What Sets Massage Therapy Apart From Other Massage Types?
Massage therapy is offered at many clinics and other locations, but there is some confusion about just what sets it apart. This is because some massage providers focus on relaxation, others provide it as part of a spa experience, and still, others use it entirely as a medical treatment.
Here at Advanced Wellness Centre, our massage focus is on improving your health. While the experience of getting a massage is still generally enjoyable, we apply it in ways meant to treat specific conditions and achieve precise health goals.
What is Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy is any type of massage with the purpose of improving a medical or mental condition. It has been done for thousands of years, though in modern times, there are countless variations. Some of today's massage techniques follow age-old formulas, while others rely on the most recent research and discoveries.
Benefits of Massage Therapy
One of the biggest benefits of this therapy is how fast it can provide pain relief. Since it loosens up the soft tissues, pain caused by tense, knotted muscles stops right away. It can also make other treatments, such as chiropractic bone manipulation, go more quickly and be more effective.
How Effective is Massage Therapy?
Studies examined by the National Institutes of Health show that the effectiveness of this therapy depends on the conditions being treated. It shines out for things like low back pain, neck pain, depression, and helping pre-term infants gain weight. Notably, massage therapy is not something that "completes" after a few sessions. Instead, ongoing treatment is needed in order to maintain effectiveness.
Because of this factor and others, massage is often used in combination with other therapies. Which others are chosen depends on the condition in question. Cancer therapy, for example, is typically heavy on strong conventional treatments, while back and neck pain tends to be treated by a chiropractor in Richmond, VA who will focus on non-drug, nonsurgical methods.
The weight given to the massage component of an individual treatment plan also depends on the goals of the patient. Some are highly interested in the fast knockdown of current pain, while others will want to focus more on long-term solutions like chiropractic care and will only add massage if there is a solid practical benefit for their exact condition.
Regardless of your specific goal for massage therapy, your journey starts with an initial consultation. Just give us a call here at Advanced Wellness Centre to get started. We'll be sure to integrate your goals and health conditions to devise the perfect treatment plan for you. Call 804-673-9355, or schedule an appointment online!
Aidan FeoreLicensed Massage Therapist
Aidan, a Richmond native, graduated from The College of Charleston with a degree in Theater Performance in 2005. After completing his degree, he took some time to live and work as an actor overseas. Aidan became fascinated with massage therapy at a young age and, amid his travels, he found himself learning more about the benefits of massage as well experiencing many different techniques form all around the world. After returning to the states, Aidan received a diploma in massage therapy from Fortis College in 2015, where he graduated at the top of his class as valedictorian.
Since then, Aidan has made it his goal to help people through medical and therapeutic massage to regain function and live as pain-free as possible. He believes strongly in a mind-body philosophy. The essentials of that philosophy are that a strong mental attitude in regards to people's therapy is just as important, if not more than, what is done physically to the body. Aidan is experienced in many modalities including: deep tissue, sports, myofascial and positional release, trigger point and neuromuscular therapies. He is currently working to expand on his knowledge and education in structural integration, craniofacial therapy, active therapy techniques and rehabilitative stretching procedures. In his spare time Aidan continues to act and participate in the film industry in and around Richmond and up and down the east coast.
Dan Estes, LMTLicensed Massage Therapist
Dan Estes is a state and nationally Licensed Massage Therapist with a B.S. is Psychology and Philosophy. He had the privilege of graduating from world renown Cayce Reilly School of Massage in Virginia Beach. Dan’s goal is to aid in the healing, development and manifestation of life force energy into a more balanced expression. Dan utilizes multimodal therapeutic practices of soft tissue manipulation, traditional massage techniques and subtle energy-work in order to provide effective and enjoyable services. Dan has a passion for well-being in all aspects. Health and mindfulness are cornerstones of Dan’s practice. Every session with Dan is special and unique. He has been with the Advanced Wellness Center since November 2018 and looks forward to assisting you!
Connor OverstreetLicensed Massage Therapist
Connor joined the massage therapy team at the Advanced Wellness Centre in 2019. Prior to earning his licensure through the Virginia Board of Nursing he attended Alliance Medical and Health Sciences in Richmond where he studied massage therapy. Connor graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, earning a Bachelor’s of Science with concentration in Exercise Science. Before he began his career as a massage therapist, he worked in the field of Strength and Conditioning also at Virginia Commonwealth University. Connor has extensive experience as a Physical Therapy Technician where his focus was on providing instruction on advanced stretching and strengthening techniques. He currently specializes in Deep Tissue Massage and Myofascial Release, along with sharing his depth of knowledge on Therapeutic Exercise.
Connor's personal motto: “My goal is to give you as much relief as possible in a short time frame as well as give you the tools and advice so that you can help yourself.
Stefan SuarezLicensed Massage Therapist
Stefan is a Licensed Massage Therapist who graduated from VCU with a BS in Exercise Science and obtained his License in Massage Therapy from Alliance Medical and Health Sciences College. At the beginning of his career, Stefan spent 2 years working at a Physical Therapist clinic and has taken what he has learned from the PTs and incorporated it into his own techniques to develop a unique, systematic, and therapeutic approach. He specializes in Deep Tissue and Cross-Fiber Friction/Myofascial Release. His goal is not to put you in pain, but to make you more aware of your problem areas, and to teach you how to take care of them, whether it be through stretching, exercises, or modalities. Stefan always massages with the Golden Rule in mind: Massage others the way you want to be massaged, and will use his skill set to find what works best for you.
Stefan is a foodie who enjoys finding neat places to eat around Richmond and is willing to try any type of dish, just as long as it’s delicious. He is also passionate about Japanese Culture, streetwear fashion, movies (especially Shrek), and finding joy in all genres of music.
Sherwynn TrotmanLicensed Massage Therapist
Sherwynn graduated from ECPI University in 2016, achieving an Associates degree in Criminal Justice and Bachelors degree in Network Security. After attending Fortis College Richmond, VA in 2018 and graduating with honors in Suma Cum Laude, his passion for helping people through massage has grown working with a variety of clients. Specializing in Trigger Point Therapy, Deep Tissue, & Sports Massage, Sherwynn’s goal is to continue promoting Health and Wellness through touch.
Whitney DeBrauxLicensed Massage Therapist
Whitney DeBraux is a Richmond, VA native graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School. Always having a passion and interest in the medical field helping and educating helping people, shadowed 2 OB/GYNs at MCV Hospital her junior and senior year of high school. In 2017 after the passing of her grandmother from Breast Cancer deciding to take different approach to reach her goal enrolled in Fortis College for Massage Therapy, bridging her love for the medical field and her passion of helping people and how they can better their health together even more. Since graduating from Fortis College with honors in 2018, Whitney has helped and worked with over 1,000 people including WWE wrestlers, bike tours, spas and etc. Whitney specializes in Energy work, Deep Tissue, Myofascial Release, Trigger Point, Sports Massage, Neuromuscular Release, and Prenatal Massage.
David YounkinsIntegrative Health Coach
David studied Kinesiological Sciences at the University of Maryland and then completed his master’s in Exercise/Rehabilitation Sciences at the California University of Pennsylvania. He has most often worked in a post-rehabilitation environment and/or in communication with medical professionals, and he really enjoys helping transition people from therapy back into work and life. This interest has taken him to corporate gyms, commercial gyms, and country clubs. He spent the most time at Congressional Country Club near D.C. where he trained a variety of clients- from golfers and student athletes to the injured and elderly - to move and feel better.
More recently, he has taken this function-based and rehabilitative focus into massage therapy, where he enjoys working with specific pain conditions by taking a full-body view of movement difficulties. “*The site of pain is often not the source of pain!” *David enjoys educating others, and he teaches clinical massage at a local college.
David has also branched out into the related field of nutrition, earning a Master of Public Health Nutrition and practicing as a Precision Nutrition certified coach and wellness coach for the last 9 years. He emphasizes a functional medicine approach with personalized nutrition plans and goal setting for the individual, starting with those goals that are most achievable and effective based on the confidence and needs of the client. He is currently studying functional medicine and completing a board certification as a “certified nutrition specialist” in the state of Virginia.
David lives with his wife in Midlothian, and enjoys spending time with family, hiking, martial arts, reading philosophy, psychology, and science, and lifting weights/ kettlebells.
*Favorite coaching quote*: 'Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it 'fate'.' Carl Jung
Elexiss AllisonLicensed Massage Therapist
Elexiss graduated from Old Dominion University with a degree in Film and Television production and a degree in African and African American Studies. After receiving her degrees, Elexiss spent a few years exploring photography and creative styling. In 2002, her mother was diagnosed with MS(Multiple Sclerosis). She has always wanted to figure out ways to help her as well as others with similar illnesses relax, find comfort, and relief. Elexiss also has a love for sports, especially basketball, and has always had an interest in sports massage.
Elexiss graduated from Lotus School of Integrated Professions. Sports and relaxation massages interest her the most. She is known to be a very intuitive massage therapist, knowing exactly what spots need the most attention. Elexiss strives to create an environment where her client scan relax and release. She provides positive energy and a listening ear. She specializes in deep tissue, swedish massage, aromatherapy, and trigger point therapy.
In her free time Elexiss enjoys traveling, painting, spoken word, creative photography, and fashion.
Chris LewitLicensed Massage Therapist (LMT)
Chris is an experienced massage therapist, having worked in various corners of the industry after earning their Associates degree in Occupational Studies in Therapeutic Massage from Heritage College in Kansas City, MO in2007. They worked as a promoter’s assistant while earning their degree, helping to put on various concerts. Chris moved back to Virginia in 2009and slowly became well-versed in multiple modalities and techniques such as trigger point therapy, deep tissue massage, sports massage, acupressure, oncology massage, lymph drainage among others. After spending 7 years working near Quantico, Chris shifted their career more towards sports massage and injury recovery working with military and athletes.
Chris’ goal is to find the modalities and treatment plan to help each client and patient live better, and find alleviation from their ailments. Chris’ free time is spent with their spouse, child, and animals, visiting cemeteries and museums, and going on road trips. An avid horror fan, Chris also loves to read, especially Stephen King. They also collect plants, bones, and insects.
The Science Behind Massage
“Massage is an ancient healing art and has been viewed as an important part of virtually every system of medicine developed.”
From its early Asian roots to Hippocrates’ writings, massage was referred to as a tool for promotion of well- being and for treating various conditions. Health experts estimate that between 60 and 90% of all disease is stress related. Stress is a main contributor to rapid aging. The prestigious Mayo Clinic published an article titled “Massage: Get in Touch With Its Many Health Benefits”. Stress relief, managing anxiety and depression, pain, stiffness, blood pressure control, sports related injuries, boosting immunity, cancer treatment and infant growth were among the many benefits cited. These are the primary reasons that American adults make more than 100 million visits to massage therapists annually.
Besides pervasive mental stress, repetitive postural stress is also epidemic with huge numbers of people tied to desks, sitting for toxic periods of time, slumping over computers causing a myriad of physical problems.
“Hands down”, Massage therapy is one of the best things you can do for your health. Although there are many different types of massage the common denominator involves relaxing muscles and increasing blood flow and oxygen to tissues. Less quantifiable, but potentially as valuable are the energetic changes that occur with human touch and intention.
This healing art, while ancient in roots, continues to be one of the most effective, safe and natural ways to treat mental and physical ailments.
Conditions helped by Massage
Most common complaints prompting people to start massage include:
- Maintain well-being
- Muscle tension and spasm
- Improving sleep quality
- Reducing blood levels of the hormone cortisol (associated with stress).
"Annie Lively is the BEST massage therapist in Richmond. Recovering from Achilles surgery gave me the time to be with many therapists in the Richmond area and she is by far the best one. As an athlete, it is very important to be around a therapist such as Annie. She has been great in helping me get on my way back to playing professional basketball in Europe." - Bradford B.
"I am a dance teacher, and have been teaching 31 years. I have been all over to lots of massage therapists and have never been more pleased than with Miranda Hale and my progress at Advanced Wellness Centre. I don't even have to tell Ms. Hale what is hurting or what is bothering me and my body. She says she can look at how I walk in and tell my issues. I am not taking any pain medication since I began seeing her, and I leave the Centre SO happy and energized." - Linda B.
“I had a wonderful experience. My body is my temple and I truly felt polished and renewed after my massage. I will be returning very soon. Many thanks.” - Zuhra A.
“I have nothing but enthusiastic praise for Wellness Center. I have had PT, Chiropractic, massage and various treatments over the years for stiff neck, back pain, and headaches and what I love about this place is the way they use such a holistic approach. Andy is positively gifted!! All of the massage therapists are incredible. Also I like the vibe of the place – medical/competent but mindful of the need for a patient to have a positive relaxing environment.” - Anonymous
“The Center is very welcoming and organized! The atmosphere creates a sense of trust. My massage therapist was knowledgeable and perceptive to my needs. He suggested several things that we could work on in the future that were consistent with what I know about my body. I will return again!!” - Anonymous
“I had the BEST massage at the AWC the other day. The massage therapist really seems to know the body and where all the knots are at! I have never had such a great deep tissue massage.” - Anonymous
“My Advanced Wellness Centre massage therapist is the best massager I’ve ever had. She was able to be comfortable digging deep safely and to discover the crux areas. She took a few minutes getting comfortable and then found the areas to work and spent enough time working the problem to make it worthwhile.” - Anonymous
“15 minute regional massages are not enough, I’m booking a two-hour session! I feel much looser and my massage therapist has a great healing touch!” -Sidney T.