We all know how lovely massage is, right? Just imagine how much happier this world would be if it was viewed (and supported) as an essential component of everyone’s regular self-care, rather than a periodic indulgence. Ahhh…I like to think about that world! The massage that I offer through my practice these days comes from an orthopedic bodywork perspective, rather than a common spa type of massage. While I do want you to leave feeling relaxed, my main intent is to improve muscular function and reduce pain, by releasing fascial adhesions and areas of chronic tension. I draw from my knowledge of anatomy and physiology, as well as my many years of experience as a bodyworker and acupuncturist to ensure sessions with me are effective and long lasting. While I find combining bodywork with acupuncture to be the most potent therapy, I also offer massage as a stand alone treatment option.
Fees: Massage (1 hr.): $125
Cupping is an ancient and effective therapy that can help move areas of stagnation, increase circulation, and reduce muscular tension and pain in your body. Although the benefits sound similar to massage, cupping actually uses the opposite action to achieve these benefits. Rather than using pressure to push down on the body’s tissues, as in massage, cupping uses pressure and suction to lift the skin, tissue and muscles upward, thus creating space for increased circulation. In my practice, I most often use the modern technique of creating a vacuum in the cup by suctioning the air out with a pump, but I am also trained in the more traditional Fire Cupping Method.
Depending on your comfort and the level of tension in your muscles, I may chose to move the cups over an area of your body or keep them stationary. The duration of time the cups are left on, varies and depends on the level of stagnation present. I never leave the room while the cups are on a patient. In addition to being therapeutic, the cups are also diagnostic…the deeper the color of the skin inside the cups, the more stagnation is present. Often times, this color can linger beyond your treatment. Maybe you have seen “cupping marks” or circular bruising on athletes or celebrities in the media? These marks do fade over time but can last up to a week.
When appropriate and with my patient’s permission, I incorporate cupping to further enhance the benefits of an acupuncture or bodywork session, at no additional charge.
Gua Sha is a natural, physical modality that involves using a smooth edged tool (I use one made of Ox horn I bought in China.) to scrape the patient’s skin to improve circulation and relieve stagnation. Are you sensing a theme here?! Gua Sha is effective in addressing stagnant energy, called Qi in the body, which can lead to inflammation. Inflammation is the underlying cause of several conditions, including chronic pain. The short or long strokes of this technique stimulate the microcirculation of the soft tissue which increases blood flow, reduces inflammation and promotes healing. It is especially effective in addressing issues chronic pain, as it breaks up adhesions that can form in the fascia, which is the connective tissue that covers all of the muscles, organs and bones in the body.
Gua Sha is generally performed on a patient’s back, neck, arms and legs, and I’ve had a lot of positive results from using this technique to address painful conditions such as tennis elbow and knee pain. A gentle version of Gua Sha can even be used on the face as a component of a facial rejuvenation treatment.
Gua Sha is another modality I include, when appropriate, to enhance the benefits of an acupuncture or bodywork session, at no additional charge.