Rita M. Chapman, MMP, LMT
Medical Massage Practitioner
Swedish massage therapy is the modality that comes to mind when most people think about massage. As the best-known type of bodywork performed today, one of the primary goals of the Swedish massage technique is to relax the entire body. This is accomplished by rubbing the muscles with long gliding strokes in the direction of blood returning to the heart. But Swedish massage therapy goes beyond relaxation.
Swedish massage is exceptionally beneficial for increasing the level of oxygen in the blood, decreasing muscle toxins, improving circulation and flexibility while easing tension.
Trigger Point Massage
Trigger points are small, localized muscle cramps with a variety of causes, most notably excessive loads, direct trauma, or repetitive or prolonged muscle contractions. The cramp does not normally affect the whole muscle but is usually confined to one or two small muscle fibers within the main body of the muscle. You can actually feel the cramp as a hard lump or knot in your muscle. Sometimes, especially in small muscles, the whole muscle will feel like a cable made from hard rubber.
Trigger points are not related to acupuncture points, energy points, or other esoteric concepts. Trigger points can be seen in the microscope. They can be felt as hard knots in your muscles. And oh yes, they hurt when pressed. Trigger points differ from other causes of pain in that they often produce pain in other sites in the body. This is called referred pain, and it can be a very annoying and perplexing problem. For instance, you may have pain in your elbow that is caused by a trigger point in your shoulder, your forearm muscles, or in the triceps.
Cranial Sacral Therapy
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on approach that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole-body health and performance.
Using a soft touch which is generally no greater than 5 grams – about the weight of a nickel – practitioners release restrictions in the soft tissues that surround the central nervous system. CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and it's effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction.
Few structures have as much influence over the body’s ability to function properly as the brain and spinal cord that make up the central nervous system. And, the central nervous system is heavily influenced by the craniosacral system – the membranes and fluid that surround, protect and nourish the brain and spinal cord.
Every day your body endures stresses and strains that it must work to compensate for. Unfortunately, these changes often cause body tissues to tighten and distort the craniosacral system. These distortions can then cause tension to form around the brain and spinal cord resulting in restrictions. This can create a barrier to the healthy performance of the central nervous system, and potentially every other system it interacts with.
What conditions does CranioSacral Therapy address?
First Day of Spring
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Lymphatic Drainage Therapy
Lymphatic massage is a technique used to encourage lymph flow in the body. Lymph is the clear fluid produced by the lymph nodes, located in the neck, chest, underarms, groin, and abdomen. A healthy flow of lymph supports the body's immune system in fighting off toxins responsible for viruses and infection. The lymphatic system — comprised of 500 to 600 lymph nodes, in addition to the spleen, tonsils, thymus, and adenoids — is the body's filter system for dangerous toxins and disease-promoting bacteria. For this reason, the health of the lymphatic system is crucial to the body's ability to heal.