I practice two distinct styles of massage: therapeutic Swedish deep tissue/sports massage, and Tui Na (Chinese orthopedic massage). My training in Tai Chi and Chinese medicine give me some additional tools through which I expand what I’m able to offer.
Swedish Deep Tissue/Sports Massage vs Tui Na
One of the primary differences between a Swedish-based massage and Tui Na is that a Swedish massage is done using some kind of lubricant usually skin to skin (I use an unscented, hypoallergenic, dual-purpose massage cream), while Tui Na is performed over clothing. When doing Swedish massage, I have clients disrobe to their comfort level and have them lay under a sheet. The only areas exposed are those that I am working on. In both Swedish massage and Tui Na, I may incorporate movement and stretching. Especially when the low back, hips or legs are worked on, there may be times when shorts or other lose clothing may be worn, but that is not necessary.
Both of the massage styles I practice are therapeutic and may be used to treat the same conditions, though with Tui Na, it is typical to focus on a specific problem area. Tui Na sessions are usually shorter than a Swedish session, though a Swedish therapeutic massage on a specific problem may be similarly short. Just as a Swedish massage session may be short, so too a Tui Na session can be longer and more generally focused. Massage times can range from 20-30 minutes up to over two hours. I bill based on hands-on time, rather than time in and out the door.
Acute or Maintenance
Some people get regular massage as part of their health maintenance. Some people get massage only to treat a specific problem. Others only get massage as an occasional indulgence. I can certainly offer treatment to fit any of these circumstances, but there are special considerations with massage to treat acute problems as well as for health maintenance.
For acute problems, I am most concerned with contraindications and not making an injury worse. Sometimes this will suggest a shorter massage session focused on the injury. Sometimes it will mean focusing on areas around an injury, but avoiding the injury itself. Some acute issues can be resolved very quickly, but often, a specific course of follow-up treatment is required. Temporary or sometimes long-term lifestyle adjustments may also be needed.
In using massage for health maintenance, the main consideration is what regular activities contribute to your physical tension and how quickly it accumulates. Another consideration is what you can afford for the frequency you’d like to come in. Together, we can then plan on what issues we address in each session. In using massage for health maintenance, I do want to avoid getting into a pattern just because it’s comfortable. My goal is to work with you, checking in periodically to make sure you are making the progress you want.
Cryotherapy and Heat Therapy
I will often use a heating pad or indirect moxabustion to warm specific areas, sometimes during, sometimes in preparation for your massage session. Moxa is a Chinese herb that provides a unique, penetrating warmth. More rarely, I may use ice on an area to help release muscle tension. Most of the time when I use ice, I will also use heat to warm the area up again.
Neither Swedish deep tissue/sports massage nor Tui Na are specifically energetic massage styles, especially compared to Shiatsu or Reiki, for example. However, all human contact does involve a transfer of energy. Through Tai Chi and acupressure using the points and meridians of Chinese medicine, there may be times I use the intentional movement of energy. Most of the time however, my goal is simply to harmonize and smooth the movement of energy through your body. Some are sensitive to this movement and some are not.
Setting up appointments, further information
See my Contact page for information about setting up an appointment or if you have further questions.