Types of Massage Therapy
What are the types of massage do our massage therapists offer, and how can they help you?
At Athena Bodywork, we specialize in 4 massage modalities:
Swedish Massage uses of long strokes, kneading, friction, tapping, percussion, vibration and shaking motions to apply pressure between muscles and bones. The therapist concentrates on rubbing in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart. Swedish Massage techniques are increase the level of oxygen in the blood, decreasing muscle toxins, improve circulation and flexibility. Studies have shown that Swedish Massage significantly decreases in levels of the stress hormone cortisol, as well as arginine vasopressin-a hormone that can lead to increases in cortisol. It has also been found to boost your immune system by increasing the production of lymphocytes--white blood cells which help to fights off common diseases like the cold and flu.
Deep Tissue Massage can greatly reduce chronic muscle tension and pain to those painful, stiff "trouble spots" everybody has in their body. Common trouble spots are in the neck, upper back, lower back, and forearms. At Athena Bodywork, a Deep Tissue Massage session will include warming up the tissue with heat packs and lighter massage strokes to promote circulation and help the muscles and fascia (the protective layer surrounding muscles, bones and joints) become warm and pliable. Then the therapist will slowly sink into muscle and fascia using slow, deliberate strokes that focus pressure on the specific "knots", as well as the deepest layers of muscle tissue, tendons and fascia.
An article that we think best describes our definition of Deep Tissue Massage was published by by the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) and can be found here.
Round, smooth basalt stones are heated, oiled, and used in the palm of the therapists hands to massage the body. Heat spreads deeply through your muscles, encouraging profound relaxation. Physiologically, the increase of bloodflow to muscle bellies flushes cellular waste by bringing fresh blood to stagnate areas. The result is a "detoxification" of muscular tissues, and relief of long-standing muscular tension, stress and fatigue.
Please note that a hot stone massage is a little more expensive because it requires more preparation and clean-up. In order to receive the full experience, the sessions are a little longer than regular massage, too. We recommend at least 75 minutes. It is a true healing session for your body and soul.
The combined effect on body and mind prompts a state of enhanced relaxation that washes away stress and sets the stage for re-energizing and rejuvenating the body, mind and spirit.
This treatment is particularly effective for those with muscle tension caused by stress and anxiety. It is also well suited for conditions where massage would be beneficial, but the client is uncomfortable receiving firm pressure (e.g., fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, or connective tissue disorders).
Medical and Sports Massage at Athena Bodywork is a catch-all service uniquely tailored to each client. Some of its benefits include:
Improved flexibility and range of motion
Faster recovery time
Mental preparation for optimal performance
Breaking up old scar tissue/adhesions
This modality is particularly suited to people who have very specific injuries or physical goals related to their athletic endeavors. The cumulative effects of Medical/Sports Massage can be dramatic. We generally recommend that the client come in once per week for several weeks, then develop a maintenance schedule of once per month. Often a 35 minute "tune-up" session each month is all that is needed to maintain the positive effects of the work.