See chair massage.
This modality is based on Carl Jung’s concept of the shadow—those parts of your personality or beliefs that you do not give a conscious place in your life. The theory is that by putting your emotions in shadow, they will then turn against your family, your clients, or yourself, resulting in health, financial, or ethical problems.
Shadow integration involves creating a ritual container in a group setting, in which participants give voice and flesh out the conflicting beliefs and feelings that sabotage their professional and personal lives. This process emphasizes the personal and professional development of health professionals (ethics, communication, therapeutic relationships, and body/mind dynamics). It is usually facilitated in groups of eight to 20 people, or in one-on-one sessions.
SHEN (Specific Human Energy Nexus) Therapy was developed by American Richard Pavek. It is a form of energy healing which aims to release emotions trapped in the body, leading to freedom from pain and tension
SHEN teaches that most emotions are held in the torso, at four main sites: the heart, the solar plexus, the kath (below the navel), and the root (the perineum).
The practitioner places hands in paired positions on a fully clothed client lying on the table. The practitioner ascertains the locations of somatically held emotions and determines an appropriate physio-emotional release plan. A naturally occurring energy flows from the practitioner’s hands through the emotional centers of the client’s body in a precise way to discharge debilitating emotions.
This is a hands-and-foot-on therapy system designed to create space and unblock restrictions in the body via gravity. Shiat-Surf works with the body’s breathing, pulses, and nervous system.
Developed in Japan, shiatsu is a finger-pressure technique utilizing traditional acupuncture points. Similar to acupressure, shiatsu concentrates on unblocking the flow of life energy and restoring balance in the meridians and organs in order to promote self-healing. With the client reclining, the practitioner applies pressure with the finger, thumb, palm, elbow, or knee to specific zones on the skin located along the energy meridians. The treatment brings about a sense of relaxation while stimulating blood and lymphatic flow. The benefits of this treatment may include pain relief and a strengthening of the body’s resistance to disease and disorder. Click here to find a Shiatsu practitioner.
A system of healing based on the study of the relationship between the non-physical world (ki, energy, and spirit) and the physical world (illness and environment) as experienced through mind, body, spirit, heart, and life. By synchronizing personal vibration with the healing vibration of ki, learning to keep that vibration present within you and continually heightening the vibration, you can heal yourself and others.
Shinkiko is a type of medical qigong that increases levels of energy, intuitive sense, and consciousness through meditative-like ki harmonizing, without physical training or exercise.
Soft-tissue release (STR) is an injury treatment technique developed in Europe. Methods are based on European osteopathy techniques, along with insights from quantum physics.
STR deals directly with the reasons for soft tissue dysfunctions and subsequent referred pain and nerve entrapment. In acute conditions, STR affects the insidious way scar tissue is formed, and in chronic conditions, STR breaks up the fibrotic and adhered mass of scar tissue to quickly allow the muscle to return to its natural resting length. Once the muscle or muscle group has returned to the original resting length, there is an immediate release from the pain induced by the inflammation response.
The client is positioned so that the muscle begins to stretch in a very specific direction or plane. When the exact location of the injury has been defined, a determined pressure is applied directly into the affected tissue or along a specific line of injury. At the same time, the client is given a set of instructions that now engage the antagonist of the muscles involved. The muscle is extended from a fixed position in a determined direction under a pinpoint of pressure. Decrease in pain and increase in range of motion are often immediate, offsetting any minor discomfort experienced.
Click here to find a Soft-Tissue Release practitioner.
SOMA is a unique development of the holographic body reading technique. Holographic body reading recognizes that each person has an individual blueprint, allowing for the practitioner to analyze this, personalize its needs, and design the sessions to correspond to those individual needs. The SOMA practitioner works with the fascia and musculature to restore circulation and return the body to its original perfection. See SOMA Neuromuscular Integration.
SOMA Neuromuscular Integration
A ten-session system of bodywork, SOMA neuromuscular integration works the fascial network to release chronic, stored structural aberrations; to effectively realign the entire body; and to facilitate the change process. The three brain model theory and holographic body reading, as part of the SOMA theoretical framework, assist the practitioner to analyze each individual blueprint, personalize needs, and design the session for each structure. SOMA work includes extensive guidance tools (movement, journaling, drawing interpretation, and other mind/body integrating tools) for training bodywork practitioners and for educating clients.
Somatic Education is a healthcare modality taught and practiced in a co-creative partnership with nature. Somatic Education considers the body as one of nature’s gardens, and facilitates self-healing by working with flower essences; maps and calibration; and environmental, energy, and other processes.
Somatic Experiencing is a body-awareness approach to trauma, developed by Dr. Peter Levine.
According to the Foundation for Human Enrichment (www.traumahealing.com), Somatic Experiencing is "based upon the realization that human beings have an innate ability to overcome the effects of trauma" and "restores self-regulation, and returns a sense of aliveness, relaxation and wholeness to traumatized individuals who have had these precious gifts taken away."
This work has been applied to combat veterans, rape survivors, Holocaust survivors, auto accident and post surgical trauma, chronic pain sufferers, and even to infants after suffering traumatic births.
This is a body-based orientation that facilitates the client’s therapeutic process. A client session is directed to the body experience that references the body as a resource. The therapist shifts the content of the session to the here and now process of the client, which opens the client’s awareness of her own experience of sensation, tension, relaxation, breath, response, and evoked thoughts.
"Somatic" means "of the body" and is often used to denote a body/mind or whole-body approach, as distinguished from a physiology-only perspective.
SomatoEmotional Release is a therapeutic process that helps rid the mind and body of residual effects of past trauma and associated negative responses. Dr. John Upledger and biophysicist Dr. Zvi Karni discovered the body often retains physical forces as the result of accident, injury, or emotional trauma. Following trauma, the body isolates the “energy cyst.” Students in SomatoEmotional Release learn how to help the client physically identify and expel the energy cyst through reexperiencing and resolving unpleasant incidents.
Using the media of sound (music, tones, vibrations, etc.) as tools for healing, sound therapy enables the realignment of natural body rhythms. Therapy may include, but is not limited to, the use of Tibetan singing bowls, chimes, acutonic tuning forks, rattles, and drums.
A variety of body treatments administered in spas. Herbal wraps, loofah body scrubs, parafango, salt scrubs, seaweed body wraps, hydrotherapy treatments, etc.
Spinal release allows therapists to correct distortions of the central nervous system and restore the body’s center of gravity. The therapist works with techniques that address the eight muscle groups of the lower back. Practitioners also focus on the soft-tissue release procedures for the neck and back as they help identify curvatures of the spine and other dysfunctions.
Spiritual Massage Healing
Spiritual massage healing is a form of divinely inspired and divinely guided religious healing. It consists of prayer, love, anointing with oil, and movements derived from the laying-on of hands. It is the practice of one's religious faith and conscience, and it is a mode of worship. Without prayer, there is no spiritual massage healing. However, practitioners perform spiritual massage healing in unique ways, which may vary from one client to another.
Sports massage is designed to enhance athletic performance and recovery. There are three contexts in which sports massage can be useful to an athlete: pre-event, post-event, and injury treatment.
- Pre-event massage is delivered at the performance site, usually with the athlete fully clothed. Fast-paced and stimulating, it helps to establish blood flow and to warm up muscles. During the massage, the athlete generally focuses on visualizing the upcoming event.
- Post-event massage is also delivered on site, through the clothes. The intent here is to calm the nervous system and begin the process of flushing toxins and waste products out of the body. Post-event massage can reduce recovery time, enabling an athlete to resume training much sooner than rest alone would allow.
- When an athlete sustains an injury, skillful massage therapy can often speed and improve the quality of healing.
Click here to find a Sports Massage practitioner.
St. John's Neuromuscular Therapy
St. John’s neuromuscular therapy seeks out the cause of pain, focusing on creating a balance between the muscular and nervous systems. This bodywork focuses on five basic principles—biomechanics, ischemis, trigger points, postural distortion, and nerve entrapment and compression—that are important factors in the body’s physical homeostasis. Also, attention is given to hormonal balance, nutrition, and elimination of toxins. This therapy is used to treat soft-tissue pain throughout most of the body.
Developed by osteopath Lawrence Jones, this noninvasive treatment helps decrease protective muscle spasms and alleviate somatic dysfunction in the musculoskeletal system. By using palpation and passive positional procedures, the therapist practicing strain/counterstrain therapy can help restore pain-free movement. The position that relieves the referred pain is held for 90 seconds. After resuming the original position and pressing the trigger point, the referred pain is gone. The client is often asked to bend or twist like a contortionist to secure a comfortable position.
Structural Energetic Therapy
Developed in 1983, Structural Energetic Therapy (SET) is a deep-tissue, body-restructuring therapy that addresses chronic and acute pain and dysfunction. SET integrates cranial/ structural techniques, myofascial unwinding, myofascial restructuring, emotional energy release, kinesiology, and postural analysis to address client symptoms and problems as they relate to body structure. SET is a client-centered therapy that treats the specific needs unique to each client by addressing particular injuries and conditions as they relate to the structural distortions. The release of the core distortion pattern, both cranially and structurally, allows a balanced weight-bearing pelvis to support the entire spine and facilitates the unwinding of all other structural distortions. The goal of SET therapy is to have clients return to life activities pain free.
Based on the work of Dr. Ida P. Rolf, structural integration is based on the idea that the entire structural order of the body needs to be realigned and balanced with the gravitational forces around a central vertical line representing gravity’s influence. Therapeutic intervention is directed toward the myofascial system—the ligaments, muscles, tendons, and surrounding connective tissues. A practitioner of structural integration has a ten-session cycle of work, in which different angles and degrees of physical pressure are used to stretch and guide fascia to a place of easier movement. The process is not intended to cure symptoms; its goal is to create a more resilient, higher-energy system, free of inhibitions due to past trauma.
See Rolfing. Click here to find a Structural Integration practitioner.
One of the most commonly taught and well-known massage techniques, Swedish massage is a vigorous system of treatment designed to energize the body by stimulating circulation. Five basic strokes, all flowing toward the heart, are used to manipulate the soft tissues of the body. The disrobed client is covered by a sheet, with only the area being worked on exposed. Therapists use a combination of kneading, rolling, vibrational, percussive, and tapping movements, with the application of oil, to reduce friction on the skin. The many benefits of Swedish massage may include generalized relaxation, dissolution of scar tissue adhesions, and improved circulation, which may speed healing and reduce swelling from injury. Click here to find a Swedish Massage practitioner.
Syntropy Insight Bodywork
A combination of neuromuscular reeducation, hands-on application, qigong, Taoism, and meditation, Syntropy Insight Bodywork acts directly on the nervous system to dissolve chronic patterns of pain and tension. The practitioner helps to access and empower the client’s innate healing ability by focusing on what is functioning well in the body and expanding on it. A noninvasive practice, Syntropy can be used exclusively or as an adjunct therapy.