Which massage or bodywork is best for you?

Getting a massage used to conjure up a fairly universal image:  lying on a table with a very large and powerful therapist chopping and kneading away on your back and neck muscles.  It never looked all that relaxing or pleasant.  That was mostly Hollywood’s version.

Thankfully, today’s therapeutic massage comes in many styles or “modalities”, and is more popular than ever as a highly beneficial therapy treatment.  Maybe it’s because of our fast-paced world filled with stress and demands, or maybe it’s the ever-increasing cost of health care, but more and more working people are turning to massage for pain relief, stress reduction, and all-over health maintenance.

A regular massage program helps people feel better and hurt less.  It’s that simple.  Now let’s make choosing the type of massage your body is craving simple as well . . .

Swedish Massage is very relaxing and widely known.  This style of massage helps improve circulation and lymphatic drainage, while reducing stress and tension.

You rest peacefully on a  massage table, professionally draped—or covered—under a full sheet or linen.  The massage therapist applies oil to the skin of  your neck, shoulders, back, arms or legs, one section at a time.  The rest of your body remains covered.  Long, smooth movements are used, and pressure may vary to help relax tired aching muscles.

Your muscle tone actual improves with this type of massage.  Monthly massages and drinking plenty of water help maintain benefits. 

All Susan Perry Skin Care Massage Therapists are trained in basic Swedish Massage.

A Deep Tissue Massage is similar to Swedish Massage in many ways.  However, a Deep Tissue Massage may be more focused on specific muscle areas.  Problem areas benefit tremendously from this modality.  Discomfort caused by an injury or overuse is released through the therapist’s deep pressure.  This technique encourages healing and increases range of motion.

Myofascial Release  is an intuitive style of massage that is slow and gentle.  It works patiently with the fascia (connective tissue) that wraps bones and muscles to loosen it and create space for relief.  It is appropriate for many injuries, conditions and restrictions that require more time to work with and through as well as for those who like a deeply relaxing massage.    

Muscular Therapy  is a muscle-specific massage technique.  By working on specific muscle groups, muscular therapy relieves tension and increases circulation to reduce the effects of muscle strain, recent activity, and chronic conditions. 

Neuromuscular Therapy  treats the relationship between nerve and muscle.  The therapist uses deep tissue, myofascial release and other stretching and rolling techniques to bring about or restore a balance between the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system for the relief of pain. 

Therapeutic Massage is a unique combination of treatment, exercise and education. It concentrates on muscle and connective tissue to reduce chronic muscle tension, improve circulation and relieve pain.

The Orthopedic Approach treats musculoskeletal pain conditions and sports injuries; it restores range of motion and structural balance in the body.

Trigger Point Therapy taps into the chemical and neurological feedback loop that maintains a muscle contraction. By working with trigger points, circulation can be increased where it has been restricted by contracted tissues and adhesive muscle fibers are directly stretched. 

Himalayan Hot Stone Therapy is a treatment that really penetrates deeply into the muscles to help alleviate pain, discomfort and inflammation. Your therapist can boost circulation, release tension in sore and stiff muscles and help eliminate toxins.  The heat acts as a natural sedative, deeply relaxing as the stones are stroked on the body.  The use of Himalayan salt stones provides added benefits: The heated stones alkalize the skin, replenish and nourish the skin with 84 minerals, lightly exfoliate and help neutralize the ill effects of the toxic frequencies we live with every day. Negative ions are created when the stones are heated, creating a sense of peace and deeper relaxation. Your muscles will almost seem to melt, along with the stress! Finally, unlike river stones and some other stone therapies, Himalayan salt has antimicrobial properties.  

Reiki is based on the principle that the human body contains infinite intelligence on a cellular level.  The body’s RNA and DNA contain the ability to heal.  Reiki helps the body utilize this powerful energy to heal itself. 

While fully clothed , you will feel the Reiki Master gently touch the energy centers of the face, throat, shoulders, heart, stomach, legs, and back.  Reiki is non-invasive and works in accordance with your specific needs. 

Reiki can be a very effective pain management tool. Dating back to nineteenth century Japan, it was believed that Reiki encouraged health, happiness, prosperity, and longevity.   Linda Vopat

Written by Susan Perry, a licensed esthetician and registered electrologist who has worked in the health and beauty industry for over 25 years.  Susan offers these treatments at her Plymouth day spa salon.  Additional text by Valerie Peck, Fatima Paul, Jen Davis, Donna Davis, Marco Beltrame and Pat Baker.