bodymindspiritworks   LLC

integrative massage & bodywork

about massage and bodywork
Massage is among the oldest of all treatments used by people. Chinese records dating back 3,000 years documented its use. The ancient Hindus, Persians, and Egyptians used forms of massage to treat ailments, and Hippocrates (considered the "father" of modern medicine and creator of the Hippocratic Oath) wrote papers recommending the use of rubbing and friction for joint and circulatory problems.

Today, therapeutic massage and bodywork is an accepted part of many physical rehabilitation programs and has proven beneficial to many chronic conditions such as low back pain, arthritis, and bursitis. Therapeutic massage and bodywork helps relieve the stress and tension of everyday living and can help release chronic muscular tension and pain, improve circulation, increase joint flexibility, reduce mental and physical fatigue and stress, promote faster healing of injured muscular tissue, improve posture, and reduce blood pressure. Massage and bodywork have also been shown to promote better sleep, improve concentration, reduce anxiety, and create an overall sense of well-being.

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bodymindspiritworks tools & techniques

There are many specific forms, or modalities, of therapeutic massage and bodywork, and each requires specialized knowledge and training. Having the right therapeutic tools/training and knowing which tools to use is what makes the work "integrative." Using them skillfully and effectively is Tom and Freda's commitment to you! In addition to general relaxation massage and bodywork, we offer these specialized modes of therapeutic work:

cold stone therapy for migraine and headaches
Fifty million people a year suffer from headaches and for those who want a more natural-yet-powerful way to get relief we offer this proven approach. The application of cold marble stones that contour along key headache sites plus essential oil blends known to relieve headache pain plus the intentional use of warmth relieves pain effectively. (Requires 30-40 minutes advance notice for chilling the stones.)

heated stone massage
Heated stone massage uses smooth basalt stones as an extension of the therapist's hands to massage the body. Applying hot stones on the body increases the temperature of the skin and muscle tissue, improves circulation and calms the nervous system. As a result, hot stone massages are deeply relaxing and act to rebalance the body and mind. As the surface muscles relax, your therapist is able to massage the deeper muscles. The combination of the weight and heat of the stones helps create a deeper relaxation, calming both the body and the spirit.

lymphatic drainage therapy (LDT)
Lymph Drainage Therapy (LDT) is a gentle technique developed by Bruno Chikly, MD, DO. that works through the body's lymphatic system to activate the body fluid circulation and stimulate the functioning of the immune and parasympathetic nervous systems. Among other benefits, the result of these actions can include reductions in edemas, detoxification of the body, regeneration of tissue.

neuromuscular therapy (NMT) and precision neuromuscular therapy (PNMT)
Neuromuscular therapy (NMT) is a form of massage. It is distinguished from other types of massage in that a "static" pressure is applied to the skin with the aim of stimulating and releasing specific areas of skeletal muscle. Often these areas of muscle are myofascial trigger points. NMT is an efficient way of releasing these areas. Precision Neuromuscular Therapy is about three things:

  • Accurate assessment: just because a muscle is tender does not mean it is the cause of a client's pain. Often it is the case that the "overfunctioning" muscle (the one with the "problem," the one that is hurting) is not the problem, the problem is with another muscle that is not holding up its share of the work (true of relationships as well!

  • Precise Treatment: often an eighth of an inch makes the difference between being on or off the source of trouble. In many cases, just the direction or angle of pressure makes a difference.

  • Results: nothing else matters if the client does not get the results desired. It will be very clear to both therapist and client when the therapist is correct in the treatment approach. It will also be immediately apparent when the treatment does not work.

energy work
The healing effect of therapeutic touch and intention permeates all of our work and cannot be separated from the work we do. Energy work goes by many names depending on the specific perspective, including polarity, zero-balancing, reiki. Other forms of energy work include:
  • Acupressure is a technique derived from acupuncture. In acupressure, moderate physical pressure is applied to acupuncture points by the hand or elbow. Neuroimaging research suggests that certain acupuncture/acupressure points have distinct effects that are not otherwise predictable anatomically. The acupressure neck release is an example of using a sequence of paired acupressure points.

  • Aromatherapy: the therapeutic effects of the massage treatment are enhanced with the addition of pure essential oils. An aromatherapy massage will restore a sense of physical as well as emotional well-being. Aromatherapy helps to soothe muscle tension, promote digestion, stimulate circulation, uplift and balance the emotions, restore energy and support the body's immune response. Unless requested, all our bodywork includes the use of essential oils for their therapeutic effects.

  • Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a means of bringing the central nervous system into harmony through the subtle movement of the spinal and cranial bones. This therapy involves assessing and addressing the movement of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which can be restricted by trauma to the body through falls, accidents, and general nervous tension. By gently working with the spine, the skull and its cranial sutures, diaphragms, and fascia, the restrictions of nerve passages can be eased, the movement of CSF through the spinal cord can be optimized, and misaligned bones can be restored to their proper position. CST is used to treat mental stress, neck and back pain, migraines, TMJ Syndrome, and chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia.

  • Comfort Touch Acupressure®: "Soothing and comforting for people of any age, Comfort Touch is safe and appropriate for the elderly and the ill, adaptable to people in a broad range of circumstances. It does not require the use special equipment, and can be practiced in the client's home, a medical setting, or long-term care facility. It does not require the use of lotions or oils, so it can be practiced on the client who is fully clothed. Comfort Touch gives special consideration to the emotional and physical needs of the client, providing dep relaxation and relief from pain." (M. K. Rose, CTA developer)

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benefits of massage

Can massage, bodywork, or somatic therapies benefit me?
Massage provides relief to people from all walks of life — the weekend or competitive athlete (translated for Wisconsin: every time we get dumped with several inches of wet, heavy snow), the home gardener, and the over-stressed executive struggling to keep pace in today's economy. Secretaries, laborers, waitresses — anyone can feel a need for massage at some point in time. The older population, as well, will benefit from massage, as it enhances flexibility and circulation. The bedridden can also be helped in this regard. There are some conditions where massage is not recommended, however. Your therapist should ask for information regarding any specific health conditions from which you may be suffering in order to determine if massage, bodywork, or somatic therapies are contraindicated. In some cases, the practitioner may need your doctor's permission before providing services.

Will my insurance cover massage or bodywork services?
If you are in a car accident or have a job-related injury covered by workers' compensation, insurance may cover massage, bodywork, or somatic therapies when prescribed by a physician. If your insurance covers chiropractic or osteopathic services, the services of a bodywork professional may be covered when prescribed by a chiropractor or osteopath. Therapies provided as part of the prescribed treatment by a physician or registered physical therapist are often covered. The best thing to do is check with your insurance company to see exactly what is covered under what circumstances.

Finding a qualified practitioner
Your massage, bodywork, or somatic therapy services should be provided by a professional who has received proper training. Don't hesitate to ask practitioners about their background, training, and experience. Referrals from friends can usually be relied upon. Members of Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) have met stringent requirements regarding training and must adhere to a strict code of ethics in order to remain members. ABMP offers a referral service to the public and will provide you with a list of practitioners in your area. For information, call 800.458.2267 or visit All Bodymindspiritworks LLC therapists are NCBTMB certified, WI licensed and members in good standing at the "professional level" of ABMP.

Taking care of yourself
Care of your body should be at the top of your priority list. You will feel and look better if you take the necessary steps regarding health and nutrition in this age of increased longevity. Stress relief alone can improve your vitality and state of mind. Massage, bodywork, and somatic therapies could play an important role in your life.

Massage for pain and emotional problems
With many chronic ailments, massage can relieve the pain and help heal. As with physical problems, emotional problems may also be stimulated into self-healing with massage. In many cases, this helps eliminate the need to take harmful chemical drugs, which will unnecessarily burden the liver, kidneys and other vital organs.

Massage and bodywork can help release chronic muscular tension and pain, improve circulation, increase joint flexibility, reduce mental and physical fatigue and stress, promote faster healing of injured muscular tissue, improve posture, and reduce blood pressure. Massage and bodywork are also known to promote better sleep, improve concentration, reduce anxiety, and create an overall sense of well-being.

At Bodymindspiritworks, we provide real help to clients with conditions ranging from post-surgical pain and edema to chronic conditions such as M.S. and fibromyalgia, from muscle strain to scoliosis. We work in collaboration with medical doctors and physical therapists, psychiatrists and psychotherapists. When emotional/spiritual issues seem to be intractibly connected with physical symptoms, the Integral LifeCare (TM) Program is the appropriate context for the work.

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What to expect
Where will my massage or bodywork session take place?

If your massage or bodywork session is scheduled at one of our locations, it will take place in a warm, comfortable, quiet room. Soft music will be played to help you relax. You will lie on a table specially designed for your comfort. If the session is in your home, we will bring all needed equipment and you will supply the space to work.

Who will perform the massage?
Your session will be conducted by Freda van den Broek or Thomas D'Alessio, both of whom have received proper training and certification in a variety of techniques. No two massages are exactly alike, and you may also request a certain technique or modality. You may request your preference as to a male or female therapist. Members of Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals have met stringent requirements regarding training and must adhere to a strict code of ethics in order to remain members. All Bodymindspiritworks LLC therapists are NCBTMB Certified/WI licensed and members in good standing of ABMP.

Must I be completely undressed? Will the practitioner be present when I disrobe?
Most massage and bodywork techniques are traditionally performed with the client unclothed; however, you may decide what amount of clothing you prefer to wear for your own comfort. You will be properly draped for warmth and modesty during the session. The practitioner will leave the room while you undress, relax onto the table, and cover yourself with the clean sheet and blanket.

Will I be covered during the session?
You will be properly covered (called "draping") at all times to keep you warm and comfortable. Only the area being worked on will be uncovered. Your practitioner will check in with you about warmth and comfort.

What parts of my body will be massaged?
You and the practitioner will discuss the desired outcome of your session. This will determine which areas of your body require massage. Depending on the length of the session, a typical full body session may include work on your back, abdomen, arms, legs, feet, hands, head, neck and shoulders. You will not be touched on or near your genitals or breasts (male or female).

Will lubricant be used?
We use a special blend of carrier oil (apricot kernel & grapeseed, with St. John's wort & arnica infusions) with added vitamin E, tea tree, and whatever other essential or healing oils may be appropriate. Lubricant is used to permit your muscles to be worked on without causing excessive friction to the skin. Our oils hydrate your skin and will be readily absorbed. A water-based massage gel or lotion is available on request.

What will the massage feel like?
It depends on the techniques used. In a general relaxation massage, your session may start out with broad, flowing strokes that will help to calm your nervous system and ease exterior muscle tension. As your body becomes relaxed, pressure will gradually be increased to relax and relieve specific areas of muscular tension. Some areas may require specific, focused therapeutic work. You should communicate with your practitioner immediately if you feel any discomfort so that another approach may be taken. Massage is most effective when your body is not resisting!

Are there different kinds of massage?
There are numerous types of massage and bodywork. Various techniques utilize different strokes, including basic rubbing strokes, rocking movement, posture and movement re-education, myofascial release, application of pressure to specific points, and more. Ask your therapist about the methods we use.

How long will the session last?
The average full-body massage lasts 60-90 minutes. A half-hour appointment allows time for only a very limited session (for most people, the relaxation response does not occur until after 20 minutes), where a 90-minute session allows for optimal relaxation and specific therapeutic work. Always allow relaxation time before and after a massage. At Bodymindspiritworks, a 60-minute massage means a full 60 minutes on the table (the same for 90 or 120-minute sessions). We do not incude preparation, consult, dressing/undressing in the session time.

What should I do during the massage?
Make yourself comfortable!. The therapist will either gently move you or tell you what is needed throughout the session (such as lifting your arm or turning over). Many people just close their eyes and completely relax. Others like to talk during their session. Feel free to ask your therapist any questions you may have.

How will I feel after the massage or bodywork session? What are the benefits of massage?
Massage and bodywork can help release chronic muscular tension and pain, improve circulation, increase joint flexibility, reduce mental and physical fatigue and stress, promote faster healing of injured muscular tissue, improve posture, and reduce blood pressure. Massage and bodywork are also known to promote better sleep, improve concentration, reduce anxiety, and create an overall sense of well-being.

Are there medical conditions that would make massage inadvisable?
Yes. That's why it's imperative that before you begin your session, the practitioner ask general health questions. It is very important that you inform the practitioner of any health problems or medications you are taking. If you are under a doctor's care, it is strongly advised that you receive a writtten recommendation for massage or bodywork prior to any session. Many practitioners may require a recommendation or approval from your doctor.

Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience freedom from long-term aches and pains developed from tension or repetitive activity. After an initial period of feeling slowed down, people often experience increased energy, heightened awareness, and greater productivity, which can last for days. Since toxins are released from your soft tissues during a massage, it is recommended you drink plenty of water afterward.

(Contains some material reprinted by permission from Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals-ABMP)

Thomas D'Alessio & Freda van den Broek: "Everything at the Same Time: why integral is essential"

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