Integrative Bodywork and Massage
Bodywork is the art of working through the medium of the physical tissues of the body to promote health and wellness. Working with the body’s muscles, nerves and pressure points, these therapies can relieve physical patterns of pain, free the body's flow of energy, improve function, enhance circulation, promote tissue repair and literally help get one’s life unstuck. Integrative bodywork is a blending of different styles of bodywork and may include contemporary Western massage/Swedish massage, neuromuscular therapy, shiatsu, craniosacral therapy and yoga therapy.
Our practitioners are specially trained in energy work to treat deeper emotional issues that may contribute to physical pain. Many people find that regular bodywork can help with stress reduction and promote a more balanced life.
At NorthShore, we offer a number of bodywork therapies, including:
Contemporary Western Massage/Relaxation Massage/Swedish Massage
These massage techniques are what many people think of when they think of massage. The practitioner addresses the whole body using long, gliding strokes with oil, or applying gentle kneading and compression techniques while you are fully clothed. The goal is to trigger the relaxation response and nurture the comfort of the moment by way of the interaction between the skin and the central nervous system.
Neuromuscular therapy (NMT) focuses on identifying muscles and other soft tissue that are contributing to pain and dysfunction, and then intervening in these tissues to allow them to return to a normal, healthy state. NMT is often guided by an assessment of the imbalances in body alignment. This approach is sometimes called trigger point therapy, or deep tissue, although our practitioners will never use more pressure or depth than is necessary to identify and move the body toward healing.
Touch seems to be as essential as sunlight.
Integrative Bodywork Rooted in Energy Medicine
Energy medicine is based on the concept that human beings are infused with a subtle form of energy. Living tissue has movement and purpose—an energy we recognize as “aliveness,” which is analogous to electricity. This vital energy or life force is known as “Qi” in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), “Ki” in Japanese shiatsu, “Prana” in Ayurvedic medicine and “primary respiration” in craniosacral therapy.
Therapies that cultivate and manipulate this vital energy, include:
- Dietary practices
- Healing touch
- Intercessory prayer
- Therapeutic massage
Energy medicine has been in existence for thousands of years and accessed through these therapies in many different cultures all over the world.
At NorthShore, the Energy medicine modalities we use include shiatsu and craniosacral therapy.
Shiatsu literally means finger-pressure and is a form of bodywork that combines acupressure (gentle compression on acupressure points), passive stretching, joint rotation and abdominal massage. These techniques stimulate the body's own natural healing response and increase the flow of energy, bringing the body into balance and optimal health. A form of Japanese therapeutic bodywork, Shiatsu comes from a 2,000-year-old tradition in Chinese healing arts, philosophies and practices that view the individual as a whole. Shiatsu is performed with the receiver fully clothed. A form of deeply centering touch, shiatsu provides an energy-balancing experience.
Craniosacral therapy involves the therapist taking a gentle, hands-on approach to helping you move toward balance and homeostasis. This form of bodywork can release tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole-body health and performance.
Yoga therapy uses yoga postures, breathing exercises, meditations and systematic relaxation to bring balance and freedom to the body. During a yoga therapy treatment, one learns techniques to take the body out of the “fight or flight” response and how to induce a deep relaxation response within one’s own body. Gentle stretches and postures to increase range of motion in the joints, better spinal alignment and greater freedom throughout the body may occur as a result of regular yoga therapy.
Integrative Bodywork and Massage Specialists
For More Information
For more information or to make an appointment, contact the Park Center Patient Clinic at 847.657.3540.