Beyond the Breath Bodyworks, LLC

Massage Therapy in Scarborough ME, Christina LaBrecque, LMT, CCT

Types of Bodywork Techniques

Massage Therapy uses techniques such as myo-fascial release, trigger point, Swedish, deep tissue, stretching, range of motion and gentle, yet effective neuromuscular. No two massages are alike as your needs may vary from visit to visit. Please review some brief descriptions of various common bodywork techniques below and you are encouraged to communicate any concerns or questions about your session.

Swedish massage:

Swedish Massage consists of long strokes, kneading, friction, percussion and vibration that can range from very light to very deep. Oils, lotions or creams are used to reduce the amount of friction on the skin.  This type of massage stimulates circulation and reduces muscle tension. Swedish massage and can overall be very relaxing, therapeutic, stress-relieving and revitalizing. 

Deep Tissue:

Deep tissue massage addresses localized areas of tension which can cause soreness and limit movement. After the muscles are warmed with Swedish massage (longer, relaxing strokes) the work begins with techniques that are focused, slow and controlled with the intention of sinking to the deeper areas that need release. Deep tissue techniques are always incorporated with other massage techniques.  An entire session should not be comprised of only deep work which can be overwhelming to the body and cause nausea, headache and greater soreness. The "no pain, no gain" statement is a myth and it can actually be harmful. It is important that clients honestly communicate any level of pain during the session.  Deep tissue release does not always require deep or heavy pressure to be effective, in fact the pressure is applied gradually and controlled to be able to sink deeper and avoid causing muscle tightening. Discomfort is common during this work and most clients describe it as a "good pain" while the areas being worked on are able to remain loose and the client can  continue to breathe effectively and in harmony with the release.  Some soreness can occur for 1-2 days following a session using deep tissue.  Staying active, hydrated and following the "homework" your therapist may give you after your session will help to maximize the benefits of this work.

Trigger Point therapy:

Trigger points are specific tender within muscle tissue which are irritable or causes pain when pressure is applied. Trigger points are different than muscle "knots" in that pain or other sensations can often be felt radiating to another area when the trigger point is located. During this technique, direct pressure is applied for a short amount of time to release the trigger point. Communication with the therapist is necessary during this work.

Myofascial/Connective Tissue Therapy:

This technique addresses the web-like, fibrous connective tissue that surrounds tissues, muscles and organs, holds the body together and gives it shape. Fascia is elastic in nature but can become rigid and restrictive causing limited flexibility, poor posture or pain. This technique is done with a small amount of lotion to allow for some friction along with sustained light or deep pressure to release tension, increase circulation and soften tissue that has become rigid. Myofascial release techniques can be an effective therapeutic approach for many issues including: cervical pain, back pain, scoliosis, restriction of motion, chronic pain and headaches.

PNF Stretching:

Proprioreceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation is an advanced form of stretching that uses active and passive motions to stretch a target muscle which can help to improve range of motion, increase flexibility and reduce pain due to muscular tension. This technique can be very effective at improving flexibility and range of motion in a short amount of time. Active communication with the therapist is needed during this work.

Neuromuscular Therapy:

Neuromuscular therapy is a soft-tissue manipulation using gentle, light strokes which is often used to: locate and release tense muscle tissue, eliminate trigger points that cause referred pain. This technique activates the branch of the nervous system which triggers muscle relaxation and helps to eliminate the pain cycle from chronically painful areas. This work can feel very light, relaxing, effective and suitable for the client with irritable, sensitive muscles.


An ancient Japanese technique which promotes relaxation and healing by enhancing and balancing “Ki” (life energy) in the body using a hands-off or gentle holding technique.  Clients often report feelings of soothing warmth or "wave-like" sensations around the focus area.

What is Polarity Therapy?

Polarity Therapy is a comprehensive form of healing bodywork developed by Dr. Randolph Stone (1890-1981) that addresses imbalances in the body's energetic and physical systems.  Imbalances in the flow of energy, if left untreated, can manifest itself in the form of physical and/or emotional issues. Polarity sessions incorporate Ayurvedic principles, nutrition, yoga, emotional and spiritual health practices. Polarity releases blocks in the specific energetic lines found in the body, unblocking the elemental (earth, air, fire, water, ether) pathways, clearing aura and chakras. Crystals may be used to enhance this work.  In the bodywork session your practitioner incorporates light touch, acupressure, gentle massage, rocking and stretching while the client is fully clothed.  Polarity at its heart is a set of principles designed to bring the body, mind, emotions and spirit into its highest potential and state of balance naturally. Clients report feelings of profound relaxation, rejuvenation, reduced muscle tension and/or tightness and overall sense of peace and contentment.

For more information about Polarity Therapy, please click HERE.

Foot and Hand Reflexology:

A form of bodywork based on the theory of zone therapy and involves working with the thumbs and fingers on specific areas (reflex points) found on the feet or hands. Each reflex point corresponds with the organs, glands and tissues of the body. Reflexology is a method used to address ill-health or stress-related ailments but is also used to prevent illness and maintain good health. Foot reflexology can be profoundly relaxing, therapeutic and a nice introduction to bodywork.

Pregnancy Massage:

This therapeutic massage is designed to support the pregnant woman by addressing the dynamic changes that occur with pregnancy and safely relieving common discomforts experienced during and after pregnancy. Not only does this massage help mom feel better but also helps soothe and calm baby during pregnancy.

Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals
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