Massage Therapy at Maui’s Best Massage + Spa

Simply put, massage therapy is the manipulation of bodily tissue using one’s extremities, usually the hands, forearms, and/or elbows. Different massage therapy modalities focus on different outcomes and therefore can utilize different ways of bringing those outcomes about. Massage therapy outcomes can generally be thought of in two camps. The first is relaxation and the other therapeutic pain relief. In a way, each can be considered at the opposite ends of the massage therapy spectrum. However, many people prefer a mixture of the two outcomes together, while some people prefer one specific outcome or the other.

Relaxation

So generally speaking, on one end of the massage spectrum you have a Relaxation massage. These massages are more common in spas. Oftentimes, the environment and atmosphere in Spas are geared towards being more tranquil and serene to evoke a greater sense of peace and calm in an individual. Spas can also have other amenities, such as jacuzzis or steam rooms so that their clients can partake in water therapy before or after their that would complement their session and aid in their relaxation. Esthetician services like facials and waxing are usually offered at Spas, as well. Couples massage therapy sessions commonly take place in Spas, to bring greater intimacy between the couple, as well as being an activity both partners can partake together.

The massage therapist would use their hands, knuckles, forearms, and elbows to knead and roll the muscles and soft tissues of their client. Skilled therapists use their wisdom and experience to manipulate those tissues to elicit more of a relaxing and calming effect.

This can occur through applying differing depths of pressure, and changing up the frequencies and lengths of strokes, as well through the application of specific strokes, on the tissue. Stretching can also be used to lengthen tight muscles.

Deep Tissue Massage

In Deep Tissue massage therapy sessions, the traditional goal for the massage therapist is to really get into the muscle fibers through the application of more specific pressure onto a specific location or locations on the muscle. Common “tools” used in Deep Tissue massage therapy sessions are elbows leveraged with the proper use of body mechanics. Pesky and chronic “knots” that do not respond to regular relaxation massage techniques and strokes may become less tense through the use of Deep Tissue techniques. Since the primary goal of Deep Tissue massage sessions is to break up the adhesions or “knots,” less concern is placed upon how relaxing the individual techniques are. To put it bluntly, Deep Tissue sessions can be more painful and less “relaxing” than the modality on the other end of the massage therapy spectrum. It is not uncommon after a Deep Tissue session for a client to be bruised, but the bruising should go down after a day or two.

Now, these are simply generalizations of the two extremes. Most massage therapy sessions utilize both relaxation and Deep Tissue techniques so that clients can both relax and receive deep work. Between the two extremes, there are wonderful modalities to treat different afflictions.

Lomi Lomi Massage

Here in Hawaii, we have Lomi Lomi massage, which was derived from Native Hawaiians. In the olden days, (and to some extent even now), Lomi Lomi was passed down from a master teacher to their student; oftentimes, the teacher and student were relatives. That is why, even today, you can see different styles of Lomi Lomi, as different families stressed achieving different goals and different ways of how to achieve those goals. Overall, however, one can see the commonality in Lomi Lomi, with its longer, flowing strokes using mainly the forearm. Depending on what the goal for the session is, the strokes can be light, for a relatively more relaxing feel, or they can be made with greater pressure, similar to a Deep Tissue massage session.

Using Hot Stones

A very popular option to a Lomi Lomi session is the addition of Hot Stones. You may also see a Lomi Lomi “Hot Stones” session as Lomi Pohaku. “Pohaku” is the Hawaiian word for “stones.” The Pohaku are usually basalt, volcanic rocks, obtained from local waters, where they have been shaped smooth by years and years and years of wave action. In traditional fashion, Lomi Lomi practitioners ask permission first to pick the stones and then are “called” to be picked by the stones themselves. The experience of receiving hot stones varies by individual, of course, but the words “blissful” and “heavenly” are often used to describe the use of the stones post-massage therapy session! The glide and warmth of the stones allow the muscles to relax in a different way than direct pressure, in a very soothing and relaxing manner. Indeed, heat is a powerful and effective way of reducing stress in one’s muscles.

Pre-Natal Massage

There are many other modalities to massage therapy. In addition to Lomi Lomi, one of the popular ones at Maui’s Best Massage + Spa is Pre-Natal massage. Obviously, this is where the recipient is pregnant. Being pregnant causes significant changes to a new mother’s body, and receiving a massage while pregnant can help ease some of the aches or pains those changes bring on. Depending on when in her pregnancy the mother-to-be is, she may be placed in massage pillows, where the pillows are specially made and placed, such that there is ample room for the mother to lie face down and have her belly fit inside a snug, but comfortable hole. Or, she may be placed in a side-lying position, also with several pillows placed strategically around her body to make her as comfortable as possible.

As you can see from the preceding paragraphs, some of the benefits to massage therapy include reduced blood pressure, greater sense of calm, pain relief, and greater blood circulation. Another huge benefit with us here at Maui’s Best Massage occurs in a Couples massage session, where two people receive their massage therapy sessions in the same room. This is a fantastic way to foster greater connection with your partner, and enjoy something together at the same time! As a matter of fact, Couples massage therapy sessions are the most popular service at Maui’s Best Massage + Spa. Many couples find it very relaxing and nurturing to spend some time with us after a long plane ride from the mainland, or a long car ride exploring Hana! Of course, a massage post- surfing, or snorkeling, or even just laying on the beach is a great way to top off one’s day from the multitude of experiences you can do here on Maui. To make this the ultimate Couples massage session, ask for our Couples Experience treatment package, which includes hot stones, aromatherapy, hot towels, and sparkling cider and truffles, for you and another at the conclusion of your session!

So in addition to a classic relaxation, Deep Tissue, LomiLomi, pre-natal, and Couples, what enhancements can you add to your massage therapy session that would add to your experience through us?

Essential Oils

We offer many different enhancements to add to your massage therapy experience! Our professional massage therapists have been trained to use essential oils, as well as other specialized creams and salves to make your massage therapy session that much better. Essential oils are simply amazing… they are considered the primary “essence” of a plant, bush, or tree derived from its roots, flowers, bark, and sometimes, seeds. Sessions where the massage therapist applies the essential oil Lavender is a time-tested way to help sooth skin irritations and ease anxiety. We have Lavender essential oil included in our Sun Soothe treatment, which many clients need after spending too long in the sun, unfortunately. On the other end of the spectrum, Wild orange is known to help one become more alert and is a good complement to more therapeutic or deep tissue massage therapy sessions for those of you who want to be more awake after your session.

Deep Blue Muscle Rub

Speaking of Deep Tissue massage therapy sessions, owner Sam swears by the Deep Blue muscle rub. He was first introduced to it in 2011 while working at the Four Seasons Resort in Maui when he first started working at the Spa there. He uses it personally and recommends it to clients whenever he can. It eases bruising and relieves pain very quickly for minor and medium injuries. He is especially enchanted by the wintergreen scent. Other essential ingredients to Deep Blue include Camphor, Peppermint, Ylang Ylang, Helichrysum, Blue Tansy, Blue Chamomile, and Osmanthus.

Sun Soothe treatment

Got sunburn? We have the just treatment for you to add to your massage therapy session! Ask for our Sun Soothe treatment, which has Lavender essential oil, as well as Maui Vera, a product that originated right here on Maui! It uses aloe vera as well as other cooling organic ingredients to cool and soothe skin scorched by the sun. The third main component of our Sun Soothe treatment comes in the form of shea butter, which has been used in Africa for centuries as an effective treatment for a variety of skin maladies and injuries. As you can imagine, we have many Maui visitors coming to us in need of this during their massage session with us!

We’re here for you

As of the summer of 2019, the average length of time our massage therapists have been practicing massage therapy is roughly 14 years. Some of our therapists have been working 25 years+. We’ve garnered a reputation among veteran massage therapists here on Maui that this is simply a great place to work. Many of our massage therapists have previous experience working at the prestigious resorts on Maui, (owner Sam worked at the award-winning Spas at Four Seasons as well as the Fairmont Kea Lani for many years) and many are also experts at different massage modalities and other forms of bodywork.

Maui Massage Therapy

You may even want to find out the process through which one can become a massage therapist. Here in Maui, massage therapists must attend an accredited school for a minimum of 500 hours, have practical clinic experience, and take a State test before they can be Licensed as a Massage Therapist in Hawaii.