CORE Specialty + Fusion Massage
The CORE Fusion massage program allows an individual to receive therapeutic techniques specific to their needs and likes. New clients at Santa Cruz CORE start with a wellness consult; this will give the practitioner an idea of the level of wellness of the individual and of which techniques will be most effective. Given that our practitioners are highly skilled and certified in multiple types of massage therapy, we are able to offer a fusion of modalities to our clients. Thanks to this, a fusion massage therapy session can maximize both recovery and satisfaction.
Sports Specific Massage: This type of massage greatly benefits athletes and individuals who stay physically active. Constant use of muscles leads to a build up of inflammatory components such as cytokines (inflammatory signals), and neutrophils (microphages – cells that engulf waste products like broken-down muscle protein). Exercise results in tissue microtears which then trigger an inflammatory response for the sake of repair. This inflammation along with other metabolites like build-up of lactic acid from exercise contributes to both acute and delayed muscle soreness. Inflammation and soreness, in turn, limit range of motion which can affect the physical performance of an athlete.
Studies show that while massage therapy may not have a direct effect on inflammatory molecules like cytokines or neutrophils, it does contribute to a reduction in intensity of delayed muscle soreness. This means that an athlete who frequents massage therapy as part of a regimen may regain lost range of motion at a faster rate than one who doesn’t. Faster recovery then translates to more time for practice or other non-athletic activities.
Additionally, uneven muscle contractions could lead to what is known as muscular imbalance. This refers to an uneven pull on a joint by opposing muscles that then contributes to a disruption of body alignment and pain.
Deep Tissue: Deep tissue massage is the best to-go option for tissue-specific ailments. This type of massage involves more targeted manual techniques to find bound-up connective tissue and muscle. Once these areas have been identified, a therapist can work on promoting blood flow to that area, breaking adhesions, and releasing built-up tension. By working on a deeper level of musculature, a massage therapist is able to promote all the benefits of a relaxation massage to those deeper levels. This type of massage therapy can concentrate on areas where an individual holds the most tension and discomfort.
For example, many individuals tend to hold stress in their neck/shoulder area. Knots that form here are a chief contributor to pain in such individuals. Deep tissue massage, therefore can concentrate on treating those muscles at a deeper levels to work on those knots, increase blood flow, and help alleviate discomfort.
Thai-Yoga Massage: Thai massage is unique in a number of ways. It involves techniques similar to those of swedish massage while incorporating passive yoga-like stretches and osteopathic-like low velocity techniques for adjustment (although not as precise as OMT). Techniques of thai massage also involve the use of thumbs, palms, and elbows which add to the experience of many of its ancient techniques.
This type of massage incorporates therapeutic concepts of ancient medical practices like Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This includes the concept of sen, or “lines” that are similar to meridians mentioned in TCM, although not as specific.
Myofascial Release: This type of massage therapy concentrates on the fascia. The fascia is a component of connective tissue found all throughout the body. Fascia surrounds muscles, organs, nerves, blood vessels, bones, and more. Myofascial tissue (muscle fascia) provides structure, protects, and acts as a shock absorber for physical trauma. Myofascial release can help relieve tension on connective tissue surrounding muscles that may be negatively affecting motion, muscle function, or causing pain.
Reflexology Massage: Massages in reflexology involve the stimulation of specific regions on the hands and feet. These reflex areas or zones reflect other aspects of the body such as organs and body systems. The theory behind reflexology massage techniques is to stimulate nerve pathways on hands and feet that will have a positive effect on an individual’s health. Massage techniques of this kind differ from those of swedish massage as there is great concentration on hands and feet. Techniques involve the application of pressure on specific reflexology regions which are generally relaxing but can get a little rough depending on pressure intensity.
Hot Stone Massage: As the name entails, hot stone massages involve the use of hot stones of varying sizes to gently massage and exfoliate upper layers of tissue and musculature. Massage techniques from traditional swedish massage like gliding motions, vibrations and kneading combined with hot stones can help with circulation and muscle tension release.
The heat radiating off the stones adds an extra therapeutic and relaxing quality to hot stone techniques that is very useful for relaxing tense muscles. Using the hot stones to massage muscles allows for the therapist to reach deeper levels of tissue with heat and gliding motions. Stones can be placed and used on the back, front, palms, and leg areas as well as in-between toes. The temperature of the hot stones can be controlled for the client’s comfort so that the massage session remains therapeutic and relaxing.
Prenatal Massage: A prenatal massage is a massage that is administered during gestation, before giving birth. This type of massage can be very beneficial to the emotional health of the mother as well as help with pregnancy-associated discomforts. During pregnancy, there is a shift in gravitational pull that affects the lumbar spine; this, along with the extra weight, contributes to pain and discomfort of the lower back.
Additionally, there is a relaxation of pelvic muscles that allows the pelvis to open up more than usual to support the extra weight and shift of internal organs. This may also lead to discomfort. A prenatal massage can help in both of these areas, by helping release muscle tension and stress. Massage therapy during pregnancy can contribute to lower levels of stress, better sleep, and decreased anxiety. The reduction in stress during pregnancy may also help prevent or lessen the symptoms of postpartum depression, which is a common for the perinatal period (after birth).