I completed my 900-hour, 11-month advanced massage therapy course through CNI College and wanted to take a moment to rave about the school and their staff. I thought I knew everything there was to know about providing professional massage to my clients, but this extensive massage course really impressed (and challenged) me. I learned so much about anatomy, business practices, industry trends, professionalism and ethics. It not only drilled the basics (Swedish, Deep-Tissue, Sports and Chair) but also taught spa services such as hot stone, aromatherapy, body scrubs and mud treatments as well as more specialized modalities such as Trigger-Point, Infant Massage, Reflexology, Pregnancy Massage, Shiatsu, and Elderly Massage.
I recommend CNI College here in Orange County, CA to anyone looking to become a well-trained massage professional. Check out the school’s website here
Deep tissue is a form of Swedish massage, but the movement is slower and the pressure is deeper and concentrated on areas of tension and pain in order to reach the sub-layer of muscles and the fascia. The massage therapist uses their fingertips, knuckles, elbows and even tools and stones to physically break down adhesions (known as “knots”) to relieve pain and restore normal range of motion.
At certain points during the massage, most people experience some discomfort and pain during deep tissue work and it is important to tell the massage therapist when things hurt and if any soreness or pain you experience is outside your comfort range. There is often some stiffness or pain after a deep tissue massage, but it should subside within a day or so.
The client is generally nude during a Swedish massage and the therapist only uncovers the part of the body being worked on at that time, a technique called draping. Your comfort is the most important part of the massage, so you are welcome to wear undergarments or even shorts if you prefer not to be nude. Continue reading
Swedish technique is the most basic of Western massage modalities and what most massage clients experience in a spa. Swedish is a relaxing, full-body massage in which your therapist uses their hands and forearms to provide long, soothing effleurage (French word meaning “to glide”) strokes to relax and warm the superficial layers of your muscles and fascia.
The client is generally nude during a Swedish massage and the therapist only uncovers the part of the body being worked on at that time, a technique called draping. Your comfort is the most important part of the massage, so you are welcome to wear undergarments or even shorts if you prefer not to be nude.
A common misconception is that Swedish has to be a light touch and that it will not help relieve tension or knots, but a surprisingly deep pressure can be applied during these gliding strokes for those preferring deeper work.
While Swedish tends to be the starting point for deeper massage work such as Trigger-Point therapy and Deep-Tissue Massage, a full session of Swedish massage is an amazing way to relax your body as well as your mind.
Thank you for allowing me to share your journey towards total wellness.
Enzo (about Enzo)
I wrote a research paper on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) for massage school and am posting an abbreviated version of my findings.
CTS is a progressive peripheral entrapment of the median nerve by the transverse carpal ligament, causing sharp, shocking pain and/or numbing. Common symptoms include:
- Tingling or numbness in the thumb, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and occasionally the 4th finger.
- Pain radiating or extending from the wrist up the arm to the shoulder or down into the palm or fingers, especially after forceful or repetitive use.
- A sense of weakness in the hands and a tendency to drop objects.
- It is often difficult to identify a single cause of CTS. The Mayo Clinic (2011) reported that a combination of risk factors generally appear to contribute to the development of the condition. While these factors alone do not cause carpal tunnel syndrome, they may increase the chances of developing or aggravating the condition. These factors include:
- Anatomic factors. Wrist fracture or dislocation can alter the space within the carpal tunnel and create pressure on the median nerve. Also, it is more common in women, possibly because the carpal tunnel area is relatively smaller than in men.
- Nerve-damaging conditions. Certain chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and alcoholism, increase the risk of nerve damage, including damage to the median nerve.
- Inflammatory conditions. Illnesses that are characterized by inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis or an infection, can affect the tendons in the wrist and create pressure on the median nerve.
- Alterations in the balance of body fluids. Certain conditions such as pregnancy, menopause, obesity, thyroid disorders and kidney failure can affect the level of fluids in the body. Fluid retention may increase pressure within the carpal tunnel, irritating the median nerve.
- Workplace factors. Working with vibrating tools or in an assembly-line type of setting which requires prolonged or repetitive flexing of the wrist may create harmful pressure on the median nerve, or worsen existing nerve damage. The Department of Rehabilitation Staff from The Brigham & Women’s Hospital (Brigham & Women’s Hospital, 2007) points out that scientific evidence is conflicting and that workplace factors haven’t been established as direct causes of CTS. There is little evidence to support extensive computer use as a risk factor for carpal tunnel syndrome, although it may cause a different form of hand pain.