Safety is a key component of restorative touch, so I tend to check in a fair bit especially in the first few massage sessions with a new client, and so too with traveling or one time patrons. I offer clothed and draped massage options, short and long sessions, table and chair work, and I only use the amount of emolient I actually need to get the job done. Anticipate verbal communication, assessment, palpation, twisting, stretching, compressions, rocking, and vibration as core elements of most manual sessions, along with:
- Intraoral massage (a gloved modality focusing on the muscles of the jaw and mouth treating headaches, tension, and TMJ disorders)
- Passive and/or active mobilization (passive gymnastics, moving your limbs around the edge of their range)
- Neuromuscular Technique (using specific continuous pressure on a sore spot to allow release)
- Muscle Energy techniques (using active resistance to trick stuff into relaxing.
- Swedish Deep Tissue (long strokes with forearms and elbows, frictions, pin and stretch)
I also integrate fundamentals of Thai massage (getting on the table, standing on you, stretching using my feet to leverage), Trager (which is a rocking flopping trancy sort of shakey thing), Sports Massage (vigorous picky-uppy thumpy stuff, really good before/after a marathon!), and Lomi Lomi (long, smooth, relaxing strokes along extended planes of the body) into some of my more creative manual work.
Thomas Hanna defined somatics as "...the field of study dealing with somatic phenomena, i.e., the human being as experienced by themself from the inside." He defined soma as the body experienced from within. You alone, as a soma, are capable of the perception of your sense of what it feels like to inhabit yourself.
Karen Clay's Somatic Unwinding® combines simple, often unfamiliar actions with a level of subtle awareness rarely utilized in our everyday lives. These movements, done clothed while laying down, are meant to be easeful, comfortable, and performed very, very slowly. Vocally, I guide you through a physically meditative exploration, with focus of your perception on the subtle senses of your movement itself.
This modality acts as a very effective method of helping us to investigate what would do well receiving further manual attention during your session, as well as standing powerfully on its own, often as some of my favorite 'homework' to suggest to repeating clients. As reiteration and ease lull your neurology, your deepened sensory awareness allows for the possibility of a softer way of being, and a gateway to understanding more deeply how you've come to be the way you are.