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The body wants to be healthy and balanced.
All of its systems are created to make this happen.
Our modern lifestyle, filled with stress, electronic stimulation, artificial foods, and chemical medications depletes this natural ability.
Many of our clients have long term chronic pain or complicated illness. They often feel like they have “tried everything” to get well. Standard western medicine diagnosis includes things that are broken or diseased. Natural wellness approaches look for underlying conditions affecting the terrain of the body. These can be physical (mold, fungus, pesticides, EMF, poor nutrition, etc.) or mental/emotional (stress, grief, anger, over work, worry) which have a huge impact on health. The following services help us to assess and support these conditions.
Light Touch Deep Tissue MassageMany people think that massage has to be deep, hard and painful to be effective. This is no pain, no gain” approach is like treating your pain with a sledge hammer and can actually be harmful. If you are in pain, have had an injury or surgery, your body is already in a form of traumatic response. If you inflict more force and pain, the nervous system responds through the proprioceptors in the muscles by creating protective guarding spasm/tension in the muscles. This is the exact opposite of your desired effect. Additionally, the body sends more inflammation to the area in an effort to heal and protect the area from the “attack”. This is why people sometimes report feeling like they were “beaten up” or “hit by a Mack truck” after a particularly aggressive massage session. At Light Hand, we always work with a light touch and a deep focus. This means that we begin treating any muscle tension or pain by first flushing out the inflammation with Swedish and Lymphatic massage. It immediately reduces pain and increases circulation of blood, oxygen and nutrients. This gives the muscle more of what it essentially needs to heal and function. Once the therapist feels the muscle is ready, she/he sinks in slowly to the deeper layers of the pain pattern, always “listening” with skilled, sensitive hands to the muscle response. When working deeply, but with patience and sensitivity, the therapist does not trigger a defensive reaction in the tissue. Instead, the muscles, in connection with the nervous system, utilize their own healing capabilities to relax and become more functional. As the pattern releases, the therapist is able to work diligently through deeper and deeper layers of the dysfunction. In this way, the client can experience real and lasting pain relief and whole body wellness.
Lymphatic Drainage MassageManual lymph drainage massage is a form of very light massage that encourages healthy lymph flow and the reduction of inflammation throughout the entire body. Our approach is to treat the whole lymph system, not just affected areas, and deep stores of congestion, not just the superficial swelling. This is particularly good for detoxification, sports injuries, pre- and post- surgery and pre and post-cancer treatment. Light Hand therapists use their skills to seek out and flush long held inflammation and fluid congestion that can contribute to fibromyalgia, peripheral neuropathy, foot pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, restless legs and other chronic pain syndromes. When used in the abdominal area, deep lymphatic drainage can support healthy digestion, elimination and reproductive health. All the Light Hand therapists are trained in Lymphatic Drainage massage because we believe it to be incredibly effective in increase health and treating the chronic pain conditions we see every day in our practice.
Craniosacral Therapy (CST)Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle, noninvasive method of evaluating and enhancing the function of the cranial sacral system. This system consists of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord. It extends from the bones of the skull, face, and mouth–which make up the cranium–down to the sacrum or tailbone. Since this system influences the development and function of the brain and spinal cord, any imbalance or dysfunction in the cranial sacral system could cause sensory, motor, or neurological disabilities. These problems may include chronic or acute pain following injury to the head or spine, headaches or migraines, vertigo, eye difficulties, sinus problems, ear blockage and other dysfunctions of the central nervous system. The cranial sacral therapy practitioner uses a light touch to assist the natural movement of fluid within the cranial sacral system and encourage balance between the bones. Theresa Wilkes is our certified cranial therapist with 30 years of experience in working with people of all ages with cranial injuries or imbalances.
Neuromuscular TherapyNeuromuscular Therapy is a very specialized form of massage therapy often referred to as Trigger Point Therapy. NMT is the utilization of static pressure on specific myofascial or trigger points to relieve pain. Trigger points are concentrated areas of dysfunction in the tissue that refer or “trigger” pain in other areas. Therefore, this work is vitally important to understanding and treating long standing pain syndromes. Neuromuscular therapy is highly beneficial in re-stabilizing the neurological activity between the muscular and nervous system, which is necessary to maintain normal function and overall health of our body. At Light Hand, our therapists practice NMT in conjunction with lymphatic drainage methods to ensure that the metabolic wastes formerly held in the trigger points are flushed from the tissues to prevent re-occurrence and avoid pain after a treatment.
Gua Sha and CuppingThese techniques are modern applications of ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practices. Gua Sha involves repeated pressured strokes over lubricated skin with a smooth edged instrument. Skin is typically coated with massage oil and a gua sha tool, made traditionally of bones, water buffalo horn, jade or a newer plastic or metal, is rubbed across an area of muscle tension, inflammation or congestion. This action scrapes or “irons out” the affected muscle and fascia while flushing out stuck inflammation. While Gua Sha uses pressure, cupping is an ancient form of therapy in which uses suction to lift the tissues and draw fluids to the surface. It is understood that this mobilizes blood and lymph flow in order to promote healing. Some therapists use heat or mechanical devices to create suction. At Light Hand, we use simple hand pump cups to gently draw the tissue upwards by creating a vacuum in a cup over the target area of the skin and muscle. We generally move the cup in a fluid motion over the muscles. But, we may also “park” the cup on a particularly tight or inflamed muscle for the greatest effect. We have found this to help treat pain, deep scar tissues in the muscles, adhesions in the connective tissue, trigger points, and deep congestion.
Range of Motion / StretchingFlexibility is an essential component to the health of the muscle, the joints and the body as a whole. Light Hand therapists will pay close attention to the mobility of all the joints during clinical massage treatment. We work all of the muscles associated with hips, knees, shoulders, elbows, necks etc. It is quite common that the therapist will include range of motion techniques and stretches on the table during a session. Additionally, the therapist will frequently demonstrate and guide the client in stretches that he/she can practice between appointments. Self-care like this is a very important part of our mission to empower the client to achieve pain relief and wellness long after treatment is needed.
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