Deep Tissue Massage
Working meticulously, muscle layer by muscle layer, deep tissue massage has been, in my experience, the most successful technique. Done correctly, deep tissue massage is not painful.
Power Vibration Machines
Electric powered vibration machines have been a part of massage for one century. Machines can be extremely effective and allow the therapist to accomplish what would be undreamed of. I use power vibrators whenever I can, depending on the clients preference and the possibility of a beneficial effect.
Electric-Powered Massage Machines
I often use an electric-powered massage machine. Again, like power vibrators, a massage machine can greatly enhance therapeutic benefits of the massage. Client acceptance is generally enthusiastic, and the results are often way beyond what could ever have been accomplished by hand.
I have been using magnet therapy since June 1999. I read several books on it, took a course acceptable to the National Massage Board, and I simply apply my intuition. I give the magnets away and consider the therapy experimental. The classic claims for magnets are that they speed healing and reduce pain. Magnet therapy theories open up a new medical paradigm. Gary Nulls book, Magnet Therapy is excellent. Dr. Robert Becker, M.D. has written two fascinating books; The Body Electric and Cross Current, that broadly cover energy healing.
The Hydrocollator is a superior method of heating the body in preparation to doing deep tissue massage. The Hydrocollator pack is a heated one-inch thick sack filled with clay. It is wrapped in many layers of towels, and placed on the body for about 20 minutes. The heat from it penetrates further than stones. I use hot stones more frequently than the Hydrocollator pack because they are more convenient. I do not offer the Hydrocollator pack in a home visit, but it is available in my office practice.
Reiki is a system of directing energy flow from the practitioners hands to the clients body. The hands are held lightly on the Chakra points during this treatment.
Craniosacral Therapy is a technique to release the blockages in the flow of the cerebral spinal fluid that flows within the skull and spinal core tract. It is executed with extremely light forces, but may have profound effects.
Shiatsu and Amma
Qi, Chi, Vital Essence, Life Force are some of the names for energy. I propose that Chi, or energy is a perfectly natural phenomenon of microscopically small electric current flow. Chi flow can be influenced by acupressure, by tiny magnets, even by a person directing Chi with his hands or with a crystal. I believe Chi does not flow well through spastic muscles. The Shiatsu and Amma Massage that I offer use the concepts of energy flow based on Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Lymph Massage is a very effective technique to use when there is excess swelling or edema. It is done very lightly and very slowly. Lymph drainage has a profound effect on the immune system. According to its proponents, poisons in the muscle tissue are drained back to the kidneys and large intestine where they are eliminated, freeing the body of these waste products, and boosting the immune system.
Reflexology is acupressure applied to the feet. Most people really want a foot massage, which is far more gentle than reflexology. Vibration machines work really fine on the feet in conjunction with reflexology. Some will accept the pain of an authentic reflexology treatment and will benefit from the energy boost for quite a while.
Massaging with hot stones very effectively relaxes tight muscles. I find the use of hot stones inseparable from other techniques of deep tissue massage. I use a small number of stones heated in an ordinary crock-pot. If you need to have a large amount of heat, you need a Hydrocollator pack instead.
Swedish massage is a well established type of massage. It primarily addresses muscles and circulation, blood and interstitial fluid, lymph and its circulation. The two mainstays of Swedish massage, effleurage and petrissage, which mean stroking and kneading, address muscle spasms and joint mobility. These two strokes enhance circulation and muscle tone. Vibration, which falls under Swedish massage, enhances circulation of blood and lymph. Muscle strains, trigger points, and knots also readily respond to manual lymph drainage massage, which is a subcategory of Swedish massage.
I have really experimented with various kinds of music. Once I did a massage with a Reggae CD and a live drum accompaniment. This was a most memorable experience. I have used New Age Music. The most satisfying music that I have found is Chinese (Buddhist) music. I am looking into tuning forks and ringing bowls. For me therapeutic music is a work in progress. My massage, too, is a work in progress. That is what makes it vibrant and exciting.