Massage Therapy

What Massage Therapy is and isn’t ~

Massage Therapy is… both a science and an art. It is a hands-on form of bodywork that manipulates muscles and soft tissue for the purpose of improving health and well-being. Massage therapy is one of the oldest forms of healing. Therapeutic touch has been used to alleviate various injuries and ailments for thousands of years. In today’s times massage therapy continues to help enhance and improve upon a wide range of health conditions, concerns, and challenges. Massage therapy addresses health on all levels: physical, mental and emotional. The benefits of massage therapy are many; they include, but are not limited to: reducing stress, relieving pain, increasing range of motion, improving circulation and whole being, muscle relaxation. Therapeutic touch is an important component of one’s overall health and well-being. A variety of mainstream healthcare sessions, such as Physical Therapy or Chiropractic care, may incorporate different massage therapy methods, modalities and techniques.

Massage Therapy is not… to include osteopathic medicine, podiatry, skeletal manipulation, cosmetology arts and sciences or medical surgery. Massage therapist are not to diagnosis or provide services beyond the external application of massage: including touch, friction, vibration, percussion, kneading, stretching, compression, and passive joint movement.

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What you can expect from a treatment session ~

A typical session lasts about 30 minutes, 1 hour or 1 ½ hours depending on the modalities and/or treatments performed.

For your initial visit you will be asked to fill out about 10 minutes of paperwork.   The paperwork includes information about your past and present medical history, your current area(s) of discomfort and/or complaint, and NMWLR’s Policies and Procedures.

Just briefly before the session there will be time for discussion of treatment goals, expectations and/or questions.

As you prepare to get on the table the Therapist will step out of the room to allow you to disrobe to your comfort level.  It is suggested that you remove your bra, jewelry, glasses, watch, etc…  You are welcome to leave your underwear on.  Throughout the session you will be covered with a sheet.  When a specific area is to be worked on the sheet will be folded back and tuck securely underneath your body.   You will be kept decent at all times.

Also, please keep in mind the importance of listening to your body and communicating with your Therapist.   Providing feedback about pressure, the need to change a position, or discomfort during a session can help your Therapist better serve you.

You can achieve great success when you work with a support team to “re-wire” old habits with new and improved ones! Bare in mind though, a practitioner can only do so much for you  – your participation is crucial for long-term success. 

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 The Many Benefits of Massage Therapy 

Physical Benefits

  • Increases flexibility in joints, aiding in easier mobility and movement
  • Relieves pain and tension created by strained and contracted muscles
  • Energized Increased ability to deal with infection
  • Improved immune system
  • Provides relief from pain associated with fibromyalgia, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and other chronic conditions
  • Decreases pain and muscle spasms
  • Reduces chronic stress and tension, decreases Cortisol levels
  • Improved over-all physical health
  • Increase blood flow/circulation
  • Healing scar tissue
  • Smooths cellulite out
  • Removes waste products from the tissues
  • Moisturizes the skin 
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Promotes asier breathing, slower, deeper 
  • Improved digestion
  • Reduces the physical effects of stress and anxiety
  • Decreases pain  
  • Increases Oxygen in tissue

Emotional Benefits 

  • Release of emotion stored in tissue
  • Allows one to get more connected to self
  • Improve self-esteem
  • Emotional relaxation-letting go
  • Meets the basic touch requirement
  • Infants grow faster
  • Children sleep sooner
  • Adults are more alert

Mental Benefits 

  • Slows/calms thinking
  • Slows mind chatter
  • Allows more crisper, clearer, more creative thinking
  • Improves problem solving ability
  • Increases understanding
  • Allows you to connect with your inner wisdom

Spiritual Benefits 

  • Nonjudgmental
  • Essence of who we are
  • Enhances awareness
  • Increases spirit
  • Allow us to be more full of who we are


Massage Therapy Methods, Modalities and Treatments

  • Swedish Massage – also known as “Relaxation or Leisurely” Massage is one of the most well-known types of massage.  Swedish massage promotes: increased circulation, reduces hypertension (high blood pressure) and everyday stress levels.  As well as providing an overall sense of well-being.
  • Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) – light, rhythmic massage that manually manipulates the Lymphatic System and its Lymphatic fluid.  Numerous conditions of the body, such as: chronic swelling, sinus, skin and digestive complications and poor circulation can be addressed with MLD massages.
  • Medical/Rehabilitative Massage – is an approach to treatment that is outcome based. The session often focuses on a(n) specific area(s) of limitation.  Physical improvement is measured in some degree.  Functional and performance based restrictions are addressed.
  • Gerontology/Older adult Massage – touch, relaxation and comfort can help ease aches, pains and health conditions commonly associated with the process of aging.
  • Deep Tissue Massage – focuses on the deep layers of muscle tissue through pressure points, manipulation, and compression.
  • Pregnancy Massage – can minimize the mental, physical and emotional stress and discomfort of pregnancy.  Pregnancy massage can help alleviate backaches, leg cramps, swelling, etc… It is strongly recommended that support stockings or compression garments are worn throughout pregnancy.

What are Compression Garments and Support Stockings?

  • Aromatherapy Massage – Essential oils derived from plants are used to enhance the healing and relaxing effects of massage. It is believed that Essential oils strongly affect our mood by accessing two areas of the brain that store, interpret and record emotions and memories.
  • Trigger Point therapy – a Myofascial treatment, myo meaning muscle and fascia the connective tissue surrounding the muscle.  Trigger points can act as a “reset button” the within various muscles.  When acupressure or extreme tension is applied to a trigger point “referral pain” may be felt at other locations of the body. For example, neck and shoulder tension may “refer” pain and cause a headache on tension around your eye(s).
  • Hydrotherapy – contrasting moist heat and ice application to a specific region of the body.  Hydrotherapy is a wonderful, at-home, technique for muscle tension and stress.
  • Pre/Post Sports Massage – Specific focus on muscle regions and/or groups in preparation for an event or to wind-down and recover more quickly from one. Sports Massage is not just for Athletes – specific focus on an area due to overuse or stress is highly beneficial too!
  • Chair Massage – Various massage techniques are applied, through the clothes, in a special ergonomically designed chair for massage applications.  Chair massage is often seen at community and public events. A session typically last 15-30 minutes for roughly $1/min.
  • Hot Stone Massage – is the application of heated river stones to your body.  Hot stones melt away tension and ease stiffness in muscles.  The direct heat also allows the therapist to access deeper layers of muscle tissue.

Methods, Modalities and Treatments

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Work with a Licensed Massage Therapist! 

Generally the underlying purpose of licensing laws is to act as a protection against any potential harm to public order or to public health.  Each state has different educational requirements to obtain a valid license.  The State of New Mexico requires the completion of 650 hours from an approved Massage Therapy School, CPR certification, and a passing grade on the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETM/TMB) or Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx).  All Massage Therapists licensed in New Mexico (LMTs) are required to include their license number in any public advertising or business paraphernalia.  Continue education is also required to maintain a Massage Therapy license in the State of NM.  Sixteen hours every two (2) years and 4 hours of those hours must be ethics based.  Registered Massage Therapy Instructors are required to attend 32 hours every two (2) years and 4 hours of those hours must also be ethics based. It is acceptable and appropriate to ask your Therapist about their personal education, experience and licensure(s).


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