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Structural Integration (SI) is the culmination of a body of work developed by Ida Pauline Rolf – a Renaissance woman of myofascial pain management and postural body alignment. Structural Integration
is a way of restructuring the physical body with deep myofascial release techniques. In general, it is a ten-treatment cycle of bodywork that balances myofascial relationships in the body and creates better posture, function and less pain.
Advanced Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques:
This is a blend of massage, rolfing® and osteopathic techniques that are specific to pain caused by migraines, whiplash, scoliosis and repetitive stress injuries. These techniques address pain in the head, neck, rib, low back, arms, hands and chest. Some of this work requires active participation on the client’s part: ie: The therapist may ask the client to lift his head while the therapist is working on the neck and or arms. This bodywork can be coupled with another form of massage therapy for a longer session incorporating some relaxation at the end.
Is a technique that focuses on stretching the muscle lining. The fascia is the dense, white, barely elastic tissue that encapsulates the muscles. The purpose of myofascial release is to stretch the fascia first and then relax the muscle within that fascia. I incorporate this modality into all of my deep massage work. The point is this. Imagine you have on a tight pair of jeans and you try to bend over. It is difficult to bend with those tight jeans on. Now imagine those same jeans being stretched out a bit. It is easier to move after that.
This technique is sometimes painful as it is similar to Rolfing, another form of bodywork. The work is very slow and can usually only be done on limited body parts at a time. Ex: Releasing the upper and lower extremities of the back might be done in one hour.
Trigger Point Therapy
Is a technique that focuses on releasing specific points in the neck, back, shoulders and other tender areas to restore functionality and reduce pain. Trigger points are small pockets of tissue that become dense and irritated and eventually restrict movement. By pressing on these areas for specific amounts of time, they release natural endorphins and help to relieve pain and restore balance to the body. This technique can be incorporated into a full body session or may be used by itself depending on the client’s preference.
Is a contemporary therapy with its roots in Oriental traditional medicine. It is sometimes described as Japanese physiotherapy. The actual treatment approach and philosophy is similar to acupuncture in its usage of the meridians (energy channels) and tsubo (pressure points) as well as diagnostic methods, but without the use of needles. Unlike most other forms of bodywork, in barefoot shiatsu the receiver may remain clothed for the treatment and no oil is used for the massage. Or they may choose to have a treatment with oil and most of the clothes would be removed. A cover up sheet is provided for the client’s comfort.
Shiatsu is a Japanese word made up of two written characters meaning finger (shi) and pressure (atsu). The application of pressure is the underlying principle of shiatsu. Shiatsu is often called accupressure, although technically it is not correct. Barefoot shiatsu is simply pressure applied with the feet. In Shiatsu, the pressure is sometimes applied over a wider area, not just over the acupoints; sometimes, the pressure is applied precisely over the acupoints. The practitioners use the heel of the foot and the balls of the toes for applying pressure precisely at localized points. For applying pressure over a larger area, they use palms, elbows, knees, and feet.
In addition to the pressure itself, shiatsu involves gentle stretch and manipulation techniques. These may have been borrowed from modern physiotherapy rather than from the ancient oriental massage. But shiatsu differs from Western massage in technique as well as in theory. While Swedish massage therapists use long, flowing hand movements to knead muscles, barefoot shiatsu practitioners apply rhythmic and gradual pressure to the meridians and tsubos. Stretching exercises and other corrective techniques creates flexibility and balance in the body, both physically and energetically.
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