The space we share with one another is defined by the space we create. It may not be something you would think about on a day to day basis, but space is a part of everything we do. Some of us need large spaces and may not enjoy crowds, while others love concerts or any event where large groups of people gather. These two examples are on a large scale, so let’s just move on to the smaller, more specific situations. The movements you may perform while exercising creates space in your joints, and are an active decision. Yoga, Pilates, heavy weights, etc. create a space. In some cases, space may be restricted and the desire is to create more. Stretching and increasing flexibility and even engaging in massage therapy (and perhaps exploring Asian Bodywork) are good examples for achieving greater movement for your body and all its mechanical components.

Active movements happen during exercise; that is the intentional choice to flex, stretch and lift heavy weights. Spin classes for cardio, Pilates for core strength. Passive movements are just as important as these other activities we participate in. And receiving a therapeutic massage, as well as Shiatsu, is a great way to achieve passive movement, and the therapist is the one who creates that space our joints need so badly.

Asian Bodywork, such as Thai or Shiatsu, falls under the larger umbrella of massage therapy. Bodywork is distinguished by the body mobilization techniques utilized, and can easily be incorporated into a traditional massage. What’s more, the therapist gets to stretch and move during the massage therapy treatment as well, at times mirroring the client.

Related: click here to try FFC for free and check out all the amenities at our clubs!

My personal journey with massage therapy and Asian bodywork

FFC massage therapist Jessica demonstrating Table Shiatsu with fellow massage therapist Samantha Margaret Wolf.

This is what led me to become a massage therapist and study Asian Bodywork. I have a background in dance and martial arts, and at one point in my past I had to make a decision to find a career path that encompassed what I loved about both. Defining the space around myself with movement, whether it was dance or martial arts, embodies much of what massage therapy is to me now.

I have been a board-certified massage therapist and experienced with Asian bodywork with BCTMB for 12 years now. My most recent training is from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine with an A.A.S. degree in holistic sciences. I am also a certified practitioner of Asian Bodywork, specifically practicing Shiatsu work and Acupressure with 5 Element Theory. I believe learning is a lifelong journey.

Related: no time for a massage? Find your zen anyway. Check out these helpful tips for how to practice mindfulness every day.

If you think you would like Shiatsu bodywork, call the spa at FFC Park Ridge and ask to book that overdue massage with Jessica Heffernan, or email me at jheffernan@ffc.com for a complimentary consultation! Let’s create some space and define that journey of wellness.

Post written by FFC Park Ridge Massage Therapist Jessica Heffernan.

FFC Park Ridge Jessica HeffernanAbout Jessica

Jessica is board certified in massage therapy and bodywork with NCBTMB. She is also a certified practitioner of Asian Bodywork, including Thai, Shiatsu, Tui Na and Acupressure. She integrates these modalities into all types of massage – relaxation, deep tissue and sports massage. Her work is a blend of eastern and western.

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