Swedish massage is the most common modality of bodywork when most consider massage and it’s one of Kie's favorites, as a licensed massage therapist, to implement for its fluidity and flow. One of the primary goals of Swedish massage is to relax the entire body and induce the parasympathetic nervous system, often called the rest and digest system. The flip-side of that coin is called the sympathetic nervous system, considered the fight or flight system, and that’s the one most of us are all too familiar with. Sadly we tend to get stuck there, to the point of mental and physical exhaustion. This near constant stressed out state impedes our body's healthy balance of internal regulation, called homeostasis. Swedish Massage counters the sympathetic nervous system by performing long, gliding strokes on more superficial muscles in the direction of blood returning to the heart. And it only takes about 15 minutes of Swedish massage to activate your body's natural healing response! But this therapy goes beyond relaxation. Swedish massage, in combination with a mindful approach and calming energy, is beneficial for increasing the level of oxygen in the blood, decreasing muscle toxins, improving overall circulation and flexibility, and easing tension.
Exciting news for Kie at AcuMed Spa!
One thing that is true of all massage therapists as they continue down their career path in bodywork, various massage applications and techniques they're introduced to along the way peak their interests and influences their direction. It’s an ongoing journey and one of the many reasons that massage therapist’s styles can be so varying. From the very beginning, as a young boy, Kie has appreciated gentle, tactile touch and the immediate relaxation that comes from it. The term “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” was certainly more literal than figurative for him growing up and continues to be a deal often made with other bodywork therapists within his circles.
At the Center for Massage and Natural Health in Asheville, NC, Kie was introduced to a modality of massage that resonated with him called Esalen Massage. It’s a variation of traditional Swedish and is known for its healing and nurturing touch and long, flowing strokes. The Esalen Institute, where it originated in Big Sur, California, is a non-profit organization that has been devoted to the exploration of human potential since the 1960s. Historical luminaries such as Aldous Huxley, Joseph Campbell, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Joan Baez and countless others have gathered at Esalen to develop revolutionary ideas, transformative practices and innovative art forms. Kie has just recently finished with his courses in Esalen Massage and is now a certified Esalen therapist!