The benefits of lymphatic drainage

By Claire Schoen

Light and rhythmic, lymphatic massage (also known as lymph massage, manual lymphatic drainage, or “MLD”) helps people feel a deep sense of relaxation and calm. This specialty style of massage is, perhaps, one of the most relaxing forms of massage – using such gentle pressure that the body can fully let down its guard in the hands of the practitioner. Anyone who wants to achieve peaceful calm should try lymphatic massage, especially those who don’t prefer firm pressure massage.

Overview of lymphatic massage

Originally designed to support the body’s natural lymphatic functioning, lymphatic massage aims to move the fluid through the lymphatic system which resides just under the skin. The lymphatic system moves fluid from around the body to the lymph nodes which filter the lymph and allows the immune system to respond to any threats. Although the system moves fluid, it does not have a muscle to pump the fluid. Lymphatic massage intends to manually pump the lymph fluid through the system thereby maintaining proper fluid balance and enhancing the immune system.

Medical uses for lymphatic massage

Medically, many people use lymphatic massage to manage lymphedema; as part of decongestive therapy or by itself as a means to control swelling.  People who have had lymph nodes removed during cancer treatment particularly seek out lymphatic massage. It can also be used to prehab the body prior to surgery or rehab after surgery. Anyone seeking lymphatic massage for medical reasons should discuss their options with their medical provider and gain approval prior to working with a massage therapist.

Research shows promise for lymphatic massage helping people who suffer from chronic headaches. Like traditional massage, it can help reduce their frequency.  It is also one of the styles of massage that may help people who suffer from Fibromyalgia. The light pressure is well-suited for people who have fibro and research subjects report less depression and anxiety, less stiffness, and feeling better refreshed upon waking after having a lymphatic massage. One study also looked at lymphatic massage after exercise and found that the athletes did process certain enzymes and acids better which has the potential for improving recovery. Some people also use it to reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Lymphatic massage can help people relax, refresh, recharge, and recover.

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Therapeutic Hot Stone MassageClick To TweetTherapeutic Hot Stone Massage; so much more than a lady with an orchid.

by Kassia Arbabi

When you hear the words “therapeutic hot stone massage”, what images and thoughts come to your mind? Wait, don’t tell me. I’ve got this. A beautiful, pale woman stretches out on a luxuriously plush looking massage table. A pristine white towel is pulled back to hip level, and there’s an orchid gently shimmering in her hair. Sleek, black stones are perched down the length of her spine, and a delighted, dreamy smile plays at the edges of her mouth.

That orchid-bedecked woman has somehow wormed its way into all of our brains as a stand-in for therapeutic hot stone massage. I’m here to tell you a different story about the stones. Yes, they are a luxurious indulgence. Yes, they can put you into a deeply relaxed, rejuvenated state. Yes, the stones are sometimes placed along your body. But there is SO MUCH more possible with hot stone; so much more than rocks on a back and an orchid in your hair.

I developed therapeutic hot stone massage as a natural progression in my work doing massage for pain relief. I started running into people with long-standing pain issues. Issues that hadn’t resolved after years of attempts to get rid of the pain through massage, yoga, stretching, heat, ice, rest, etc…. They came in asking for deep tissue massage. Or relaxation massage. Or any kind of massage that would provide some kind of relief. And I began trying out the hot stones as a therapeutic tool to efficiently, effectively, and non-invasively cut through bound-up muscles, tight muscles, scar tissue, trigger points, and more. The weight of the stone combined with the therapeutic benefits of moist heat work together to melt muscles far faster than fingers alone. And they give you real results, quickly and effectively, resolving chronic issues like SI Joint dysfunction, shoulder issues, and low back pain.

The benefits of Therapeutic Hot Stone Massage are numerous.  There are the basic health benefits: improved local circulation, stress reduction, calming the nervous system, lowering blood pressure, stimulating lymph flow (bolstering immunity).  As well, the stones put your body into a deeply relaxed state that serves as a reset button for your nervous system, recharging all of your body’s own self-care systems.  That alone can be enough to relieve physical pain resulting from stress, tight, sore muscles, or an injury.

The stones are also a powerful and effective tool for specifically addressing areas of chronic pain or tension, freeing up areas bound by scar tissue, or assisting an injured body part return to its full functionality.  And it’s a great companion therapy for physical therapy and other injury recovery therapies.  The heat from the stones allows the therapist to penetrate muscles more deeply than using hands alone, while causing less pain and discomfort.  The benefits of hot stone are deeply therapeutic, while the experience is gentle, non-invasive, and rejuvenating.  Who knew—so many benefits, no orchid required!

Kassia Arbabi is a Licensed Massage Therapist and team member at Nimbus Massage. She has training in Connective Tissue Massage, Myofascial Massage, Neuromuscular Therapy, Ortho-Bionomy, Stretching, Hot Stone Massage, and Polarity Therapy.



Couple’s Massage Basics

Each February our schedules fill with couples wanting a massage together. Whether celebrating Valentine’s Day, or another occasion during the year, read on to learn more about Couple’s Massage.

The basic premise of a Couple’s Massage is that two people receive massage at the same time, in the same room. Each person has their own massage therapist and their own, individualized massage.

Upon arrival, expect your therapist to do an intake process with you so you can tell them your goals for the massage. You will also discuss your overall health and your preferences for a massage session.  Your partner’s therapist will do the same with them. Then you will all go to the treatment room and receive a brief orientation to the room and how to get on the table. The massage therapists will leave to let you undress and start relaxing on the table.

When the massage therapists return, they will begin your and your partner’s massages as you discussed in the intake. Since you probably have slightly different needs than your partner, the massages will be slightly different, and tailored to each person individually. The therapist will ask about your comfort, but will otherwise maintain peaceful quiet. Unlike some spas and franchises, we do not do a standard choreographed massage “routine.”

Why Choose Couple’s Massage

You may choose Couple’s Massage for a variety of reasons. Perhaps to celebrate a special occasion. Or one person is a massage veteran who is bringing the other for the first time; it can feel more comfortable to come with someone you know. Sometimes, it just makes more sense time-wise if both of you can receive a massage at the same time. Or you may simply find it a lovely way to spend time together.

If you want to try a Couple’s Massage, give us a call and we will help you book it. We offer 30, 60, and 90 minute sessions. We call it Massage for Two because not everyone who wants to get a massage at the same time is a couple, and we can also see two people is separate rooms.

During the month of February only, we offer on-line booking for a Valentine’s Day Couple’s Massage Package. This special package includes a rose, chocolates, and rose aromatherapy to take home. Due to the high demand for this service, we do require a deposit to reserve this service.

We look forward to seeing you and your someone special soon.


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Rock on, turn up the heat, get stoned…

Aside from being a bad pun writer’s dream, hot stone massage enhances relaxation and feels amazing. Especially welcome during the cool months, adding a touch of warmth to a relaxation massage helps fight the winter blahs as well as the increased muscle tension felt from the cold. If winter’s not your thing, you can come in from the cold for an hour and a half and warm your bones with a hot stone session. Hot stones can also give some extra oomph to a massage designed for pain relief.

Typically, a “Hot Stone Massage” means a 90 minute massage with a main goal of stress relief and relaxation during which the therapist incorporates smooth heated stones into the session. The therapist will use the stones in two ways:

  1. Stone Placement- Placing stones in strategic areas to warm the muscles before or after working on them. Akin to applying a heat pack, leaving the warmed stones in place allows the heat to penetrate into the muscle.
  2. Massage with Stones- Using stones as an extension of the therapist’s hands. Massaging the muscles with the stones allows the heat to fully cover the muscles and help melt away knots.

In addition to using the stones the therapist will also use their hands, just like in a traditional massage, in order to do more focused work on specific muscles. A hot stone massage is designed to leave you feeling relaxed and warm both mentally and physically.


We innately want to apply heat to aching muscles. It feels good. We crave comforting touch when we have stress. It calms us. So combining heat with therapeutic touch gives us a unique opportunity for healing body and mind. Beyond feeling good, heat therapy encourages circulation in an area (you can see this when the skin turns pink) and coaxes muscles to relax and lengthen. It basically does the same things that massage strives to do, so the two combined are a power combo.

For those seeking a massage oriented toward pain relief and injury recovery, the therapist can incorporate hot stones into the session in a less generalized and more focused way to achieve these goals. The therapist can use them to apply heat with more targeted techniques to stubborn knots, tight muscles, and taut tissue. Just like in a relaxation massage, the moist heat delivered by the stones can enhance the work of the therapist leading to less tension, less pain, and more flexibility.

Surprisingly, heat therapy has a dearth of empirical evidence behind it. Like cold therapy, the medical community has employed it for so long and so frequently, that everyone assumed it had been well-studied. The research that exists, however, indicates that heat does seem to relieve pain, relieve muscle tension, and improve flexibility. Moist heat (like hot stones) may be particularly effective.

Definitely give this a try if you want to enhance a Massage for Stress & Anxiety or a Massage for Aches & Pains.





“Get off the table and onto the floor for a Thai Yoga Massage”

Feeling adventuresome or ready to try a little something different as part of your (massage) wellness routine? Get off the table and onto the floor for a Thai Yoga Massage to challenge your flexibility and leave you feeling revitalized.

Often referred to as “having yoga done to you,” Thai Yoga Massage, or just Thai Massage, comprises stretching, compressive massage, and meridian-based energy work. It enhances vitality and helps you feel more flexible. Thai Massage is an excellent way to improve your general wellness.

Read on for an interview with James, Nimbus Massage’s resident Thai Yoga Massage therapist.

Kristina Page: Tell me a little about Thai Massage.

James Arbuckle: In my experience Thai Massage is both relaxing and invigorating at the same time– which is an interesting paradox. My Thai instructor, who studied in Thailand, called it “yoga for the lazy.”

KP: What inspired you to learn Thai?

JA: Several things. Just like massage itself it felt like a natural fit. When I saw books or DVD’s on the subject I thought “that’s something I want to do.” It just seemed like a natural thing. Another reason that it interested me as a male therapist, is the fact that clients don’t have to disrobe for a Thai Massage.

KP: What was your favorite thing that you learned in Thai class?

JA: I really like stretching.

KP: Do you have a favorite stretch?

JA: I really like the chest stretch where I press my feet into their back and stretch their arms backwards to stretch the pec muscles. It counteracts the hunching that most of us do. There are also tons of good hip stretches.

KP: Advice for a person coming in for their first Thai session?

JA: Don’t wear shorts. Yoga or other loose fitting pants are optimal. During the session (like all massage), try to relax completely so that your body is limp and I do all the work. In some ways Thai massage is more intimate than table massage- I will use my feet, my knees, and my legs along with my hands and arms to support, massage, and stretch you. It involves a lot of contact between therapist and client- but it is an efficient way to mobilize the body and get the energy moving.

KP: Who is a good candidate for Thai?

JA: People who want to improve flexibility. Perhaps as a stepping stone to get into yoga or as a sample to see if yoga would be a good fit for them. Especially for people who want to try it out in private instead of in front of a crowd.

KP: Who shouldn’t try Thai?

JA: People who aren’t comfortable with the therapist using their feet to do the massage. People who don’t like stretching. People that prefer the skin to skin contact of normal massage, especially the gliding style of Swedish massage.

KP: What do you like about Thai?

JA: I really feel like it gives great coverage in working the body, more so than a table massage. A 90-minute Thai session truly covers almost the entire body. Abdomen, sternum, sides. Because it is efficient I can really get to everything. I also like that it keeps your energy up as a therapist as well.

Learning Thai was a turning point for my career. After taking the classes, I started getting a lot more work. Even when I wasn’t doing a Thai session, I would incorporate some of the Thai work and people really seemed to respond to it.

KP: Thanks, James, for taking the time to talk with me.

JA: You’re welcome! It was my pleasure.




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