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SOME of the Massage Techniques we use at Rio Massage and Wellness

Massage for cancer patients, in recovery, or cancer survivors

If you are a current cancer patient, in recovery, or a cancer survivor, it is extremely important to work with a massage therapist trained in 'Oncology massage'. An Oncology trained massage therapist skill set includes knowledge of the disease itself, and ways it can affect the body, side effects of cancer treatments, and the ability to modify massage techniques in order to work effectively and safely. Depending on your unique situation, the therapist will use techniques and pressure that are appropriate. Benefits associated with massage for cancer patients may include better ability to sleep, relaxation, decreased anxiety, pain and nausea, as well as a better quality of life. The therapeutic session can also ease feelings of isolation one can feel during cancer treatment.

Reflexology is an ancient art and science based on the principle that there are reflex areas in the feet and hands which correspond to all the glands, organs, and parts of the body. By stimulating these reflex areas with specific pressures, the therapist uses her thumbs, fingers and hands, causing a release of tension (relaxation), and can unblock congestion in the corresponding areas of the body. Circulation improves and helps the body to normalize, or come to a homeostatis. Care is taken during the session to optimize client comfort levels with pressure used. A reflexology session can be a full treatment itself, or incorporated into the session to support the current symptoms a client is experiencing.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)

MLD is an advanced form of massage that aims to stimulate the lymphatic system to remove congestion and stagnation from within the body, encouraging a healthier body and immune system. Symptoms that can respond well to MLD include weakened immune system, chronic congestion, colds, (sinus, etc), rheumatoid arthritis and the healing of wounds, burns or scars. MLD can also be incorporated into the treatment and control of lymphedema. Understanding how your lymphatic system works and knowing techniques to include with your daily activities can give you the extra boost you may be needing for a more energetic and healthy lifestyle.


Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral therapy was developed by osteopath, John E. Upledger after extensive research from 1975-1983. Craniosacral therapy consists of light holds to the cranium, face and also the sacral area. Craniosacral work can help with the mobility of cranial bones, helps to stabilize the primary respiration and regulates the flow of cerebrospinal fluid. This therapy can induce a very deep relaxation response and is beneficial for many things, including but not limited to migraines, chronic neck and back pain, colic, autism, central nervous system disorders, chronic fatigue, TMJ, PTSD, and traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries.


Shiatsu, Acupressure

Shiatsu is a Japanese form of acupressure and can be compared to acupuncture. Instead of using needles the practioner uses finger pressure, palm pressure and stretching. Acupressure helps the flow of Qi , (vital energy), from becoming stagnant. The acupressure points run along the 12 meridians of the body that correlate with your vital organs. Shiatsu can help calm the nervous system, helping with stress, muscular pain and improves circualtion.


Connective Tissue and Myofascial Release

These are both soft tissue therapies that help with the treatment of skeletal immobility and pain by releasing  restrictions of the fascia. Fascia is a sheet or band of connective tissue within the body that separates, or binds together muscles, organs, and other soft structures of the body.  Myofascial release uses a constant force of pressure on the body until tension is released. These holds can last up to five minutes in each spot to release the fascia.

Connective tissue uses dragging motions, whole forearm strokes and trigger points to release the fascia. This work tends to be deeper.

These therapies help to enhance performance and aid in the rehabilitation from injuries. Connective tissue looks at the overall structure of the body and helps improve posture, relieves chronic tension, pain and enhances self awareness.  

Cupping (Dermal friction)

Popular in China since 1000 BC, cupping is an ancient form of alternative medicine wherein special cups are applied to your skin to create suction.

People receive cupping for many reasons including to help with chronic pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation and well-being – and as a type of “deep massage therapy”  (WebMD)

It’s common for cupping therapy to be used along with massage therapy and essential oils or even as an adjunct to western medicine treatments.

After reviewing dozens of randomized clinical trials testing cupping therapy in patients with pain of any origin, a report published in Evidence-Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine found that cupping significantly reduced pain in people with low back issues, compared to usual care treatments, showed positive effects in treating cancer pain compared with anticancer drugs and analgesics, and helped soothe pain associated with respiratory issues.  (

Cupping is considered a warming treatment, promoting free flow of ‘qi’ and blood in the meridians, dispelling cold, dampness, diminishing swellings and pain.

*Keep in mind that it’s not uncommon for skin discoloration to develop after cupping, which can last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. For people with bleeding disorders or who are prone to bruising, cupping should be avoided.




"Had my first massage today at Rio Massage & Wellness and scheduled my next one. Rose is amazing! Met Rose years ago and she worked with me to get rid of my migraines. What a relief! All the doctors wanted to do was give me pills. Rose and I worked together and realized my migraines were brought on by my neck issues. I haven't had a migraine in years now...thanks to Rose!

"Do you wish you could go on a tropical vacation today but can't afford it? Get a long luxurious massage instead. Its like going to the beach without the sand in your suit. Seriously, I don't get many massages, but when I do, I like to go to Rio Massage & Wellness. Schedule a massage with Alisha or Rose. They will take good care of you." T.H. 

“Alisha gave me one of the best massages that I have ever had, it was very relaxing and she found all my problem areas and worked out the tension.”

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