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Description of Massage Techniques offered by Karen

Massage Techniques

There are many types of massage. I will be able to help you discover the type that benefits you the most. Here is a list of the massages that I offer.


Developed in the 1960s, this style originated at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, Calif., and is based on a combination of Oriental and Swedish massage techniques. Esalen is light and gentle in nature, emphasizing nurturing and empathy. The strokes are soft, easy, and slow, prompting deep relaxation. It is used to reduce stress, relieve pain, improve sleep, aid digestion, and promote healing.


One of the most commonly taught and well-known massage techniques, Swedish massage is a vigorous system of treatment designed to energize the body by stimulating circulation. Five basic strokes, all flowing toward the heart, are used to manipulate the soft tissues of the body. Therapists use a combination of kneading, rolling, vibrational, percussive, and tapping movements, with the application of oil, to reduce friction on the skin. The many benefits of Swedish massage may include generalized relaxation, dissolution of scar tissue adhesions, and improved circulation, which may speed healing and reduce swelling from injury.


This comprehensive program of soft-tissue manipulation balances the body’s central nervous system with the musculoskeletal system. Based on neurological laws that explain how the central nervous system initiates and maintains pain, the goal is to help relieve the pain and dysfunction by understanding and alleviating the underlying cause. Neuromuscular therapy can help individuals who experience distortion and biomechanical dysfunction, which is often a symptom of a deeper problem. It is also used to locate and release spasms and hyper-contraction in the tissue, eliminate trigger points that cause referred pain, rebuild the strength of injured tissues, assist venous and lymphatic flow, and restore postural alignment, proper biomechanics, and flexibility to the tissues.


Techniques which utilize deep tissue/deep muscle massage are administered to affect the sub-layer of musculature and fascia. These techniques require more advanced training and a more thorough understanding of anatomy and physiology. The muscles must be relaxed in order to effectively perform deep tissue massage, otherwise tight surface muscles prevent the practitioner from reaching deeper musculature. It helps with chronic muscular pain and injury rehabilitation, and reduces inflammation-related pain caused by arthritis and tendonitis. It is generally integrated with other massage techniques.


This technique combines compression, extension, movement, and breath to give therapists a tool to provide relief from pain, treating such conditions as carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic low back pain, plantar fasciitis, sciatica, tennis elbow, knee pain, shin splints, frozen shoulder, hammer toes, piriformis syndrome, tendonitis, trigger finger, and much more.


Myofascial release is the three-dimensional application of sustained pressure and movement into the fascial system in order to eliminate fascial restrictions and facilitate the emergence of emotional patterns and belief systems that are no longer relevant or are impeding progress. First, an assessment is made by visually analyzing the human frame, followed by the palpation of the tissue texture of various fascial layers. Upon locating an area of fascial tension, gentle pressure is applied in the direction of the restriction. Myofascial release is an effective therapeutic approach in the relief of cervical pain, back pain, fibromyalgia, scoliosis, neurological dysfunction, restriction of motion, chronic pain, and headaches.


Based on the discoveries of Drs. Janet Travell and David Simons in which they found the causal relationship between chronic pain and its source, myofascial trigger point therapy is used to relieve muscular pain and dysfunction through applied pressure to trigger points of referred pain and through stretching exercises. These points are defined as localized areas in which the muscle and connective tissue are highly sensitive to pain when compressed. Pressure on these points can send referred pain to other specific parts of the body.


Developed by osteopath Lawrence Jones, this noninvasive treatment helps decrease protective muscle spasms and alleviates somatic dysfunction in the musculoskeletal system. By using palpation and passive positional procedures, the therapist practicing strain/counterstrain therapy can help restore pain-free movement. The position that relieves the referred pain is held for 90 seconds. After resuming the original position and pressing the trigger point, the referred pain is gone. Although the client is often asked to bend or twist to secure a comfortable position, for the most part clients report effectiveness of the procedure.


This treatment is a sensuous union of two ancient therapies - one from Japan, and the other from Native American - blending Shiatsu acupressure and perfectly warmed Pacific Northwest basalt rocks. Japanese hot rock therapy is recommended for those who get regular bodywork and are accustomed to deep pressure. The unique rotation and exquisite deep pressure of heat-radiating stones on targeted acupressure points melt areas of tension to seduce you into a mood of deep inner peace and relaxation!


Many methods of massage are both effective and safe prenatal and postpartum periods of women’s pregnancies. Specific techniques can reduce pregnancy discomforts and concerns and enhance the physiological and emotional well-being of both mother and fetus. In the postpartum period, specialized, advanced training in the anatomy, physiology, complications, precautions, and contraindications is highly recommended, and many practitioners require referrals from physicians prior to therapy. Recommended after 1st trimester.


Originated by D. Gary Young and the Lakota Indians, raindrop therapy technique is a noninvasive tool for helping to correct defects in the curvature of the spine caused by viruses and bacteria that lie dormant there. Antimicrobial essential oils are used to reduce inflammation by killing the viral agents, thus bringing the body into structural and electrical alignment. The oils (primarily thyme, oregano, birch, cypress, peppermint, and basil) are dispensed like little drops of rain from a height of about six inches above the back and massaged along the vertebrae. The oils used in this treatment continue to work for the next five to seven days. For best results a series of 3 to 5 sessions is recommended.


Body exfoliation is a service we should all consider every few months, or every few weeks during the summer. Our skin becomes dry and begins to break down with the build up of residues from soaps, detergents and lotions and environmental pollutants. Body Exfoliation helps polish away dull, dry skin. It also stimulates our circulation, which in turn feeds our skin and causes it to look and be healthy again. The first step to any successful body care program, gentle or deep, exfoliation eliminates dead cells, superficial toxicity, impurities and sebum accumulation. Exfoliation will render the skins roughest areas soft and smooth resulting in a more youthful skin. Salt Glows exfoliation is done with Dead Sea Salt that works beautifully on dry, dehydrated skin. Mineral Sea Salt, rich in sodium bicarbonate, are mixed with essential oils and a carrier oil such as grape seed extract and gently rubbed over the body using a light, circular motion. This treatment leaves your skin soft, supple and tingling with renewed life. Warm towels are then used to remove the sea salt mixture. Do not shave/wax or sun-tan the day of or the day after a sea salt glow.


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