Here is the simple and short answer:
If you want Deep Tissue, which is what 70% of my clients ask for, then I do Deep Tissue. Yes, I can go deep, IF that’s what you want.
No one has complained about pressure that is too light or too deep in 30 years during a regular Deep Tissue massage.
If someone wants a Relaxation Style massage, I do Lomilomi Massage and Swedish Massage, usually with gentle (medium to light) pressure, depending on what each person wants. Craniosacral can also be added in, and perhaps a bit of Reiki which are both very relaxing. I am trained and certified in all of these techniques.
My focus has always been on giving a massage which is therapeutic, no matter what style of massage a person wants. It comes naturally to me to always be sensing and feeling for areas which the massage can help unwind, stretch out, lengthen, or soften in order to eliminate pain and restore function.
Want the long answer about what type of massage I do?
For those who want more detailed information, let me explain the style of Deep Tissue I do. Also, some background on where and with whom I trained when learning advanced Deep Tissue massage techniques.
What method of Deep Tissue do I do?
In my first year of massage school, I originally studied Deep Tissue with a teacher who was a Certified Advanced Rolfer. She had done the Two Year Rolfing training in Colorado and then came back to Maui to practice.
For those not familiar with Rolfing, it was created by the legendary Ida Rolf. She originally gave the name Structural Integration to her style of bodywork. Later, she found that so many people were claiming that they were certified in her Structural Integration work that she had to change the name to one that protected her intellectual property better. Thus, she called it Rolfing.
I do Deep Tissue in the Style of a Rolfer,
as I feel it gives you the best results.
(I have been trained by several Rolfers, but I am not a certified Rolfer.)
I am always the first to say I am not a certified Rolfer. I don’t do Rolfing, which is usually a 10-session recipe of bodywork techniques developed by Ms. Rolf and her school. Contrary to the old reputation Rolfers had way back in the 70s and 80s, I NEVER use pressure that goes beyond someone’s desired pressure or tolerance.
The whole approach towards bodywork created and developed by Ida Rolf, using a pressure ideal for the client, makes perfect sense to me. Of course, I also see and feel the body as a whole – energetically and emotionally complex – but to understand and be able to make beneficial changes to the body’s structural aspects is huge and super effective.
So, for someone who wants to know more about my style as a massage therapist, I tell that person I generally do deep tissue work in the style of Rolfing. I focus on lengthening tissue that has shortened and is pulling the body out of its proper alignment and into pain.
Like a Rolfer is trained, I work with the unhealthy relationships with gravity (bad posture) or with shortened tissue – muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia – which pulls joints out of alignment or forces tissue to compress nerves. All of these scenarios bring the body into pain, and once corrected, will help to lessen or eliminate pain.
Lomilomi is a Hawaiian-style massage that is perfect for soothing areas after working deeply.
“Lomilomi is an ancient Hawaiian restorative healing system,
one component of which is the art of compassionate touch.”
Lomilomi can be a style of massage that is firm or gentle – like the graceful swaying of palm trees or of a hula dancer. It is a little bit similar to Swedish in that it can be relaxing but Lomilomi is not so mechanical. The massage is done using the soft parts of the forearms and the open palms in long, wide, flowing strokes.
Lomilomi also brings in a lot of heart energy, which is one of the core elements of Lomi. It helps create a soft, caring environment. I can feel the love of the land, the sea, the sky, and the elders, circulating in the room. The spirit of Aloha is the environment I like to work in.
I utilize a combination of many techniques I have found effective over the years,
the techniques which give clients the best, most consistent results
Shiatsu, Thai table stretches, and Myofascial Somatics, to name a few.
These last modalities are great treatments, all on their own. I have used and appreciated them as stand-alone treatments for an entire massage and now incorporate them, as needed, during Deep Tissue or Relaxation massages.
I have learned and spontaneously created some Deep Tissue techniques while trying to address many of my client’s concerns. I continue to use the ones I have found to be the most effective at getting someone out of pain.
I frequently draw from my quiver of top techniques and strategies.
Craniosacral is a unique modality; it is super subtle yet can give amazing results for some clients. The therapist tunes into the feeling of the cerebral-spinal fluid pulsing in the skull, the spine, the feet, the hips, etc.
The practitioner really needs to listen deeply with their hands to feel and sense these subtle motions and movements. Deep listening is also needed to be able to gently encourage the craniosacral rhythms into healthy directions.
Sometimes it seems just magical.
It was from this modality of craniosacral bodywork that the name, Listening Hands Massage, came from when I stopped working at the Four Seasons Maui to focus on my private practice 15 years ago.
I am a person who is part structure-oriented, part intuitive, and mostly heart-centered. I find the whole practice of massage therapy very enjoyable and rewarding. I love the interaction, the connection, and sometimes the feedback from people who tell me how much better they are feeling.
Sometimes, I am amazed at the painful areas and conditions which respond so well and so quickly to massage. I am also encouraged by how many doctors, M.D.s, Chiropractors, Naturopaths, etc., now prescribe and recommend massage as a front-line treatment for many physical issues! Even for some types of depression and emotional issues.
I hope to see you soon at Listening Hands Massage for a wonderful treatment!