Massage Therapy

A term heard a lot in this industry, but what does it mean? There are 5 different styles of long, flowing strokes used in traditional Swedish massage: Effleurage (sliding or gliding), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (rhythmic tapping), friction (cross fiber) and vibration, rocking & shaking. This type of massage is usually used when someone is experiencing pain, joint stiffness, poor circulation, hypertension or tight muscles.

There is no extra Charge for Pregnancy Massage.

Pregnancy Massage Therapy Foundations Course completed

Updated the knowledge and experience with pregnancy massage has improved and new information regarding safe and effective massage techniques for moms-to-be. The new pregnancy system of side lying is now in effect.

So your pregnant; now what?

What’s happening to a pregnant woman’s body?

Blood volume increases 45-50%. This is needed for extra blood flow, perfusion to kidneys and other organs to compensate for blood loss during delivery.

Increased cardiac output by 40% about halfway through gestation. The heart increases in size by 12%.

Blood pressure typically declines slightly; Diastolic decreases after 12 wks and continues to 26 wks, and then increases after the

2nd trimester.

Body temp is 100.6 fahrenheit/38 Celsius.

Full ventilation of lungs diminishes during late pregnancy (pressure of the uterus and displacement of other organs into the area lungs.)

Joints and ligaments become lax due to the hormone Relaxin.

Skeletal muscle has to adapt to the changes in weight, gait and loosening of the joints.

Nipple and areola enlarge and darken, and become more sensitive.

Breast tissue becomes enlarged and tender.

In the first trimester, there may be nausea and vomiting because of the hormonal influx.

Often called “morning sickness” but can occur at various times of day.

In severe cases: Diclectin is administered (vitamin B12 combined with a low dose of Gravol).

More fluid in body increases by 50% which makes the kidneys have to filter more fluid.

Increased urination occurs in the 1st trimester due to hormonal changes and in the 3rd trimester because of pressure on the bladder.

1st TRIMESTER: 1-13 weeks gestation

What’s happening to your body:

Your body is going through changes and a lot of it is because of hormonal changes often leading to fatigue/exhaustion; hormonal changes can cause an increase of urination, and nausea and vomiting are common. In some cases you may experience a dull ache above pubic bone, breast tenderness is typical emotional (mood) fluctuations, constipation, headaches and heartburn.

What to expect in a massage therapy session?

It is important to be reminded that with all the changes that are going on in the body with pregnancy, we need to remember there is a fetus that is developing and growing inside. The uterus is getting bigger which means that the ligaments keeping it supported are being stretched more and more, the increase of fluid including blood flow is occurring, and the word “intrauterine pressure” is now becoming a concern.

Prone Positioning Restrictions: While stomach sleeping may be a safe, comfortable resting position for the early pregnant woman, the pressure necessary for massage in this position creates an unreliably safe situation.

Side-lying positioning: When supported sufficiently with firm pillows, bolsters, and/or a Contoured body Cushion, side-lying position is the safest, most postural neutral, and most comfortable position for most women to receive prenatal massage therapy.

2nd TRIMESTER: 14-27 weeks gestation.

What’s happening to your body:

You will notice that Fatigue/nausea should dissipate (however there are some women who have been known to have nausea throughout their entire pregnancy). You will feel more energetic, weight increase will shift the center of gravity, you will feel the baby move “quickening” for the first time, the uterus reaches umbilicus, baby grows to 1.5lbs, increased strain/fascial restrictions on abdominal muscles and lumbar vertebrae (low back), referred pain from uterine ligaments, frequent urination (due to pressure on bladder), spider veins/varicosities and enlarged uterus can cause changes to blood flow to legs, you will notice you walk different and weight changes will influence your posture in the spine especially cervical (neck), thoracic (mid back) as well as lumbar (low back) spine. Anterior pelvic tilt (your pelvis is tilted forward), you get heartburn (worsens as pressure in abdomen increases), and may experience Braxton Hicks (involuntary contractions of uterus preparing for labour – or false labour).

What to expect from massage therapy session


Prone is contraindicated because it puts strain on ligaments and creates intrauterine pressure, which can put the fetus at risk.

*This is something that is extremely important, especially if considered high risk (increase in intrauterine pressure puts added stress on the pelvic floor); therefore side lying is indicated. Both sides are safe in a healthy pregnancy; left side lying position creates optimal blood flow to fetus. Most woman who hear “side lying only during pregnancy massage” tend to be turned off by this. After hearing the words “increased intrauterine pressure in the prone position” the most important concern is fetal health.

Contraindications and Modifications for 2nd trimester:

(in addition to applicable CI’s from 1st trimester list):

Do not use prone position (reason indicated in positioning). If on bed rest, be cautious in some cases blood clots in legs can occur and consider exhaustion and fatigue.

3rd TRIMESTER: 28-40wks gestation.

This is when fatigue can often return, nausea may return, dramatic weight gain, Symphysis Pubis Separation (SPS) and women often experience sharp, shooting pain, especially when standing from sitting or lying. The pubis can separate, yet does heal postpartum; the bladder is compromised and a shortness of breath is felt (let’s face it, baby is taking a lot of space and your organs have little room anymore). During this trimester the baby will “drop” or lower into position for birth; frequent Braxton hicks’ contractions are likely to occur.

What to expect from massage therapy session

Side lying mainly. The beautiful thing about side lying is the different angles the massage therapist can access, like those the tight muscles in your torso and breast area. Breast massage may be an option,
which both therapists are trained to do, due to increased edema (swelling), massage therapists can help reduce this using lighter pressure, which also feels wonderful for calf cramps due to calcium/magnesium imbalances so massaging the tight muscles in all areas of the body can help relieve the pressure.

Contraindications and Modifications for 3rd trimester:

(in addition to applicable CI’s from 1st and 2nd trimester list):

Do not use prone position (Reason indicated in positioning). If on bed rest, be cautious in some cases as blood clots in legs can occur and consider exhaustion and fatigue.

*The Aortic artery supplies your lower body with blood; the aortic vein brings the blood back to your heart.

** Videos from Body support website**

Contraindications (CI) ^

-Abdominal and sacral massage is compromised of only light strokes or should be avoided, if the risk of miscarriage is present during the 1st trimester.

-Deep massage and facial techniques are CI over the low back during the first trimester.

-Avoid deep massage over varicose veins.

-Massage is CI if a change in blood pressure is noted and if it is combined with other symptoms of preeclampsia.

-If the client has diabetes, a snack or juice should be eaten prior to treatment to maintain blood sugar levels

– In the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, the client must be carefully positioned in a slight incline on her back to avoid compression of the aorta and inferior vena cava. If nausea or discomfort is experienced, despite appropriate modifications, the position is changed to side lying or seated, or the treatment is discontinued.

Clinical Massage Therapy; understanding, assessing and treating over 70 conditions, by Rattray and Ludwig

Perinatal Massage Therapy Education; by Michelle Francis-Smit B.A., RMT & Nicole Nifo RMT

Online resource:
Oakworks inc

There are a lot of clients who enjoy deep tissue massage. Deep tissue doesn’t necessary mean we’re going to show you how strong we are! The basis of this technique is to address the deeper muscles, not to feel pain with massage. Deep pressure should be applied within a person’s pain tolerance. If this technique is too deep, you will react by guarding and contracting your muscles, so you won’t get the benefits of this technique. Trigger point therapy (ischemic compression) and muscle stripping are some
of the techniques our therapists use to reach those deeper structures. Ulnar border kneading (using the forearms instead of hands or thumbs), helps breakdown the tight connective tissue and is a firmer form of deep tissue massage. There are certain situations that heavy deep pressure will be used, consent will be asked before this will take place. Communication is key, if you don’t let your therapist know it hurts, we may not realize the pressure is too much!

There are intra-oral and working muscles of mastication (chewing muscles). Intra-oral can be used however our patients find it a little too invasive. Working externally on the face muscles, especially around the joint itself and jawbone as well as the sub occipitals (tiny muscles located on either side of base of the skull), is where most of our treatment occurs. It is imperative to release the muscles that are playing “tug-a-war” with your jaw.

Bamboo Fusion® massage is an innovative way to provide Swedish or deep tissue massage using heated bamboo canes to roll and knead the tissue to create an extreme sensation of relaxation and well-being. This technique works in a very similar way to hot stone massage. The gentle heat from the bamboo increases circulation and softens muscle tissue and fascial restrictions.

Lisa has incorporated her wonderful massage routine with the heated bamboo canes, giving the patient a gentle introduction to heat. The bamboo cane replaces her hands, and it is used to give a deep, firm massage. Hands are used to work over the muscles and the cane is used to focus on knots. Part of the treatment also includes a gentle percussion down the spine which is a perfect way to help calm nerves.

Cupping Massage brings the ancient art of cupping to the modern-day practice. By using a negative pressure (suction), rather than tissue compression (like in massage therapy), this modality allows for a unique approach to the fascia and body fluids. Cupping has an ability to affect deeper tissue, remove fascial restrictions, removing inflammation, toxicity, digestive problems and increase range of motion. Cupping, like massage, is another form of healing. The suctioning of the cups rapidly aids in soft tissue release, loosens, and lifts connective tissue, breaking up and draining stagnation wile increasing lymph and blood flow to muscles and skin. The suction engages the parasympathetic system, or the “rest and digest” system which means it also aids in relaxing the patient receiving the treatment. It has also been used for centuries, predating 3,500 years.

What is Cupping used for?

Cupping goes far beyond simple fascial techniques, concepts such as angiogenesis, metabolism and immune response will be explored. Cupping therapy can also be used on specific pressure points on the body to remove obstructions in the body’s natural healing energies. In this way, cupping therapy can be used to treat skin, blood, respiratory, back pain, nerve conditions and many more. Application will cover more than just the back; scars, fascia, joints, trigger points, muscle imbalances and even pleura techniques will be applied.

Is Cupping painful?

Cupping is not generally painful, and most patients have commented that it felt like a slight pinching or burning sensation. The suctioning effect is lifting/pulling the skin in an upward motion, gently separating the fascia apart. If you have really tight fascia, you may be hypersensitive.

Why are there marks after cupping?

The marks, or discolorations are commonly misinterpreted as damage or “bruising” that you see on a patient, this is a normal effect. Those who have received a cupping treatment, the marks that appear are the result of the suction from the cups manually bringing up the stagnant blood, that is trapped deep within, into the area that’s being cupped. These are normal and are rarely painful. Sometimes the marks can stay up to one week after treatment (in some cases they disappear sooner, others may take longer). There have been complaints of a sudden itchy feeling. This is normal as blood is being brought to the skin, causing a histamine reaction.

The definition of bruising or contusion is an external (like a forceful blow) or internal (like a twisted ankle) trauma. This injury causes tiny blood vessels called capillaries to burst, blood gets trapped below the skin’s surface leaving discoloration. This is not what is happening with cupping massage.

What to expect at your first cupping treatment.

Similar to massage therapy, we start your cupping treatment with a lighter suction and with each future treatment, progressively adding more suction.

There are 2 types of applications of cupping:

  1. Static or Stationary Dry Cupping: The cups are left suctioned to the skin for 5-20 min. This is where the marks or discolorations will appear
  2. Dynamic Cupping: The suctioned cups are moved from one point to another giving a more aggressive way to breakdown fascial restrictions and a heavier way to increase blood flow.

The chart below indicates the different types of marks that are left

White/Grey: chi deficiency                Purple/blackish: blood stagnation         Yellow is in the cup: Excess phlegm

Mauve: cold                                          Blisters: excess Damp/toxins                  Speckling, purpura patches: toxins and disease

Day 1



Picture of various stages of the marks healing

Hot Stone Massage Therapy

Hot Stone Therapy was introduced by Melissa Madsen RMT at East Mountain Massage. As a form of hot hydrotherapy, it is a therapeutic way to warm up the muscle tissues for deep tissue and a great way to increase the blood and lymph circulation in the body, which aids in healing

Benefits of Hot Stone Therapy
– Reduces back/shoulder/neck pain                                    – Increases circulation
– Improves lymphatic circulation                                            – Decreases joint pain
– Decreases menstrual pain                                                    – Relieves tension headaches

Difference between regular massage and Hot Stone massage:

Preparing your body for a regular massage, a massage therapist spends a lot of time slowly warming up your tissue using various massage techniques to prepare your body for deep tissue massage. With Hot Stone massage, your body soaks in the heat quickly, saving the time it takes a regular massage to “ready” your body for deeper pressure. A patient at East Mountain Massage, commented that she didn’t realize the deep pressure was applied once the hot stones were applied. (This same patient could never tolerate any form of deep pressure prior to hot stone therapy.)
Basalt stones are heated in a water-filled heater, and only applied when at the ideal temperature. Your therapist slowly introduces one stone to your body, cooling the first stone, if the temperature is too hot..

History of Hot Stones:

The origin of Hot Stone Therapy dates back more than 5000 years. Healers collected stones from riverbeds and warmed them in water or on hot coals. The stones were then used to massage the body to relieve muscle pain and discomfort. They were also placed on the body along energy pathways to allow the Prana, or life force, to heal on a physical, emotional and spiritual level.

Properties of Basalt Stones:

Basalt stones* are most recommended for use in Hot Stone Therapy. Their ultra smooth texture and strong heat retaining qualities make them the ideal choice. Basalt is formed as lava cools following a volcanic eruption. Another important quality of basalt stones is their inherent magnetic field, which helps to rebalance the body’s energy centers during treatment.
*Basalt stones are found in the Andes Mountains of South America.



Cryo-Stone Therapy

*coming soon*

Are any of the Stone therapy accepted under your benefits?

Everyone is asking! With all the new privacy laws, a quick phone call to your insurance company will answer this question for you. Don’t forget to tell them your therapist is a Registered Massage Therapist.

Hot Oil Scalp Massage

Welcome to Indie Head Massage. We have heard so many names given to this: Indian Head Massage, Champissage, Hot Oil Scalp massage… they are all the same thing. CMTO requested for the purpose of collecting CEUs, before the change to the Quality Assurance Program (QAP) on September 5, 2019 to STRiVE.

At East Mountain Massage, we chose to use Indie Head Massage for the benefits! All techniques  are approved by CMTO which help to promote increase circulation, those who suffer from Sinus problems, Headache and Migraine sufferers, as well as those who suffer from Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) dysfunctions. The added benefit of a person’s hair soaking in the oils, is also a great advertising addition.



Indie Head Massage, AKA Champissage AKA Hot Oil Scalp

Featured snippet from the web: History of Indian Head Massage (Champissage) Around 600 BC Indian Head massage (champissage or champi) was first documented in the texts of Ayurveda (Knowledge of Life). Generally it is said the women of the family originally practised champi. It was derived from ancient grooming rituals.

Massage has always played an important part in Indian life. It features in the earliest Ayurvedic texts, which date back over 4000 years. These ancient texts describe that, when used in conjunction with herbs, spices and aromatic oils, massage had an important medical function and could not only “strengthen muscles and firm skin”, but also encourage the body’s innate healing energy.

Today, Indian infants often receive a daily massage from birth until they are three years old to keep them supple and in good health. From three to six years of age, they are massaged once or twice a week. After six years of age, they are taught to share a massage with family members. Massage occurs across the generations in India as an integral part of family life. Indian Champissage™ springs from this rich tradition of family grooming.

Head massage has been practiced for over a thousand years. The concept was originally developed by women who used different oils according to the season (coconut, sesame, almond, olive oil, herbal oils, buttermilk, mustard oil and henna) and individual needs to keep their long hair strong, lustrous and in beautiful condition.

Barbers practiced many of the same skills with their male clients. They used to visit individual homes, cutting hair and often offering champi (head massage) as part of the treatment. It was customary for most people from the king down to have someone attend to them in this manner.

Treatments offered by barbers differed from the massages performed by women. A champi was an invigorating scalp massage designed to stimulate and refresh the individual and was not considered part of a beauty regime. The word ‘shampoo’ comes from the Hindi word ‘champi,’ meaning ‘massage of the head.’ Regular head massage, as practiced by woman to beautify their hair, was soothing and relaxing. They would use natural oils to keep their long hair strong and healthy.

The barbers’ skills evolved through the ages. They were handed down from father to son in much the same way that women kept alive the tradition of hair massage and grooming by passing the techniques from mother to daughter.

Nowadays, it is very common to go to a barber’s shop, receive a wet shave and have a head massage thrown in as part of the treatment. Head massage can be seen in many locations in India from Calcutta to Bombay: on street corners, in markets and, of course, on the beach.

Benefits of different oils

Coconut oil: helps to delay the occurrence of wrinkles because it has antioxidant vitamin E, known to protect the skin cells from damage over time. The Vit E also soothes eczema, psoriasis, and sunburns. The anti-viral/anti-fungal benefits help treat bug bites. It has 3 fatty acids: Capric acid, lauric acid and caprylic acid. Each of these acids kills candida, a common cause of fungal infection on your skin

Sesame oil: This oil is rich in omega 6, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and vit B & E which have been used as products of beautification. it can provide you with glowing skin by maintaining skin flexibility, keeping it soft and supple.

Avocado Oil: The beta carotene, protein, lecithin, fatty acids, and vitamins A, D, and E found in avocado oil help moisturize and protect your skin from damaging UV rays and also increase collagen metabolism.

Olive Oil: high in antioxidant content and it helps maintain scalp and hair health. It prevents the hair from cell damage and nourishes and conditions the hair at the same time to improve its quality. The massage improves the circulation of blood in the scalp and nourishes the hair follicles as well

Grape Seed Oil: When applied to your hair, grapeseed oil adds moisture, strength, and shine. Try massaging a couple of tablespoons of grapeseed oil (using more or less, depending on the length of your hair) into your hair and scalp before shampooing. Grapeseed oil is used as a natural remedy for baldness.



  • Allergies: plays a key role when someone is allergic. Always inform them of which oil you are using
  • Heat Intolerance: those who have rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis
  • Skin Type: thin skin, like the elderly, may not tolerate heat
  • Medications: some medications can interact negatively with heat
  • High Blood Pressure: those who have high BP
  • Surgeries: avoid those who have had surgeries

Welcome to our new addition: Foot Exfoliation and Massage

A foot scrub is described as a way to soften the feet, gently removing dead skin. This technique also allows your moisturizer to penetrate deeper into your skin.

At East Mountain Massage, we brought this wonderful addition to our portfolio, especially for those who find themselves with tired/achy feet at the end of a long day, or for someone who works in closed- toed shoes where the feet are so dry and cracked!

We have designed this addition to focus completely on your feet and by also including your calves, help release tension using various massage therapy techniques and pressure points!


  • Increases circulation
  • Releasing tension
  • Promoting relaxation and stress relief


What scents to we use?

We try to keep different scents available. Some scrubs on hand include, but are not limited to, Peppermint, teatree, lavender

Once you book your appointment, your therapist will contact you either via email or text/phone call to offer the different scents (which will be what’s available on hand)



Rashes, cuts or skin irritations

Allergies to specific scents (please inform your therapist of any of these allergies)