Massage Therapy

Booking a Session

We now offer massage therapy! Our massage therapist, Michelle Kinkead, will design and implement sessions tailored specifically to address your individual situation, including working in conjunction with your other health practitioners, such as your physical therapist.

Times and prices:

Call today to book a session or if you have any questions: 303-926-1444.

Benefits of Massage

More and more studies* are proving what many people have known for quite some time — massage therapy not only helps you feel wonderful, but it has numerous physiological and psychological benefits. Among these, massage can:

Massage Techniques

Swedish/Relaxation Massage

The pressure in a Swedish/Relaxation massage can range from light to firm. It usually incorporates strokes that are long and gliding (effleurage) or circular and kneading (petrissage), though techniques such as concentrated, short friction strokes and tapping/vibration (tapotement) can also be used. As the name implies, it is particularly good at promoting relaxation while also reducing stress and muscular tension. Like most modalities, Swedish increases circulation throughout the body, bringing fresh nutrients and oxygen to tissues and organs and helping to flush out toxins and metabolic wastes that can accumulate and stagnate in unhealthy, inflamed areas.

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep Tissue is not a specific technique, but is a category of more advanced modalities that address deeper layers of tissue than would be worked on in a Swedish massage. Because of this, deep tissue techniques require an in-depth knowledge of anatomy, physiology and soft tissue function so that pressure can applied on precise structures such as muscle origins and insertions, or connective tissue such as fascia, tendons and ligaments. Deep tissue techniques are very effective at reducing adhesions and even scar tissue that contract and bind structures over time, reducing circulation, causing pain and impacting muscle health and function. Movement of muscles/joints, the use of heat or ice and facilitated stretching techniques like PNF can be incorporated during the session to further promote benefits such as increased muscle flexibility and joint range of motion (ROM), decreased pain and inflammation and improved posture.

Deep tissue work is often very effective in treating issues such as:

Deep tissue pressure should be adjusted according to your feedback — massage does not have to be painful, and in fact is usually more effective if it is ‘therapeutic discomfort' as opposed to actual pain. Deep work can cause some tenderness for a day or two, and it's important to drink plenty of healthy fluids such as water to help flush out metabolic toxins that are released from the tight tissues. Sessions will often include important post-treatment care tips, such as stretches, strengthening exercises or postural corrections that can help reduce the chance of the muscles reverting to their previous tight, imbalanced state.

Some examples of deep tissue techniques include Neuromuscular Therapy, Trigger Point Therapy and Sports Massage.

Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT)

NMT is a systematic deep tissue approach used to normalize communication between the nervous and muscular systems. Through injury, trauma, stress, postural dysfunction and repetitive motion, muscles and connective tissue can often end up with faulty firing patterns after becoming tense and developing adhesions and trigger points (see below). This can result in impaired function and mobility, aches and pain, inflammation and even impinged nerves or vessels that can cause symptoms such as numbness and tingling. NMT incorporates techniques such as Trigger Point Therapy, Myofascial Release and deep friction.

Trigger Point Therapy

Trigger points are tight, rigid and overly sensitive bands of tissue found most often in muscles, but also in connective tissues like tendons, ligaments and fascia — just picture the knots most of us have around our shoulder blades. They can develop after injuries, postural imbalances and stress, and can cause reduced muscle strength and function, loss of joint range of motion, and often radiate or refer pain or other sensations to a different area of the body. A common example is trigger points in the muscles of the neck (scalenes), the chest (pectorals) or on the shoulder blade (infraspinatus) that can refer aches, numbness or tingling down the arms and into the hands and fingers. Trigger points can be active or latent, and respond well to sustained, deep pressure — working on them is an integral part of most deep tissue sessions.

Sports Massage

Sports massage is helpful for all kinds of athletes, whether you're a newbie, a weekend warrior or one of the elite competitors that flock to Colorado and its active lifestyle. It can be used to boost training and pre-event preparation as well as to reduce recovery time after an event. Sessions are designed to work the structures specific to your sport in order to promote flexibility and strength of muscles and joints while also helping to prevent injury. Regular massage can be an important part of your training as it can greatly reduce the risk of small aches and pains becoming more serious issues. Should you happen to injure yourself, massage can reduce your down-time by accelerating your recovery (once the acute phase is over — generally after about 48 to 72 hours).

Myofascial Release (MFR)

Fascia is the thin connective tissue that wraps every cell, fiber, organ, bone and muscle in the body. It helps to connect and keep things in place while also helping structures to glide smoothly across one another. When there is injury, stress, trauma, repetitive movements or sustained postures (such as sitting for long periods of time), fascia layers can become stuck and adhered to one another, causing tension and pain. Myofascial techniques use sustained stretches of the skin and deeper layers in order to facilitate release of adhesions. Deeper myofascial techniques include Rolfing and Structural Integration.

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)

PNF is an effective type of active, assisted movement where the therapist helps to stretch muscles in order to increase joint range of motion. A common technique is to passively stretch a muscle to the end of its range, then isometrically contracting it against resistance for 7-15 seconds, and after 2-3 seconds of rest, passively stretching it a bit further than the previous time before starting the process over again.

Pregnancy Massage

Though massage should not be performed in the first trimester, it can greatly reduce the aches and pains of pregnancy, including low back pain, neck/shoulder tightness and general soreness in joints and limbs. Extra pillows and bolsters are often used, and work is usually done in the side-lying position instead of lying prone (on the stomach). Firm pressure works well, but deep work is generally avoided.

Elder Massage

Gentle massage can be very effective in helping to reduce tension, pain and stress with older clients. It can be done on the table as with regular massage, or with the client seated and fully clothed. It can also provide a much-needed sense of touch — a very basic human need that often gets overlooked in later years. Shorter sessions of 30 minutes are usually preferred.

About Michelle Kinkead, LMT

Michelle Kinkead

Michelle is a Boulder native who returned in 2009 after many years of living, traveling and volunteering overseas. She has a double Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Psychology from the University of Colorado, and is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society. Combining life-long passions for learning, working with diverse people and independent travel, she has over 15 years' experience as a teacher, mentor, coach and student in such exotic locales as France, inner-city Los Angeles, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Thailand, India and New Zealand. She discovered the power of massage as well as a new career after experiencing and then studying Thai massage and reflexology while traveling throughout Southeast Asia. After moving to the city of Christchurch, New Zealand in 2006, she completed the 1,370 hour Diploma of Therapeutic Massage with distinction at the Canterbury College of Natural Medicine, and stayed there to work as a deep tissue massage therapist and as a medical/disaster first responder with the New Zealand Red Cross.

She has unique experience working with a wide range of clients in a variety of massage settings, and specializes in therapeutic deep tissue work to help clients reduce and overcome stress, chronic pain, recent injuries and musculoskeletal dysfunction. Michelle is able to specifically tailor each session to best address the needs and goals of her clients by using a blend of the many different modalities she has trained in, including neuromuscular therapy (NMT), trigger point work, sports and orthopedic soft tissue techniques, myofascial release/structural integration, PNF stretching, craniosacral therapy and relaxation/Swedish massage. She has also been an athlete and involved in sports her whole life, and as a result, fully understands the aches and pains that come with an active lifestyle as well as the relief that comes from regular bodywork to free up tight, restricted and stressed muscles and joints.

Michelle is a team leader helping to set up the Emergency Community Service Massage Team with the Colorado Chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), and is a volunteer EMT for the Medical Reserve Corps of Boulder County. In her spare time, she thrives on being active and outdoors, plays competitive volleyball and enjoys photography and writing. She is still getting used to living in the US and being a homeowner and dog/cat guardian, and is looking for an excuse to dust off her passport again.