What is massage? And what can I expect?

Quite simply massage is the application of physical manipulation to relieve pain, induce a relaxed state, and promote a healthy lifestyle. Massage may well be the oldest form of medicine and is incorporated in nearly every healing system worldwide from Ayurveda to TCM to Huna. Humanity may well be ‘programmed’ to rub where it hurts until the pain goes away. Massage therapy is the artful science of utilizing touch to heal the body, mind, and spirit in a safe, professional, and compassionate way.

There are countless traditions and styles of massage. In the US we are most familiar with Swedish massage, which incorporates strokes for relaxation and pain relief with range of motion ‘gymnastics’ in which the therapist moves the passive client. Typically Swedish massage is employed to induce relaxation and promote circulation and boost immunity.

Deep tissue massage more specifically works muscles in a targeted manner for rehabilitation, increased range of motion, and athletic performance enhancement.

Massage therapy has numerous benefits to the body:

  • Massage disrupts existing feedback loops in the nervous system to establish balance in the body
  • Massage resets the ratio of stress related hormones to relaxation related hormones to create equilibrium
  • Massage releases endorphins inducing a state of euphoria and reduced pain
  • Massage relaxes muscles through mechanical manipulation
  • Massage reduces pressure on nerves to reduce pain and restriction
  • Massage increases circulation of the blood and lymph thereby boosting immune function
  • Massage reduces stress reactions

What should you expect?

Arrive for your massage five minutes early to fill out a simple intake form and use the restroom. You will then meet your licensed massage therapist who will discuss your expectations and special needs for the healing session. Communicate how much pressure you prefer and what areas, such as the shoulders or lower back, hold the most stress. Your session is tailored to your physical and emotional needs.

You are led into our atmospheric grotto rooms where soft music and the sound of waterfalls and fountains welcome you. After orienting you to the space you are left to undress in private while the therapist prepares the proper oils and tools for your session. It is acceptable to remove all clothing including undergarments, based on your comfort level, for therapeutic massage. You will be draped by sheets during the entire session, securing the safety of both you and your therapist. Sheets are not negotiable. Please turn off your cell phone and allow yourself the space to relax and heal.

Your therapist will then begin the massage. Often clients fall into a deeply restful space, rather like the ‘twilight’ state between waking and sleeping. It is during this time that endorphins are released and the many benefits of massage take place. If ever anything feels uncomfortable please alert your therapist so the proper adjustments can be made. Everyone has a different threshold for comfort and our goal is to ensure yours.

Following your massage you will be offered water and a quiet space to redress and self-stretch before reviewing post-massage discussion with your therapist.