Reiki

Reiki is an energy healing method. It is over 2,500 years old, originating in Tibet and practiced for years in secrecy by Tibetan monks. Because of the secrecy around it, it was lost for centuries until it was rediscovered in the late 1800’s by Dr. Usui of Japan.

Reiki is a Japanese word that means universal life force (ULF.) It is the energy that is all around us, and also includes energy within our bodies, our connection to a higher source, the ground, the sky, a chair, etc. It’s everywhere. Reiki includes all that we can see and all that we cannot. Reiki uses ancient Sanskrit words and symbols to open up this energy. It is very powerful when used correctly. It can be used for self-healing or others by laying on the hands, no-touch healing, absentee or long-distance healing, or to increase abundance, luck, love and much more. It is effective on all levels of the body, mind, spirit and emotions. It accelerates the body’s ability to heal. Reiki identifies physical problems and opens the mind to the cause of pain and disease, assisting in the entire process of healing.

In a massage therapy setting, Reiki can be used to enhance bodywork, or be used purely as an energy session. In a typical Reiki session, the recipient is fully clothed, lying face up on a massage table and made comfortable. Prior to starting, the client is asked to state their intention for the session, whether they have received Reiki before, and offered the choice of light touch or no touch. The actual session starts with the practitioner tapping into their energy source, stating the intention of the clients and asking for the ULF to assist in this healing session. The Sanskrit words or symbols are then used as directed to facilitate the intended healing. Essential oils, sounds, crystals, or a bowl of salt water for aura-cleansing, tuning forks, or chanting may be used depending on the needs of clients and style of the practitioner. The session is closed by using a fast sweeping method over the client, or a slow clockwise head to toe energy clearing. Both occur within the auric field without touching the body. The client is usually asked to take a few deep breaths and a couple minutes of integration time before getting off the table. It is also common to save enough time for questions, discussion about experiences, and follow-up suggestions from the practitioner.

Reiki does not require any effort to practice, and classes are available all over the world. It is equally popular with both healing arts professionals and non-professionals. For beginners, it is suggested to try a session and see if the benefits are discernible. Many have found it to be an indispensable addition to their well being. Reiki practitioners are commonly found in wellness centers, health fairs and the internet.

Within Chicago Touch, Dan, Angelica and Michael practice Reiki. For more information on the procedure, or to schedule a session, call Chicago Touch at 312-929-3083.

Prenatal Massage

Stress reduction becomes more of a priority during pregnancy. In a 600-hr massage therapy program, it is common to devote 30 hours of class time to the particular needs of a pregnant client. We study the most common symptoms of pregnant women and how to adjust our massage technique accordingly. Each trimester has different protocols. By the third trimester,
the entire session is done side-lying, with props and pillows.

Women who normally get a massage once or twice per year find themselves coming in more often during pregnancy. On one level, it could for a specific complaint. On another level, it could have to do with increased awareness that mothering is all about taking care of others, and that whole dynamic starts with a willingness to also receive nurturing. This is sometimes refered to as “putting yourself into the equation.”

Late in the term, there’s a lot of pressure on internal organs from the expanding uterus. Most notable, is the compression toward the bottom of the spine. This includes the piriformis muscle.
Massage is particularly effective at addressing this, both directly and indirectly, through the reflex points on the legs. For more on low-back pain, please refer to our blog.

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Sports Massage

There are three aspects to Sports Massage:

-Pre-event conditioning
-Post-event recovery
-Avoiding and overcoming sports-related injuries

The value of massage in relation to athletic activity is similar to the value of stretching. For that reason, a lot of massage therapy includes stretching. The difference with massage is the ability
to get specific, with a single muscle, or even a single point on a muscle. Massage techniques help your body clear neuro-muscular interference pattern, which inhibit strength. Test your strength, get a massage, test your strength again. Notice the difference. At minimum, your muscles should feel more willing to work. It’s often most noticeable with muscles that operate
operate the hip and knee joints.

Many sports require repetitive strain. After a strenuous event, we focus on the particular muscles that worked the hardest. The objective is to reduce the recovery time. Massage can assist your immune system with process of tissue repair.

Anything you can do to support optimal functioning in your body will lower your risk of a sports injury. Massage is just one example, and it ties in with the theme of proper rest. Some of our clients come in for sports massage to compensate for the lack of a daily stretching routine.
Bodywork is an effective way to increase range of motion.

Another aspect of sports massage pertains to the protocols for addressing injuries. For example, Ida Rolph discovered that lymph drainage applied to a sprain, immediately after the
accident, can reduce the healing time from several weeks, down to several days. When you
start talking about massage as medicine, then it shifts over to the domain of chiropractors, osteopaths, or naprapaths. They are doctors who are trained in manual manipulation. They can also diagnose the situation. By contrast, our role is entirely focused on reducing the stress associated with the injury, in the hopes of reducing the time it takes to your to heal itself.

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Deep Tissue Massage

-Strokes are very slow moving
-Minimal or no lubricant
-Focus on fascial release
-Also known as structural bodywork

Some therapists specialize in deep tissue, which also has a variety of brand names which correspond with trademarked schools and seminars. Myo-fascial release, neuro-muscular technique, and trigger point therapy each represent variations on deep tissue. Most massage therapists build a repertoire of deep tissue techniques throughout their career in bodywork. In comparison to swedish, it takes longer to develop proficiency with deep tissue modalities. For many clients requesting deep tissue, what they actually have in mind is a swedish with very firm pressure.

Structural bodywork was pioneered by Ida Rolph, Phd in the ‘40s and ‘50s and became widely known in the ‘70s. Rolfing has numerous spin-offs, and the techniques are now being taught
by Rolfers to massage therapists in programs that range from one day to two years.

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Swedish Massage

This is the classic style of massage, most common, and most popular in the west.
It has a quality of flow, with continuous touch and transitional strokes. Swedish is
also open-ended: so long as a few rules are followed, it can be combined with other
systems. Swedish incorporates:

Gliding strokes
Compression
Kneading
Friction
Joint mobilization, rocking and shaking
Stretching
Percussing
Traction

Swedish is an effective platform that allows blending blending of pressure point theraty, muscle
and fascia techniques together into one session. It can be light and relaxing or
stronger and challenging, which usually provides relaxation afterwards.

A Swedish massage is generally customized according to the goals of the session, which can be discussed with your therapist when you arrive at the studio.

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