Massage Therapy Modalities – Blending Modern Science with Ancient Arts

 


Myofascial Release Asheville

Myofascial Release

One of my favorite instructors in massage school was a Rolfer, which is a specific approach utilizing a method of hands-on treatment called myofascial release. By opening and releasing the web of connective tissue (imagine a knitted sweater) that is woven thoughout your body, patterns ease up and allow for healing.

“When I began seeing her I had pain in both hips that kept me from enjoying what I love most, which is walking. Tracy did her magic and that pain is history. The hour spent on her table is one of total bliss.” ~ Lorraine K., Asheville, NC

Trigger Point Massage

Neuromuscular and Trigger Point Therapy

These are what some people refer to as “knots.” The soft tissue has become more dense, decreasing blood and lymph flow, becoming a spot of intense pain or discomfort. By easing these points, it acts as a ripple effect on the whole body. This is when I say, “Breathe into it. Imagine butter melting in the sun. Lets clear out these storage units. Plant flowers, fresh air, in these storage units.”

I don’t prescribe to the “no pain, no gain” mentality. If you experience a level of discomfort where you get the flight or fight mechanism kicking in…? That’s too much. Lets get to the edge. But, if your body is in alarm, it can be counter-productive.

Acupressure Asheville

Acupressure

There are many similar points between Trigger Point therapy and Acupressure…differences are intent and centuries apart in development. Acupressure has its roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine and utilizes the same points as acupuncture, but without the needles, working to open stuck or blocked energy pathways (meridians) or tonify or awaken stagnate points and pathways. This is great as a self-care tool as I can show you several points to help with pain, headaches, women’s issues, and overall energy levels and alertness.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy

This is both a modern and ancient form of healing by utilizing distilled plant essences to acheive a variety of outcomes for the whole body, mind, spirit. Let me know if you have an aversion to scents. If not, are you drawn to aromas that are citrusy, floral, woodsy, or earthy? Often, I’ll put a combination together, taking into consideration anything you’ve shared with me, “Im feeling a bit frazzled lately,” as well as the current seasonal changes. The two ways of treatment are direct inhalation and topical application.

“Aromatherapy is extremely useful. If you want to go to sleep at night, and you have an aroma that calms your mind, it will help you sleep.

It’s very useful for things like hypertension, anxiety, psychosomatic disorders, irritable bowel syndrome…” ~ Deepak Chopra, MD, June 1st, 2013 on NPR
Herbal Wisdom Asheville

Herbal Oils, Balms, Liniments

Let the wisdom of plant medicine take residence in your life. We have evolved using plants as food, clothing, shelter, and medicine. It is only recently that we, as a people in the western world, have grown so removed from what is really our true nature. Did you know that we produce feel-good chemicals in response to the color green? A healthy forest produces chemicals that we respond to by producing serotonin and oxytocin, similarly when we get our hands in the soil. Nature reinforces our relationship with her. Topical application of herbal healing oils, balms, and liniments during your massage enhances your healing, maintains wellness, and is a great opportunity to allow the wisdom of the plants to nourish you.

“I had recently been given a vaccination and later felt sore at the area of injection in my shoulder. I happened to have had a massage appointment two days later, and Tracy applied a healing balm onto my shoulder. By that same evening, the pain was completely gone!” ~ Monica Groves, Asheville, NC

Four Hands Massage Asheville

4 Hands Massage

The ultimate fun massage experience….two massage therapists skillfully coax you into a blissful dreamland…like a thousand waves…gliding evenly…simultaneously applying equal amounts of pressure. If you’re already a fan of massage and bodywork, you have to try this experience at least once!

 

Hot Stone Massage Asheville

Cryotherapy, Hot and Cold Stones

Alternating the use of hot and cold is a wonderfully effective way of interrupting pain patterns. Also given as a preventative to flush out toxins, move lymph, and accelerate healing deep within the soft tissues. This alternating therapy is often given as homework to clients who are in a subacute stage of an injury, particularly with low back pain.

Couples Massage Asheville

Couples Massage

You and your partner or friend receive massages at the same time in the same room (or different rooms, please specify) with two different massage therapists. This is a great way to share the relaxing experience together, a special occasion, or as a way to introduce your partner to massage for the first time. Toward the end of the session, for couples in the same room, each of you are treated to a sample 4 Hands Massage. Allow for extra notice when scheduling this appointment. 90 minutes minimum.

Reflexology Asheville

Reflexology

Like Acupressure, Reflexology has its roots in ancient healing traditions. Did you know there are hieroglyphs depicting foot massage? I’ve heard many people dismiss such modalities as Reflexology as being too “out there…strange…woowoo.” Remember, everything is connected, and our “modern” western medicine, while very heroic, is very young! Ancient healing traditions have stood the test of time, being passed down generation to generation. I’m always tickled to hear about how modern medicine has “discovered” things like the sea-band point on the wrist for natural nausea treatment. Let’s not wait for science to discover what we already know.

I recently received a reflexology session from a friend. I told her I was just getting over a sinus infection. Part way into the session, I started feeling my sinuses open. I gained immediate relief and recovered more quickly from the sinus infection following the reflexology treatment.

Walk as though a flower blooms in every step. ~ Thích Nhất Hạnh

Prenatal Massage

Pregnancy Massage

The time leading up to birth is a sacred time for the mother, a precious time in anticipation, enjoyment, discomfort, and mystery. A whirl wid of emotional and physical changes. In Ayurveda, they recommend the mother receives massage every day! Wow, wouldn’t that be nice?! I’ve had the honor of giving massage to many pregnant mothers. I know the points in which to avoid, and the most comfortable positions (a client called one the “ramp”) for her to be in for the most enjoyment of her session.

“Tracy has provided me with excellent massages during my pregnancy. After each session, I mentally felt more relaxed and physically felt better. Tracy has always been professional, friendly, and I don’t hesitate to recommend her services.”    ~ Fay, Asheville, NC

Massage Cupping

Massage Cupping

By creating suction and a vacuum pressure, massage cupping is used to loosen adhesions, soften tight muscles, moving fluids to help hydrate tissues, improve blood flow, and move stagnate lymph fluid. Deeply inflamed tissues are relieved and healing is stimulated, encouraged, and supported. Also great for moving excess toxins from congested tissue by opening lymphatic pathways. In Eastern traditions, cupping is seen as an effective tool to move stagnant Chi, life force energy.

PhotoKinesio Tapping

Kinesio Taping

You may have seen these colorful tapes on athletes during the Olympic Games. There are three main functions of the tape, depending on how the tape is applied: to Inhibit a muscle, to Facilitate a muscle, and lastly, it serves to move lymph fluid. In my practice, I have found the most success in applying the tape for the third function, aiding in healing an edemic area, especially in cases of injury.

Sound Healing

Singing Bowls and Tuning Forks

There is something magical about the vibrations from singing bowls, especially toward the end of a massage session. Sometimes after working out the tension and trigger points on your back, I’ll drape your back with the sheet, and place my Tibetan singing bowl onto the middle of your back. You’ll feel the varying vibrations of the bowl carry through into your body. Or, I’ll gently apply the base of the tuning forks to acupressure points along the spine. Often clients say they see colors, or are taken deeper into their blissful state.

Mindfulness Meditation

Click here to learn more about Mindfulness Meditation and download a free mp3 “Total Relaxation” guided body scan meditation.

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