Therapeutic & Oncology Massage

Sue Spencer, CMT, NCBTMB ~ Medical Massage Therapist

Therapeutic Modalities

SWEDISH MASSAGE is a vigorous system of treatment designed to energize the body by stimulating circulation. Swedish Massage uses a system of long strokes, as well as kneading and friction techniques on the more superficial layers of the muscles, combined with active and passive movements of the joints. The basic strokes, all flowing toward the heart, are used to manipulate the soft tissues of the body. The many benefits of Swedish Massage include generalized relaxation, dissolution of scar tissue adhesions and improved circulation, which can speed healing and reduce swelling from injury. It aids circulation without increasing heart load and reduces stress, both emotional and physical. Swedish Massage shortens the recovery time from muscular strain by flushing the tissues of lactic acid and other metabolic waste. The pressure may be a light or much deeper pressure, depending on the situation.


RELAXATION & STRESS REDUCTION MASSAGE is basically a gentle form of Swedish Massage and uses smooth, gliding strokes, otherwise known as effleurage, to help relax and de-stress. With Relaxation & Stress Reduction Massage, the emphasis is not on working out adhesions or knots in the muscle tissue. The goal is to calm the nervous system, promote a sense of well-being, improve blood circulation and stimulate the body's lymphatic system, which carries away waste products. The objective is to detach from the daily routine of life and allow the spirit to be recharged, rejuvenated and restored.


REFLEXOLOGY involves manipulation of specific reflex areas in the foot that correspond to other parts of the body. It applies precise pressure to reflex points on the feet to stimulate the body’s own healing system. The thousands of nerve endings on the soles of each foot are linked via spinal cord and brain to all systems and organs of the body. Applying pressure to these nerve endings can stimulate healing at the physical, mental and emotional level. Reflexology involves the application of pressure to these reflex zones to stimulate body organs and relieve areas of congestion. Similar to acupressure principles, reflexology works with the body's energy flow to stimulate healing and maintain balance in physical function. This technique is used to reduce pain, increase relaxation, and stimulate circulation of blood.


MYOFASCIAL RELEASE is the three-dimensional application of sustained pressure and movement into the fascial system in order to eliminate restrictions and restore motion. Upon locating an area of fascial tension, gentle pressure is applied in the direction of the restriction. Long, stretching strokes are utilized to release the muscular tension. Myofascial Release is an effective therapeutic approach in the relief of cervical pain, back pain, fibromyalgia, scoliosis, neurological dysfunction, restriction of motion, chronic pain and headaches.

The fascial system is a densely woven structure that surrounds every muscle, bone, nerve, artery, and vein in the body. It also covers all of the internal organs, including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord. The fascial system is one continuous structure that exists from head to foot; it is not a system of separate, individual coverings. Fascia plays a significant role in the support and function of our bodies, as it surrounds and attaches to all structures. In a healthy state, fascia is relaxed and wavy in configuration; it can stretch and move without restriction.

When there is trauma - physical, emotional, scarring or inflammation - the fascia loses its flexibility. It becomes tight, restricted and a source of tension in the body. Trauma, such as injuries sustained in a car accident, whiplash, surgery, a fall, poor posture or repetitive stress injuries, has cumulative effects on the body. The changes trauma causes in the fascial system impact the comfort and function of our body. Restrictions of the fascia can result in excessive pressure, causing symptoms which produce pain, headaches or limit range of motion. Myofascial Release techniques are very effective in relieving these restrictions.


MANUAL LYMPH DRAINAGE for ONCOLOGY PATIENTS is performed to reduce a client's  Lymphedema. Lymphedema is an accumulation of protein-rich fluid in the superficial tissues and is a serious condition. Secondary lymphedema is caused by surgery, radiation, trauma or infection and is the type of lymphedema that affects many cancer patients. Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) is a non-invasive, painless, and very effective therapy for lymphedema. It is an extremely gentle massage technique, which improves the activity of the lymph vessels, using mild mechanical stretches on the wall of lymph collectors. MLD re-routes the lymph flow around blocked or compromised areas into more centrally located lymph vessels that eventually drain into the venous system. The lymphatic system plays a vital role throughout the body by regulating the immune system, which protects the body against infection. It is critical to the body’s ability to detoxify and regenerate tissues, filter out toxins and foreign substances, recover critical nutrients that have escaped from the blood and maintain a healthy immune system. Manual Lymph Drainage stimulates the flow of lymph fluid to enhance all these actions and functions. MLD transports nutrients to cells and eliminates metabolic wastes, toxins and excess fluids from the body. It is a very effective way of detoxifying the body, plus stimulating vital immune defenses.

Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals
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