General Massage Therapy or Therapeutic Massage:
Therapeutic massage as applied by the therapists at Essential Kneads is about pressure and intention, along with the goals set by an intake form and discussion that occurs with the client prior to the start of the session. Often pressure and intention is varied throughout the session as the therapist evaluates the integrity of the tissue being worked and how it responds. Client input and feedback is always encouraged. Assisted stretches and movement of joints can be applied at any level of massage therapy.

Pressure of 1-2: Relaxation Massage; long, rather light and broad strokes (effleurage and petrissage) are used to connect the body from one region to another, intention is on superficial tissues. This pressure is most often utilized for a relaxing full body session, also known as a Swedish massage. There is less tissue displacement in this pressure than in any of the others.

Pressure 3-4: Referred to as medium; strong, moderately firm strokes often intended to mobilize restricted soft tissues. Can be applied full body or used locally for specific pain and restricted range of motion issues, or what clients often refer to as knots. Traditional names like kneading, trigger point or neuromuscular therapy, and various forms of friction. The therapist may integrate long and short strokes while using this pressure.

Pressure 4-5:
Often referred to as “deep tissue” massage: Usually applied to specific issues and concentrated areas of the body that really feel stuck, and stagnate or the client feels the need to get in deep to meet the pain. The pressure is firm and feels deep, and is also usually applied at a slower pace. Not usually a full body application, but concentrated to specific areas and integrated with other pressure therapies. It has a tendency to leave a little lingering soreness, with the intention of increased mobilization of the tissues. It also is called trigger point therapy, deep kneading, and friction.

Sports Massage:

Sports therapy is simply applied to athletic clients, according to what their tissues respond to, but does often incorporate stretch and joint movements. It is a great addition to training, or any level of exercise to assist muscle tissue in getting back to a neutral state. Many clients report less soreness and improved range, fewer injuries. Essential Kneads offers pre-workout or pre-competition sessions that warm up the tissue and prepare it for endurance.

Energy Work:
Energy work has various names such as Reiki, acupressure, craniosacral therapies. It is easily applied within the context of other strokes, or on its own. It can be integrated with any other therapy. Energy work is often a light touch therapy application, but has truly deep tissue influences. It also can be very relaxing or described as a harmonizing and some even describe transcendental experiences which may have a deeply healing or spiritual effect.

Connective Tissue Massage, Myofascial Work and sometimes Structural integration:
Connective tissue therapy often refers to a type of therapy specifically applied to change the state or pattern of tissue known as fascia. It is applied to short restricted tissue with the intention to decrease the negative effects of repetitive motion, dysfunctional postural patterns, chronic pain patterns, which in turn changes the neurological input. Fabulous for old injuries, lack of range in joints, tissue that feels fibrously and restricted. Names that you might have heard this type of work referred to include Rolfing, CranioSacral Therapy, any re-patterning therapy or unwinding. The pressure used can be light, medium or deep, but is intended with specificity. The experience can be described as a stretch, a warming of the area, with the release creating movement and a lengthening feeling.

Finger pressure is applied to specific points known as acupoints. This is where energy in meridians can be accessed close to the body’s surface. Shiatsu form generally presses many points in a fairly quick paced rhythmic fashion in every meridian. Jin Shin Do, TM form uses finger pressure on a local point, often where pain is, and a distal point to help energy distribute from backed up areas, or move into deficient areas. The points are generally held until movement is achieved therefore the length can be varied. Interestingly, trigger points or the chronic knots felt in the body frequently correspond with acupoints. Points worked in the face and neck and shoulders are classic examples. Therefore, therapeutic intention can go back and forth on a specific point, helping the point or the pattern to more fully release. Acupressure therapies can easily be integrated with massage and other therapies.

A point of reference in your foot for every organ in the body, sound cool? That is the theory of reflexology. During this session the therapist works the points in the foot to enhance the health of organs in the body. By stimulating these points the therapist may be unblocking meridians, increasing blood flow and helping to restore homeostasis within the entire body. Some essential oils may be applied to aid in the healing process.  

Massage Cupping:  
Massage Cupping is a modern adaptation of the ancient Chinese art of cupping therapy. By creating a suction or vacuum, cupping therapy is used to release rigid soft tissue, drain excess fluids and toxins, loosen adhesions and lift connective tissue while bringing blood flow to stagnant skin and muscles. Please visit a more detailed description located under the Massage Cupping tab within the services page of our website.

Hot Stone Massage:

This massage is performed using heated basalt stones. The heat from the stones is transferred to the body and warms the tissue to allow ease of muscle movement. This type of massage is fabulous for clients seeking a deeply relaxing massage. It is a perfect way for clients who have difficulties mentally unwinding to ease the mind in turn allowing the therapist to work out areas of muscle tension.  A 60 minute session consists of massaging with just the stones. A 90 minute session incorporates both the stones and hands on bodywork.

Prenatal Massage:

Pregnancy is a unique state of being for a woman and can take its toll on her emotional and energetic state, as well as her physical wellbeing.  As a women’s body expands and changes the muscles are pulled and stretched and may cause pain or discomfort, along with postural distortion and fatigue. A prenatal massage can assist in reducing some of these distresses.   Prenatal massage is performed with the client in a side lying position surrounded by pillows to help support both mother and fetus. It can be a purely relaxing massage or a session concentrating on specific issues. All of our therapists are fully trained in pre and post natal massage. Doula services are also available.

Neuromuscular and trigger point therapies:

Specifically applied to trigger points in the body, or what clients often call knots, which are small, mini, localized muscle spasms. Sometimes the points are tender and highly sensitive which might require a lighter touch. Other times, they best respond to deep sustained pressure and/or friction and kneading. Trigger points classically refer pain to areas that might be further away than one can imagine. Think of classic heart attack symptoms. Hence, it can take time to find the exact area the pain is originating from. Exploration is indicated. It is not unusual for low back pain to come from an active trigger point in the gluteal area, or for a headache to come from a point in the upper shoulder, known as trapezius muscle, or the SCM muscle in the neck, but when the source is found and the therapy applied, the release and pain reduction can be significant.

Lymph drainage:

 A therapy intended to assist movement of fluid. Always a light, rhythmic touch therapy applied in specific areas where lymph nodes and lymph drainage routes are located. This therapy is intended for the reduction of inflammation, although not during active infection, and pathological edema. This therapy has been reported as a great therapy for post-surgery clients.

Couples Massage:
Essential Kneads has a therapy room with two tables. Each client has his or her own therapist and can request their own type of therapy wishes. The cost is the same as two separate sessions, it just occurs in the same room. Equally, pairs can schedule sessions at the same time and request separate rooms. Either way you choose to have the session performed, scheduling 2 therapists at the same time takes some coordinating thus we recommend you call in advance.

Four Hand Massage:

Two therapists work on the client at the same time. The therapists usually work together in a pattern or rhythm to create a sensory bliss for the mind and body. Truly a wonderful experience! Or the client might want specific bodywork done to meet the goals addressed. Please call in advance to schedule this session. Scheduling 2 therapists at the same time takes some coordinating effort. Thank you.  

Seated Chair Massage:
Massage performed in a specifically designed massage chair, or any type of chair can work. This massage is performed with the client fully dressed, does not utilize any creams, oils or lotions. Therefore, the intention is warming the tissues with combined trigger point therapy. It is a great way to introduce therapeutic touch to someone who has never received a massage. Seated chair massage is often rendered at onsite locations such in a quiet area at a company, private business, or medical office.  Events such as charity walks, health fares, town center celebrations or private gatherings and festivals or parties are popular venues for chair massage.

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