Looks like Thai, feels like Shiatsu, incorporates posture, symptoms, and goals.
Regarding my massage style, I say “shiatsu” in a very general sense because I use my body weight and a travelling hold-release technique applying intermittent pressure in addition to long holds and assisted stretches. Instead of focusing on meridians, I use broad pressure across entire muscle groups with my “mother-daughter” thumbs/hands, forearms, palms, elbows, and knees depending on client preferences and needs. These broad compressions serve to separate muscle compartments from bone, where deep fascial restrictions occur. Here’s a demo and explanation of my work, although I don’t tend to sit on people now that I’m an RMT.
My style looks like Thai massage and assisted yoga, but feels more like active and passive release techniques such as stretching or compression of muscles while they are engaged, or applying slight over pressure in restricted ranges of motion. Other techniques and influences to my style include rolfing (structural integration to improve body alignment and functioning), light to moderate joint mobilizations (mostly oscillations), and therapeutic assessment techniques throughout treatment to gauge effectiveness.
I ask clients to communicate all needs and sensations throughout the session: it’s up to you to tell me how firm you like the pressure, how fast/slow, broad/sharp. Up-down, left-right, hold-stop, you name it. You may like “good pain”, but pain can cause resistance and fear in the body, which can be counter productive: I don’t want to go past a 5 out of 10 on a scale of impact where 10 is too much impact and 1 is negligible.
This work can be done in any location, over clothing, with no special equipment. I have done this work at street festivals, on the floor, in yoga studios, using a stool or chair, in private homes, on a couch coffee table bench or tarp, against the kitchen countertop… my style of massage can ultimately happen anywhere, any time. If I can clean my hands (I usually have hand sanitizer if there is no running water), access the internet (to collect an annual health history and send an RMT receipt for insurance purposes via email), then I can do the work. Parks, parties, events – I can work with whatever we have including nothing at all if we are standing.
At my home-based treatment spaces, I usually work with the BodyCushion body support system on gym mats or a narrow massage table with face cradle (I tend toward the table in winter and the floor set up in summer; please specify if you have a preference). Because clients are fully and comfortably clothed, I can use their bodily movements to assist in my treatment: an actively engaged body can sometimes get further along with my help than I could achieve on my own with a passive body.
I also provide massage therapy at Laya Spa and Yoga on Queen west near Ossington. Benefits to clients include free use of steam room with massage booking, which melts fascial adhesions to the point of easier release; beautiful, relaxing environment; direct work on skin; in-house aromatherapy blends, and other services available at the spa. I can incorporate more elements from massage styles like swedish and rolfing in this context.