Therapeutic Massage Thai Yoga Massage
Massage is one of the oldest and most fundamental forms of medical care. Its history dates back farther than acupuncture. Hieroglyphics on Egyptian tombs depict people receiving massage. In Eastern cultures, massage has been practiced consistently since primitive times. It is an ancient, modern and everything-in-between method to taking care of yourself. Emotionally, it feels good and decompresses us. Physically, it improves circulation, detoxifies the tissues and restores range of motion. Spiritually, it returns us to ourselves, a remembering that doesn’t have to do with the chaos of the day. I have long thought that the secret to all of the worlds problems is a good massage… and perhaps a nap.
Casco Bay Acupuncture & Massage is unique to any other massage you can receive in Portland, Maine. In a session(whether it is traditional Swedish, Deep Tissue, Trigger Point or Thai Yoga Massage) you are receiving a massage by a therapist who is also a highly trained and experienced acupuncturist. I was a massage therapist first and then added acupuncture to my skill set. Because of my extensive training as an acupuncturist, I am able to sense in much greater detail the condition of your soft tissues as well as your constitution, emotional state and vital flow of energy, “Qi.” The result is that your massage, regardless of what style you choose, whether you are trying to resolve a particular problem or just decompress, you are getting treated on many levels well beyond the basic mechanics of massage strokes.
I bring over a decade of experience to my private practice at Casco Bay Acupuncture & Massage in Portland, Maine. My initial training was in Swedish. Swedish massage is a lovely style that uses long strokes combined with kneading, friction, tapping, percussion, vibration, effleurage, and shaking motions. My acupuncture training and clinical experience has strongly influenced my massage style over the years. Though I still use Swedish for the framework of a massage, I incorporate the subtle treatment of the meridians and some acupuncture points using acupressure. In cases where patients prefer a deeper massage I use more penetrating strokes to focus on problematic areas.
Since my initial training in massage over a decade ago, I have added Thai Yoga Massage to the styles of massage I offer at Casco Bay Acupuncture & Massage. Thai Yoga Massage is performed on a soft mat on the floor. You wear comfortable clothing. Thai Yoga Massage involves stretching, range of motion and compression massage. It is both therapeutic and diagnostic. Thai Yoga Massage is a fantastic way to assess a person both structurally and constitutionally. Once we have a clear picture of what is going on with you structurally and constitutionally we can make a treatment plan to optimize your health.
Many patients at Casco Bay Acupuncture & Massage use multiple styles of massage and acupuncture interchangeably. For example, a patient with sciatica may come for regular therapeutic table massage or Thai Yoga Massage but in the case of an acute flare up, acupuncture is the more appropriate treatment. A patient with irritable bowel syndrome may come for regular acupuncture treatments but uses different forms of massage periodically to relax the nervous system and detoxify the body while making dietary changes.
At Casco Bay Acupuncture & Massage, I always recommend regular stretching, in addition to receiving different styles of massage. The stretching I suggest is very much like yoga in that it lengthens the muscles and opens the joints. A key component is how you breathe while you are stretching. In yoga, we use the term, “ujjayi” or “ocean sounding breath.” Expanding and contracting the body through stretching as you expand and contract your breath has powerful restorative effects. I encourage you to get in the habit of stretching at home. Stretch when you rise in the morning and before retiring to bed in the evening. If you watch TV or movies, put on some comfy pants and stretch while you watch. It is not so important that you set aside separate time to stretch. Instead, you can incorporate it and other morsels of self care into the micro-moments we all have throughout the day.