Modalities Offered at Berkeley Massage and Self-Healing Center
Massage and Bodywork is the application of various techniques (stroking, tapping, kneading) to the muscular structure and soft tissues of the human body to help one relax and alleviate pain. The use of oils and lotions is generally included. Within this distinction, there are many styles of massage. Click on a term in the list below to learn more.
Swedish Massage is the first systematic application of therapeutic massage in the West, Swedish massage is what comes to mind for most people when the word “massage” is mentioned. Characterized by long, flowing, rhythmic strokes, kneading, friction, percussion, and joint mobilization, Swedish massage loosens tight muscles and tissue adhesions that result from chronic stress and injury, creating a deeply relaxing and healing effect on the body.
This style of massage is generally done at a moderate to slow speed, using a soothing rhythm, with deeper or lighter pressure depending on your preference. Many people drift off into a relaxing state of consciousness somewhere between sleep and awake when receiving a Swedish massage session. It gently relaxes the muscles and mind, relieves tension and stress, and soothes muscle and joint aches and pains. It enhances blood circulation throughout the body, thus allowing more oxygen and nutrients to reach cells and tissues and increasing the rate of removal of metabolic wastes from the body. It boosts the immune system, improves functioning of the digestive system, and promotes a sense of well-being by calming the nervous system.
Deep Tissue Massage utilizes a variety of slow and deep strokes to unwind and release tension and pain in your deeper muscle layers and fascia, to lengthen tight, shortened muscles and release tight fascia, and to open up and decompress constricted joints. Deep Tissue massage is effective and corrective for temporary or chronic muscular pain and tension and for rehabilitating injuries. It can also help reduce inflammation-related pain caused by arthritis and tendonitis. Some of the other immediate benefits of Deep Tissue massage include: increased blood flow; restoration of fluidity of movement; structural rebalancing and release of tension-producing musculo-skeletal holding patterns; and improved range of motion.
Chi Nei Tsang is a centuries-old form of healing touch therapy. It is a Taoist system used for detoxifying, rejuvenating and working the energy of internal organs. The practitioner uses massage and acupressure with firm, gentle pressure to move blockages and create space in the abdomen.
Prenatal and Postpartum Massage can reduce pregnancy discomforts and concerns, and enhance the physiological and emotional wellbeing of both mother and fetus. In the post partum period, specialized techniques rebalance structure, physiology, and emotions of the new mother, and may help her to bond with and care for her infant.
Shiatsu is a Japanese style massage based on the meridians (energy pathways in the body) from Traditional Chinese medicine. Traditionally, it is preformed clothed on a padded floor mat and involves muscle compressions, wringing movements, stretches, percussion, and the stimulation of potent energy points in the body.
Cranio-Sacral Therapy encourages the body’s natural healing mechanisms to improve the functioning of the central nervous system, dissipate the negative effects of stress, and enhance health and resistance to disease. The cranio-sacral therapy practitioner uses a light touch to assist the natural movement of fluid within the cranio-sacral system.
Lomi Lomi is a healing form of massage derived from the ancient Polynesians. It is fluid and rhythmic, using forearms as well as the hands. The focus of the practitioner is to create a deep and complete flow of energy using loving hands and a loving heart.
Reiki is an ancient healing art form brought to the west from Japan in the 20th century. Reiki accesses universal life energy, which can be used to accelerate the natural healing process of the body. The practitioner places her hands on the client’s body to align the chakras and bring healing energy to organs and glands.
Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy engages trigger points — small areas of tightness within muscles that develop through injuries or with overuse. From these small knots of muscle tension, pain is frequently referred (i.e. transmitted) to other parts of the body. By working the trigger point with sustained and focused pressure, the knots are released, thereby ceasing the referred pain. This modality is especially effective for Carpal Tunnel, TMJ, as well as chronic low back, neck and shoulder stress.