Massage & Bodywork

Andie Devynck:

I believe each of us is the accumulation of our life experiences, in addition to, above and beyond our genetics.  Our bodies reflect this totality of both our natures and our nurtures.  Everything from accidents to education to adventures shows up somehow, somewhere in our bodies and beings - and especially in our emotional anatomy.  Bodywork can touch so much more than your skin, muscles and bones - it can reach your spirit, psyche and soul if you want it to...if you let it.  I believe it is one of the most direct avenues to healing we know. 

 Therefore, to address the emotional and psychological as well as the physical you, I employ individualized combinations of Somatic Coaching, Backwalking, Thai-style stretching, Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy ('Ashi'), Swedish, Deep Tissue and intuitive techniques in every session.  I focus intensely, and play skillfully, using your direction and feedback to customize your session and help you live more fully & freely in your body.  Together, we build a working relationship that supports you in your search for better health and healing, and enhances your process of being and becoming.

Below are definitions of the kind of modalities I offer both in sessions and as courses for professional massage therapists and interested non-professionals.

Massage: 

Swedish Massage: The term "Swedish Massage" refers to a variety of techniques specifically designed to relax muscles by applying pressure to them against deeper muscles and bones, and rubbing in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart. This form of massage was created at the turn of the century by Henry Peter Ling in Sweden. It involves the use of kneading, stroking, friction, tapping, and vibration and may provide relief from stiffness, numbness, pain, constipation, and other health problems. The main purpose of Swedish massage is to increase the oxygen flow in the blood and release toxins from the muscles. Other possible benefits include stimulation of circulation, an increase in muscle tone, and a balance of the musculo-skeletal systems. Swedish massage shortens recovery time from muscular strain by flushing the tissues of lactic acid, uric acid, and other metabolic wastes. It increases circulation without increasing heart load.

Deep Tissue Massage: The Blomeyer Health Fitness Center at Emory University defines deep tissue massage as a set of massage techniques (deep compression, friction, trigger point pressure) used to penetrate the surface muscles of the body to reach deep connective tissues. Deep tissue massage has several health benefits for athletes and non-athletes alike.

Bodywork: While all massage is bodywork, not all bodywork is massage.  Other forms of bodywork can include stretching (passive and assisted), chiropractic, acupuncture, and various types of movement therapy like Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais, Yoga and Dance Therapies, etc.

Traditional Thai Massage: This massage originated in India over 2500 years ago. The theoretical basis for this style of bodywork is the existence of the 'energy body' which includes 'sen' or energy lines through which life force flows. Through compressions, pressure on specific points and stretches to release blockages, a free flow of energy is restored. Thai massage is performed on a futon over clothing. No oil or lotion is used. This is one of the world's oldest healing modalities. It is a blend of massage, acupressure, energy work, and gentle yoga stretches. The client wears comfortable clothing and lies on the floor on a soft mat. Benefits from a session may include: releasing tight joints, stretching muscles, increasing range of motion, and reducing stress. 

Ashi: is based in part on one form of Asian barefoot massage called Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy™. "Ashi" means "foot," and "atsu" means "pressure."  Oils and lotion are applied to the body, and soft, clean, bare feet give a rhythmic and combination Deep Tissue/Swedish massage. Parallel bars are overhead, used for the therapist's balance and control.  Ashi is distinctly separate and unique in comparison to Shiatsu or traditional Ashiatsu. Ashi is not performed on a futon or floor mat with the head turned to the side, but on a massage table with a face cradle. With Ashi, the feet are used in line with standard Western massage fundamentals and anatomy. Ashi works because the pressure you are able to deliver with your feet is greater, and less painful at the same time.

Somatic Psychology: In this definition found on Wikipedia, "Somatic psychology is an interdisciplinary field involving the study of the body, somatic experience, and the embodied self, including therapeutic and holistic approaches to body. The word somatic comes from the ancient Greek root σωματ- somat- (body). The word psychology comes from the ancient Greek psyche (breath, soul hence mind) and -logia (study). Body Psychotherapy is a general branch of this subject, whilst Somatherapy, Eco-somatics and Dance therapy, for example, are specific branches of the subject. Somatic psychology is a field of study that bridges the Mind-body dichotomy". 

Body Psychotherapy: From the USABP website, "Body Psychotherapy is a distinct branch of the main body of psychotherapy with a long history and a large body of knowledge based upon a sound theoretical position. At the same time, it involves a different and explicit theory of mind-body functioning that takes into account the complexity of the intersections of and interactions between the body and the mind, with the common underlying assumption being that a functional unity exists between mind and body. The body does not merely mean the "soma," which is separate from the mind, the "psyche." Although many other approaches in psychotherapy touch on this issue, Body Psychotherapy considers this principle to be fundamental".

Life Coaching

Life coaching is a practice with the aim of helping clients determine and achieve personal goals. Life coaches use multiple methods that will help clients with the process of setting and reaching goals. Coaching is not targeted at psychological illness, and coaches are not therapists nor consultants.

Life coaching has roots in executive coaching, which itself drew on techniques developed in management consulting and leadership training.[citation needed] Life coaching also draws inspiration from disciplines including sociology, psychology, positive adult development, career counseling, mentoring, and other types of counseling. The coach may apply mentoring, values assessment, behavior modification, behavior modeling, goal-setting, and other techniques in helping their clients.