What is Nicola’s Special Hiking Massage for Santa Barbara area hikers?
It’s a combination of Deep Tissue Massage, Sports Massage, and Swedish Massage. I recommend at least a 1 1/2 hour session to get you tuned back up for the trails. Depending on your specific issues you may need more massage sessions.
What are the Benefits of a hiker Massage?
- Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion.
- Flush out the lactic acid in your legs and body.
- Ease of medication dependence.
- Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body’s natural defense system.
- Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
- Help athletes of any level prepare for and recover from, strenuous workouts or hikes.
- Improve the condition of the body’s largest organ—the skin.
- Increase joint flexibility.
- Lessen depression and anxiety.
- Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue, and stretch marks.
- Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
- Reduce post-surgery adhesions and swelling.
- Reduce spasms and cramping.
- Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
- Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller.
- Relieve migraine pain.
What is Relaxing / Relaxation Massage?
Relaxation massage is all about relaxing. It focuses on giving the client time to recover from the stresses of daily life. When you experience relaxation massage, you can expect a treatment that involves:
- Long smooth gliding strokes that are rhythmic and flowing
- The pressure is deeply relaxing, but not painful
- A treatment that is designed to soothe and relax you, not to relieve chronic pain or other underlying ailments
- A therapist who also takes the massage environment into account – look for soothing music, warm luxurious towels, and occasionally the use of essential oils to enhance both the environment and the effects of the massage
The Benefits of a Relaxing Massage
As with any kind of massage, the benefits of a relaxation massage can last for several days after your treatment. Relaxation massage – like other forms of massage – can offer the following benefits:
- Lowering blood pressure – at least for a while
- Improvements to peripheral circulation
- Improvements to skin tone and appearance
- Improvements to gastrointestinal motility (bowel movements will become more regular)
- Some reduction in muscle tension including the relief of muscle tension headaches
- Improvements to any stress-related symptoms. This can include providing a gentle boost to the immune system if you undergo regular treatments.
What’s a Relaxing Swedish Massage?
Swedish massage is what most of us think about when we hear the word “massage.” It is sometimes also called traditional massage. Swedish massage is performed by a trained and licensed massage therapist who lubricates the bare skin with massage oil and uses gliding and other movements to massage the whole body. It usually takes 50 to 60 minutes, but you can get a longer service or combine it with another one, like a body scrub.
Swedish massage is the most commonly requested type of massage at spas today.
The purpose of Swedish massage is to relax the entire body, but it also has a number of other health benefits. Swedish massage improves blood circulation, increases the level of oxygen in the blood, helps the body removes toxins, improves flexibility, eases tension, and helps with pain management.
This is accomplished by using a variety of techniques, primarily rubbing the muscles with long gliding strokes in the direction of blood returning to the heart. Other techniques the therapist can use include kneading a muscle, cross-fiber friction to break up muscle knots (adhesions), percussion-like tapping, shaking motions and stretching.
Swedish massage (and physical therapy) was first developed in the 1820s by Dr. Per Henrik Ling (1776-1839), a physiologist and fencing master. In the early 19th century he developed a system called “Medical Gymnastics” are borrowed techniques from China, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. These became known as “Swedish movements” in Europe and “the Swedish Movement Cure” when they came to the U.S.
in 1858. Today it is simply known as Swedish massage, the most popular Western massage.
What is Sports Massage?
Sports Massage – Sports massage is designed to enhance athletic performance and recovery. There are three contexts in which sports massage can be useful to an athlete: pre-event, post-event, and injury treatment. It’s more vigorous than a Swedish Massage.
The purpose of sports massage therapy is to help alleviate the stress and tension which builds up in the body’s soft tissues during physical activity. Where minor injuries and lesions occur, due to overexertion and/or overuse, massage can break them down quickly and effectively. Above all, it can help prevent those bothersome injuries that so often get in the way of performance and your athletic goals, whether one is an athlete, or a once a week jogger.
This treatment is not just for the sports person: anyone can benefit from sports massage, including people in physically demanding jobs and those not quite so obvious (occupational, emotional, and postural stress may produce many similar characteristics to sports injuries).
Sports massage tends to be deeper and more intense. It is based on the various elements of Swedish massage and often incorporates a combination of other techniques involving stretching, compression, friction, toning, and trigger point response techniques similar to Acupressure and Shiatsu. A skilled therapist brings together this blend of techniques, knowledge, and advice during treatment, to work effectively with the client to bring about optimum performance and to provide injury-free training, and minimize post-event injuries.
Sports Massage is best administered 1 /1/2 hours before your event or 1 1/2 hours after your event.
What is Deep Tissue Massage and what to expect?
Deep tissue massage is a massage that is designed to get into the connective tissue of the body, rather than just the surface muscles. As a massage therapist when I perform deep tissue I use a variety of techniques to deeply penetrate the muscles and fascia, loosening them and releasing tension. Most clients have a more intense experience with a deep tissue massage, but also feel that it is more beneficial because it addresses deep-seated muscle pains. Deep tissue is beneficial when undertaken on a regular basis so that I can work together with the client to correct long term problems, relax the body, and prevent injury.
To get a truly good deep tissue massage you need to find someone who specializes in deep tissue, like Nicola. Most spas have several massage therapists who can offer a basic deep tissue massage integrating a number of techniques and styles customized for your body for maximum impact. Experiment by trying several deep tissue massage therapists to find the one that is the right fit for you and your body.
One of the defining differences between deep tissue and regular massage is the use of tools. A standard massage usually only involves the hands and lower arms of the therapist. During deep tissue, however, I use elbows and fingers for deep, penetrating work in the muscle. A deep tissue massage also tends to be very slow, and I will use long, flowing strokes to ease in and out of the muscle. Going in too quickly can cause the muscle to tense up, which is not the desired reaction. I also maintain firm pressure at trouble spots for several minutes to achieve muscle release before moving on to the next area of the body.
When you go to get a deep tissue massage, they should talk with the therapist about any issues you might have and like to see addressed during your massage. I am happy to concentrate on a single body part for an entire massage to achieve lasting results and in fact, half of my clients want just that! It is also important to communicate with me about pain; The massage may be intense, but if a client starts to feel pain, he or she should communicate that immediately. I work on a scale of 1 – 10, where 7 is on the edge and 10 is very painful. A lot of my clients take the deep tissue pain or even like the pain in order to get the quickest results for their body type. At the end of the session, lots of water should be consumed to help the body express the toxins released during the massage. You will probably be sore for a few days after the intense deep tissue treatment but that’s normal. Remember that ice is your friend.
Deep tissue massage is designed to relieve severe tension in the muscle and the connective tissue or fascia. This type of massage focuses on the muscles located below the surface of the top muscles. Deep tissue massage is often recommended for individuals who experience consistent pain, are involved in heavy physical activity, such as athletes, and patients who have sustained physical injury. It is also not uncommon for receivers of Deep Tissue Massage to have their pain replaced with a new muscle ache for a day or two. Deep tissue work varies greatly. What one calls deep tissue another will call light. When receiving deep tissue work it is important to communicate what you are feeling.
Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended as diagnosis, treatment, or prescription of any kind. The decision to use, or not to use, any information is the sole responsibility of the reader. These statements are not expressions of legal opinion relative to the scope of practice, medical diagnosis, or medical advice, nor do they represent an endorsement of any product, company, or specific massage therapy technique, modality, or approach. All trademarks, registered trademarks, brand names, registered brand names, logos, and company logos referenced in this post are the property of their owners.