Benefits of Massage

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Has pain or problems moving freely prevented you from enjoying your life to the fullest? If so, then you've come to the right place!



The following information will introduce you to the benefits of massage therapy.

How can a massage help me?

Common injuries, accidents, overuse of a muscle, and stress can settle into our muscles and cause many types of problems. Massage is becoming increasingly popular as a therapy that can help! Massage is a calm therapy for relieving pain and tension. In combination with other techniques, massage can help us avoid prescription drugs or surgery.


What types of problems will a massage help?

  • Muscle pain or tightness

Massage is great for relieving muscle tightness. There are massage techniques for releasing muscle tension through stretching and kneading the tissues of the muscle and the layers around it. In addition, there are techniques that indirectly stimulate your nervous system to help your muscles relax.


  • Stress

Massage is one of the best therapies for stress. Without stress, you'll find that you have more energy to enjoy life and help to prevent illnesses in the process. Because it can help relieve stress, massage can also help with conditions that are associated with anxiety.


  • Arm or leg tingling or pain

If a muscle stays contracted, it can interfere with the nerves that go to the arms, legs, hands, or fingers. This interference will typically give a pain or tingling in that extremity. Massage can help to relax the contracted muscle and allow the nerves signals to flow freely again.



Other conditions that Licensed Massage Therapist, Howard Northrup, has helped people with, through the use of Deep Tissue/Therapeutic Massage are:

  • headaches caused by neck/shoulder tension - can trigger pain behind eye(s), at forehead, at temple, at top of head, up back of head

  • head/neck Range of Motion limitation - examples: cannot turn head to one side, cannot look down, cannot look up; typically includes pain at end of range

  • arm/shoulder Range of Motion limitation - examples: cannot reach up, cannot reach behind body, cannot reach across chest; typically includes pain at end of range

  • low back pain - most commonly felt after overuse; typically more painful when bending over and causes Range of Motion limitation

  • old injury/scar tissue - chronic pain felt years after an injury is healed; may include Range of Motion limitation and/or pain due to scar tissue build-up

  • jaw muscle pain from TMJ Dysfunction - typically felt as pain in muscles of cheek when biting down or opening mouth wide

  • Piriformis Syndrome - also known as "False Sciatica," but sometimes mislabeled "Sciatica"; typically felt as pain in one hip, down back of leg to hamstring muscles, calf muscles, and/or foot

  • Plantar Fasciitis - pain on the bottom of one foot at the heel, typically when first standing on foot and improves with warm-up

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - may cause wrist pain, weakness in thumb and index finger, pain at elbow

  • Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis) - felt as pain at outside of elbow

  • Golfer's Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis) - felt as pain at inside of elbow

  • Trigger Finger (Stenosing Tenosynovitis) - typically a clicking sensation or "sticking" when the finger or thumb is bent; pain usually occurs when the finger or thumb is bent and straightened.

  • Runner's Knee (IlioTibial Band (ITB) Friction Syndrome) - felt as pain behind the knee cap; common in runners due to overuse and stress on knee joint

What will my first massage appointment be like?

Howard, your licensed massage therapist, will begin your appointment by asking you to fill out a Medical Intake Form that asks general health questions, since there are some conditions for which massage is not appropriate. Based on your condition(s), Howard will determine a massage plan specifically for you.


Depending on the massage technique that is best for you, you may or may not need to undress. For a full body Swedish Relaxation massage, people usually undress completely or just wear underwear. Howard will show you to a private room where he will leave you for a short time so that you can undress and get onto the massage table. During the massage, you will always remain covered except for the area being worked on (e.g., one arm, one leg, back, etc.).


The massage will be given on a sheet-covered padded table that's heated with a heated mattress pad, making it comfortable. The table is professional quality and stable (Howard uses an Oakworks massage table for house calls, which has been tested to remain stable with more than 500 lbs.). When you are face-up, Howard will place a cushion under your knees for low back support and will use an adjustable face rest for support when you are face-down. The room will be comfortable and quiet and will have soft music playing to set a relaxing mood.


For most massage techniques, Howard will use a lubricant, such as light natural oil or lotion, which is good for your skin and absorbs well. For some types of bodywork, no oil is used.


A massage session usually begins with a light pressure to start to calm your nervous system and begin releasing tension. Gradually, Howard will work more deeply on areas that require it, but never to a point of much pain, since the benefit of massage is gone with high levels of pain.

What do I need to do after my massage?


Howard,will give you a one-page sheet titled, After My First Massage with Howard..., that will detail all the things you should do, the things you may experience over the next few days, and information on how to continue the progress that was made with your first massage.


What other massage techniques are offered?

Currently, Howard specializes in the following:

  • Relaxation Massage
  • Deep Tissue/Therapeutic Massage
  • Trigger Point Therapy (also known as Neuromuscular Therapy or NMT)
  • Muscle Release Technique
  • Myofascial Release
  • Medical Massage (prescription for massage from a physician)

He also offers the healing energy technique called Reiki (pronounced RAY-kee). This technique can be used in a full session (a Reiki session) or can be added to your massage as needed.


For additional information on Reiki, go to

The International Center for Reiki Training