Myofascial Release and Other Modalities

Myofascial Release and CranioSacral Therapy

Myofascial release, as taught by John Barnes, is a safe, gentle and effective technique producing lasting results for clients with chronic pain and postural dysfunction. It speeds recovery from repetitive strain and traumatic injuries and temporal/mandibular joint disorders. Fascia is a tough connective tissue that connects the body in a three-dimensional web from head to foot. Trauma, poor posture, or inflammation can bind the fascia, resulting in pressure on nerves, muscles, blood vessels, bones or organs. The fascial system resists suddenly applied force. However, the gentle application of sustained pressure allows the fascia to elongate, producing positive structural changes. Home myofascial stretching exercises help maintain these changes. Myofascial unwinding helps eliminate subconscious holding or bracing patterns that may be perpetuating structural dysfunction. Hollis has received advanced training in myofascial release including attending a skill enhancement seminar at John Barnes' "Therapy on the Rocks" clinic in Sedona, Arizona.

The craniosacral system extends from the skull to the sacrum, and includes the membranes and fluids surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Imbalances of the craniosacral system can be caused by fascial pulls from outside the system (such as the trapezius muscle) or by restrictions within. Craniosacral therapy uses very gentle touch to release these restrictions and often results in a significant reduction of chronic pain and improvement of motor coordination.  Hollis has received her training in Craniosacral therapy from both John Barnes and from the Upledger Institute, Inc.®.  

Neuromuscular Therapy/Clinical Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage and neuromuscular therapy are physiologically based styles of massage. These methods are commonly used as complementary care for new and chronic injuries and can help:

  • Eliminate trigger points
  • Reduce pain
  • Reduce scar tissue and fascial adhesions
  • Balance muscle tone
  • Increase functional mobility

Hollis incorporates into her work neuromuscular and muscle energy techniques as taught by Leon Chaitow; the deep transverse friction protocols of James Cyriax, M.D.; the trigger point therapy protocols of Janet Travell, M.D. and David Simons, M.D.; and stretches from the PNF system (contract/relax or CRAC methods) and Aaron Mattes.

Lymph Drainage Therapy (LDT-Chickly Method)

Lymphatic drainage is a gentle, hands-on technique that promotes proper circulation of the lymph throughout the body.  The lymphatic system collects, filters, and returns extracellular fluid from the tissues of the body to the blood.  Surgery, trauma, infections, etc. may damage this system and thereby compromise cell health. Lymph drainage can help restore proper functioning of the lymphatic system, and if necessary, help reroute the lymph to alternate pathways. Lymph drainage can:

  • reduce localized edema
  • relieve chronic inflammation (such as sinusitis)
  • detoxify the body
  • reduce scarring (burns and surgical scars)
  • stimulate the immune system
  • relieve chronic pain
  • provide deep relaxation

Additional information on lymph drainage can be found at the Upledger Institute, Inc.®. website.

Please note- Individuals with lymphedema should consult with their physician for a referral to a specially trained physical therapist for fitting of proper compression garmets, manual lymphatic drainage, and comprehensive decogestive therapy.


Shiatsu is a Japanese style of massage that uses acupressure, gentle stretches and work on the hara, or abdomen, to balance the body and to stimulate self-healing. It is received comfortably clothed, often on a futon on the floor or on a low table. Shiatsu is based on the principles of Chinese medicine. A key component of shiatsu is the concept of "meridians," invisible channels connecting the internal organs with the rest of the body. These channels are related to the lines of tension that develop as the body assumes various positions or engages in various activities. Acupressure points, or "tsubos," are located along the meridians. During a shiatsu session, these meridians are gently stretched, and pressure is applied to the tsubos to eliminate congestion and stimulate an even flow of energy throughout the body. The pressure applied may be gentle or firm, broad or specific, quick or slow, depending client needs. Shiatsu is often well received by those who have not enjoyed traditional massage, it is an excellent choice for short or "routine maintenance" sessions, and it complements myofascial release sessions. Private instruction in family shiatsu techniques (appropriate for children, partners or elderly relatives) is available.

Prenatal and Postpartum Massage

Prenatal massage eases the discomforts and stresses of pregnancy, reduces labor complications, and facilitates postpartum recovery.  Specific techniques for the pregnant woman are designed to safely:

  • relieve back, hip, neck and foot pain
  • improve blood and lymph circulation; normalize blood pressure
  • promote relaxation and teach nurturing touch
  • ease pain and discomfort during labor (these techniques can be taught to your labor partner)
  • facilitate postpartum recovery and relieve strain from childcare activities

Massage is a supportive therapy and is not intended to replace regular medical and prenatal care.  Massage can be appropriate even in high risk pregnancies, with proper safety precautions and health care provider approval. Hollis has studied pre- and perinatal massage with Carol Osborne-Sheets.

Injury Prevention and Recovery

Massage therapy can help maintain proper posture and muscle balance and thereby prevent overuse injuries.  For injuries, massage therapy is often  very beneficial following or concurrent with a course of physical therapy, as the entire body can be addressed during the massage sessions. Clinical deep tissue massage may be used to help eliminate trigger points, prevent or remove fascial adhesions, and balance muscle tone; lymph  drainage to reduce or prevent edema; myofascial release to lengthen chronically shortened fascia; and craniosacral therapy to soothe a startled nervous system.

Pediatric Massage

Children, particularly those with special healthcare needs or those recovering from traumatic injury or medical procedures, benefit from massage as well.  Gentle touch techniques can help reduce pain and help a child regain comfortable movement and a sense of wholeness. Hollis has studied Pediatric Myofascial Release, Craniosacral Therapy for Pediatrics,  and Massage for Children with Special Health Care Needs. Discounted rates apply.

Preventative Maintenance

Regular massage can help you maintain your good health and reduce stress! Multi-session packages are available at a discount.

Appointments and Gift Certificates

For appointments, please call 650-493-0607 or email   Gift certificates may be ordered by phone.

Hospital Massage

For inpatient massage at Stanford Hospital, please contact the Department of Guest Services at 650-498-3333.  Inpatient massage for pediatric and antepartum patients at Lucille Packard Children's Hospital is provided through the Patient Relations department  650-498-4847 and requires a physician order.

Let go of pain . . . let your body be free!                                                            © 2013 Hollis Radin