Therapeutic Massage • Relaxation Massage
2369 Agricola St. • Suite 202
Halifax, Nova Scotia • B3K 4B7
902 • 405 • 3710
jessica.marsh.hfx@gmail.com

Types of Massage

Sometimes people ask what I specialize in. The most accurate answer is I specialize in figuring out what you need - whether relaxation or therapeutic - and then figuring out how to address that need, to best of my abilities. Like most Registered Massage Therapists, I'm trained in a variety of massage techniques and styles. When I do a massage therapy session, I use the massage techniques I believe will be best for you. It's like deciding which tools to use from a tool belt, which spices to use from a spice collection, or which paintbrushes to use from a paint kit... A few metaphors apply. You may be feeling stressed out and need pure relaxation massage or you may have woken up in the morning and you can't move your neck. You may never have had a massage in your life and don't know what you want. For each of those different situations, I use different approaches and draw on different techniques. The treatment may also change from session to session: Maybe you are coming for massage therapy because you have frozen shoulder and can't lift your arm. We would probably agree to a treatment plan that involves specific techniques and treatments, but one day you might show up and say "You know what? I know we're focusing on my shoulder, but I'm feeling really stressed out and I just want a relaxation massage". In that case, I would use different techniques, soothing, calming techniques, to help calm your nervous system.

Here are descriptions of the techniques I draw on for my massage sessions.

Swedish Massage
A light to firm, relaxing massage that involves five types of long, flowing strokes. This soothing massage is very effective for stress reduction. Swedish massage has shown to be helpful in reducing pain, joint stiffness, and improving function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee over a period of eight weeks.

Deep Tissue Massage
A type of massage therapy that focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue.  Deep tissue massage helps decrease chronic muscle pain. It is used in injury rehabilitation and reduces inflammation-related pain caused by arthritis and tendonitis.

Myofascial Release
A technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the restrictions, to eliminate pain and restore motion. Myofascial Release is performed directly on skin without oil. This enables me to accurately detect fascial restrictions and apply the appropriate amount of sustained pressure to facilitate release of the fascia.

Myofascial Trigger Point Release
Myofascial Trigger Points are hyper-irritable tight nodules within bands of muscle. These points are painful when you press on them and they also refer or trigger pain to other seemingly unrelated distant  predictable patterns specific to each muscle. Trigger points cause pain, tingling, burning, weakness and other symptoms. The actual trigger point can be far from the location of the pain. This makes it difficult to identify the cause of the pain by someone that is unfamiliar with the documented pain pattern. I treat trigger points with sustained compression on the point, using my thumb, elbow or knuckle. I maintain careful communication with you about your discomfort during the treatment, using a descriptive pain scale of 1 to 10. The release of a trigger point usually results in a rapid decrease or complete elimination of muscular pain. Trigger Point Release can be used by itself as a stand-alone treatment, or it can be used in combination with other techniques.

Thai Yoga Massage
Thai Yoga Massage involves stretching and deep massage. Usually this form of bodywork is performed on the floor and the client wears comfortable clothes that allow for movement and the receiver is put into many yoga-like positions during the course of the session. However, I only use a couple of the less challenging techniques during my regular table massage session - I do not offer a full Thai Yoga Massage treatment. Thai Yoga Massage generally follows the Sen lines on the body, somewhat analogous to meridians or Channel (Chinese medicine) and Indian nadis. It involves rhythmic pressing and stretching of the body - this may include pulling fingers, toes, ears and cracking the knuckles. Thai Yoga Massage relieves muscular tension, improves circulation, boosts the immune system and balances the body energetically.

CranioSacral Therapy 
CranioSacral Therapy is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system - comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. Using a soft touch generally no greater than 5 grams, or about the weight of a nickel, CranioSacral practitioners release restrictions in the craniosacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system. By complementing the body's natural healing processes, CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and is effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction,