“Massage is the study of anatomy in braille.” – Jack Meagher
Massage Therapy & Body Treatments
Massage Therapy & Body Treatments
Therapeutic Massage: 30 minutes 60 minutes 90 minutes
Also known as Swedish Massage, it is the most common and best known type of body work. This traditional massage, with medium to firm pressure, is designed for releasing knots and tension throughout your whole body. The primary goal of this type of massage is to relax the entire body by rubbing the muscles with long gliding strokes in the direction of blood returning to the heart. The five basic strokes are sliding/gliding, kneading, rhythmic tapping, friction, and vibration/shaking. Swedish massage has shown to be helpful in reducing pain and joint stiffness, increasing the level of oxygen in the blood, decreasing muscle toxins, and improving circulation and flexibility.
Deep Tissue Massage: 60 minutes 90 minutes
Similar to Swedish massage, this type of massage utilizes deeper pressure thereby helping release chronic muscle tension. The therapist focuses on realigning the deepest layers of muscle and connective tissue, to help reduce the deep-seated aches and pains that have accumulated over time. It is especially helpful for contracted areas such as stiff neck and upper back, low back pain, leg muscle tightness, and sore shoulders. A study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that blood pressure dropped significantly after a one deep tissue massage, and a 2010 meta-analysis in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that deep tissue massage helps reduce stress hormone levels and heart rate while boosting mood and relaxation via increased levels of oxytocin and serotonin. Deep tissue massage is ideal for experienced massage clients, but may also be recommended by the massage therapist, on case by case basis.
Hot Stone Massage: 60 minutes 90 minutes
Hot stone massage is a variation on a classic massage. Heated, smooth basalt stones, are gently and intentionally placed on key points on the body creating a deeply relaxing and penetrating heat sensation for maximum benefit. The massage therapist may also hold the stones and use them to massage certain areas of the body. The stones are immersed in water and heated in an electric heater until they are within a certain temperature range. The heat relaxes muscles, allowing the therapist to work the muscles without using deep pressure, while allowing you to let go of all the stress that is held within your body. The warmth of the hot stones improves circulation and calms the nervous system, as well as helps with muscular aches, pains, sprains, and strains. Conditions that may benefit from hot stone massage therapy include but are not limited to: rheumatic and arthritic conditions, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, back pain, stress, anxiety and tension, insomnia, and depression.
Reflexology is the application of appropriate pressure to specific points and areas on the feet. These areas and reflex points correspond to different body organs and systems, and that pressing them has a beneficial effect on the organs and person’s general health. Although reflexology is not used to diagnose or cure health disorders, it is a great complement to other treatments when addressing conditions like anxiety, asthma, cancer treatment, cardiovascular issues, diabetes, headaches, kidney function, PMS, and sinusitis. Both massage and reflexology use touch, but the approaches are different. Massage therapists work ‘from the outside in’ – manipulating specific muscle groups or fascia to release tension, while reflexology practitioners see themselves as working ‘from the inside out’ – stimulating the nervous system to release tension. At GEM Integrative Wellness, the massage therapist is also trained in reflexology, and along with a standard reflexology sessions, he will include a basic foot and lower leg massage.
Dead Sea Mud Body Wraps: Partial-Body Full-Body
A body wrap is a skin and body treatment that helps improve your skin’s texture and restore your body’s balance. At GEM Integrative Wellness, we use the classic treatment of wrapping the body in warm, mineral rich mud from the Dead Sea, which results in visible toning, relieving muscle pain, moisturizing and restoring a healthy rosy glow to the skin, and improving the skin’s elasticity. Enveloping the body in mineral-rich Dead Sea mud forms a sealing layer over the skin that increases the body temperature. Blood flow is activated and oxygen and nutrients penetrate to the end of even the tiniest blood vessels and stimulate activity in all layers of the skin. Heat helps the body eliminate toxins through perspiration and stimulates the natural cell metabolism. The increased metabolic rate and elimination of toxins from the body also work effectively on cellulite and encourage the breakdown of stubborn fat deposits through lymph drainage. The Dead Sea mud itself is unique due to its high concentrations of salts and minerals. It is particularly rich in magnesium, sodium, potassium and calcium. Use of Dead Sea mud has been studied in connection with health benefits and healing properties for physical ailments, such as psoriasis, eczema, acne, arthritis, muscle stiffness, and joint inflammation. It also helps moisturize and hydrate skin, which helps to reduce wrinkles and improve skin tone. The whole process takes about an hour and leaves you feeling renewed and refreshed.
“I had a great experience getting a massage at GEM. Alex was very accommodating and professional. He worked on the areas of greatest need and supported my wish for peace and quiet. I really appreciated that he asked about the pressure several times; most massage therapists only ask once. Overall, the massage was high quality and I felt well cared for. I would definitely go back!” – Annie K.
“Wow, what a terrific massage! I’m a big fan of deep tissue and always disappointed with massages at hotel spas. This was by far the best I’ve had in Chicago — Alex has some strong hands, very professional and knew exactly the areas I carry my stress. Worked it all out. Seriously felt like a noodle when I left. Will definitely be back.” – Michelle G.
“Alex knew just where my body needed to be addressed the most and made sure to ask me how I was handing the pressure during my deep tissue massage.” – Anonymous
“Alex was fantastic and worked out knots I didn’t even know I had. Excellent if you need a strong deep tissue massage! Would highly recommend!” – Charlotte C.