Definitions of Massage Techniques 

Massage Therapy

Manual manipulation of soft body tissues (muscle, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments) to enhance a person’s health and well-being. There are dozens of types of massage therapy methods (also called modalities).

Fascial Counterstrain

(FCS) is an innovative system of soft tissue manipulation developed by Brian Tuckey PT, OCS, JSCCI a disciple of the famous osteopathic physician, Lawrence Jones D.O. Mr. Tuckey is one of only 4 physical therapists ever to be certified by Dr. Jones to teach his world renowned “Strain and Counterstrain” or “Positional Release” technique. FCS as a treatment methodology, is unique, because it is the only form of manipulation that is not only capable but designed to identify and correct dysfunction in all of the body’s systems including the vascular, visceral, nervous and musculoskeletal systems.

FCS utilizes diagnostic tender points to identify reflexive muscle guarding in the body. Reflex muscle contractions occur in skeletal muscle, smooth muscle or in the body’s deep fascia due to a variety of reasons including trauma, surgery, postural strain, repetitive motion even in response to an inflammatory diet. This form of reflex muscular dysfunction, once present, can contribute to a multitude of symptoms and conditions. Some examples include, but are not limited to: acute/chronic musculoskeletal conditions in ALL regions of the body, chronic edema, weakness, digestive dysfunction, neuropathies, migraine/non migraine headaches, tachycardia, CRPS, peripheral arterial disease, balance disorders, seizures, tinnitus, and fibromyalgia. FCS alleviates these chronic, reflexive muscle contractions from the body via a gentle, reflexive process which patients frequently describe as “fascinating” or “magic.” The treatments are completely painless making it a viable option for even the most painful or difficult cases. Click here for more info.

Swedish Massage

The most commonly used form of classical Western massage, generally performed in the direction of the heart, sometimes with active or passive movement of the joints. It is used especially for relaxation, relief of muscular tension, release of toxins from the muscles and improvement of circulation and range of motion.

Deep Tissue Massage

A type of massage which reaches structures beneath the superficial fascia to attempt to relieve chronic muscle problems or injuries. With chronic muscle tension or injury, there are usually adhesions (bands of painful, rigid tissue) in muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Adhesions can block circulation and cause pain, limited movement, and inflammation. Deep tissue massage works by physically breaking down these adhesions to relieve pain and restore normal movement

Myofascial Release

Fascia is tough connective tissue which spreads through the body in a three-dimensional web from head to toe, surrounding every muscle, bone, nerve, blood vessel and organ. Generally it provides support, stability and cushion.  Tightening of the fascial system is a protective mechanism as a response to trauma. It loses its pliability, becomes restricted, and is a source of tension for the rest of the body. Over time this can lead to poor muscular biomechanics, altered structural alignment and decreased strength, endurance and motor coordination. This can cause pain and a loss of function. Myofascial Release is a hands-on soft tissue technique where a sustained pressure is applied that facilitates a stretch into the restricted fascia, restoring length and health to the tissue and alignment and mobility to the joints.

Trigger Point Therapy

An intense form of bodywork that consists of focused, concentrated pressure on one specific area of the body. The pressure may continue for a period of up to thirty seconds at a time, and is designed to alleviate tension that extends from a “trigger point” into an entire muscle. This “trigger point” is a hypersensitive locus in a band of tight muscle fiber which “triggers” pain in another area of the muscle, sometimes called referring or transferring. intense, concentrated pressure is placed on the trigger point until it “releases”. Pain is relieved when the pressure causes the muscle to restore blood flow to the area. Sometimes several sessions are required, as trigger points can also cause more trigger points and it can take time to actually locate the trigger point(s) because the client may be feeling pain in areas unrelated to the source of the problem.  Other benefits can include increased flexibility, wider range of motion, more balanced posture and increased energy.


The therapeutic aromatic, topical and/or internal use of plant-derived essential oils to promote physical and psychological well-being. 

Two aromatherapy product options are available;  doTERRA International Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG) Essential Oils and Harrisonburg's own White Oak Lavender Farm products.  doTerra's AromaTouch Technique incorporates simple hand techniques with the power of 8 different essential oils to create a powerful whole body wellness experience aimed at addressing four constants that are often present in daily life:  stress, immunity, the inflammatory response, and autonomic imbalance.  In my White Oak Lavender massage, clients will experience the height of relaxation as I diffuse lavender essential oil into the air, while incorporating the Lavender Cream for Feet, Lavender Massage Oil and Deep Muscle Jelly into the massage.  I often incorporate products from both of these exceptional companies in to my Custom Therapeutic Massage as well, as appropriate.