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Learn more about massage modalities and their benefits to you!

The Power of PNF Therapy

December 15, 2017

What exactly is “Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation”?

First: say that five times fast (only teasing!). PNF is much simpler than it sounds, though its benefits to your muscular strength, endurance and flexibility are profound. At Hoboken Therapeutic Massage, we offer this advanced form of physical therapy to help you take your flexibility to the next level and perform at your peak.

How Does it Work?

Research shows that PNF lengthens tight muscles without losing strength, which is why it’s an ideal therapy for athletes or those who are recuperating from an injury.

PNF achieves this result by alternating between stretching a muscle and then actively contracting the muscle before stretching again. This technique “tricks” your nervous system into relaxing, therefore allowing your muscles to stretch farther than they would with traditional stretching.

Basically, PNF combats that uncomfortably tight burn that you normally feel when moving closer to the end range of motion in a stretch. These techniques work with your natural reflexes to slowly decrease this tension and greatly increase your range of motion.

The result of combining passive stretches with isometrics? Huge gains in how limber you are--and probably thought you ever could be!

What Are The Benefits of PNF?

PNF has been used for increasing overall flexibility and healing injuries of the shoulders, knees, hips and ankles since the 1940s. A few of the many benefits include: restoring overall functional ability, developing joint stability, neuromuscular control, and coordination, and promoting stability. For those who want to increase the range of motion for a muscle group that’s been injured, PNF decreases pain and enhances mobility.

These techniques are also helpful in preventing knots and realigning muscle fibers after high-intensity workouts. What’s more, PNF produces remarkably fast gains in your flexibility without putting you in pain to do so.

With expertise in a variety of PNF techniques, the Hoboken Therapeutic Massage team tailors this extremely effective treatment to your unique needs to facilitate healing and enhance flexibility. 

Diffuse Holiday Stress with Aromatherapy

November 15, 2017

As an adult, it’s all too easy to get caught up in all the stress that comes along with the holidays. Luckily, aromatherapy comes into play to bring back that magical awe you had as a child, and make your holiday season both fantastic-smelling and harmonious.

The power of essential oils goes beyond just pleasing aromas--each aromatic compound stimulates the brain for a scientifically-backed, mood-modifying effect. Here at Hoboken Therapeutic Massage, we’d like to invite you to enhance your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being with aromatherapy.

A Brief History

The incredibly therapeutic effects of essential oils are far from a recent discovery; in fact, they’ve been recognized in many cultures for thousands of years.

Essential oils are the highly concentrated versions of the natural oils in plants, which is achieved most commonly through a process called distillation. Through water or steam distillation, the oil is extracted from a variety of plants and their parts (roots, leaves, buds, flowers, bark and more).

There’s no better time than the holidays to take advantage of aromatherapy. High-quality oils can soothe seasonal ailments, lift spirits, calm frayed nerves and create an overall relaxing, seasonal atmosphere in your home.

Benefits of Essential Oils

Here at Hoboken Therapeutic Massage, we’re currently featuring four oils: Lavender, Frankincense, Peace and Calm, and Joy. These oils will be rotated out periodically for other oils throughout the year. If you’d like to get your own bottle for home, check out Youngliving.com and use our Provider #1219273. There are endless ways to enrich your well-being with them, so we decided to highlight a few of our favorite ways to take advantage...


Lavender is the queen oil of relaxation--and for good reason! The long-lasting floral scent is highly effective at alleviating anxiety, stress, irritability and depression, as well as promoting a better night’s sleep.

  • Simply rub 2-3 drops into your cupped palms and inhale deeply for immediate relaxation. Inhalation draws the scent into your amygdala, the emotional warehouse in your brain, and positively impacts the central nervous system.
  • Elevate your evening routine by smoothing a few drops of lavender oil onto your pillow and onto the bottoms of your feet.
  • Mix a few drops with water in a spray bottle, and spritz under beds and in closets for a fresh, pleasing aroma that greets holiday house guests.
  • Reap the beauty boosting benefits by adding a few drops to your shampoos, lotions and other skin-care products. Lavender oil is great for reducing hair loss as it increases circulation and hydrates your follicles.
  • Add delicious flavor to water, tea, and desserts with a few drops of lavender oil.
  • Unwind from all the festivities by adding 4-5 drops to a steaming Epsom salt bath.


If lavender is the queen of aromatherapy, frankincense is the undeniable king. Frankincense boosts the immune system, remedies stress and anxiety, is rich in anti-aging and anti-septic qualities, and promotes a deep spiritual connection.

For many, it immediately calls to mind the story of the Three Wise Men, who gifted baby Jesus with their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Valued as equal to gold in ancient times, frankincense is still regarded today as the most deeply spiritual of all the oils. It’s impossible to mention this particular oil (and its deliciously earthy, deep balsam smell) without regarding its rich history. Revered by the Babylonians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Chinese and many other ancient cultures, frankincense’s honorable reputation may stem as early as 3000 B.C.

  • Diffuse to enrich prayer, yoga or meditation for a deeper spiritual connection and increased intuition.
  • Dilute with a carrier oil and apply to skin for a healthy looking glow, which is especially helpful in combatting wintery weather and stress, which can wreak havoc on your complexion. Its powerful astringent quality helps to speed healing of scars, reduce wrinkles and pores, and tighten skin.
  • Frankincense essential oil can be used as an effective antiseptic to eliminate germs and bacteria when diffused throughout your home.
  • Add a few drops to a wet cloth and inhale to boost your immune system; this oil is a miracle worker for the respiratory system, soothing asthma, coughing and bronchitis.

Note: Frankincense should not be ingested topically, and we recommend always diluting with a carrier oil. A little bit of this oil goes a long way and it shouldn’t be used in large quantities.

Peace & Calm

This gentle, sweet-smelling blend is comprised of Ylang Ylang, Orange, Tangerine, Patchouli, and Blue Tansy. It’s the perfect calming oil for bedtime--perhaps for settling little ones who are wound up by all the holiday excitement into bed. Even better, it’s great for creating quiet moments of relaxation for you too.

  • Rub a few drops on the soles of your feet or your children’s feet for a soothing bedtime ritual
  • Add 4-5 drops of oil to 1 cup of Epsom salt and draw a fragrant, calming bath for you or the kids.
  • Apply behind the ears of pets who may be stressed by new guests and the business of the holiday season.
  • Add a few drops to coconut oil for a relaxing massage.
  • Diffuse in the car for long trips visiting family and friends, and to calm overactive children.
  • Add a few drops to your scarf to keep the peace and calm with you all day long.
  • Place two drops on a cotton ball and drop into vacuum filter for a fresh scent when vacuuming.


A blend of Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Rosewood, Lemon, Mandarin, Jasmine, Roman Chamomile, Palmarosa, and Rose oils, Joy is a fresh, floral scent with hints of citrus. Undeniably uplifting, this oil invites bliss and romance into your home and is a powerful reminder of the most joyful time of the year.

  • Diffuse throughout your home for a rejuvenating, pleasant aroma--perfect for family gatherings and celebrations.
  • This scent is wonderful for rubbing onto your palms and taking a deep breath when you’re feeling low and need to shake the blues.
  • Add a few drops to a clean, wet cloth and add to your dryer for freshly scented clothes.
  • Dab on wrists or behind ears for a sweet perfume, and you’ll bring joy to all you encounter.
  • Enhance Massage With Aromatherapy

As you can see, there’s no shortage of ways to use essential oils to bring peace and happiness into your home. We also want to mention that aromatherapy can be added to any duration session at Hoboken Therapeutic Massage for just $12--and it’s mixed in a mini-bottle that you get to take home at the end of your session!

Wishing you and your family a harmonious holiday season.

Craniosacral Therapy

September 15, 2017

Craniosacral Therapy

It’s not magic you’re experiencing; it’s just the deeply soothing effect of a CST-trained practitioner “listening,” and responding to, the subtle rhythms of your craniosacral system by being fully present with you. Following this rhythm, the practitioner will apply light pressure to the cranial bones and sacrum to help the system become unblocked.

If you’re hovering over a keyboard all day, experiencing daily stress, or suffering from migraines, consider craniosacral therapy to release the tension that’s stored in your body and regain optimal health.

Why is the Craniosacral System so Important?

Everything in between your sacrum (the triangular bone at the bottom of your spine) and cranium--the brain and spinal cord, the fluid cushioning them, and deeper layers of membranes--makes up your craniosacral system.

Because this fluid bathes the spine, nourishes the brain, and affects almost every aspect of central nervous system performance, it affects your entire body. A practitioner can see how freely your system is moving and help the fluid move where it’s gotten stuck (which causes pain and strain) with slight, gentle manipulations.

This non-invasive approach relieves stress in the bones of the head, spinal column and sacrum. Another consequence of releasing of the imbalances stored in your body? A deep feeling of peacefulness and relaxation.

Who can Benefit from CST?

CST alleviates a diverse range of symptoms, from chronic pain and fatigue to joint stiffness, and complements the body’s natural healing process because it unravels pain and dysfunction at the source. This allows your body to self-correct and realign. CST is also increasingly being used as a preventative measure to strengthen the body’s resistance to disease.

It’s especially beneficial for migraine sufferers. It’s important to note that CST also eases stress and poor sleep, which are common triggers for migraines in the first place.

What to Expect

The practitioner will start by hearing out your areas of concern. Then, you’ll experience a soft, light touch on the areas that are the sources of dysfunction for you. The practitioner will feel and listen to how the fluid is flowing through you; an ideal rhythm is smooth and steady. You can think of it almost like feeling for the pulse of the heart.

CST comes in to reset your natural state of health by influencing the fluid, allowing the body to release restrictions. It also causes your nervous system to relax, which facilitates true healing--after all, the body at ease is better able to resist disease.

Each session is uniquely tailored to you, meaning the bodywork could start at your scalp or feet, depending on your needs, and then move on to other parts of the body like the pelvis, ribcage and diaphragm, arms, wrists, and hands. In CST, the body leads the way, and the practitioner simply facilitates the healing.

You’ll feel a palpable tension relief and soothing sensation. You may also enter a meditative-like state. Although CST is hands-on, it’s not a massage and you will remain fully clothed; it’s also a slower, gentler experience. You may feel the alignment shift in your body, and you might not; regardless, your body is making the adjustments on its own to return back to balance.

At the end of the session, you’ll likely feel more comfortable in your body: breathing fully and relaxed yet energized. Many people also report an improvement in sleeping patterns. Like most forms of bodywork, you’ll want to keep well-hydrated.

The frequency of CST sessions is up to you entirely, and depends on a number of factors. CST can be a one-time therapy or part of a periodic self-care routine. If you spend days hunched over a computer or dealing with high-pressure situations, you may find regular CST beneficial for tension relief. Or, you may prefer a session when the specific condition you sought treatment for starts to flare up.

We hope that you enjoy the restorative benefits of a properly aligned craniosacral system!

Contemporary Cupping

August 15, 2017

Can Cupping Help You Heal & Detox?

Though popular in China for thousands of years now, the healing powers of cupping have recently found a place in the Western world. With athletes like Michael Phelps and Alex Naddour using the practice to detoxify and perform at their peak, one thing is for sure: you don’t have to be an Olympian to benefit from cupping. A wide range of conditions are helped by cupping techniques, making it a wonderful solution for anyone seeking relief from muscle pain, soreness, injury, or stress.

How Cupping Works

The ancient Eastern practice uses suction in cups to pull the skin and tissues away from the body and increase blood flow to the area. This creates space is to drain toxins that linger in your cells and speed up healing.

Cupping essentially boosts your body’s natural detoxification process and re-awakens your tissues. The dead cells and debris that build up from poor circulation and injuries (even minor ones) can cause stiffness, pain, and other health conditions to develop over time. By drawing this stagnant blood to the surface of the skin, the body is able to flush out this fluid and heal itself naturally.

You can think of cupping as an inverse massage: instead of applying pressure, the skin is pulled away. Yet you’ll still feel a deep sense of relaxation, as the pulling lifts pressure from tense muscles for a relieving sensation.

There are different approaches to cupping. Common ones include fixed cupping, where cups are left in place on the skin for anywhere from five to 20 minutes while you relax, and dynamic cupping, which involves gently gliding cups in a series of positions over oiled skin.

Though effective on its own, cupping therapy is commonly used along with acupuncture and massage therapy.

Benefits of Cupping

One of the most common benefits is pain relief: a report published in Evidence-Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine found that cupping significantly reduced pain in people with low back issues and helped soothe pain associated with respiratory issues.

Other benefits of cupping include:

  • Boosts immune function from moving blood and lymphatic fluid throughout the body
  • Pulls toxins from your body’s tissues
  • Enhances circulation and blood flow
  • Sedates the nervous system, which is excellent for high blood pressure
  • Treats stress, anxiety, and chronic fatigue
  • Speeds up overall healing
  • Clears congestion by draining mucus and phlegm
  • Treatment for respiratory issues
  • Relieves inflammation by bringing healing oxygen and nutrients to the area
  • Increases range of motion
  • Heals knots and adhesions
  • Reduces migraines

What Should I Do After Cupping?

The great thing about cupping is that you can benefit even if you’re at peak health--it’s a deeply relaxing therapy that promotes overall well-being.

It’s important to know that cupping can leave pink, red or purple circles where they are placed, which typically last a few days. Since it’s is a detoxifying practice, it’s a good idea to drink plenty of water and/or take an Epsom salt bath after a cupping session. Once the marks are cleared, you’ll be ready for your next treatment.

Happy cupping!