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Massage Modalities

Breath & Body Wellness

Types of Massage Modalities Used

Your massage session will likely include a variety of massage modalities in order to meet your individual needs. Each modality is unique, and yet a beautifully customized treatment can be created by blending elements from different modalities. The purpose of this list is simply to provide you a little insight into the various massage techniques that may be used in your treatment session, but is by no means informationally comprehensive.


Swedish is the most commonly utilized and recognized modality for relaxation massage.  The focus is on improving circulation of blood and lymph and relaxing the superficial muscles.  Various strokes are used to soften and warm the muscle tissue, which helps with the release of tension and adhesions or “knots”.  This modality generally incorporates a lighter pressure and is very relaxing.  Some of the health benefits include reduced feelings of stress and anxiety, improved sleep, lower blood pressure, and an increased sense of well-being due to the promotion of a relaxed state.  Aspects of Swedish massage are easily incorporated into a therapeutic treatment to create a beautifully blended massage for both body and soul.


The term “myotherapy” is a compound form of the ancient Greek word “myos” meaning mouse or muscle and the generic term “therapy” that refers to a treatment intended to relieve a disorder of some kind.  The modality known as Myotherapy 7-Step Release System was developed by K.C. Miller, owner and founder of Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Tempe, AZ.  She believed that in order for the physical body to release holding patterns and find a state of rehabilitation and homeostasis, the skeleton must be moved so that trapped muscles, and perhaps even emotions, could be released thereby allowing the body to remember its natural, healthy and full range of movement.  The modality is comprised of a series of movements, stretches, rocking of the body, etc. to encourage the release of holding patterns.  This modality can assist in overcoming such chronic issues as low back pain, hip and sacral discomfort, frozen shoulder and many others.


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Deep Tissue

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Trigger Point

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Hawaiian Lomi

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Thai Yoga

Thai Yoga Massage is a holistic bodywork modality dedicated to meeting any body wherever it is on its journey to balance and well-being.  Regardless of your body condition, Thai massage can be adjusted to your individual needs.  To call it massage, however, is a bit of a misnomer.  It does not include massage techniques that most people think of when they hear the word “massage”.  Rather, it is the same therapeutic treatment taught at the Wat Po Traditional Medical School in Bangkok, Thailand.  This Thai therapy has been used to heal for more than two thousand years!

For this therapy, you will remain fully clothed and should wear comfortable clothing that does not bind or pinch.  The treatment is given on a comfortable floor mat, rather than the massage table, and your therapist kneels next to you.  There are no oils or lotions used.  The treatment includes compressions and yoga-like stretches that are intended to open the joints, reduce muscle stiffness, and improve the flow of energy throughout the body.  Each movement is done in a slow and methodical fashion that is very relaxing and allows you to soften into each stretch.  Your therapist will quietly converse with you as needed to ensure that you are aware of unusual stretches and that each stretch is within the scope of your body’s ability.  The goal is to create a powerful healing and balancing experience for your body, mind, and spirit.


One has to experience lymphatic massage to truly appreciate its amazing therapeutic value!

The lymphatic system is one of 5 elimination systems in our body.  About 70% of it resides and flows just below the surface of the skin but above the muscle tissue, and it works in conjunction with our skin, lungs, kidneys, and intestines to clear away toxins and waste that build up due to stress, bacteria, viruses, dead cells, fatty globules and other debris that is cast off by healthy cellular function.  An active and healthy lifestyle promotes a healthy functioning lymphatic system, whereas a sedentary lifestyle and/or one that includes a diet high in fatty, processed foods leads to a sluggish lymphatic system.  The result is a build-up of waste products in our body, which then leads to stiff muscles and joints, acne, poor skin tone, premature aging, etc.

Because the majority of this system’s circulation is superficial, this modality consists of a very light touch (think of the weight of a nickel).  If too much pressure is applied, the lymph vessels collapse and the system is paused in that area, which defeats the purpose of this modality.  Lymphatic drainage massage is an assisted means of encouraging the lymph to flow in the right direction and mechanically stimulates the flow of fluids that carry toxins and other waste products to the appropriate disposal sites in our body.  The slow, methodical light-weight touch is very relaxing and incredibly therapeutic.  Rest and water following a treatment are essential to the effectiveness of this technique.

Review the Contraindications below.  If in doubt, consult with your physician as to the advisability of receiving lymphatic drainage massage.


  • acute infectious/inflammatory illnesses, fever
  • major cardiac conditions
  • serious circulatory conditions
  • hemorrhage
  • acute anuresis
  • cancer & all malignant diseases

Relative Contraindications:

  • edema/lymphedema
  • thyroid conditions
  • carotid stenosis/carotid thrombosis
  • acute asthma & allergies
  • burns, fresh scars, skin hypersensitivity, eczema
  • abdominal surgery, radiation, tumor, bleeding or pain of undetermined origin
  • removed spleen
  • chronic HIV infection – Dr approval required
  • major kidney problems, renal insufficiency, hemodialysis – Dr approval required
  • menstruation – abdominal drainage avoided
  •  gynecological infections, fibromas, cysts, IUD – “deep” abdominal work avoided
  • pregnancy – avoid during first 3 months; consult with physician after 1st trimester
  • medication, chemotherapy, anesthetic drugs