Frequently Asked Questions
Massage therapy is the scientific manipulation of the soft tissues of the body with either the hands or specialized instruments for the purpose of normalizing those tissues and consists of manual techniques that include applying fixed or movable pressure, holding, and/or causing movement of or to the body.
Generally, massage is known to affect the circulation of blood and the flow of blood and lymph, reduce muscular tension or flaccidity, affect the nervous system through stimulation or sedation, and enhance tissue healing. These effects provide a number of benefits:
Massage therapy also has a number of documented clinical benefits. For example, massage can reduce anxiety, improve pulmonary function in young asthma patients, reduce psycho-emotional distress in persons suffering from chronic inflammatory bowel disease, increase weight and improve motor development in premature infants, and may enhance immune system functioning. Some medical conditions that massage therapy can help are: allergies, anxiety and stress, arthritis, asthma and bronchitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive motion injuries, chronic and temporary pain, circulatory problems, depression, digestive disorders, tension headache, insomnia, myofascial pain, sports injuries, and temporomandibular joint dysfunction.
Structural Bodywork, also known as Structural Integration and Rolfing, is a type of massage therapy that focuses on the connective tissue, including fascia, of the body. Fascia surrounds muscles, groups of muscles, blood vessels, organs, and nerves, binding some structures together while permitting others to slide smoothly over each other. Fascia is designed to be elastic and move freely with muscles and bones. Injury, stress, work-related repetitive movements and the effects of aging can cause fascia to lose its elasticity becoming shorter, tighter, and more dense. Tightened fascia pulls our muscles and then skeleton out of proper alignment and posture, which can cause pain, discomfort, and fatigue. Structural Integration works to lengthen, stretch, and soften this tissue to restore postural balance, ease of movement, and a feeling of being more at home in your own body. It is practiced in an organized series of sessions or individual sessions within a framework that is designed to restore postural balance by aligning and integrating the body in gravity.
An occasional massage therapy session varies greatly from the series of sessions which make up Structural Bodywork. Yes, a Structural Bodywork session will include many different massage therapy techniques, but the session's main focus may not be the particular area FEELING discomfort. Instead, each Structural Bodywork session is planned in advance to elongate certain muscle groups and fascia which are holistically CAUSING the discomfort. The process aids in better posture which in most cases is the cause of discomfort. Structural Integration is a much longer commitment. Your body did not get this way overnight so you must dedicate more than an hour to restoring better posture. As much as I would LOVE to be able to wave a magic wand and **POOF** have all your discomfort permanently disappear, I have yet to gain access to such a wondrous technique. In the mean time, I can use massage therapy techniques to aid in this goal!
Fascia is a specialized system of the body that has an appearance similar to a spider's web. Fascia is very densely woven, covering and interpenetrating every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein, as well as, all of our internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord. The most interesting aspect of the fascial system is that it is not just a system of separate coverings. It is actually one continuous structure existing from head to toe without interruption. In this way, you can begin to see the entire body is connected to every other part by the fascia, much like the yarn in a sweater.
Trauma, repetative motion, inflammatory responses, and/or surgical procedures create Myofascial restrictions that can produce tensile pressures of approximately 2,000 pounds per square inch on pain sensitive structures that do not show up in many of the standard tests (x-rays, myelograms, CAT scans, electromyography, etc.) A high percentage of people suffering with pain and/or lack of motion may be having fascial problems, but are not diagnosed.
Structural Bodywork takes several sessions because I do not have magical powers or fairy dust. It takes YEARS of poor posture, repetative movement, sleep patterns, etc. to bind the soft tissue to the point of discomfort. It would be unreasonable to expect one 60 minute session to undo YEARS of binding.
A Postural Assessment is a visual analysis of a client's posture used in order to identify muskuloskeletal issues or misalignment which may be causing the client pain and can be done in both the static and moving state. A postural assessment can tell a trained professional what muscles and bones are aligned and misaligned giving a more complete picture of what postures and movements are causing pain and discomfort.
It is possible to correct one's posture with Structural Bodywork alone, but with the aid of corrective exercises, the process goes much faster and becomes a more permanent solution because the overworked muscles and soft tissue are being lengthened while the underworked opposition are being tightened and trained to hold the body in a more optimal position.
No, I do not take insurance at this time. However, many insurance companies covering massage therapy will accept a receipt.
There are MANY different reasons, also called contraindications, a person would or should choose to refrain from massage therapy appointment. If you have any of these conditions, please do not book a massage:
If you suffer from any of the following conditions, massage can only take place once it has been approved BEFORE your session IN WRITING by your Physician.
In addition, I CAN massage but not over any areas affected by:
-Undiagnosed lumps or bumps
-Inflammation, including arthritis
Thank you in advance for being a responsible adult.