FAQ's – Frequently Asked Questions

Body in Balance ~ Massage Therapy & Hydrotherapy

A

acupressure
- typically uses point pressure from finger(s) skillfully applied to key points on the body which reduce muscle tension, stimulate healing, increase circulation, encourage impaired energy. When these points are pressed, they release muscular tension and promote the circulation of blood and the body's life force (sometimes known as qi or chi) to aid healing. Acupuncture and acupressure use the same points, but acupuncture employs needles, while acupressure uses the gentle but firm pressure.
active isolated stretching (AIS)
- is a muscle stretching technique that uses active muscle contractions held for two seconds and repeated several times.
ADA
- Americans with Disabilities Act is a Civil Rights law providing accessibility guidelines for all businesses existing and new for persons with disabilities.
alexander Technique
- is movement education in which the student is taught to sit, stand, and move in ways that reduce physical stress on the body. Alexander Technique teachers use gentle manual guidance and verbal cues to improve students' posture and movement patterns. A lesson or group class typically involves basic movements such as sitting, standing, walking, bending, reaching, carrying, and lying down.
allopathic Medicine
- known as conventional medicine, allopathy is a medical approach that seeks to cure by producing a condition in the body different than, or opposite to, the condition that exists within the diseased state.
AMTA
- the American Massage Therapy Association is a non-profit association dedicated to serving members and the massage therapy profession. Endorsing professional standards and supporting fair regulation of the massage therapy industry.
analgesic
- decreases pain.
aromatherapy
- The use of essential oils (extracted from herbs, flowers, resin, woods, and roots) in body and skin care treatments is known as aromatherapy. Used as a healing technique for thousands of years by the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, essential oils aid in relaxation, improve circulation, and help the healing of wounds. Aromatherapy diffusers are utilized to fill the massage room with the scent of the oils

B

biofeedback
- utilizes a system of sensitive instruments that relay information about the physical condition of the body. Used as a primary therapy, or in conjunction with other methods, biofeedback provides deep relaxation and stress management skills to prevent stress-related disorders and illness. These skills, including deep breathing and guided imagery, offer self-regulation and control over mental, emotional, and physical processes. The principles of biofeedback can be traced back to the eighteenth century.
baby massage
- baby massage utilizes modified massage therapy techniques combined with range-of-motion movements, rhythm and often music & singing. Designed to empower parents and instill parental confidence, as well as nourish the bond between parent and child. Aids in relaxation, normalization of muscle tone, respiratory and gastrointestinal functioning, sensory integration, and behavioral organization.
Bodywork
- a broader term used to describe different styles of massage related arts that are applied to the body for healing purposes.

C

Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
- occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes excessively squeezed at the wrist. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passage of ligaments bones at the base of the hand containing the median nerve and tendons. Repetitive movements, like typing or using a computer mouse, can irritate these structures and cause pain and swelling.
chakra
- From the Sanskrit for "wheel" - energy centers on the body. There are seven main chakras.
CHI-GONG
- See qigong.
cortisol
- is a corticosteroid hormone or glucocorticoid produced by the adrenal cortex that is part of the adrenal gland. It is usually referred to as the "stress hormone" as it is involved in response to stress and anxiety. It increases blood pressure and blood sugar and reduces immune responses.
conduction
- heat transferred by direct contact of one heated object to another.
convection
- transference of heat by moving currents of heated liquids of gasses - as in a sauna - to increase body temperature.
conversion
- heat is generated by passing energy through the tissue or substances in head of body tissues.
cryotherapy
- therapeutic use of cold; ice or water.
craniosacral therapy
- is a gentle, light-touch approach that releases tensions in the central nervous system so that every other system in the body can relax and self-correct.

D

deep tissue massage
- techniques that utilize deep-tissue/deep-muscle massage are administered to affect the sub-layer of musculature and fascia. These techniques require advanced training and a thorough understanding of anatomy and physiology. The muscles must be relaxed in order to effectively perform deep-tissue massage, otherwise tight surface muscles prevent the practitioner from reaching deeper musculature. It helps with chronic muscular pain and injury rehabilitation and reduces inflammation-related pain caused by arthritis and tendonitis. It is generally integrated with other massage techniques.

E

Edema
- collection or pooling of fluids in the interstitial tissues.
Effusion
- collection or pooling of fluids in the joint capsule.
Energy work/healing
- any modality focusing on the use of the human energy field for healing. They are non-physical in nature and done with very light touch or off the body. For example; Reiki, Cranial Sacral, chakra work.

F

frozen shoulder
- characterized by pain and loss of mobility or stiffness in the shoulder.

G

H

hydrocollator
- steam heat packs filled with silicate gel that keeps them hot & moist.
hyperemia
- increase in quantity of blood flowing through the body or part of the body characterized by hear, redness; vasodilation
history/intake
(link to forms) - on your first treatment to our facility will begin with a brief history and medical intake (link) form. Very similar to what you might expect from any other healthcare practitioner, like a doctor or chiropractor for example. Each subsequent visit we provide you with the opportunity to update any relevant information that may have changed since your last visit.
home care or self care
- at the end of each treatment session we always leave a few minutes to review and discuss the treatment you just had. Your feedback provides us with critical information on how you received the treatment and how to best serve your future needs. It also allows us time to provide you with specific homecare or self care information that you do for yourself when you leave our facility to augment or enhance the treatment you just had. Like contrast arm or footbaths, stretching or strengthening exercises specifically targeting those areas we just worked on or plan to work on in future sessions.
hypoxia
- diminished or lack of circulation due to poor circulation

I

intake assessment
- at the beginning of each treatment you receive with us we perform a brief assessment based on what you tell us your primary reason for massage therapy. For example, if you "just need to relax" we might encourage you to focus on primarily Swedish massage. If you are having a particular issue, like your neck or low back, we might check your range of motion in those areas to help point us to those muscles that are contributing to your pain or lack of movement ability. Then we might encourage more specific work like - acupressure, Myofascial Release or deep tissue work. Often, it is the combination of several therapies that will meet your needs.
ishemia
- diminished or lack of circulation in an area

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L

LMP
- Licensed Massage Practitioner. Professional designation from Washington State Department of Health professional licensing agency.

M

Why Massage Therapy?
People get massage therapy for relaxation or for a variety of health conditions:
- Back pain - Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and tendinitis
- Stress relief and stress-related conditions
- Headaches and migraines
- Muscle and related conditions such as spasms, strains and sprains
- Repetitive strain injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
- Circulatory and respiratory problems
- Post-injury and post surgical rehabilitation
Massage therapy
relieves stress. It is thought to help the body's stress response by lowering levels of hormones such as cortisol (link). Massage therapy also appears to enhance immune function.
Meridian
- pathway(s) of energy that run all over the body. Each meridian has a physical, physiological, emotion/psychological aspect.
Mobility impaired
- a person whose movement is hindered either by physical disability or other personal circumstances, such as recent surgical procedure, injury or chronic condition.
Multiple Sclerosis
- a chronic progressive central nervous system disorder involving the loss of myelin sheath (demyelinating) around certain nerve fibers. Can produce varying degrees of altered sensation, weakness, tremors, loss of coordination in addition to other symptoms.

N

NCTM
- National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. National organization

O

P

paraffin
- using melted paraffin wax) to dip part(s) of the body in to build a "paraffin glove" to retain heat.
parkinson's disease
- a chronic progressive disorder of the nervous system resulting in the destruction of dopamine in the basal ganglia of the brain results in varying degrees of tremor and muscular rigidity
plantar fasciitis
- an inflammatory condition of the plantar fascia – connective tissue in the bottom of the foot. Produces pain – often after a period of rest then weight bearing – can produce significant pain
poltice
- external application of warm moist substance to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, draw impurities.

Pregnancy Massage
Prenatal Massage
- can help in providing relief from muscle cramps, spasms and tension in the lower back, neck, hips and legs; it increases blood and lymph circulation, which can reduce swelling; and it brings about a sense of well being through relaxation.
Is it safe for me to get a massage at any time during my pregnancy?

A general rule is to wait until after your first trimester - so in your 2nd & 3rd trimester massage therapy can be a wonderful way to take care of yourself before the new baby arrives! If you have a high risk pregnancy consult your healthcare provider first before making an appointment. They will discuss the particulars of your health with you and determine if your can safely enjoy a massage.
Post-natal massage
- congratulations on your new baby or babies! Whether you are a brand new mother or are already a mom - once the baby(s) are out getting back to your pre-pregnancy self can present some daunting obstacle. Post-natal massage can help and - are most welcome to sleep during your treatment! Post-natal massage supports you and your body as you transition back to your pre-pregnancy body. Postnatal Massage can help; reduce muscular tension and fatigue; it helps the body return to its pre-pregnancy condition; it helps to balance hormones and reduce post-partum emotional challenges; and it aids in correcting posture.
Postpartum depression
- because I myself (Kim) have experienced post-partum depression in varying degrees for all three of my pregnancies - I know first-hand how serious this can be for a women. Skilled post-natal massage, while no substitute for good communication with your primary healthcare provider, can give you a nurturing touch that may assist you in feeling better while you transition through this period of time.
What is postpartum depression?
Depression after childbirth is called postpartum depression. Hormonal changes may trigger symptoms of postpartum depression. When you are pregnant, levels of the female hormones estrogen (ESS-truh-jen) and progesterone (proh-JESS-tur-ohn) increases greatly. In the first 24 hours after childbirth, hormone levels quickly return to normal. Researchers think the big change in hormone levels may lead to depression. This is much like the way smaller hormone changes can affect a woman's moods before she gets her period.
Levels of thyroid hormones may also drop after giving birth. The thyroid is a small gland in the neck that helps regulate how your body uses and stores energy from food. Low levels of thyroid hormones can cause symptoms of depression. A simple blood test can tell if this condition is causing your symptoms. Other factors may play a role in postpartum depression. You may feel:
  • tired after delivery
  • tired from a lack of sleep or broken sleep
  • overwhelmed with a new baby
  • doubts about your ability to be a good mother
  • stress from changes in work and home routines
  • an unrealistic need to be perfect mom
  • loss of who you were before having the baby
  • less attractive
  • a lack of free time

There is no substitute for a good relationship with your own primary healthcare provider. Taking care of you is every bit as important as taking care of your new baby. If you think postpartum depression is affecting you - call your healthcare provider and make an appointment to discuss this very real healthcare concern. Reference: www.womenshealth.gov/faq/depression-pregnancy.cfm#d

Q

Qi Gong
- refers to a Chinese-originated art of movement therapy similar to Tai-Chi focused gentle movement and breathing exercise intended to reinvigorate, regenerate and rebalance your mind and body.

R

reike
- focused placement of hand on the body. A style of energy work with Japanese origins.
retrostasis
- the drawing of blood to internal organs.
R.I.C.E.
- rest, ice compression & elevation.
RMT
- Registered Massage Therapist. Professional designation given to massage therapist who successfully complete a rigorous written and oral practical examination administered after graduation from and approved 3,000 hours accredited school - by the College of Massage Therapist – an organization charged with ensuring adequate trained massage therapist by B.C. Health Ministries.

S

swedish massage
- a light to medium pressure massage using oils to promote deep relaxation, ease muscle tension/soreness/stiffness and support the circulatory and lymphatic system. Utilizes several basic techniques:
  • Effleurage - long gliding strokes aimed at introducing the massage to the client/patient as well as increasing circulation in blood and lymphatic flow
  • Pettrisage - gently lifting muscles up and away from bones by compression motions, rolling, squeezing and applying gentle pressure to enhance deeper circulation
  • Friction - this is the most specific or deep pressure used in Swedish massage. Consisting of deep circular or transverse movements made with the thumb pad or finger tips. These techniques are aimed at breaking down adhesion or knots that result when muscle fibers bind together during the healing process. This contribute to greater flexibility in muscles and joints
  • Tapotement - brisk percussive movements using the hands alternately to gently strike or tap the muscles for an invigorating effect. There are many variations on this stroke. It may be applied with the edge of the hand, tips of fingers or closed fists. Tapotement works to release tension and cramping from muscles also stimulate circulation
  • Vibration or Shaking - vibrating or shaking type movement - on the arm or leg for example - Boosts circulation and increases movement in tissues
saline bath
- salt bath.
salt glow massage
- vigorous rubbing of sea salt and essentials oils mixture over most parts of the body - exfoliates & increases circulation.
sauna
- dry heat.
self care or homecare
- at the end of each treatment session we always leave a few minutes to review and discuss the treatment you just had. Your feedback provides us with critical information on how you received the treatment and how to best serve your future needs. It also allows us time to provide you with specific homecare or self care information that you do for yourself when you leave our facility to augment or enhance the treatment you just had. Like contrast arm or footbaths, stretching or strengthening exercises specifically targeting those areas we just worked on or plan to work on in future sessions.
shiatsu
- literally means "finger pressure" Shiatse is a Japanese system of healing and health maintenance based on the body's natural energy called Qi pronounced "chee").
S.I. Joint
- sacroiliac joint; articulation where sacrum and hips meet at the base of the spine.
stress
- is the nonspecific response of our body to any pressure or demand. Eustress - or good stress as opposed to distress - the negative kind of stress.
swedish massage
- a light to medium pressure massage using oils to promote deep relaxation, ease muscle tension and support the circulatory and lymphatic system.
stress level
- tendonitis.

T

Tendonitis
– inflammation of a tendon (where muscle connects to bone).
TMJ
- temporalmandibular joint; a hinged joint located on either side of the face in front of the ear where the lower jaw connects with the temporal bone(s) of the skull
trigger point release
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Open Monday through Friday, 10 am to 4 pm, after hours by appointment.

Body in Balance
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