Everyone experiences stress in their everyday lives. People deal with this in different ways, but it often leads to tense muscles, distorted posture, and shallow breathing. Taking a break for massage is not only a good way to deal with stress that has built up in your body, it also gives you a chance to collect yourself before dealing with what stress might be coming next! You don’t have to wait for your next massage appointment to get relief, either! Self-massage is a great form of self-care that will reduce painful stress hormones. Even a few minutes of self-massage sprinkled throughout the day can reduce stress and worry, increase focus, encourage stillness, and provide a time to just breathe.

Ease your stress by giving SK Massage Therapy a call and scheduling a relaxation massage. Your wellness is worth it!

Controlled studies have found that certain massage modalities tend to decrease the blood pressure of people with high blood pressure levels. Massage increases relaxation and decreases stress hormones, which are both benefits for individuals with moderate to high blood pressure. Make sure to tell your massage therapist if you have high blood pressure, or if you take blood pressure medication so that she can tailor your session to give you the most benefit.

One of the modalities that the licensed massage therapists at SK Massage Therapy might incorporate into your session is Neuromuscular therapy. Neuromuscular therapy (NMT) is a form of soft tissue manual therapy. It is distinguished from other types of massage in that a quasi-static pressure is applied to the skin with the aim of stimulating specific areas of skeletal muscle. Often these areas of muscle are myofascial trigger points. NMT is a comprehensive program of soft tissue manipulation techniques that balance the central nervous system (brain, spinal column and nerves) with the structure and form of the musculoskeletal system. NMT is based on neurological laws that explain how the central nervous system maintains homeostatic balance.

We all know what blood circulation is – the process of your body’s blood running throughout your body.  Lymph is the fluid used by your immune system to keep your body healthy.  Lymph circulation is just as important to your health and well-being as blood circulation.  Regular massage care increases both blood and lymph circulation in your body by pushing them through blood and lymph vessels.  Increasing your blood circulation is important, because blood carries oxygen and nutrients to your muscles, tissues and brain.  When more blood flows through your body, you are more awake and alert throughout the day, you can concentrate and focus better, and you sleep better at night.  Increasing your lymph circulation is important because lymph fluid helps to remove metabolic waste from tissues and it returns important nutrients to the blood stream.  Better sleep, stronger focus and a healthier immune system?  Why aren’t you already on a massage table?

“Chronic pain” is just what it sounds like – long-term, continuous pain.  The pain may not be ever-present, but you feel it on a regular basis.  Maybe your neck is stiff and sore by the time lunch rolls around each day.  Or perhaps you experience back pain three or four times a week.  Whatever the cause, wherever the pain, it isn’t out of the ordinary and has become a part of your normal life.  You might take pain medication to treat it, or you might just live with it.  But the good news is that regular massage care can reduce the intensity and frequency of chronic pain.  Massage increases the amount of endorphins your body produces.  These are the hormones that naturally block pain signals to the brain.  Sometimes endorphins are known as the “feel-good” hormones.  Regular massage care can also help reduce the cause of chronic pain, whether it comes from excessively tight muscles or just an overload of stress.  Giving yourself time to relax, even for just an hour, can help reduce your stress levels and give your muscles the chance to recover from working so hard.

“Range of motion” is a term that describes how well a joint moves.  Some joints, such as the knee or elbow, only move in one way.  You can extend (open) or flex (close) them.  Other joints, such as the neck, shoulder or wrist, move in several different ways.  You can extend or flex them, and you can rotate them in both directions.  A healthy joint can move easily, without restriction, to its natural limit.  But after a physical trauma, such as a motor vehicle collision or a fall, inflammation and scar tissue can cause obstructions in a joint’s natural range of motion.  We have all experienced such an obstruction – whiplash can make it difficult and painful to rotate the neck from side to side, so we turn our entire body, or a shoulder injury can keep us from reaching above our head to get a dish from the cupboard.  Not only can such obstructions be painful, but they are inconvenient and irritating.  Receiving massage care after a physical trauma can help facilitate healing and restore your natural range of motion.  Massage can help stretch your muscles and break up scar tissue in and around the joint.  Massage also helps your muscles to relax, which allows for a faster healing time.  Even if you haven’t experienced a physical trauma recently, regular massage care can help increase range of motion in stiff, under-used joints.  Why strive to maintain a healthy, normal range of motion?  Because if the day should come when you do experience a physical trauma – be it a motor vehicle collision, a fall, or just reaching too far to catch a baseball – the healthier your range of motion is, the less likely your chance of injury is, and the faster you’ll heal.

Chair Massage is a short massage session that takes place with the client seated fully clothed on a specialized chair, and typically lasts 10 – 15 minutes.  The focus of a Chair Massage is usually the back, neck and shoulders.  This technique is popular in office environments and companies that utilize Chair Massage note that it can improve employee focus and performance.  Some studies note that a 15-minute chair massage can do more to rejuvenate and reinvigorate someone than a coffee break of the same duration.  Massage chairs are portable and lightweight, making it easy to carry them into virtually any environment.  At SK Massage Therapy, LLC, we offer Chair Massage services for companies who would like us to come on-site and work on their employees.  We also perform Chair Massage at a variety of festivals and events in the Portland Metro Area.  As with all massage, it is extremely important to drink plenty of water after the session to flush all the metabolic waste from your body.

For the expecting mother, nothing beats a massage.  A modified Swedish Massage, Pre-Natal Massage is tailored for the mommy-to-be, reducing tension and keeping you off your stomach.  SK massage values the safety of our clients, and to minimize any potential health risks, we wait until the second and third trimester to administer full body massage to expecting women.  In this massage, you lie on your side, to reduce the pressure on your back and to keep you off your stomach.  Modified Swedish techniques help you unwind and relax, lowering your blood pressure and elevating your mood.  As your due date approaches, it can be helpful to receive Pre-Natal Massage more often to relieve pain and emotional stress.  Massage Therapists who are skilled in Pre-Natal Massage can even use specific strokes and pressure points to help induce labor as becomes appropriate, and under the direction of a qualified physician, midwife or doula.  As with all massage, it is extremely important to drink plenty of water after the session to flush all the metabolic waste from your body.

Most people think of Deep Tissue Massage as a Swedish Massage that uses firm pressure.  This is a misconception.  True Deep Tissue Massage is a type of massage that uses a variety of techniques to work tension and knots out of the muscles that lie under the surface layer of muscles, closest to the skeletal frame.  Deep Tissue Massage is often very focused, targeting a specific problem or group of muscles.  Many of the strokes that make up Swedish Massage are utilized, but are performed slower, and with little to no lotion.  Genuine Deep Tissue Massage can produce some pain during the massage, and it is common to feel sore or achy for a day or so afterward.  As with all massage, it is extremely important to drink plenty of water after the session to flush all the metabolic waste from your body.

A Craniosacral Massage doesn’t feel like a massage until it’s over.  This technique can be disconcerting for those who don’t know what to expect.  Most massage manipulates the soft tissue of the muscle, but Craniosacral Technique is not manipulative, but rather supportive in its nature.  This technique allows you to remain clothed, and is usually performed face-up, while your skull, heels, tailbone, ribs and shoulders are supported by the therapist’s hands and, in essence, given the opportunity they need to move in the most natural way for them to reduce pain, stress and trauma.  permission and support to move in the way they need to move in order to reduce tension and pain.  That may sound strange, but if you’ve ever felt like you just can’t be yourself, you’ll understand the basic idea.   It’s amazing what a little neutral support can do!  Oftentimes, a “swirling” feeling accompanies this technique, mostly felt where the therapist holds her hands.  This technique is safe for expecting mothers in their first trimesters, since it does not manipulate soft tissue or push on pressure points.  If it is uncomfortable for you to lie down face up for the whole session, a modified side-lying option is available.  As with all massage, it is extremely important to drink plenty of water after the session to flush all the metabolic waste from your body.