If you look around for a massage you will find a lot of terminology describing different massage styles and services. The problem is you probably aren't aware of the actual differences in the treatments, after all you're not the licensed therapist. You are just the client seeking relief. While not every therapist is the same, this is what I find to be the truth in our beautiful area of Jacksonville, North Carolina.
You'll find a lot of services misrepresented by the term Swedish massage. A true Swedish massage is characterized by the use of 5 specific techniques within the session. These include the long gliding strokes used to apply oil, kneading, friction, tapping/percussion, and shaking/vibration. A majority of the time what you truly end up experiencing is not a Swedish massage, which can be applied deeply or lightly, but rather a relaxation based massage incorporating longer, slower techniques with less focus on problem areas and more generalized treatment. This was actually not the intent of Swedish massage, but it is what it has become in the industry.
Deep Tissue Massage
What exactly is deep tissue massage? It is not what you think. Deep tissue was originally used to describe a deeper Swedish massage. The amount of pressure used is what gave it a different name. In the session the goal was to sink into the deeper layers of muscle tissue using the same Swedish techniques. This is generally not what you find in a deep tissue session. Most therapists now use the term deep tissue to describe a session that blends several clinical techniques to address specific areas of muscular tension to provide pain relief.
Specialty massages are those listed under specific titles. For example Lomi Lomi is a specific style of massage that has its own techniques and flow to the session. You may find other specialties listed separately like cupping, acupressure, neuromuscular therapy, or medical massage. Many therapist will just incorporate these techniques into a deep tissue session rather than listing separate sessions. It pays to read the description of the massages so you know what you're getting out of a service.
If you are ever in doubt, call the therapist and ask what to expect out of the session, or you can always explain the issues you are seeking relief from so the therapist can guide you to the best choice. As a therapist we don't expect you to know or understand the therapy we provide, but to be in this field you will generally find the therapists are sincere in helping you to the best of their ability.
Everyone wants to be empathic, energy sensitive or intuitive until they start having problems. With all the hype about awakening and becoming conscious, people have been overlooking the core teachings of energy. It's great to start meditating, to learn to see auras, to tap into energetic fields, but do you know how to protect yourself?
Over the years I have met many people that come with the same problem.
By the time people come seek help they are at their end emotionally and it's no surprise. It is draining to be open to taking in everything around you, but no one taught you how to filter. How can you be that shining beacon of light when you're feeling like it's too peopley and you can't deal with it?
Everyday take time to ground yourself. Close your eyes and visualize roots growing from your feet, down into the earth. Allow the sensation of heaviness to let you sink deeper. Imagine the cool dampness of the earth supporting you, making you feel strong and stable. Imagine the earth feeding you nurturing energy that comforts you. This is the power of the earth. This is grounding. See it as your anchor keeping you connected to the source of nurturing strength beneath you.
Find the area of energy located just above the naval, your solar plexus chakra. This is the center of your will, the strength of your character. Breathe into that space and allow your mind to become quiet. Continue to allow the energy of the roots to rise up into this center. This energy feeds your confidence and gives you courage. As you become quiet your inner voice of intuition will become stronger. It will give you clarity and help you to be confident in your decisions. When you are centered you know what you want and stand strong. The ideas and thoughts of others will not shake you.
Once you feel anchored and centered in you, you can begin to expand your energy field or aura. Visualize the energy in you increasing filling your body from head to toe. Then begin to see this energy filling the space around you like a bubble. This bubble becomes your protective shield. There are 2 main shields I recommend for beginners, a rose quartz colored shield or a mirrored shield.
The rose quartz color holds the vibration of soft loving energy. As you visualize this bubble around you, see the space as this color. Set the intention for this energy to only allow loving energy to enter your personal bubble. It acts as a filter, and will require clearing at some point.
The mirror shield is extra protection for those highly sensitive to taking on the feelings and emotions of others. Outside of this rose bubble, picture a thin metallic liquid being poured over it. This metallic liquid becomes a reflective surface so that any energy coming at you is lovingly reflected back to the person sending it. The loving energy you created within the rose color bubble stays unaffected.
You Got This
The entire process is focused on visualization and intention. The more you practice the quicker it will become as you become more familiar with the energies. Ideally you will want to get to a point where you can simply repeat, "Ground, Center & Shield" and feel each of them as quickly as you say it. Practice this before going out and notice how different you feel. Not only will it shield you from taking on the emotions of others, but you will notice that your inner strength and willpower will keep you on your spiritual path.
I recently traveled to a gem show to search for treasures to pass along. I was so excited to take everything in, I forgot to take pictures so I will paint a picture of my experience for you.
There were so many vendors crowded into the room it was hard to tell where one ended and another began. Crowds of people humming in conversation and no real flow directing you which way to go. Sounds chaotic doesn't it? But it wasn't.
You feel a buzz, this palpable energy pulling you in, shifting your gaze to exactly the things you need to see. Trusting that you will be guided, you follow this energy.
I was lead to table in the back. Immediately I was drawn to their collection. There stones felt amazing, unlike some of the others I stopped to experience along the way. You can tell how people care for their stones, the energy of the stones don't lie. Some of the tables hosted sad stones, energetically depleted because they stay boxed up and stored away, drained of all their precious healing vibes. To an energy sensitive it's sad. But this table in the back was glowing. The energetic vibrations were significantly higher. Just being in the presence of all their gems gave me a buzz. I'm pretty sure I was vibrating so high dogs could hear it...
As I allowed myself to be guided through the stones I overheard the owners conversing about the energy healing work they practice. This guy is a 3rd generation crystal healer in his family and continues to run the store. I smiled to myself because I knew these stones were different and I was thankful for trusting that intuitive guidance. I went to this show with a purpose and an open intent to be guided to the best stones to get for my people. I knew I wanted stones to help in shamanic journeying and transformation. My intuition continued to lead me to the perfect stones. To be able to hand pick each stone is a rarity so I entrusted each stone to speak to me, and they did. By the time I gathered up my 2 small trays of stones I felt like my buzzing became noticeable. I was shaky and having a hard time focusing. One of the owners encouraged me to place my hand on this gigantic crystal they had sitting inside their area (I felt like I got invited backstage!). As I laid my hand on this stone all the excess energy that was making me buzz, was immediately sucked out of me. I was grounded, focused and full of clarity, in a matter of seconds!!! Now I am not one to get star struck by celebrities, they are just people, but if you can imagine the face one would make, that was me staring in awe of this magnificent crystal. The owners eyes sparkled with complete understanding as I described what I felt. I will definitely never forget that amazing moment. As he tallied up my order, gifting me with enormous generosity, I was reminded that when we listen to that intuitive guidance we are being supported by the universe.
As I walked through the rest of gem show it became more apparent how truly lucky I was. I saw some really overpriced stones, sad stones and stones of significant less quality. Then as we began to exit I noticed something even greater, being held in that amazing energetic vibration, although uncomfortable, kept me from experiencing any anxiety about being in a new location, being in a crowd of people (that is a huge trigger for me) and talking to strangers. I was shielded from all of the energy that would have normally prevented me from enjoying an outing like this. Even as I sit here typing I pause to hold my black lemurian jade I wire wrapped to wear for protection and give thanks to the amazing abilities of these stones, of nature, and of the Creator of it all.
Massage & Bodywork, Shamanic Reiki, Coaching
4915 Arendell Street, Suite I
Morehead City, NC