"Karen is highly skilled with a wide variety of techniques. She is also extremely intuitive in listening to the subtle messages of the body. Always professional, present, and warm, Karen demonstrates the easeful confidence that comes from years of mastery."
Swedish Massage Therapy
One of the primary goals of Swedish massage is to relax the entire body. It is exceptionally beneficial for increasing the level of oxygen in the blood, decreasing muscle toxins, elevating the nervous system, improving circulation and flexibility while easing tension.
A study conducted by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and published in The New York Times, found that volunteers who received a 45-minute Swedish massage experienced significant decreases in levels of the stress hormone cortisol, as well as arginine vasopressin-a hormone that can lead to increases in cortisol. Volunteers also had increases in the number of lymphocytes, white blood cells that are part of the immune system, and a boost in the immune cells that may help fight colds and the flu.
Deep Tissue Massage Therapy
Deep tissue massage is beneficial in releasing chronic muscle tension. The focus is on the deepest layers of muscle tissue, tendons and fascia (the protective layer surrounding muscles, bones and joints). In this fast paced world we tend to find our muscles tense due to high levels of stress. Deep Tissue massage allows the muscles to let go of the stress that accumulates in the muscle fiber, thereby minimizing chronic pain and even decreasing the "stress' response.
A study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that people's blood pressure fell after a single 45 to 60 minute deep tissue massage. Additionally, a 2010 meta-analysis in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that massage modalities like deep tissue reduce stress hormone levels and heart rate, while boosting mood and relaxation by triggering the release of oxytocin and serotonin.
It is one of my greatest joys to work with expecting women. Massage is a valuable self-care choice to incorporate into the gestational months for you and your baby. I have worked with many pregnant women and have had two children myself. My pregnancy months were very special to me, and I love to facilitate joy and comfort during this special time for mothers and their babies.
I take extra care to ensure your pregnancy massage will be a comfortable one. Sideline positioning with supportive, soft cushions is used to alleviate the extra strain on the lower back and pelvic areas when the pressure of massage techniques are applied. Extra strain in these areas can cause unnecessary back or abdominal pain, so I make sure to alleviate any potential discomfort. Through the second trimester, you may prefer to lie on your back with a small, cushioned wedge placed under one hip to provide a slight elevation.
Massage Therapy during pregnancy is a wonderful complementary choice for prenatal care. It is a healthy way to reduce stress and promote overall wellness, reduce anxiety related to pregnancy, and bathe baby and mom in a sweet array of healthy hormones. Massage relieves many of the normal discomforts experienced during pregnancy; such as backaches, stiff neck, leg cramps, headaches and edema (or swelling). Massage for pregnant women reduces stress on weight-bearing joints, encourages blood and lymph circulation, and helps to relax nervous tension -- which aids in better sleep.
Senior Massage Therapy
I work with many clients that are in their seventies and eighties. Many of my senior clients incorporate massage therapy as an ongoing health choice that relieves, or lessens, many of the health issues related to aging. Their chronic pain is less, they get sick less, their agility to is enhanced, and overall their mood is greatly elevated. . Massage helps enhance blood circulation, combat depression, improve balance and flexibility, reduce the pain of arthritis, increase joint mobility, improve posture, and encourage overall well-being, mood, and mental functioning.
Senior massage can be especially helpful for maintaining and improving overall health as we age. It also has been shown to relieve anxiety and provide comfort, especially to touch-deprived elderly clients.
Hot Stone Massage Therapy
Hot stone massage therapy melts away tension, eases muscle stiffness and increases circulation and metabolism. The premise behind hot stone massage therapy is that the direct heat of the stones relaxes muscles, allowing me, as your therapist, to access to the deeper muscle layers. I typically combine hot stone therapy with a full body massage, which provides a very healing and effective experience that enhanced the overall therapeutic benefits of the massage. The hot stones also expand blood vessels, which encourages blood flow throughout the body. The hot stones have a sedative effect that can relieve chronic pain, reduce stress and promote deep relaxation. I will often hear a palpable sigh when I use hot stones on my clients. The calming and nurturing effect the stones have on the body is an added boon to allowing my clients to deeply relax.
Sports Massage Therapy
Sports massage therapy is geared toward athletes of every kind, from world-class professionals to weekend hikers. Living in the "Endurance Capital of The World" means we are a community that loves to take advantage of our beautiful surroundings through various athletic pursuits. As a sport enthusiasts, it is important to take the time to rehabilitate the musculo-skeletal system that is working hard to pursue these passions. The particulars of the sports massage technique are specific to the athlete's sport of choice. In a sports therapy massage the focus is on areas of the body that are functioning at particularly high levels.
Sports massage therapy is a useful components in a balanced training regimen. Sports massage therapy can be used as a means to enhance pre-event preparation and reduce recovery time for maximum performance during training or after an event. Athletes have discovered that specially designed sports massage promotes flexibility, reduces fatigue, improves endurance, helps prevent injuries and prepares their body and mind for optimal performance. It is very satisfying to help my athletic clients continue their recreational passions with peak performance.
Shiatsu is a form of massage that originated in Japan. The theory behind shiatsu is that our bodies are made up of energy, called, qi, When this energy gets blocked, the body does not function as optimally and stress and disease can follow suit. Shiatsu massage helps remove the blockages by clearing the meridian points, which balances the qi and eases the body and mind. When one balances qi, or vital energy, healing occurs in the body.
These are the same meridians that are used for needling in traditional acupuncture. Shiatsu means “finger pressure,” which describes the technique. In a shiatsu therapy session, I use appropriate pressure on specific acupressure points along these meridians. The effect has a boon of health benefits for the entire emotional and physical body.
Orthobionomy is an osteopathically based form of medicine. This pain free technique is highly effective in working with chronic stress, injuries, and pain associated with postural and structural imbalances. Orthobionomy reduces muscle tension, soothes the joints, increases flexibility, improves circulation, and relaxes the entire body. When there is injury, the body creates its own splint, tightening the area. When practicing orthobionomy, I gently move and hold the joint, or the affected area, in the same direction as the muscles are already pulling. As a result, the muscles naturally begin to relax. The body understands it is no longer necessary to hold this stressed position. The technique allows the body to self-align, taking advantage of out natural inherent healing process.
Aromatherapy uses essential oils for the purpose of altering one's mood, cognitive, psychological or physical well-being. In my bodywork sessions I incorporate high quality essential oils blends as part of the therapeutic enhancement of your session.
Essential oils are concentrated extracts taken from the roots, leaves, seeds, or blossoms of plants. Each contains its own mix of active ingredients, and this mix determines what the oil is used for. Some oils are used to promote physical healing- for example, to treat swelling or fungal infections. Others are used for their emotional value - they may enhance relaxation or make a room smell pleasant. several essential oils (including lavender, rose, orange, bergamot, lemon, sandalwood, and others) have been shown to relieve anxiety, stress, and depression.