What is Craniosacral Therapy?
Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle hands-on therapy that focuses on the body’s inherent wisdom in order to direct healing. The practitioner “listens” to the craniosacral rhythm at various places on the client’s body in order “tune in” and discover the best way to affect positive change at any given time during a treatment.
The craniosacral rhythm is the pulse or flow of cerebrospinal fluid through the meninges of the spinal cord. This rhythmic pressure, is separate from the cardiovascular pulse and the flow of breath and can be detected quite clearly by the practitioner. It’s this rhythm that directs the session, dictating which cranial, sacral or other bones may need attention in order to release tension and allow the free flow of energy and/or cerebrospinal fluid.
Clients are fully clothed and begin supine (face up) on the treatment table while the practitioner conducts the session. Treatments are conducted in increments of 60 and 90 minutes.
The Dr. Vodder Method of Manual Lymph Drainage and Combined Decongestive Therapy
Manual Lymph Drainage is an advanced therapy technique developed in Europe by Dr. Emil and Estrid Vodder. In 1832, Dr. Vodder and his wife were working as masseurs on the French Riviera. Most of their patients were vacationing English who were there to recover form chronic colds. All had swollen lymph nodes. At that time, the lymphatic system was taboo for masseurs, as well as, for physicians. Dr. Vodder broke the taboo and treated the swollen lymph nodes intuitively and successfully; the result: the colds vanished. He went on to develop MLD.
MLD is recognized as the number one therapy for treating and maintaining primary and secondary lymphoedema. Additionally, it has been used in the treatment of over sixty lesser pathologies.
It is effective in the treatment of acute and chronic edema (i.e., lymphoedema, edemas following strokes and local edemas of traumatic origin such as dislocations, tears and fractures), neuromuscular disorders and fascial dysfunction, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, scleroderma, burns, scar therapy, acne, local chronic inflammation in the respiratory tract (including sinusitis and allergies), periodontal disease, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, migraine, circulatory disturbances and digestive tract disorders.
MLD is a potent adjunct in cleansing the body’s tissues of metabolic wastes, excess water, bacteria, large protein molecules and toxins; this includes long term use medications, anesthesia in post surgery recovery, and harmful or poisonous substances that have entered the body through exposure or ingestion.
Scientific studies have proven that the immune system is supported and even boosted as a result of receiving regular MLD treatments. A sluggish lymphatic system increases the chance of chronic illness and disease.
MLD is very effective in countering the body’s natural inflammatory response following soft tissue trauma. These include sprains, fractures, orthopaedic surgeries and replacements, and orthodontal surgery. As a basic rule, the less swelling that occurs, the less bruising and pain will subsequently follow. If received in a timely manner, MLD can dramatically shorten the route to recovery.
Lymph drainage is gentle, rhythmical, and soothes the nervous system.
We invite you to treat yourself to seasonal MLD treatments as a way of exercising your immune system.
The Trager Approach is movement re-education. Dr. Milton Trager (1908-1997) developed this unique approach to freeing the body of tension by way of gentle and non-intrusive movement.
In the passive form of movement, the receiver is moved through their pain-free range of motion while lying on a padded table, while seated, or while standing. Originating from a place of calm and deep presence, your practitioner uses touch to communicate a sense of ease, by rocking, swinging, vibrating, shaking, lengthening and pressing. As the receiver identifies new felt positive sensations associated with a freer structure, they are consciously able to ‘let go’ of deep-seated tension. The experience of receiving a Trager session is gently penetrating and profoundly relaxing.
“Part of the process of healing the nervous system is to establish an environment where it is all right to let down and be supported without the process of alertness for survival.” -Bodystories.
Active movement in the Trager Approach was named ‘Mentastics,’ a word Milton coined from mental and gymnastics. These free- form self-care movements are practiced as a way of anchoring and recalling the feeling experience from the Trager table work. This simple and delightful explorative practice to finding lightness and ease in one’s body is what makes The Trager Approach effective, empowering, and long lasting.
Every time you surrender yourself to a feeling of calm and peace, the more at ease you will be in coping with day to day challenges.
Roger Hughes, Trager Approach Practitioner, shares the belief that muscles which are forced to release by means of an overpowering method is, instead, a means of feeding the pre-existing pattern of tension, stiffness and/or pain. There may result a short-term relief, but the underlying pattern remains unchanged and buried in the unconscious mind.
The Trager Approach tames soft tissue resistance to soften and shift into a pattern of movement that is freer and more authentic.
What Is Thai Bodywork?
Thai Bodywork is based on the ancient form of Thai Healing Arts. Like other forms of Asian massage, it focuses on removing stagnation in the body. Stagnation leads to pain, stiffness or immobility. Thai Bodywork treats stagnation by opening up lines of energy in the body called “Sen Lines”, which are roughly congruent to the Chinese TCM meridian system.
What Are The Sessions Like?
Thai Bodywork is sometimes described as “lazy man’s yoga.” This unique therapy resembles a sort of a dance between the therapist and client. Thai Bodywork is traditionally done on the floor with the client fully clothed, receiving work in supine, prone, sidelying or seated positions. The therapist treats different parts of the body using palms, arms, feet, elbows and knees. The client is taken through a series of different “asanas” or yoga like stretches.
What Can Thai Bodywork Treat?
Thai Bodywork can treat any musculoskeletal problem. Like Tui Na, it is used to treat muscle/joint pain, stiffness and immobility. Since it involves more intense stretches, Thai Bodywork can help increase flexibility in the body. Thai Bodywork is a great therapy for any athlete since it helps to keep the body limber and helps to prevent fatigue and injury.
Structural Therapy is a ten-session program designed to create freedom from bodily restrictions within the gravitational field. During the ten sessions, your practitioner will seek to create length and span not only within regions of the body, but throughout the whole, relieving restrictions and working with you to realize patterns that inhibit freedom and efficiency of movement. Spot treatments are available to those who have already undergone similar therapies. Please inquire for more information
Pressure is applied to acu-points located along the body’s energy channels using the fingers, thumbs, palms, elbows, knees and feet. This Japanese-style massage improves circulation, releases toxins and tension from the muscles and acts on the autonomic nervous system to achieve relaxation.
What is Reiki?
Reiki is an energy healing technique developed in Japan by Dr. Mikao Usui in the late 19th Century. It has been practiced in the U.S. since the 1930s, and has become a popular healing modality because of its easy, instant ability to relieve stress and induce deep relaxation.
The word “Reiki” combines two Japanese words, “rei” which means “life force” or “universal energy,” and “ki,” which means “personal energy.” It is the word Dr. Usui coined to explain this safe, simple technique. A Reiki treatment allows the recipient to absorb more universal energy to boost their own personal vitality, thus relieving stress, improving their physical health and energy, and creating greater balance in body, mind and soul.
How Can It Help Me?
Reiki is an excellent way for healthy individuals to manage stress on a regular basis. Because it is so deeply relaxing, Reiki allows the body to restore itself naturally, enhancing a sense of well-being and new vitality. Unlike other personal practices that reduce stress, such as meditation or tai chi, Reiki requires no efforting process or dedicated focus. The individual simply receives, relaxes and feels refreshed.
For those with health challenges, Reiki is an excellent support to other healthcare practices, including surgery, medications, chemotherapy and psychotherapy. Extensive, peer-reviewed research shows that Reiki boosts the immune system, relieves pain, and dramatically accelerates healing, which is why Reiki is now used in so many hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and integrative medical centers around the world. Reiki can strengthen the benefits received from all other health interventions.
What Happens During A Reiki Treatment?
A typical Reiki treatment lasts about 60 minutes. The recipient lies fully clothed on a massage table while the practitioner places their hands in a series of positions along the front and the back of the body, placements that are aligned with the chakras as well as the endocrine system. Unlike massage, there is no muscle manipulation; the practitioner simply lays their hands gently on the body. Treatments can also be given while the recipient is seated or standing.
The recipient’s breathing becomes slower and more comfortable as he or she moves toward a deeper state of relaxation. Recipients may feel a variety of gentle sensations during a Reiki treatment, particularly a sense of warmth from the Reiki practitioner’s hands. Those who are more sensitive to energy may feel a soft wave of subtle pulsations flowing through their bodies. Some have emotional releases during a treatment, especially if they are experiencing emotional challenges at the time. Many people become so relaxed they fall asleep during the treatment. After a treatment, they generally feel a sense of peace and contentment, greater mental clarity, relief from pain they may have been having, and a refreshing sense of relaxation.
Acupuncture treatments seek to balance energy along specific pathways in the body to maintain or restore harmony in the body’s systems.
Your treatments begin with a short intake during which your practitioner will listen to your issues and go over your intake forms and make an assessment about what needs to be balanced based on the information you give. Every effort will be made to make you comfortable while the needles are working their magic. Everyone is different and treatments may vary depending on the day and person. Sometimes, you’ll have 10 needles in, sometimes 25, maybe more. Our job is to do what it takes to bring your body and energy back into balance. You may feel some needles more strongly than others, and that’s okay. Remember, we’re working with energy and sometimes, in order to tonify and balance, energy needs to be encouraged to “move along” rather than remain stagnant.
Stagnation is the root cause of disease in traditional Chinese medicine, and every effort is taken to eliminate it. Our goal for your is the free flow of energy along your energy pathways (meridians) so you can enjoy harmony and perfect health.
Sometimes accessory treatments may be necessary – cupping or gua sha – in order to relieve stagnation or to aid the flow of energy. Your practitioner will discuss these options with you as well.
Acupuncture treatments should be more frequent during times of acute discomfort so we can manage the issue and restore harmony to the body’s systemic flow. During times of relative health, acupuncture is best used to maintain good flow of energy on a regular basis. Talk to your practitioner and you can decide what suits your needs best.
Cupping is a type of therapy that uses small glass cups which are suctioned onto the skin for a few minutes at a time. This therapy is used to eliminate toxins, invigorate qi, and relax the muscles. It is most often used for muscular pain/tightness, but can also be used for anything from digestive disorders to allergies. If it is necessary, practitioners at Shen Shen Health & Harmony may use this therapy during an acupuncture session.
Asking: A TCM practitioner wants to know about every symptom you feel. Sometimes this is a difficult task for patients who are used to seeing allopathic practitioners that do not require or ask for the same information. There is no such thing as an insignificant symptom or problem in TCM. Your TCM practitioner may ask you whether you have a tendency to feel hot or cold, whether you tend to have a certain taste in your mouth, about the quality of your sleep and digestion, whether you have a tendency toward a certain emotional state (e.g. sadness, depression, anxiety), and whether you have any pain or swelling. Remember that TCM and allopathic medicine have different ideas about what is normal. In allopathic medicine, it is considered within normal limits for a woman to have strong menstrual cramps for two days during her period. In TCM, this is a significant symptom that offers the practitioner important information. Therefore, it is important to tell your TCM practitioner all the symptoms and complaints you have. Every single sign you think is abnormal offers your practitioner valuable information.
Looking: A TCM practitioner can tell many things about a person simply by looking. A TCM practitioner observes:
Mental Energy (Shen): By noting complexion, eyes, state of mind, responses and speech
Body: Including general body shape (that which we’re born with), long-term constitutional changes (weight and shape, e.g. heavy or thin), and short term changes (e.g. skin tone changes)
Face, Eyes, Nose, Ears, Mouth, Lips, Skin, Hair, Teeth and Gums: The surface of the body offers information about inner health. For instance, a pale and lusterless puffy face, red eyes, dark purple lips, or dry hair all provide information. While ethnic and racial diversity means that people will have different characteristics and features, the TCM practitioner looks for what transcends the range of normal. It is best to avoid wearing makeup when visiting a TCM practitioner.
Tongue: An extremely important aspect of TCM diagnosis, tongue observation offers the TCM practitioner vital information. The TCM practitioner observes the color, shape, and coating of the tongue in order to learn about the patient’s overall condition as well as information about digestion, circulation, general energy and more. It is best to avoid consuming anything other that water one half-hour before your visit with a TCM practitioner. Also, please do not scrape or brush your tongue before visiting.
Hearing and Smelling: The quality of the patient’s voice, the sound of a cough and breathing can offer the TCM practitioner clues. Likewise, body smells, such as breath smells, also provide information. It is best to refrain from using perfumes or colognes when visiting a TCM practitioner.
Pulse: Perhaps the most difficult method of diagnosis in TCM, pulse diagnosis provides the practitioner with key information. Whereas, in allopathic medicine the pulse may be taken to identify its rate and regularity, in TCM, there are 28 different qualities that may describe a pulse. Also the pulse is taken at three different positions in both wrists and at three different levels (superficial, middle, and deep). The right side offers different information from the left and the six different positions and three different levels correspond to various areas of the body. Pulse diagnosis is an extremely intricate method of diagnosis.
After the herbalist has a thorough picture of your health, he or she will recommend an individualized herbal program for you to follow. Traditionally, herbs have been administered in a number of different forms. They have been boiled in water and taken as tea, made into pills, tinctures, powders, and as topical plasters. Today, herbal companies have developed other forms (capsules, tablets, granular teas) that are more convenient and palatable. Along with an herbal program the TCM practitioner may recommend acupuncture.
Fewer Side Effects: Chinese herbal treatments are taken in a natural and whole food form. For example, teas are decocted from whole roots, stems, and leaves, and capsules are filled with crushed whole food material. Chemical medicines are made by locating active chemical compounds and creating medicines from these compounds. When reduced to its chemical fundamentals, pharmaceuticals can have side effects. When used appropriately, most Chinese herbal treatments will cause no side effects, as long as they are used in their whole food form. Research in China has shown that when reduced to their active chemical compounds, Chinese herbal treatments will cause side effects. This is one reason why TCM practitioners continue to use whole food forms of treatments. Because TCM treatments have not been reduced to their active compounds, they must be consumed in larger quantities and more frequently than most chemical pharmaceuticals.
WHAT IS TUI NA?
Tui Na is an ancient form of massage based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory. From a TCM perspective, pain or disease occurs when there is disharmony in the body. Disharmony occurs when yin/yang energies in the body become imbalanced or when qi (energy) stagnates. Improper diet, lifestyle, overuse, injury or trauma can all lead to disharmony. Tui Na, like acupuncture focuses on correcting these disharmonies. It utilizes various massage techniques and passive movements to bring about positive changes in the body.
WHAT ARE THE SESSSIONS LIKE?
Tui Na techniques are often described as “vigorous and moving”. Although many clients report to be fully relaxed during a session, it is more like a sports massage than a circulatory massage. During a session, a client may be fully clothed on a massage table or sitting in a chair. Techniques can also be done using various types of Chinese oils with the client unclothed and draped with sheets.
WHAT CAN TUI NA TREAT?
Tui Na prevents and treats external and internal disease.
It is commonly used to treat muscle/joint pain, stiffness and immobility. It can also be used to treat internal problems such as digestive, menstrual and respiratory disorders. Tui Na helps to promote blood circulation, alleviate pain, relax muscles, soften swellings, improve joint mobility, and improve immunity and well-being.