Welcome to AWAREmed Massage! We offer many different types of massages for you to choose from:
This standard type of massage is based in western concepts of anatomy and physiology, as opposed to the energy-centric, eastern forms of massage. The Swedish massage uses oil and begins with broad strokes then transitions to smaller, more specific strokes to address problem areas. This type of massage provides full-body relaxation and can be especially helpful if you’re recovering from an injury.
Studies have proven that scents play a strong
psychological role when it comes to regulating emotions, such as stress or
relaxation; so it only makes sense to incorporate them into a healing
massage! Aromatherapy massages are the same as a Swedish massage, only they
incorporate scented plant oils (aka essential oils) to increase relaxation
and promote healing. This type of massage can be beneficial for a variety of
conditions, including headaches, insomnia, certain digestive disorders, and
even premenstrual symptoms.
*NOTE: Before signing up for an aromatherapy massage, be sure to disclose any allergies to your practitioner.
During this type of massage, the therapist will place heated, smooth stones on specific points on the body to help relax and loosen muscles.
This type of massage is a focused, therapeutic massage that targets muscle knots and specific problem areas in the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. Deep tissue massage is particularly beneficial for people with chronic pain or lingering injuries that cause limited mobility, and especially effective for stress injuries like tennis elbow or carpal tunnel syndrome.
With roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the goal of shiatsu is to stimulate acupressure points on the body to improve flow and regain proper balance. It’s also believed to be effective in reducing stress, protecting against stress-related health issues, treating arthritis, insomnia, sciatica, sinus problems, and general body pain. This type of massage involves using localized pressure with fingers, hands, and sometimes elbows. Because no oil or lotion is used, loose clothing is worn during therapy.
Like shiatsu, Thai massage works to align the energies of the body and is done fully clothed. A typical session consists of assisted yoga, passive stretching, and pressing massage movements. It is considered more energizing than other forms of massage and is good for improving flexibility and range of motion. Thai massage can reduce muscle spasticity and back pain and has been shown to be useful in treating problems with balance as well as migraine symptoms.
Also known as prenatal massage, this type of therapy is most widely used to promote relaxation. Since pregnancy can cause back pain and swelling, this type of massage is designed to provide relief in a drug-free way. Should you seek a practitioner for this type of massage, make sure they are experienced and licensed in prenatal, as positioning and support are crucial.
By applying pressure to “reflex areas” on the hands and feet, this type of therapy works to balance the nervous system, stimulate endorphins, and the body’s natural pleasure response, which in turn reduces stress and discomfort. Reflexology has roots in ancient civilizations but was refined by American physiotherapist Eunice Ingram in the 1930s.Sports Massage: Designed to prevent and support injuries, increase flexibility, and increase overall performance, sports massage works by manipulating soft tissue to increase blood flow and healing. Even if you’re not an athlete, sports massage can provide relief from overused and sore muscles.
Fibromyalgia affects about 2% of the adult population, and common symptoms include pain and stiffness, fatigue, sleep problems, headaches, and tingling/numbness, among others. Because of this, massage can be very beneficial as part of a treatment plan. Research thus far has indicated that massage therapy for those affected by fibromyalgia can help reduce pain, decrease anxiety, decrease depression, increase quality of sleep, increase sleep hours, reduce tender points, stiffness, and cortisol levels.
The benefits of massage therapy are increasingly apparent for older adults and a growing population are receiving therapy as part of their integrated care to treat aches and pains, promote relaxation and stability, and temper the effects of issues like high blood pressure, dementia, and osteoarthritis. Massage is also helpful for this population because it’s common for older adults to experience lack of physical touch, which has been linked to symptoms of loneliness, depression, and all that comes with it.
Research indicates that massage can reduce anxiety in psychiatric patients by creating a sense of calm. Working on pressure points can increase neurotransmitters associated with lowering anxiety and decrease stress hormones like cortisone. Because massage also aids with sleep, and quality sleep enhances mood, it comes full circle!
The head is heavy and is resting on a foundation that’s only about a third as wide. The suboccipital muscles at the bottom of your head are constantly working to keep your head balanced on top of your spine, which is no small task. Without the suboccipital muscles, your head would fall off! This group of muscles also triggers for migraines and cluster headaches. By applying pressure to these points, the pain and tension can be significantly lessened, and in some cases, immediately terminated. These muscles are located at the base of your skull, where your neck meets the bottom of your skull. It can be tricky to reach this spot with your fingers, so use a tool or even lay the back of your head on the top edge of a tall chair to find these muscles. Apply light pressure, increasing weight as desired. It should feel like a “sweet ache.”
By applying pressure, muscles and other tissues such as tendons, ligaments, and fascia soften and clenched muscles relax. This is very important for runners, who rely on limber joints for pain-free performance. Regular massage can also aid in boosting recovery, and is a valuable training tool for those getting ready for a marathon, or trying to phase into a more regimented exercise routine. At home, foam rollers can help to work the kinks out of certain muscles. If you’re looking for a professional treatment, deep tissue massage, and Swedish are recommended. If you’re planning for a big race, schedule your massage for 3-5 days before.
If you’re just starting to increase your exercise or amp up your regular routine, you’ll most likely suffer from a bit of muscle soreness. For many, this soreness can be a big turnoff from returning to their exercise routine, which is why massage can play a crucial role in maintaining the exercise habits you want to keep.
Anyone who's ever gotten a massage -- even a quickie at a mall kiosk -- knows that it helps you unwind. That's not just a mental sensation. Getting massaged causes muscles to unclench, a racing heart rate to slow, heightened blood pressure to fall, and levels of the stress hormone cortisol to drop. In that relaxed state, your body is able to regroup and recharge. One happy result: a more robust immune system. A big part of retaining a strong immune system is learning to deal with stress in a healthy way or finding ways to be mindful and avoid it. One way to do this is to get (or give yourself) massage regularly. Stress is hard on the body, and neglecting finding ways to deal with it leads to high blood pressure, ulcers, wrinkles, hair loss, and even jaw problems (from grinding your teeth)!
Going hand in hand with stress is sleep. The best place for your body to heal is while you’re asleep. If you’re stressed, you’re not sleeping, which makes you tired the next day and unable to properly handle daily hiccups, which leads to more stress! The best way to get a good night's sleep is to have a body free of aches and pains, and a mind free of worry. Both of these things can be accomplished with massage! Lack of sleep can also lead to a weak immune system and poor overall health.
You can’t be your best self if you’re feeling crummy or blue. If your mind is elsewhere, or you’re spending a majority of your day worried about things other than what you’re presently focused on, you’re not being your best, mindful self. Massage can increase chemicals and hormones that make you happy, like serotonin, while decreasing stress hormones like cortisone. Research proves it!
Pain can be distracting. Whether it’s a dull aching in your lower back or a screaming headache, pain drains your energy and throws you off your game. If you’re experiencing stiffness and pain, be it chronic or through an injury, get yourself to a massage table and see how it makes you feel!
One of the most common concerns that pop up when we talk about the importance of massages -- the price. For those of us who grew up with Western Medicine, we’ve been socialized to believe that massages are a luxury -- something that only those with spare time and money can benefit from, but we're here to show you otherwise! Treating yourself to a professional massage every once in a while is perfectly okay! In fact, I encourage it. Your body is your vehicle for the rest of your life, and just like your car, it suffers from wear and tear. In order to keep it running at its best for as long as possible, regular maintenance is required. So think of the money you put toward your massages as part of your overall health plan.