What is Swedish Massage?
Swedish Massage is one of the most common and best-known type of massage in the West. Western massage modalities are those massage techniques that are based on a modern or Western understanding of anatomy. These types of massage emphasize treating the soft tissue, muscles, joints, and ligaments of the body through firm pressure and stretching to alleviate tension.
For most, Swedish massage is done for relaxation and uses light to medium pressure. If it’s your first time, or you don’t get massage often, Swedish Massage is often a good choice to make.
During this type of therapy session the therapist will work with the soft tissues and muscles in the body to help restore balance and health using a combination of 5 (or 6) massage techniques. Each technique has variations within them as well, and can be used specifically within a session, or be used in combination with each other.
- A French word meaning “to skim” or “to touch lightly on”.
- Effleurage is basically a form of massage involving long strokes, that move in a circular stroking movement, made with the palm of the hand.
- This soothing movement is most often used at the beginning and end of the massage. It is also used as a linking move between the different strokes and movements.
- This term means ‘to knead’ and is also used in French professional bread baking describing a particular stage during dough development.
- These are massage movements, that use applied pressure to compress the underlying muscles. This technique has the most variations that can be used.
- Kneading, wringing, skin rolling, tissue pulling are all petrissage movements.
- Knuckling is another form of kneading but using the knuckles to knead and lift in circular and upwards motion.
- Scissoring is another petrissage movement that is performed only over a flat area with very little pressure. The index and middle fingers of both hands are only used for this movement. They are placed opposite each other and then are slowly worked towards each other lifting and releasing as they go.
- Sometime included in petrissage, but is actually distinct in that there is no stroking or kneading involved.
- The name of this stroke is taken from the French word “Tapoter,” meaning to tap or to drum.
- This technique is rhythmic percussion, most frequently administered with the edge of the hand, a cupped hand or with the tips of the fingers.
- Tapotement is primarily used to “wake up” the nervous system, soften hardened tissue, increase blood flow to the tissue and also as a stimulating stroke which can release lymphatic build up in the back.
- There are five types of tapotement including Beating (closed fist lightly hitting area), Slapping (use of fingers to gently slap), Hacking (use the edge of hand on pinky finger side), Tapping (use just fingertips) and Cupping (make your hand look like a cup and gently tap area).
- A 6th form of tapotement uses vibration, often referred to the piezoelectric effect, that does the tapping with tools. This tapping can either be directly on the body with the tool, or tapping on a medium that is resting on the body, such a stone or bell.
- Can you remember back to a time when someone who loved you dearly gently rocked you into a peaceful place of calm reassurance? Or perhaps you have sweet memories of when you soothingly rocked your own little one to sleep. This simple yet profoundly effective type of bodywork has numerous benefits.
- Gently rocking and shaking the body helps relax muscles, calm the nervous system, open up joints, and helps bring the body into balance.
- In friction massage tissues are manipulated using strong movements of the hand. It consists of deeper circular or transverse movements made with the thumbs, fingertips, knuckles, palms, or elbows. It is a stroke that aims to penetrate through the skin and to manipulate the muscles beneath. It is the most penetrating of the strokes, targeting the deeper layers of the tissue.
- Friction is a massage technique is used to increase circulation and release areas that are tight; particularly around joints and where there are adhesions within the muscles or tendons.
- Massage Friction Classification:
- Circular and Transverse. Based on the direction of the manipulation.
- Finger friction. Small circles made with the fingertips or with the thumb.
- Palm Friction. Large circles made with the palm.
- Cross Fiber Friction. Any friction that is executed across the muscle fiber. Various angles are permitted. This pressure is usually very deep.
- Other types: elbow friction and knuckle friction.
The end result will relax all of the muscles in your body and release any pain that tension may exist.
A Swedish body massage is the perfect way for anyone who is overly worked and stressed out to relax their body and mind. By relieving muscle tension, Swedish therapy can be both relaxing and energizing. And it may even help after an injury.
Why It’s Called Swedish Massage?
While massage may be the oldest medical practice in history, it was not until the 1800s that specific massage techniques were codified into a particular style or modality. The Swedish Massage modality was invented around 1868 by Dutch doctor Johann Georg Mezger. However, it is Per Henrik Ling, who is often (and wrongly) credited with inventing Swedish Massage. The historical mix-up is common and it’s worth briefly exploring who both men were and why this inaccuracy still exists today.
Swedish massage is the foundation for other types of Western massage, including sports massage, deep tissue massage and aromatherapy massage.
What Happens During a Swedish Massage?
In a Swedish massage, the therapist directly lubricates the skin with massage oil or lotion and performs various massage strokes. These movements warm up the muscle tissue, release tension and gradually break up muscle “knots” or adhered tissues, called adhesions.
Before the massage, the therapist should ask you about any injuries or other conditions that he or she should know about. Things you would want tell a therapist include areas of tightness or pain, allergies, and conditions like pregnancy. You can also tell them up front if you have a preference for light or firm pressure.
Health Benefits of Swedish Massage
The Swedish massage helps to improve the function of your lymph system by relaxing your muscles. The lymph system works to move nutrient-filled fluids and waste around your body. The fluid is moved only through voluntary movements from the muscles.
Anyone who has problems from muscular strain will benefit from a Swedish massage. As the therapist relaxes the muscles the lymph system will have the ability to flush out all of the metabolic waste from the muscles. This will help you to heal faster.
The Swedish massage can also be used as therapy for people who suffer from any type of debilitating joint disorder that causes them pain. This benefit of the Swedish massage works to increase the elasticity in the tissues, flexibility, and to reduce the pain that they feel. After the Swedish massage many of these people will find that they are able to use their joints more than before and with little to no pain.
Personal Benefits of Swedish Massage
While a Swedish massage works great to help people who suffer from health conditions it also works wonders on people who suffer from everyday troubles and concerns. There are many things in our life that can cause us to be stressed and worried on a constant basis. The more stress we have, the more tense our muscles become, and the more difficult it is to relax them on our own.
The pressure used during a Swedish massage therapy help to relax the muscles and relieve all of the tension that has built up. Touching the skin also helps to clear the mind and bring us to the present. Therapists suggest a Swedish massage to anyone who is feeling run down or suffering from mild depression, because it will help give you the energy you need to relax your whole body. It also enables you to put things into perspective.
Another benefit of the Swedish massage is its ability to help you sleep. With sleep your mind will be able to rest and reset.
AN OASIS OF CALM
“The sessions uplift my week and I do my best to remember that feeling when life gets intense. To say the practitioner is gifted is an understatement. She seems to be guided by something mysterious as she chooses how to connect with my body. It is a deeply calming experience and my body relaxes in a way I haven’t experienced from other kinds of massage.” J.C.
Breema® regards the body as a holistic energy system. The aim is to increase vitality, not to fight sickness, and to create an atmosphere which allows the body to move toward a natural state of balance. Working with the 9 principles of Breema helps to create a receptive mind, supportive feelings, and a relaxed body. This helps free up energy that is usually consumed by conflict between the mind and feelings, creating physical tension. The bodywork is intended to enhance the flow of life energy and bring one to the present.
Breema sessions are traditionally done fully clothed with the recipient lying down or seated on a padded floor. The bodywork is a harmonious choreography of supported movements, gradual leaning, gentle stretching and bending, holding postures, nurturing brushes and rhythmic tapping. Each session is tailored to each recipient, at each visit. There is no standard program or sequence. For the best benefit loose comfortable slacks and a long sleeved shirt are recommended. A pair of clean socks can be brought, or provided, as well. Warmed stones, wrapped in cloth, pillows and aromatherapy are also incorporated into your session for deeper relaxation and beneficial support.
AT THERAPY BY THE SEA, BREEMA IS USUALLY MIXED WITH OTHER EASTERN MODALITIES AND IS REFERRED TO AS ‘EASTERN FUSION‘.
IF YOU WISH TO SPECIFICALLY EXPERIENCE JUST BREEMA IN YOUR SESSION, CHRISTA IS THE ONLY THERAPIST TRAINED IN THIS MODALITY.
Christa has over 500 hours of training in Breema Bodywork and Self Breema Exercises and is the therapist who specifically provides this service.
Breema is a trademark of The Breema Center.
Single Moment, Single Activity
Gentleness and Firmness
No Hurry, No Pause
ACUPRESSURE and SHIATSU is traditionally a floor based bodywork, done on a padded mat, with the recipient wearing loose comfortable clothing. Aromatherapy, warmed stones, wrapped in cloth, and pillows are sometimes used to provide additional comfort and support for your body. This bodywork can also be modified to be done on a table and incorporated in a regular massage session. Please advise of your preference when booking your session.
Originally developed from the ancient Chinese massage technique anmo, shiatsu evolved in the early 1900’s in Japan. It is based on the concept of qi—the body’s vital life force flowing through defined channels or meridians along the surface of the body. When the body’s vital energy flow or qi is normal and harmonious, the body is balanced and healthy. Gentle yet firm pressure is applied along the meridians of the arms, legs, back, neck and head to open the pathways of qi to flow. Specific acupressure points are chosen and held in various combinations to further balance the qi. Acupressure points are specific locations along the meridians where the flow of qi gathers in vortices spiraling in inward and outward directions. Pressure or pain at a particular acupoint can reflect an imbalance. Stimulation of these acupoints will encourage deep muscular relaxation, circulation of blood, and qi balancing. A person will experience varying sensitivity at these acupoints depending on his/her condition. Sensations of softness, hardness, soreness, ticklishness, pulsation, heat or cold reflect obstruction in the energy along the meridian pathway. Oftentimes, the rhythm of shiatsu technique and the acupressure to the point sequences form a dance-like movement that lulls the recipient into a deep state of relaxation. Warmed stones and aromatherapy can also be incorporated into your session for deeper relaxation and benefit.
We are excited to announce, after a lot of hard work, a few delays, and much diligence, our new reception area IS OPEN!!!
With the expansion we now can better accommodate groups and also have a suite downstairs that makes it much easier for those who had difficulty going up the stairs to our Treehouse Suite.
Our space now consists of:
816 Main St, Downstairs, Suite A
* A RECEPTION area dedicated to receiving our guests. This space can be used as additional space, when needed, for groups who are wanting to add the REFRESH & RENEW (foot soak and refreshments) to their reservations.
* WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE ENTRANCE: Our downstairs space has a rear entrance ramp and door that accommodates wheelchairs. This door and ramp is accessible off of the side street Sheffield. We have made sure all the doors to our rooms downstairs are also wide enough to work with wheelchair access as well.
* THE SEA ZONE: This area has a double recliner that works great for some of our Time Out sessions, which includes many of our Reflexology, face and head massage, foot soaks and refreshments options.
* THE MOONSTONE ROOM: This room has an eclectic table with a table warmer which can be adjusted to a lower height, when needed
* THE HARMONY ROOM: This room is a multipurpose room that sits right next to The Moonstone Room. A lockable room divider can be used to separate the two rooms. We tend to refer to this room as our ‘meditation’ room. It can be used for chair massage sessions or some or our ‘Time Out’ sessions. It has a padded rug where all of our floor based work can be done. When needed, we also have a 4 massage table that can be set up to turn both rooms into a duet suite.
816 Main St, Upstairs, Suite F
* DUET SESSIONS in THE TREE HOUSE SUITE: This space is the original suite that our business began with. It is a two table duet suite with a separate dressing room. The tables sit is different parts of the room to allow for a couple to be together, but still allow for each to have their own space.
Curious about Reiki and want to give it a try?
Here you will find answers to many frequently asked questions about Reiki. This includes what to expect during a session, what you may feel, and how to get the most out of your Reiki session. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
“The secret of inviting happiness…the medicine for all illness” – Dr. Mikao Usui
What is Reiki?
Reiki is an energy healing modality originating in Japan and introduced as a healing practice by Dr. Mikao Usui through his school the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai in the early 1900’s. Reiki (pronounced Ray-Kee) can be translated as Rei – “Universal”, “Spiritual” or “Source” and ki – “life force energy”.
The healing process is actually two-way where the trained Reiki Practitioner allows universal life force energy (Rei-ki) to flow through their hands, creating a safe space for the recipient to receive and benefit from the healing energy.
Because Reiki is guided by the God-consciousness, it can never do harm. It always knows what a person needs and will automatically adjust itself to create the effect that is most appropriate at that time. One never need worry about whether to give Reiki or not. It is always helpful. In addition, because the practitioner does not direct the healing and does not decide what to work on, or what to heal, the practitioner is not in danger of taking on the karma of the client. Because the practitioner is not doing the healing, it is also much easier for the ego to stay out of the way and allow the presence of God to clearly shine through.
Getting the Most From Your Reiki Session
One of the things Reiki energy does is activate our natural ability to heal. Ultimately we heal ourselves, so the degree to which Reiki helps can depend on how much the individual is open to receiving the healing energy on a conscious and/or subconscious level, and how much they are willing to let go of energy which may not be serving their highest and greater good.
What can you do to get the most out of a healing session?
- Be open to receiving.
- Allow the energy to flow.
- Do your best to be aware of how you felt before, during and after a treatment session and what you may have learned about yourself.
What can you expect during a session?
Your Reiki session will begin with you lying fully clothed, usually face up, on a comfortable massage table. Any restricting clothing items and jewelry should be loosened or removed. If needed, a robe can be provided. You will also be provided with a blanket, and if you like, an eye pillow. Additional pillows and heated towels are available to ensure you can completely relax and are comfortable. Unless you prefer silence, soft healing music will play in the background and the lights will be low. Sessions can begin with burning sage. This is done to “cleanse” the space, and provides a clear and comfortable space to work in. Aromatherapy, warmed stones and crystals can also be used to deepen relaxation and enhance the effects of the Reiki.
From there, your job is to relax as deeply and completely as possible.
During a Reiki session the Practitioner will place their hands lightly on, or slightly above your body, moving their hands to the various energy centers on the body, working to clear any blockages or imbalances that may exist.
What might you feel during a session?
During a session you might feel any, or all, of the following…
- Heat, tingling, feeling of energy movement.
- Temperature changes.
- Subtle physical changes such a small muscle spasm or release.
- An emotional response.
- Sleepy or dreamlike state.
It is not uncommon to feel different sensations during a session including feelings of heat, tingling, and what some describe as electricity. Emotionally, you may have deep feelings of love, peace and contentment envelop you as you drift off in a peaceful sleep or meditative state. It is also possible that the session will bring up unresolved memories or emotions that are ready to be released. The treatment room is a safe and sacred space to express those emotions and is a common occurrence. You are encouraged to give yourself permission to feel and experience whatever comes up, and then let it go. It is a way for you to release those things that no longer serve you.
All of these experiences are perfectly normal as they are simply the way your body is releasing and re-adjusting its internal energy. If at any time during the treatment you feel uncomfortable, simply let the practitioner know, and the session will pause or stop for discussion.
You may also not feel anything at all, which is perfectly fine. It does not mean that the session is not working. It simply means that you are not sensing the subtle changes on a conscious level.
What can you expect after a session?
After a Reiki session people report feeling extremely calm and relaxed. They experience release and balance of energy blockages resulting in more restful sleep, relief from aches and pains, as well as faster recovery from illness or injury.
Reiki is an intense energy movement experience and you will likely continue to feel the effects well beyond the session. It is best to drink plenty of water to encourage the energy to move. Later, a 30 minute bath with sea salt can also be a good idea, as it will neutralize any excess energy in and around the body.
AT THERAPY BY THE SEA, REIKI IS USUALLY MIXED WITH OTHER EASTERN MODALITIES.
The following therapists are specially trained in Reiki:
Or Contact Us with further questions.
Information from: www.reiki.com
From timing and tips, to talking and—er, tooting, a massage therapist answers your questions.
There’s no question that regular massage can benefit most everyone. Studies have shown massage can increase flexibility and circulation, help with sleep and anxiety, speed recovery and prevent injury, just to mention a few of the benefits. But the massage itself still poses questions, some too awkward to ask, especially for those inexperienced with receiving professional massages. Is a massage supposed to be this painful? When is the best time to schedule a massage? Should I wear underwear? What happens if I fart?
Here we will attempt to answer some of the most common questions about massage that we are asked:
What is the difference between a massage for relaxation, a deep tissue/sport massage and sessions like Acupressure or Reiki?
A relaxation massage tends to be more superficial, non-specific, connective and flowing. At most it will work the surface muscles and connective tissue and is usually light to medium in pressure. The 6 basic Swedish Massage techniques are the cornerstone of what to expect when receiving this type of massage. A Deep Tissue/Sports Massage, on the other hand, goes deeper into the muscles and connective tissue, can be more vigorous, and involves the use of multiple modalities, which still can include relaxing Swedish-type massage techniques. This type of massage can be more stimulating and at times needs to match the intensity of the person’s athletic ability. If it is being done for sport-specific reasons, it should be added as part of an athlete’s regular training schedule. If it is being done for chronic pain and body restructuring reasons, it should be added as part of your self health care regimen. The other type of non massage bodywork sessions are more around being able to receive bodywork without the need for the use of oils or lotions, or the need to undress. Some, like Reiki or Breema, are very gentle and more energetic in their approach. Others, like the more advanced Breema and Shaistu/Acupressure, can be more hands on and active with stretching and movement.
The pressure isn’t deep enough, but I don’t want to insult my massage therapist. What should I do?
Communication between client and therapist is essential to provide the best therapeutic massage possible. A professional massage therapist should not be offended by a client who asks them for adjustments to the work being done, such a more or less pressure, moving a little left or right, the need for more support under the knees, the need for more of less heat to an area, ect. If they do get offended, then please let the spa know of your issue.
Is there such a thing as too much pressure, or should I take as much as I can stand?
Yes. A therapeutic massage can at times be intense, but, it should never be painful. A painful massage is counterproductive and can, in fact, sometimes be injurious to your body. If you find yourself flinching during a session, or you can not breathe long and even breathes into the work, then you know the work being done is too deep and intense for your body. A skilled therapist can always find another way to approach your session.
What should I do if I get ticklish during a massage?
Being ticklish is a common concern people come in with. Communicate with your therapist. The therapist will adjust their touch/technique to help diminish the sensation, or if that does not work, we can aviod the area.
Why do I sometimes get a headache after a massage?
While uncommon, massage does effect vascular circulation which for some could elcit a headache. Also, excessive pressure on the sinus cavity from being face down in the face rest could bring on a headache. Anytime you feel excessive congestion, which is quite common, turn your head to the side to help you breathe. Communicate with your therapist if your face rest is uncomfortable because it’s angled too low or too high.
Is it normal to bruise once in a while after a session?
No, not from relaxation or even a sport maintenance massage. If the treatment consists of structural integration techniques, and releasing of bound fascia and scar tissue, then yes, bruising may occur due to the intensity of this type of work.
Does it make a massage more effective if I don’t wear underwear (or do wear underwear)?
We always maintain proper draping throughout your session, uncovering only the areas being worked on. Being completely undressed can allow the therapist to address all areas of tissue without the need of working through the sheet. This does not make the massage more effective, however. A professional, knowledgeable massage therapist can work through clothing or sheets and still be effective. If the client is more comfortable wearing underwear, then they should, as this will help them relax on the table and not worry about being exposed. If you are going to receive a lot of your session in the side lying position, such as a pre-natal massage, then wearing underpants can allow the massage therapist to be unencumbered by extra sheet tucking while draping. If you are receiving more intensive sports massage and bodywork, where there is going to be extensive stretching and movement, then wearing underwear and sports bras might be recommended. With floor based bodywork, loose comfortable clothing, without thick seams, that can stretch and move with your body, is recommended. If you are unsure about what to wear, feel free to communicate with your therapist prior to the session to determine what you should wear to meet your needs and wants.
I farted during a massage. I was so embarrassed, but I pretended like nothing happened. Should I have said something?
An “excuse me” would be nice! Even so, it is not necessary. It is a natural body function and nothing to worry about. The last time this happened, I asked my client, “what else did you have with your broccoli last night?” We both laughed! In the massage world, this is called “a release.” It’s going to happen. And yes, there may be giggles. Most often we ignore it and move on.
Sometimes I fall asleep on the table. Does that make things difficult for the therapist?
No, not at all! As a matter of fact, it can be construed as an act of trust. When your client is so comfortable and trusting of you, they fall asleep on the table, this is considered a huge compliment – they have completely given themselves to their therapist. A client who talks during their entire massage session is not reaping the rewards of the complete healing process the therapist is attempting to provide. As far as the athlete, they can often be injured and/or completely stressed out due to a rigorous training schedule. Sometimes the athlete needs a break from therapeutic work and receive a relaxing put-me-to-sleep massage.
I like my massage therapist, but she’s very chatty. How do I let her know I’d rather not talk?
Communicate with them. Let them know you prefer a quiet session. Let the therapist know you are not trying to be rude by not answering or engaging in their conversation, you just want to completely be in the moment of your therapy session. Your therapist will understand, and if they don’t, find another therapist.
I’ve never had a massage before. Should I let the therapist know?
Yes. It is very important you let your therapist know you have never received a session before and you do not want to receive an overly intense massage. Being it will be the first time for your body to experience massage, do not allow them to go to deep or too intense.
Is there ever a circumstance or injury where massage could make things worse instead of better?
Yes, there are contraindications when a massage should not be performed: an acute injury, an opened wound, when you are feverish, to name a few. First duty of a massage therapist is to cause no harm. If in doubt, communicate with your therapist.
How often should I schedule massage?
Receiving massage can easily be a form of everyday self self care. All bodies are different though, so knowing your body will help you determine how often to get massage, and what type it should be. Much like weight training, some types of bodywork and massage do require periods of rest before receiving again. For structurally integrative and fascia oriented massage, if there is ever any signs of an inflammatory response or bruising, then that must completely heal before resuming further work of that nature.
I’m never sure about gratuities. How much should I tip?
Gratuity is an act of gratitude, it is never a requirement to tip. If you are a gracious receiver of an awesome massage 15-20% is a standard percentage. The ultimate gratuity is not a gratuity, but re-booking the next massage.
Why does my therapist always tell me to drink lots of water after the massage is over?
There is an overused myth in the massage world which expresses massage therapy releases toxins. Massage therapists ask clients to drink plenty of water to help flush out these toxins. However, there is no clinical research to provide evidence that massage therapy releases toxins. That being said, massage therapy does generate heat. This heat can create a sensation of thirst, so, drinking water will help quench this thirst, plus, drinking water is known to stimulate the lymphatic and urinary systems which are good for the body.
* If you have a question that has not been addressed here, please feel free to write us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy to address it for you and may even add it to this post!
Just what is a warm towel compress and how can it enhance your massage session?
Using heat during a massage has many benefits beyond just helping the body to relax. It can also help reduce bruising, soften scar tissue, reduce joint and muscle stiffness and increase blood flow in the areas where it is applied. Using moistened warmed towels is a popular way to achieve this effect.
There is a difference though between just applying a couple of warmed towels to the body and using hot towel compresses.
At Therapy by the Sea, there are two ways we use approach using hot towel compresses in our spa:
HEATED COMPRESSION MASSAGE
- Using the massage technique of applied compression with several layers of heated towels as the medium being worked through.
Compression is about applying relaxed weight to an area. This weight, when strategically used, helps to stretch out an area as well resetting the tissue’s holding patterns. When combined with moist heat, the effects are greatly increased. The heat helps to decrystallize the fascia, brings blood flow to the tissues and overall helps soften the area for a more comfortable and relaxing massage experience.
- Applying numerous layers of heated towels to an area and then insulating that area with additional layers of heat packs, insulating towels, and blankets.
With this type of compress, layers of warmed towels are applied and then wrapped with additional heat packs, towels and blankets to hold the heat in. This method is often referred to as cocooning and acts as a mini sauna to the area being treated. Unlike steam saunas though, where your whole body is immersed in heat, the compresses can be applied to specific areas. While the compress does its work on one area, our therapists continue work on other areas of the body. This allows your body to maintain relative comfort while the localized heat penetrates more deeply and effectively into the tissues. This is especially helpful for those who could use the benefit of added heat but tend to get claustrophobic or overheat too easily.
The more layers of heated towels used for this form of compress, the more the heated moisture will penetrate the tissues. The more insulated the area is, the longer the compress will hold the heat. The longer it holds the heat, the more relaxing and comfortable it is to receive. How many layers used depends on what is comfortable for each person, but the intended effect is to use the moist heat and added weight to compress the tissue and break a sweat. The combination of massage and breaking a sweat can have a very profound detoxing effect on the body. It can also give you longer lasting benefits to your body long after you session is over. For some two layers is enough, but it can be as many as 5 or 6 layers of heated towels and heat packs. To receive the maximum benefit from this type of therapy, the compress needs to be in place for a minimum for 5 minutes. For most each compress is in place for about 15 to 20 minutes of their session. While this form of compress does its work, your therapist will continue to massage other areas.
We have several different sets of compresses we pre-set up for each session. Each set has specific types of towel sizes for each purpose being used and a certain amount of towels issued. With certain types of sessions, there can be as many as 2 dozen towels issued. Which sets we use, and how much we charge for them, depends on what you order. We break these sets down into:
- Back to Basic Set
- Torso Set
- Leg Set
- Extremities Set
- Head Set
- Face Set
We break the compresses for the full body work into these main areas:
- back torso region
- back leg region
- front leg region
- front torso region
- furthest extremities, i.e. hands, feet, neck.
- face and head massage session make use of specific warmed towels as well
Compresses can be spot specific or used on multiple areas of the body. For many of our sessions we frequently include this service for at least one or two areas of the body. Though there are other variations that can be done with the use of compresses, the most frequent is the back torso region and/or the furthest extremities. The leg compresses are often requested as well. We usually allow 30 minutes for each area. To effectively include compresses for each area, you need to allow at least 5 minutes for the heat to penetrate. Thicker muscle and skin areas, such as the back, need much more heat contact and time to effectively heat up and properly soften the fascia. To include compresses on the 4 main quadrants, for a full body massage, including the belly, a 120 minute (2 hour) session is recommended.
SERVICES THAT FEATURE HEATED TOWEL COMPRESSES
A nice introduction to the use of heated compresses in your session would be try our SINGULARITY – SEA MIST. This session uses a compress on the back torso, where most people hold their tension.
A popular addition to the use of compresses is our SWEDISH RELAXATION, where both the back torso and furthest extremities receive compresses. The added heat to the furthest extremities pulls blood from the core of your body to the hands and feet, softening dry calloused feet, improving circulation and deepening the relaxing effects of your session.
The MOST useful, and necessary, use of this form of heat application is when doing deep tissue and fascia oriented massage and bodywork (DEEPER STILL). When fascia is not warmed up, its structure can be likened to tiny crystals that when worked deeply can actually cause tiny tears and tissue injury. Though you might get temporary relief, you are actually encouraging your body to respond as if to injury which can create a viscous cycle. The more you warm up the tissues of your body, making sure to cover not just the tightest areas, but also the attachments, and also making sure it is a penetrating heat, especially before doing any deep tissue work, the more responsive your body will be to the work and the effects of each session will last longer.
Using this method, the whole body can be treated with such compresses. Yes, it does use a lot more heated towels than many have experienced, and for sessions that use these compresses, we do reheat and reapply them as needed. Some of our massage and spa services, such as our scrubs (CAMBRIAN GLOW & CAMBRIAN SENSATION), Ayurvedic massage (LOVING HANDS & LOVING HANDS IN TANDUM) and our popular pain relieving SALT OF THE SEA make particular use of the this method to enhance the effects of the products being used.
Because of the popularity of this extremely relaxing and rejuvenating method, we have also added a treatment to our menu that specializes in the application of compression massage along with the cocooning compresses called CHRYSALISM DREAMS. This can be reserved as a rejuvenating stand alone treatment or added on to a longer massage session.
To keep up on our progress with the expansion, feel free to visit out ongoing blog:
Bob Malone, at SAFE AT HOME, below us has retired and closed the doors to his business in August. This has given us the opportunity to grow our business to now include additional space DOWNSTAIRS. Don’t worry, we will still maintain our special couple suite upstairs that many of you have grown fond of. This expansion though will allow us to accommodate clients who are unable to make it up the stairs as well as double the number of tables (and therapists) available to better fill the ‘kneads’ of our clients who schedule as a group. We are also looking into adding a Vichi shower, a sauna room, other spa services, as well as expand our spa to include selling products.
Though we still have much to do to get the entire downstairs space completed, we have the MOST important part of our downstairs space up and running. That is our main massage room!
Currently, what will eventually become our second downstairs massage room, is now being used as the reception area. From now on, unless otherwise advised, all individual sessions will be reserved in the new downstairs space. For the time being, reception for all duet sessions will remain upstairs.