NOONAN MASSAGE THERAPY
Copyright © Noonan Massage
CranioSacral Therapy is a gentle manipulation of the bones of the skull with light pressure in key areas of the craniosacral system. The therapy is a noninvasive method of evaluating and enhancing the function of a physiological body arrangement called the craniosacral system. This manual therapy enhances the body’s natural healing processes and has proven effective in treating a wide range of medical problems involving pain and dysfunction. Since the craniosacral system consists of membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord, any imbalance or dysfunction in the craniosacral system could cause sensory, motor and/or neurological disabilities. CranioSacral Therapy, sometimes called cranial sacral therapy, encourages the body’s natural healing mechanisms to improve the functioning of the central nervous system, to dissipate the negative effects of stress, to enhance health and resistance to disease, and to move energy through the client’s cranium, spine and lower back.
The CranioSacral Therapy practitioner uses light touch to assist the natural movement of fluid within the craniosacral system. Generally, therapists use only five grams of pressure, roughly the weight of a nickel, on a fully clothed client to test for restrictions in various parts of the craniosacral system. It is often possible for the evaluation itself to remove the restriction and allow the system to correct itself.
Some common problems that are treated with CranioSacral Therapy include chronic pain, eye difficulties, whiplash, chronic headaches, scoliosis, motor-coordination impairments, muscle tension, the common cold, learning problems and other dysfunctions of the central nervous system.
DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE
Deep Tissue Massage is a deeper, more intense massage. The deep-tissue/deep-muscle technique uses slow, deep-guided strokes and firm pressure. It is designed to relieve severe tension and to reach below the superficial muscles.
Deep tissue massage techniques are administered to affect the sub-layer of musculature and fascia. Fascia is like a web that runs through the entire body. This connective tissue when traumatized, inflamed or restricted can create a great deal of pain and restrict body motion. These techniques require advanced training and a thorough understanding of anatomy and physiology. The muscles must be relaxed to effectively perform deep-tissue massage. Otherwise, tight surface muscles will prevent the practitioner from reaching deeper musculature.
Deep Tissue Massage helps with chronic muscular pain and injury rehabilitation. It also reduces inflammation-related pain caused by arthritis and tendinitis. Opening and balancing the fascia and release of ligaments and tendons are all taken into consideration when using this technique. Deep Tissue Massage is often recommended for individuals who experience consistent pain and soreness in both large and small muscle groups.
HOT STONE MASSAGE
Hot Stone Massage is a natural therapy where the therapist uses smooth stones made of basalt (a type of rock that is rich in iron, so they retain heat) to assist in melting away stress, easing muscle tension, improving circulation and metabolism. Native Americans used fire-heated stones to treat muscle stiffness.
Hot stone massage is suited for clients who tend to feel chilly and/or experience muscle soreness but prefer light pressure therapy. Heated in sanitizing water hot stones have a sedative effect that can relieve chronic pain, reduce tension and promote deep relaxation. As the heat from the stones penetrates into a client’s deeper body tissues, their blood vessels open, resulting in increased circulation and a calming effect on the nervous system.
While all types of massage can help relieve pain caused by tense muscles, stiff joints or injuries, a hot stone massage may provide greater relief due to the intense nature of the massage. Clients also get hot stone massages for a variety of health conditions including some such as poor circulation, arthritis, osteoarthritis and insomnia. A hot stone massage may also help a client to combat some of the symptoms of anxiety disorders and depression.
MANUAL LYMPH DRAINAGE (MLD)
A vital system of lymphatic vessels are one of the main elimination channels in the body. The Lymphatic System clears toxins, unwanted proteins and waste that cannot be removed by any other means. The system helps to transport lymphocytes and hormones throughout the body, filters harmful substances and bacterial infection, maintains the balance of fluids in the body’s tissues and recovers substances that have escaped into the body. This network of delicate vessels and lymph nodes is the primary structure of the Immune System. The lymph nodes act as check points along the pathways of the vessels filtering the fluid (called lymph) and serve as the home for lymphocytes -- little Pac Man-like cells -- that attack and destroy foreign bacteria, viruses and abnormal cells, such as cancer cells.
Because the Lymphatic System has no pump, its functions are dependent upon muscle contractions, diaphragmatic breathing and body movement. It is not uncommon to develop a sluggish lymphatic flow. Inactivity, consuming the wrong food and drink, as well as not drinking enough water can lead to poor lymphatic flow. Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) is a massage technique that is designed to stimulate the lymph’s circulation, reduce sympathetic nervous activity, stimulate the defenses of the Immune System and increases the flow and volume of lymph fluid.
When the Lymphatic System is sluggish or blocked -- say after surgery or injury -- clients may incur swelling, feel tired, or be more susceptible to colds and infections. When the Lymphatic System works well, clients feel healthy and have a strong defense against illness.
Several studies on the effectiveness of Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) in the treatment of Fibromyalgia indicate that MLD can you help relieve pain and stiffness and improve sleep and general health. The technique involves the use of gentle, rhythmic strokes and pumping movements on the body toward the direction of the lymph nodes. Noonan Massage therapist, Patrick Noonan, LMT, is certified on Dr. Emil Vodder’s Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) method.
MASSAGE AND MASSAGE THERAPY
Massage and Massage Therapy are systems of structured palpation or movement of the soft tissue of the body. Massage may include, but is not limited to, such techniques as stroking, kneading, gliding, percussion, friction, vibration, compression and passive or active stretching within the normal anatomical range of movement. In addition, massage therapy may involve effleurage (either firm or light soothing, stroking movement, without dragging the skin, using either padded parts of fingertips or palms); petrissage (lifting or picking up muscles and rolling the folds of skin); or tapotement (striking with the side of the hand, usually with partly flexed fingers, rhythmic movements with fingers; or short, rapid movements of the side of the hands). These techniques may be applied with or without the aid of lubricants. The purpose of massage is to enhance the general health, unwinding, healing and wellbeing of the recipient.
Myofascial Release is a technique whereby a massage therapist manipulates connective tissue using friction, cross-hand stretches and vertical stretches to loosen the body’s connective tissue. These techniques may be applied with or without the aid of lubricants. This helps the body relax on a deeper level.
Myofascial Release is three-dimensional application of sustained pressure and movement into the fascial system to eliminate fascial restrictions. First, an assessment is made by visually inspecting the body’s frame. This is followed by the palpation of the tissue texture of various fascial layers. Upon locating an area of fascial tension, gentle pressure is applied in the direction of the restriction. Myofascial Release is an effective therapeutic approach for the relief of cervical pain, back pain, fibromyalgia, scoliosis, neurological dysfunction, restriction of motion, chronic pain, temporomandibular disorders (commonly know as TMJ) and headaches.
MEDICAL ONCOLOGY MASSAGE
Medical Oncology Massage modifies existing techniques to enable the therapist to work safely with complications of cancer and cancer treatment. Medical oncology massage trained therapists meet clients where they are with their cancer. Therapists apply a highly individualized massage treatment to comfort, nurture and support clients. Anyone who has received cancer treatment -- those in active treatment, those in recovery and those in survivorship -- may benefit from a medical oncology massage.
Scientific literature recognizes that oncology massage helps improve quality of life. Benefits include deep relaxation and improved sleep. Medical oncology massage may also reduce anxiety, stress, pain, depression, fatigue, constipation and nausea. Medical oncology massage can increase alertness, mental clarity and feelings of well-being, while pleasantly distracting clients from their discomfort.
"We know that massage therapy makes everyone feel better, whether they’re ill or whether they're healthy. “It is becoming more prevalent in the health professional community" said Terri Ades, RN, the American Cancer Society Director of Health Content.
Personal goals when receiving a medical oncology massage can include the desire for a respite -- a relaxing pleasurable experience in the midst of everything that is going on. Other goals may be to relieve nausea or other symptoms such as pain and peripheral neuropathy.
A common complication after surgery for breast and ovarian cancer is edema, said Dr. Julie Gralow, a professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Washington and Director of Breast Medical Oncology at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Dr. Gralow said, “Lymphedema is basically the backup of lymph fluid frequently caused by scarring and swelling in the area. Massage helps move the fluid through the whole lymph system.” Noonan Massage therapist, Patrick Noonan, LMT, is certified in Medical Oncology Massage.
NEUROMUSCULAR MASSAGE THERAPY
Neuromuscular Massage Therapy (NMT) uses a variety of trigger point techniques to provide a deep and lasting relaxation of your muscular problems. When your body has physical trauma, strains, or emotional stress, your muscles are strongly affected. NMT treatments pinpoint stiff muscles and exact locations of the discomforting pain, stiffness, numbness, or weakness. Neuromuscular Massage Therapy specifically locates and releases tight muscles with Trigger Point Releases (TPR) addressing the cause and source of the discomforting pain.
PREGNANCY PRE-NATAL MASSAGE
Among all the other benefits of massage, studies indicate that massage therapy preformed during pregnancy can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health.
Reflexology involves manipulation of specific reflex areas in the foot, hands, or ears that correspond to certain parts of the body (internal glands and organs). It is based on an ancient Chinese therapy. Sometimes referred to as zone therapy, Reflexology bodywork involves the application of pressure to reflex zones to stimulate body organs and relieve areas of congestion. Similar to acupressure principles, Reflexology works with the body’s energy flow to stimulate self-healing and maintain balance in physical function. The technique is used to reduce pain, ease addiction, relieve stress, relieve tension and improve nerve and blood flow, including lymphatic fluids. It is especially useful in stress-related illnesses and emotional disorders. Reflexology is also convenient in cases where an area of the body is traumatized or diseased to the extent that direct manipulation is not appropriate.
Sports Massage is a no-nonsense massage that aims to stretch tight muscles, stimulate inactive muscles and improve soft tissue conditions. Sports Massage may enable an athlete or anyone else to move the body more freely and with more flexibility. In time, it can improve posture.
Sports Massage is designed to enhance athletic performance and recovery. There are three contexts in which Sports Massage can be useful to an athlete: pre-event, post-event, and injury treatment. Pre-event massage is delivered at the performance site, usually with the person fully clothed. Fast-paced and stimulating, it helps to establish blood flow and to warm up muscles. Post-event massage is also delivered on site, through the clothes. The intent here is to calm the nervous system while continuing the body's established blood flow. Post-event massage may reduce recovery time, enabling an athlete to resume training much sooner than rest alone would allow. When a person sustains an injury, skillful Sports Massage therapy may often speed-up and improve the quality of healing.
As the name suggests, Sports Massage is popular with athletes. It is designed to enhance performance, assist recovery and prevent injury. However, these are also benefits everyone can enjoy.
Swedish Massage is the most common and well-known type of massage. It involves long, fluid strokes of muscles and tissues with pressure that varies from light to medium to firm. Swedish Massage is considered to be one of the most relaxing massage therapies.
The client is covered with only the area being worked-on exposed. Massage therapists use a combination of kneading, effleurage (either firm or light soothing, stroking movement, without dragging the skin, using either padded parts of fingertips or palms), petrissage (lifting or picking up muscles and rolling the folds of skin), friction, rolling and percussive movements. Lotion is applied to reduce friction on the skin.
Among the many benefits of Swedish Massage are relaxation of the mind while energizing the body, increased blood flow, and reduction of stress.
TRIGGER POINT THERAPY
Trigger Point Therapy focuses on the release of tension around specific nerve centers found throughout your body with Trigger Point Releases (TPR). It is great for relieving cramped and overused muscles. Many clients suffer from trigger points, sensitive spots in different parts of a muscle, often called muscle knots. Trigger Point Therapy pinpoints areas that tend to radiate pain beyond the pain site. The therapist applies pressure to the area from a few seconds to a few minutes. This therapy not only releases tension in the painful areas, but also relieves the areas that are effected by its radiating pain.