The healing powers of massage have been recognized as early as the 5th century BC. Various forms of massage were employed by ancient cultures in China, India, Rome, Greece and Egypt. It was in the last century, that the ancient healing art has been embraced by the New World, and transformed into “modern day” massage.
Within the last 20 years, American culture has realized that massage is more than simply a “luxury”. While Massage is not a “cure” for health problems, it has certainly been known to enhance a person’s life experience! Some of the many benefits of massage include:
Building the Immune System
Improving Physical Strength and Stamina
Helping reduce Swelling due to Injury
Minimizing Chronic Pain
Ameliorating Low Back Pain, Sciatica
Creating Sound Sleep Patterns
Promoting sense of Well-being
Balancing Positive and Negative Energies
Enhancing Creative Expression
Massage stimulates circulatory function, improves lymphatic flow, lubricates muscles and joints, and promotes the release of endorphins within the brain. Massage is commonly used in conjunction with Chiropractic care and other natural wellness services to relax the musculature surrounding the spine, allowing for optimal flow of nerve and spiritual energy throughout the body.
D.R.E.A.M. Wellness offers the finest in Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue Massage, Cranio-Sacral Therapy, Myofascial Release, Trigger Point Therapy, Sports Massage, Chair Massage,Reflexology,Pre-Natal (Pregnancy) Massage, as well as massage for special needs children.
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Swedish massage – (which is a proper name, not a reference to Sweden) refers to a collection of techniques designed primarily to relax muscles by applying pressure to them against deeper muscles and bones, and rubbing in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart. The lymph system and veins (which carry blood back to the heart) both rely on muscle action, rather than heart pump pressure, to operate. Many believe it is safe to apply light pressure in the opposite direction. Friction is reduced by oil. Swedish massage can relax muscles, increase circulation, remove metabolic waste products, help the recipient obtain a feeling of connection, a better awareness of their body and the way they use and position it. One of the primary goals of Swedish Massage is to speed venous return from the extremities. Swedish Massage shortens recovery time from muscular strain by flushing the tissue of lactic acid, uric acid and other metabolic wastes. It improves circulation without increasing heart load. It stretches the ligaments and tendons, keeping them supple. Swedish Massage also stimulates the skin and nerve system while at the same time relaxing the nerves themselves. As it can help reduce emotional and physical stress, it is often recommended as part of a regular program for stress management. It also has specific clinical uses in a medical or remedial therapy.
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Deep Tissue Massage is a massage technique that focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue. It aims to release the chronic patterns of tension in the body through slow strokes and deep finger pressure on the contracted areas, either following or going across the fibers of the muscles, tendons and fascia.
Deep tissue massage is used to release chronic muscle tension through slower strokes and more direct deep pressure or friction applied across the grain of the muscles not with the grain. Deep tissue massage helps to break up and eliminate scar tissue. Deep tissue massage usually focuses on more specific areas and may cause some soreness during or right after the massage. However, if the massage is done correctly you should feel better than ever within a day or two.
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Cranio-Sacral Therapy – Via a gentle, noninvasive manipulative technique, this encourages your own natural mechanisms to improve the functioning of your brain and spinal cord to dissipate the negative effects of stress, promote good health, and enhance resistance to disease.
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Myofascial Release – is used to evaluate and treat restrictions in the body’s contractile connective tissues (muscles) and non-contractile supportive connective tissues (fascia) by the application of gentle traction, pressures and positioning. Fascia is a complex supportive web throughout the body affecting all components of the musculoskeletal, neural and visceral (organ) systems. It surrounds groups of muscle fibers, and entire muscle groups and organs. While it is not contractile, it can be passively elastically deformed. That is how it retains tension from physical and emotional traumas. It is also involved when a person suffers chronic pain or physical dysfunction. Chronically tense muscles restrict blood flow and fatigue the body. Both fascia and muscle tissues can become shortened if they are improperly used. Also, layers of fascia can stick together. Myofascial release techniques are used to coax muscles in spasm to relax, and break adhesions in the fascia. Bodies respond to these therapies by releasing tension that has been stored in the fascia, thus allowing more functional flexibility and mobility of the muscles, fascia and associated structures.[/toggle]
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Trigger Point Therapy – is a pain-relief technique to alleviate muscle spasms and cramping. The therapist locates and deactivates `trigger points’, which are often tender areas where muscles have been damaged or acquired a re-occurring spasm or `kink’ that worsens painfully when aggravated. The major goals are to reduce spasm, helping to induce new blood flow into the affected area. The spasms are partly maintained by nerve system feedback (pain-spasm-pain) cycle. Spasms also physically reduce blood flow to the trigger point area (ischemia), reducing oxygen supplied to the tissues and increasing the spasm. Pressure is applied to trigger points, for a short time (between about 7 to 10 seconds per point, sometimes longer), which can be momentarily painful but is greatly relieving. It is common to hit the same trigger points several times during a session, but you won’t be leaning into a sore spot for several minutes.
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Sports Massage – is used primarily for athletes who train regularly. It focuses on the muscles relevant to the particular athletic activity. It also includes pre-event, post-event and maintenance techniques that promote greater athletic endurance and performance to lessen chances of injury and reduce recovery time. The intent is to warm muscles, increase circulation, and invigorate the athlete. In general, sports massage techniques are deeper, more vigorous, more intense, and more interactive. Open palm sweeping and kneading are commonly used.
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On-site or chair massage– is one name for a short (10-20 minute) massage of a client sitting in a special, portable massage chair. The client remains fully clothed and no oils are used while their shoulders, neck, upper back, head and arms are massaged. This is great before, during or after a workout, or at any time you desire pure relaxation or relief from tight, sore muscles. Chair massages are performed both within the D.R.E.A.M. Wellness facility and on the exercise floor.
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Reflexology – This is referred to as Reflex Zone Therapy of the Feet. The feet are considered to be representatives as a central switchboard, from where observable effects over the whole body could be provoked. The feet are constantly being used and abused. We should take the time and thank them for their hard work and Reflexology is one of the best ways of accomplishing this. For more information on Reflexology, visit www.reflexology.org
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1Prenatal Massage– Massage during pregnancy is therapeutic bodywork which focuses on the special needs of the mother-to-be as her body goes through the dramatic changes of the childbirth experience. It is a fast-growing field in the United States that has attracted the interest of labor and delivery nurses, nurse-midwives, childbirth educators and obstetricians. Massage therapy enhances the function of muscles and joints, improves circulation and general body tone, and relieves mental and physical fatigue.
The popularity of prenatal massage is the result of a trend toward a higher level of wellness, especially during pregnancy. Many women are postponing childbirth until they have achieved other goals, such as careers and relationships. Because of this, pregnancy is anticipated and enjoyed to its fullest for the wondrous experience it is. Today’s pregnant women – along with other health care consumers – are looking for alternative approaches to support traditional health services.
Pregnancy massage can be done in different ways. Pregnant women may lie on their sides to be massaged, and they can actually lie on their bellies, since a specifically designed pillow has made it possible for expectant moms, no matter how far along they are, to lie flat on their stomachs. It accomplishes this with a deep center cutout in the pillow, so that bellies are accommodated and moms-to-be are relaxed and comfortable.
After the first 22 weeks of pregnancy, lying flat on your back can cause pressure on deep blood vessels, due to the growing baby, thereby reducing circulation to you and your baby. To avoid this problem, pillows can be used to ensure that you are lying down and looking at the wall rather than the ceiling. Body pillows are especially effective for the side-lying position.
Benefits of prenatal massage include:
Benefits of prenatal massage
In addition to the fact that massage during pregnancy just plain feels good; there are many other benefits for the mom-to-be and her baby, too. A study conducted by Dr. Tiffany Field at the University of Miami School of Medicine showed that massage actually reduces stress hormones in the body. Touch is vital to the mother’s physical and emotional well-being as she adapts to her new body image. Regardless of individual circumstances, a pregnant woman’s body is challenged, changed and stressed in many ways. Massage gives special attention to the mother-to-be, which in turn nurtures the new life that grows within her.
Is prenatal massage for you?
Massage during pregnancy is usually safe for most mothers. Your massage therapist will want to know if you are having any problems or complications with your pregnancy before you begin. If you are, then your therapist will require approval from your primary health care provider before proceeding with any bodywork. The following are some possible contraindications to prenatal massage:
- heavy discharge (watery or bloody);
- contagious illness;
- unusual pain;
- high blood pressure;
- morning sickness;
- abdominal pain;
- any malignant condition.
1The Art of Prenatal Massage, Pregnancy Today, the Journal for Parents-To-Be, Kelly Lott, RMT