Using hot and cold together work to achieve increased circulation and reduction of scar tissue.

Breathing – There are numerous breathing techniques which can be used during bodywork and life in general.  Slowing down and breathing intentionally takes the body out of the hypervigilant state and puts it in the rest and digest state mechanically.

Essential Oils – Oil naturally extracted from plants.  Healers have used plants to impart change for as long as people have been around.  Muscle testing for response is used before oils are used for treatments.  Oils are purchased only from suppliers who document purity and origin of the plants.

Cannabis Products – Washington State Law (CHABA) allows practitioners to topically use cannabis products which are primarily CBD, and do not exceed 0.03% THC.  If your employer tests for drugs in your system, do not use cannabis products topically as you can absorb the THC and it could show up on a random check.  Cannabis or CBD products used topically can help with absorption of other products such as essential oils. Some people find they help with pain and swelling.  This is an emerging entity in our state and discoveries are being made every day.