5155 Plymouth Rd Ann Arbor, MI 48105 | 734.660.5919
Regular hours: Mon.-Sat. 10am-8pm, Sun. 11am-6pm
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11 Jan
by Josie Ann, posted in In-footer, Modalities, Ticker   |  No Comments

What Is Reflexology?


Reflexology is a therapy based on the principle that there are small and specific areas of innervation in the hands and feet that correspond to specific muscle groups or organs of the body.

The image illustrates how in this system, the nerve endings in the extremities provide a “map” of the rest of the body.  With the application of pressure on particular areas of the hands or feet, reflexology helps promote relaxation, reduction of tension, improved circulation, and support of normalized function in the related area in the body.

What you can expect during a session

At Balance, a typical reflexology massage can last 30 to 60 sixty minutes.  Reflexology can be incorporated into any massage session, or a client can request a specific session centered around refloxology.  In these cases, a client’s shoes and socks are removed, and the client is made comfortable on the massage table. Pressure is applied in thumb-and-finger “walking” patterns, resulting in gentle stretching and massaging of specific zones of the hands and feet that are thought to correspond to body organs.  Home care suggestions may be discussed at the end of the session.


Myofascial Rlease

26 Aug
by Josie Ann, posted in Modalities   |  No Comments

What is Myofascial Release?

Myofascial release (also known as “myo”) is a form of massage therapy that assists in the treatment of muscle tension and pain. Myo aims to relax contracted muscles, improve blood flow, and stimulate the stretch reflex in muscles.

Fascia is a thin, tough, elastic type of connective tissue that wraps around muscles. This tissue can become restricted due to overuse, trauma, or inactivity, and often results in pain, muscle tension, and diminished blood flow.

Myo is a great fit for clients looking for a slow, steady, calm approach to massage whereby the therapist uses their forearms and elbows to deliver broad massage strokes to the body.

Myofascial Release

Hands-On Treatment

Therapists perform myo directly on the skin without the use of oils or creams. This enables the therapist to accurately detect fascial restrictions and apply the appropriate amount of sustained pressure to facilitate release of the fascia.


The Mayo Clinic has a great write-up on myofascial release as an effective treatment for back pain.

Polarity Therapy

23 Aug
by Josie Ann, posted in Modalities   |  No Comments

What is Polarity Therapy?
Polarity Therapy is a holistic method that involves balancing the flow of energy to improve and maintain a healthy way of life. Polarity therapy is based on the theory that a smooth flow of energy is necessary for good health, while disruptions in the flow caused by stress, poor nutrition, and other factors lead to energy imbalances, fatigue, and illness. Simply put, when energy is unbalanced or blocked, pain and disease arise.

What to expect during session:Polarity Therapy
Contact may be light, medium or firm. In the session, the therapist helps the client in a growing self-awareness of faint energetic sensations, which are often the feeling of warmth, tingles or even wavelike movement. Because polarity therapy is based on the unique needs of the patient at the time, no two sessions are exactly alike. During a polarity therapy session the patient will often reach a state of deep relaxation.

How will I feel afterward?
Your results from Polarity Therapy sessions will be unique, and may include in an overwhelming sense of relaxation, a better understanding of your body’s energy patterns, and relief from numerous specific complaints such as hypertension, anxiety attacks and breathing disorders. With Polarity Therapy, the energy blockages and restrictions are cleared and your energy field is restored to its natural state of balance.

Oncology Massage

11 Aug
by Josie Ann, posted in Blog, In-footer, Modalities, Ticker   |  No Comments

What is Oncology Massage?
Oncology massage is designed for the specific needs of people who are dealing with the physical and emotional effects of a cancer diagnosis and its treatments.

The main focus of Oncology Massage is to enhance your body’s ability to heal while “doing no harm”, helping at a time when you may be:

  • dealing with a lowered immune system,
  • at risk for developing lymphedema,
  • stressed by radiation or chemotherapy treatment,
  • recovering from surgery.

Enhancing Your Body’s Healing Processes
Oncology Massage Therapy can assist your body and spirit, focusing on restoring you to health. It is so much more than a diversionary feel-good treat or simple relaxation technique. By integrating Western and Eastern modalities of massage in order to address the symptoms of cancer and, as importantly, the effects of modern treatment methods. Oncology Massage Therapy can help you with:

  • nausea or lack of appetite,
  • diarrhea or constipation,
  • insomnia or feeling of exhaustion,
  • low blood counts,
  • localized pain or effects of surgery,
  • side effects from chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

In addition, Oncology Massage can also help:

  • boost your immune system,
  • strengthen compromised body organs and systems,
  • build up blood counts,
  • lessen depression, and
  • enhance your feeling of well-being.

Emotional and Spiritual Benefits
Oncology Massage brings a unique focus to the body of a cancer patient — one of nurturing attention. This is a direct contrast from the often painful invasive medical procedures and aggressive treatments that are required to deal with cancer. Oncology Massage offers you an opportunity to experience your body in a positive mode at a time when you may feel overwhelmed by your cancer diagnosis and treatment regimen. It is a chance to bring a powerful, and empowering, additional therapy to your cancer treatment plan. Oncology Massage nurtures, soothes, comforts and subtly heals your body. It allows you to change the focus of your treatment to one of nurturing and healing, providing a sense of empowerment in being able to take control of the direction of your healing process.

“Do No Harm”
Cherry BlossomsOncology Massage respects the limits and sensitivities of your body at a time that it may already be stressed by the disease and the effects of treatments. For instance, you may be detoxing from chemotherapy or recovering from the effects of radiation treatment. Balance Massage’s Oncology Massage therapists are trained to understand the unique requirements, precautions and techniques. We will absolutely honor your body’s healing process and be mindful of your specific needs.

Craniosacral Massage Therapy

03 Aug
by Josie Ann, posted in Modalities   |  No Comments

What is Craniosacral Therapy?
Balance Massage: Cranio-Sacral TherapyCraniosacral therapy, (CST) is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system – comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.
Using a soft touch generally no greater than 5 grams, or about the weight of a nickel, practitioners release restrictions in the craniosacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system.

By complementing the body’s natural healing processes, CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and is effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction.


Within the human body there exists an important rhythm, the craniosacral rhythm, that results from the increase and decrease in the voume of cerebrospinal fluid within and around the craniosacral system. This system consists of the brain and spinal cord (the central nervous system), the cerebrospinal fluid that lubricates the brain and spinal cord, the surrounding meninges (membranes), and the bones of the spine and skull that house these membranes.

The human Life Force (a.k.a. “breath of life”), which is the main fixture in healing, is said to be transported via the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to all the tissues of the body. Thus, this fluid is involved in the healing of all of the major organs and organ systems of the body. An increase in the craniosacral fluid pressure, resulting from the filtering of the fluid from the bloodstream to the craniosacral system, causes the movement and vibration of the cranial bones of the skull. The only time that the cerebrospinal fluid pressure decreases is when the fluid is reabsorbed into the bloodstream through the inner membranes of the brain. This decrease in fluid pressure, in turn, allows the bones to return to their original position.

Maintenance of proper functioning of the craniosacral system may be the key to promoting wellness. This system is vital in ensuring your health because the disruption of this system filters down and eventually affects all of the body’s vital rhythms (e.g. cardiac rhythm and respiratory rhythm). Simply put, the purpose of craniosacral therapy is to enhance the functioning of this system by examining bone movement, locating restriction points that result from injury, and monitoring/manipulating the life force energy.

Craniosacral therapy is “holistic” because it tries to prevent illness and dysfunction by viewing the entire body as a whole. It attempts to cater to the physical, mental, and emotional needs of the patient.

Neuromuscular Therapy

30 Jul
by Josie Ann, posted in In-footer, Modalities, Ticker   |  No Comments

What Is Neuromuscular Therapy?
Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) is a very specialized form of manual massage therapy. An NMT therapist is educated in the physiology of the nervous system and its effect on the muscular and skeletal systems. The Neuromuscular Therapist also is educated in kinesiology and biomechanics and the functioning of the human nervous system.

Neuromuscular TherapyBy definition, Neuromuscular Therapy is the utilization of static pressure on specific myofascial points to relieve pain. This technique manipulates the soft tissue of the body (muscles, tendons and connective tissue) to balance the central nervous system. In a healthy individual, nerves transmit impulses (which are responsible for every movement, function and thought) to the body very slowly. Injury, trauma, postural distortion or stress cause nerves to speed up their transmission, inhibiting equilibrium and making the body vulnerable to pain and dysfunction. Neuromuscular Therapy massage works to stabilize low levels of neurological activity to maintain normal function and overall health.

Neuromuscular Therapy will be used to address five elements that may be causing you pain:

  1. Ischemia: Lack of blood supply to soft tissues which causes hypersensitivity to touch
  2. Trigger Points: Highly irritated points in muscles which refer pain to other parts of the body
  3. Nerve Compression or Entrapment: Pressure on a nerve by soft tissue, cartilage or bone
  4. Postural Distortion: Imbalance of the muscular system resulting from the movement of the body off the longitudinal and horizontal planes
  5. Biomechanical Dysfunction: Imbalance of the musculoskeletal system resulting in faulty movement patterns (i.e., poor lifting habits, bad mechanics in a golf swing of tennis stroke, computer keyboarding)

Neuromuscular Massage Therapy Technique
NeuroMuscular TherapyNeuromuscular therapy consists of alternating levels of concentrated pressure on the areas of muscle spasm. The massage therapy pressure is usually applied with the fingers, knuckles, or elbow. Once applied to a muscle spasm, the pressure should not vary for ten to thirty seconds.

Massage Therapy Can Reduce Muscle Pain
Muscles that are in spasm will be painful to the touch. The pain is caused by ischemic muscle tissue. Ischemia means the muscle is lacking proper blood flow, usually due to the muscle spasm. This in turn creates a situation where muscle is not receiving enough blood or enough oxygen. This lack of oxygen causes the muscle to produce lactic acid, making the muscle feel sore following physical activity. After the muscle is relaxed through massage therapy, the lactic acid will be released from the muscle, and the muscle should start receiving enough blood and oxygen.

Neuromuscular therapy may feel unfamiliar or even slightly painful at first, but the pressure of the massage should alleviate the muscle spasm. At this point, it is extremely important to communicate with the massage therapist regarding the pressure – whether the pressure is too much, too little, getting better, getting worse. The therapist will listen and respond accordingly.

What to Expect After Neuromuscular Massage Therapy
Following a neuromuscular therapy massage, any soreness that presents itself should fade after twenty-four to thirty-six hours. The muscles that were tight should remain noticeably more relaxed for four to fourteen days, depending on stress, activity level, and severity of back pain prior to beginning massage therapy.