Cupping is an acupressure technique that creates negative pressure, or suction, on the skin and fascia in order to increase circulation and energy flow. This modality has been practiced throughout the ages. It originated in China but has been used in almost every culture worldwide. Cupping is typically paired with acupuncture and when performed traditionally, is done using glass cups and fire for the heat source. A fire is lit with a long stick or match and placed into the glass cup. After the heat uses up the oxygen within the cup, the practitioner quickly places it on the skin to create the vacuum suction and seal.
There are newer methods of cupping as well, like those using silicone or polycarbonate cups. A piston with a vacuum suction gun is typically used to create the negative pressure.
Leah chooses to use the more modern methods without heat to preserve the health and safety of her clients. She does not always follow the traditional meridian pathways when cupping but also follows the muscular fibers and areas of congestion found within the connective tissue. Cupping massage, which slides the cups over lightly lubricated skin, is another technique she incorporates into her practice.
Swedish massage is a gentle, rhythmic, relaxation style of massage therapy. The most common type of massage is Swedish massage therapy. It involves soft, long, kneading strokes, as well as light, rhythmic, tapping strokes, on topmost layers of muscles. This is also combined with movement of the joints. By relieving muscle tension, Swedish therapy can be both relaxing and energizing.
Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT)
Neuromuscular therapy is the rehabilitation of the pathways connecting the brain to the muscles.
Often, when a disruption happens within a neuromuscular pathway, the neurotransmitter, or chemical signal, gets rewired incorrectly and creates a trigger point. When a trigger point occurs, pressure applied to one area of the body is FELT elsewhere – for example, when a therapist presses on a muscle in the shoulder, the client feels sensation in their head or neck. Neuromuscular Therapy is often grouped with “deep tissue” therapy, as the trigger point is very specific to the muscle belly that is affected and the therapy often uses a more intense, focused pressure to completely release the trigger point and restructure the nervous system to feel sensations in the correct area.
Aromatherapy uses natural plant extracts to promote physical health, as well as emotional and spiritual well-being. Sometimes referred to as essential oil therapy, aromatherapy uses therapeutic essential oils, either diffused into the atmosphere or applied topically, to enhance massage therapy and other types of healing sessions.