OVERVIEW
Thankfully, more and more people recognize the preventive benefits and the accumulative effects of regular massage sessions, and are beginning to grasp the concept that massage is not a “luxury”, it is for both preventive and responsive health care. This page offers a brief description of various modalities and techniques, including  Pregnancy Massage information and downloadable resources that offer a much deeper look into massage practices and benefits.

“Our occupations and preoccupations fill our external and internal lives to the brim. They prevent the Spirit of God from breathing freely in us and thus renewing our lives.” –Henri Nouwen, author and speaker.

Stressed? A journey towards wholeness
Life is full of choices and too often we choose to overcommit ourselves to the point of exhaustion without giving anything back. Our minds need times of solitude to process all the external stimulation, our bodies need help to fully function and our emotions need nurture. Choosing to take the time to care for our body is a step towards loving ourselves and respecting our needs. We cannot continue to be productive, creative and giving when we are at a place of depletion. If we ignore our needs eventually our system speaks up and breaks down until we begin to pay attention. Regrettably, our overcommitted lives have become a badge of honor in the society keeping us driven, moving, and unable to find peace either within or without.

These are a few observations about the modern western culture by my friend Dave Nixon, founder of Sustainable FaithWe are awash in noise and have little or no respect for silence.
 Our days are overly busy and draining.
 We eat poorly and are gluttonous.
 We’re sleep deprived.
 We don’t exercise our bodies.

” 

Oury hope is that we will begin together a journey towards wholeness. Taking ownership for your health is crucial as we are only facilitators toward that process. We have learned that healing touch has an intentional element to it and it seeks occasions for expression. While responding to the physical symptoms presented we are trusting our intuition and our touch to be a conduit of caring, nurture compassion and healing.

We are happy for the least–a relaxing and helpful massage and hoping for the most– healing at the deepest levels.

*Note: All bodywork is strictly professional

“Life that touch nurtures is more than skin deep. The skin and the central nervous system are intimately connected in the development of the whole person, the sense of one’s self. The agency sparking the coordinated effort is touch.” — Zach Thomas, Healing Touch – The Church’s Forgotten Language.



MASSAGE MODALITIES
Below you will find a listing and description of some of the types of massage available at Equilibrium3.

Swedish Massage Therapy 
– is the most common type of massage. Specific strokes and pressure are used to release a dysfunctional holding pattern. It includes long strokes, kneading and friction techniques on the more superficial layers of the muscles, combined with active and passive movements of the joints. This therapy promotes general relaxation, improves blood circulation and range of motion, and relieves muscle tension.

Myofascial Therapy
 – is the therapy of working with the muscles and the fascia in order to relieve pain in the body’s musculo-skeletal system. Myofascial release is manipulative in nature and seeks to rebalance the body by releasing tension in the fascia. Light and moderate pressure warms the muscles encouraging them to lengthen while stretching strokes are utilized to release muscular tension.

Therapy for Women 
– Pregnancy and Postpartum Massage
–Massage for mastectomy and other breast surgeries
–Support for women during the physical, emotional and spiritual transitions which occur through the seasons of life.
  See Pregnancy Massage.

Craniosacral Therapy
 – is a subtle therapy manipulating the craniosacral system in order to locate and treat problems within the body. This technique is used for finding and correcting cerebral and spinal imbalances or blockages that may cause sensory, motor or intellectual dysfunction. Trauma and emotional release can be experienced when the body heals on a deep level.

Deep Tissue Massage
 – Deep Tissue massage releases 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 grain of muscles, tendons and fascia. It focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue.

Trigger Point Therapy
 – Trigger Point Therapy applies concentrated pressure to “trigger points” (painful irritated areas in muscles) to break cycles of spasm and pain.
These treatments can be uncomfortable when addressing the painful points in the muscles.

Hot Stone Therapy
–The application of heated stones have a deep penetrating effect on the muscles. This can be used to prepare the body for deeper work and to bring the client to a state of deep relaxation.

Essential Oil Touch Technique
This technique improves wellbeing by reducing physical and emotional stressors and by supporting healthy autonomic function. The technique is simple and intuitive, an unparalleled grounding experience for recipients.

We will focus on calming the physical and emotional stressors that allow the body to relax, balance itself, and heal. But the therapeutic benefits of the session will last far beyond the time you are receiving the work. You’ll also enjoy the pleasant aromas of these oils on your body for hours afterward.
 Designed to holistically address four key areas:
Stress Management – to balance and calm
Immune Support – to cleanse and strengthen
Inflammation & Pain Reduction – to stimulate and soothe
Homeostasis – to invigorate and center
For more information.

Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy – Ashiatsu, (ashi means foot and atsu means pressure), is an ancient form of bodywork brought to us by Buddhist monks. Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy®, sometimes referred to as barefoot Shiatsu. This massage modality is now a well-documented, effective, technique for the treatment of chronic lower back and neck pain, approved by the NCBTMB, National Certification for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, and recognized by the American Medical Association, AMA.

Gliding with the pressure of the feet, you are creating a “push, pull, pumping” effect on the intervertebral disc space. This deep compression on the soft tissue around the joints relieves irritations on the spinal nerve caused by inflammation and swelling. For more information: www.deepfeet.com (© 2000 Ruthie Piper Hardee.

Pregnancy Massage – There are many benefits to receiving massage both during and after pregnancy. Prenatal and post partum massage have documented value and are perfect ways to reduce stress, relieve pain and promote general well being. It is a form of health care that brings balance to the temporary challenges of pregnancy.

During pregnancy a woman’s body experiences many changes. One way to minimize the physical and emotional discomforts of pregnancy and childbirth is to receive periodic massages. Back pain is extremely common in pregnancy, as well as during the season of breastfeeding or as a result of carrying small children. This pain can be relieved by massage to the back, the neck, legs, and feet. Therapeutic bodywork can also help alleviate leg cramps and swelling, induce deep relaxation, increase energy levels and relieve muscle tension in the areas most affected by the growing fetus and the mother’s shifting center of gravity.

Massage addresses a broad range of needs, from stimulating the circulation of blood and lymph fluids reducing swelling in the lower extremities, a common symptom during pregnancy, to helping to relieve depression or anxiety caused by the hormonal changes a mom may experience.

Massage during pregnancy is safe, effective and beneficial for women with uncomplicated, low risk pregnancies. Written consent from the prenatal care provider is needed for women with high risks, such as hypertension, diabetes, multiple fetuses, previous problem pregnancy, or those under 20 or over 35.

Given the complex changes experienced during pregnancy, it is best to seek out a massage therapist specifically certified in pregnancy massage. A therapist certified in working with pregnant clients has furthered their knowledge of massage by studying the techniques applied to pregnant women and has studied in-depth the process of pregnancy, labor, birth, and the postpartum period.

“A therapist certified in working with pregnant clients has furthered their knowledge of massage by studying the techniques applied to pregnant women and has studied in-depth the process of pregnancy, labor, birth, and the postpartum period.”

CLIENT RECOMMENDATIONS
“I have always struggled with shoulder tension and lower back pain, so when I got pregnant I was concerned about how my back would handle all of the extra weight. Sandie’s massages kept me tension free and really enabled me to have a very active, pain-free pregnancy up until the very end. Pregnancy massage was not just relaxing but really helped relieve back pain and pressure, especially during the last trimester. I slept much better for a week following each massage and really looked forward to each appointment. The massage helped me be relaxed and tension-free going into labor.

Between sleepless nights and a sore back from endless rocking, the massages were incredibly helpful to relieve back tension and stress after the baby as well. And as my son continues to grow, I really look forward to my appointments with Sandie — there is nothing better for taking care of the shoulder tension and lower back pain!” – M.



ADDITIONAL MASSAGE RESOURCES
E3_MassageFAQs


•Massage FAQS
What is massage therapy?
 Massage therapy spans a wide variety of therapeutic approaches, working to improve an individual’s health and well-being through the hands-on manipulation of muscles and other soft tissues of the body.

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Enhancing Your Health With Therapeutic Massage
© 2001 American Massage Therapy Association
“Massage therapy has clearly been shown to me to be very beneficial, particularly in areas where conventional medicine has not been as successful, including chronic arthritis, musculoskeletal syndromes and chronic headache, among others.” – Renslow Sherer, M.D., Director of the Cook County Hospital HIV Primary Care Center, Chicago

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E3_HealthFitness


•Massage Therapy for Health and Fitness
© Excerpts of an article by Elliot Greene
“Users of massage therapy as a healing tool quickly realize that they have found a form of drugless therapy. Headaches, insomnia, digestive disorders including constipation and spastic colon, arthritis, asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome, sinusitis, and minor aches and pains are some of the problems that can respond to massage therapy. Massage can have an excellent effect on nervous people who have been dependent on their pharmacy for rest and relaxation.” – Elliot Greene, M.A., NCTMB, served from 1990-1994 as national president of the American Massage Therapy Association. © Copyright 1997 by Elliot Greene. All rights reserved.

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