Effleurage: The Foundation of Relaxation
Swedish massage relies largely on a technique known as effleurage. Learn how it zaps stress with Groupon's peek at this basic stroke.
Effleurage is the glue that holds a Swedish massage together. Its smooth, gliding strokes may not deliver much pressure—the word itself is taken from a French verb that means "to touch lightly"—but the technique simultaneously soothes the nerves, boosts circulation, and allows the massage therapist to identify problem zones that need extra attention. Because effleurage doubles as an assessment tool, many therapists begin each massage with it, usually by gliding their open palms lightly across the body to feel for tense spots and potholes while acclimating the client to their touch. This form of effleurage is known as "superficial," and it serves a soothing prelude, epilogue, and transitional movement between deeper, more focused kneading.
A slightly more forceful style of effleurage is known as "deep effleurage." This form still uses gliding strokes, only with more pressure, as the therapist aims to stretch out the muscle tissue and the web of connective tissue that covers it. Therapists will generally direct the first part of their deep-effleurage stroke towards the heart, finishing with a lighter return stroke away from it. Not only does this warm up tissues for deeper muscle work, but it can also speed up the movement of blood and lymph fluid. This boost in circulation can help drain fluid from injured areas, reducing painful pressure while also releasing endorphins that further relax the entire body.
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Chaba Herbal Spa & Thai Yoga Massage’s owner traveled the world to bolster her therapeutic knowledge. She began studying the art of Thai massage in Bangkok, Thailand, at the Watpro Traditional Medical School. After finishing her program, she packed her bags and journeyed to Los Angeles, where she accumulated a pet palm tree and 500 hours of massage-therapy schooling with a focus on traditional Thai massage. She uses this combination of cultural knowledge and varied techniques to treat clients with massages that fuse multiple disciplines into one soothing session. She also surrounds her clients with Thailand-influenced decor, including green plants, live flowers, and bubbling fountains that ease stress. In addition to massages, the spa also offers skin and body treatments, waxing services, and reflexology sessions.
Composed of sleek wood floors, lush green plants, and bamboo-like wall hangings, the decor at Marilyn Max Organic Spa hints at the spa's focus: all-natural offerings. Skincare treatments, massage therapy, and sugar waxing are among the spot's specialties and, naturally, all of them employ organic products handmade with fruit pulps, vegetable oils, and plants. For example, the team employs fruit acids to slough away surface skin cells and reveal younger, smoother complexions. Likewise, hair-removal services blend organic sugar and lemons into a paste that is rumored to be less painful than traditional wax.
What services does your business offer and what makes your business stand out from the competition?
We are an LGBT Friendly Mobile Massage Company.
What was the inspiration to start or run this business?
I wanted to create a platform that offered other therapists like myself
the freedom, flexibility and respect to work when we want, where we want, and with whom we want.
What do you love most about your job?
What I enjoy most about Massage Therapy is the appreciation from the clients, customers, and patrons we receive.
What is the best reaction you've ever gotten from a customer?
The greatest feedback we've received were repeat bookings from happy clients.
Standing at the center of Pure Touch Skin Center is a Candela GentleMAX laser system, which provides the med-spa's signature service: laser hair reduction. During each treatment, laser light targets the roots of the unwanted hair and renders them unable to grow, leaving skin smoother and beach-ready. But the center doesn't limit its services to hair reduction. Rounding out its menu are such treatments as microdermabrasion and wrinkle-reducing facial injections.