• Pregnancy Massage
Doris Brevoort, LMP, PhD, was trained in Swedish massage, reflexology, and Shiatsu at Acadia Health Center in Wallingford in the 1970’s. She has been a Licensed Massage Practitioner since 1976 and was a founding member of New Seattle Massage in 1981. Doris’ treatments are a combination of traditional Swedish massage, foot and hand reflexology, acupressure, breathing and guided imagery. Each treatment is uniquely planned to meet the needs and requests of the client. Doris uses music and sound as another avenue to relaxation. She trained in sound healing work at the Open Ear Center, Bainbridge Island, WA. Doris does wellness-centered massage for all ages including pregnant mothers, infants, elders, and people living with a disability or life-challenging illness.Doris has a special interest in using biofeedback in combination with massage.Biofeedback is the use of instruments that measure small changes in the body’s physiology and give “feedback” that a person can use to practice “self-regulation” of one’s own breathing and levels of stress or relaxation.Here are three biofeedback instruments we use at NSM:1. Heart Rate Variability (HRV) ~ The “EM Wave” is a tool about the size of a cell phone that measures a person’s pulse as the time between heart beats, called “heart rate variability.” This timing changes with every breath: the heart rate increases during inhalation and decreases as we exhale. When breathing is relaxed, the difference between the inhalation timing and the exhalation timing is greater than when a person is agitated or feeling stress. An increase in heart rate variability indicates a more relaxed state. The “EM Wave” displays a little light that moves up and down, suggesting a breathing rate that will help the user to regulate his or her breathing, generally slowing it down. As that happens, the breathing gets closer to a rhythm in sync with the heartbeat, called the body’s “resonant frequency,” and the user often experiences an increased sense of relaxation.
2. Skin Temperature ~ By attaching a sensor to one’s finger, a person can see a display of his or her finger temperature on a digital thermometer which can be used to practice self-regulation. As the body relaxes, one’s skin temperature will increase, but finger temperature will drop as the body’s level of stress increases. Practicing skin temperature feedback helps us learn how to regulate our stress levels, and teaches us that we do have the ability to change our own physiology.
3. Galvanic Skin Resistance (GSR) ~ “Listen to your skin”* ~ Everyone has sweat glands and pores on the surface of their hands. These sweat glands emit a minute amount of salty perspiration which creates electrical resistance on the hand. The electrical resistance of the hand’s skin surface decreases as the amount of sweat increases, when we are nervous or stressed (part of the “fight or flight” response). A small instrument in the shape of a computer mouse is used to measure the electrical resistance of two fingers. A tone sounds as resistance changes…the pitch of the tone gets higher when stress increases, and lower when stress decreases. By listening to the feedback tone, one can practice relaxing to lower the tone.
A 15 minute introduction to Biofeedback can be included as part of a regular massage or clients may make an appointment dedicated to practicing self-regulation through biofeedback.
For more information about biofeedback at NSM, make an appointment or leave a message for Doris Brevoort, PhD, LMP. Doris recently completed a PhD in Human Science at Saybrook University, San Francisco, including study of mind/body health and psychophysiology. She is a member of the Association for Applied Physiology and Biofeedback (AAPB).
EM Wave measures heart rate variability, and is a product of HeartMath. www.heartmath.com