What We Treat
Massage therapy brings relief and balance by releasing tissue restrictions, improving circulation, reducing stress and supporting the body’s innate ability to heal.
Therapeutic Massage blends a variety of techniques to promote relaxation and address areas that need special attention. A massage may include Swedish Massage, Neuromuscular, Myofascial Release, Sports Massage, Muscle Energy Technique, Shiatsu and Reflexology.
Read on to better understand the different massage techniques available at Journeys.
Deep Tissue Massage works by manipulating the muscles’ underlying connective tissue—called fascia—to loosen up areas that have stuck together to form “knots” and increase overall flexibility. This technique increases circulation to targeted areas, stretches tissue and releases toxins that were trapped in the adhesions. The motions used in Deep Tissue Massage are similar to those employed in traditional “Swedish” Massage, although they tend to be done against rather than with the muscular grain. The style also employs the use of elbows and perhaps even ceramic, glass or wooden tools to focus pressure on specific areas.
Because pressure is more focused and intense than in traditional massage, many people believe that Deep Tissue Massage must be painful. While Deep Tissue Massage can be a bit uncomfortable at times, it should never actually hurt. Those people going in for Deep Tissue Massage should first consult with their therapists to set expectations, and communication should be maintained throughout the session to ensure the experience is painless as well as productive. (Note: There may be some soreness after a Deep Tissue Massage session, but this should go away in no more than a few days.)
Craniosacral Therapy is a light-touch approach that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole body health and performance. Where restrictions are detected, delicate manual techniques help release problem areas and encourage healing. It is a deeply relaxing therapy that has been shown to provide relief from anxiety, headaches & migraines, ADD/ADHD, Autism and other disorders arising from restrictions in the central nervous system.
Myofascial (mi-oh-FASH-al) release is a manual therapy technique often used in massage. The technique focuses on pain believed to arise from myofascial tissues — the tough membranes that wrap, connect and support your muscles. Theoretically, myofascial pain differs from other types of pain because it originates in “trigger points,” which are related to stiff, anchored areas within the myofascia. The pain that a trigger point causes is often difficult to localize, though.
During myofascial release therapy, the therapist locates myofascial areas that feel stiff and fixed instead of elastic and movable under light manual pressure. These areas, though not always near what feels like the source of pain, are thought to restrict muscle and joint movements, contributing to widespread muscle pain. The focused manual pressure and stretching used in myofascial release therapy loosen up restricted movement, leading indirectly to reduced pain.
Neuromuscular Therapy is a very specialized form of massage therapy. A therapist trained in NMT (Neuromuscular Therapy) is educated in the physiology of the nervous system and its effect on the muscular and skeletal systems. By definition, Neuromuscular Therapy is the utilization of static pressure on specific myofascial or trigger points to relieve pain. This technique manipulates the soft tissue of the body (muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin and fascia) to balance the muscular system with the nervous system. In healthy individuals, nerves slowly transmit impulses which are responsible for every movement, function and thought within the body. This is known as homeostasis. When our bodies are subject to trauma, such as an accident, injury, prolonged stress or postural disorders (i.e. sitting at a computer for hours) the nerves begin to speed up their transmission and begin to fire more rapidly. This process breaks down homeostasis and inhibits equilibrium in the body making it vulnerable to pain, dysfunction and further injury. Neuromuscular therapy is highly beneficial in re-stabilizing the neurological activity between the muscular and nervous system, which is necessary to maintain normal function and overall health of our body
Polarity Therapy is a natural health care system based upon the universal principles of energy: attraction, repulsion, and neutrality. The interrelation of these principles forms the basis for every aspect of life, including our experience of health, wellness and disease. With this understanding, Polarity Therapy addresses the interdependence of body, mind, and spirit; the importance of relationships; the value of creating a way of life in harmony with nature. As part of the larger field of Energy Therapy, Polarity complements existing systems with an integrated, holistic model. Polarity Therapy is a transformative influence for change in healthcare, wellness education, and complementary and alternative medicine
Benefits of prenatal massage:
- Reduced back pain
- Reduced joint pain
- Improved circulation
- Reduced edema
- Reduced muscle tension and headaches
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Improved oxygenation of soft tissues and muscles
- Better sleep
Reflexology is the application of pressure to areas on the feet, hands and ears. Reflexology is generally relaxing and may be an effective way to alleviate stress.
The theory behind reflexology is that these areas correspond to organs and systems of the body. Proponents believe that pressure applied to these areas affects the organs and benefits the person’s health.
Reflexologists use foot charts to guide them as they apply pressure to specific areas. Sometimes these practitioners use items, such as rubber balls, rubber bands and sticks of wood, to assist in their work. Practitioners of reflexology include chiropractors, physical therapists and massage therapists, among others
Shiatsu is a physical therapy that supports and strengthens the body’s natural ability to heal and balance itself. It works on the whole person – not just a physical body, but also a psychological, emotional and spiritual being.
Shiatsu originated in Japan from traditional Chinese medicine, with influences from more recent Western therapies. Although shiatsu means ‘finger pressure’ in Japanese, in practice a practitioner uses touch, comfortable pressure and manipulative techniques to adjust the body’s physical structure and balance its energy flow. It is a deeply relaxing experience and regular treatments can alleviate stress and illness and maintain health and well-being
Swedish Massage uses five basic movements to increase circulation and, in theory, remove toxins from muscles. The therapist uses firm but gentle pressure, aided by oil to reduce friction, to compress and relax muscles, always stroking in the direction of the heart.
The principal moves of Swedish massage are:
- Effleurage: Long gliding strokes whose pressure can vary depending on the therapist and the client.
- Petrissage: A kneading movement designed to relax muscles and increase circulation by compressing and releasing muscle tissue.
- Tapotement: Tapping muscles with the side of the hand, fingers or palm to release tension and cramping.
- Vibration: Using hands or a machine to create rapid movement that relaxes and soothes muscles.
- Friction: This is a strong, rapid, circular movement usually done to release muscle knots. Normally, friction is applied for only a short period of time to avoid an inflammatory response.
Bending and stretching movements may also be used to relax joints.
Trigger Points Therapy
Trigger Point Therapy can relieve muscular aches and pains in association with these areas. It can also assist with the redevelopment of muscles and/or restore motion to joints. Trigger Point Performance products are specifically designed to support the massage associated with Trigger Point Therapy. Trigger points are described as hyperirritable spots in skeletal muscle that are associated with palpable nodules in taut bands of muscle fibers. Trigger point researchers believe that palpable nodules are small contraction knots and a common cause of pain. Compression of a trigger point may elicit local tenderness, referred pain, or local twitch response. The local twitch response is not the same as a muscle spasm. This is because a muscle spasm refers to the entire muscle entirely contracting whereas the local twitch response also refers to the entire muscle but only involves a small twitch, no contraction.