American Therapeutic Massage and Recovery
Dave Debelak, LMT
7350 College Drive
Suite 204
Palos Heights, IL  60463

**January Specials**


Deep Tissue Massage


60 Minute Hot Stone Massage

**Now Offering**


Raindrop Essential Oil Infused Energy Work


Frequently Asked Questions

We try to anticipate questions you might have about massage therapy and provide the answers here. If you need additional information send email to


What is massage?

The purpose of massage therapy is to prevent, develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment physical function or relieve pain. It is the scientific manipulation of the soft tissues of the body for the purpose of normalizing those tissues and consists of manual techniques that include applying fixed or movable pressure, holding, and/or causing movement of or to the body. Generally, massage is known to affect the circulation of blood and the flow of blood and lymph, affecting the nervous system through stimulation or sedation, and enhance tissue healing. These effects provide a number of health benefits.


What are your draping procedures?

The nature of most massage therapies requires direct skin contact in order to accurately view involved body parts/areas and apply oils, lotions, or other applications as needed. During traditional massage, you will be asked to undress to your comfort level. Throughout the massage session clients are covered and draped with sheets and blankets, only uncovering the body part to be worked on. The goal is to allow you to feel safe and as comfortable as possible.


Who is an ideal candidate for massage therapy?

Anyone can benefit from massage therapy.  Especially clients that have pain or issues with the following:

• upper & lower back
• neck and shoulder
• stress
• tension headache and migraine
• arthritis & tendinitis
• standing/sitting all day
• sciatica
• repetitive strain injury
• circulatory issues
• post pregnancy
• sleep issues
• Restricted range of motion
• carpal tunnel
• play sports / rigorous exercise
• post surgical rehabilitation

Be sure to let us know if you have any special needs at the time of your appointment.


What are the benefits of massage?

• Greater flexibility and range of motion
• Increase the ease and efficiency of movement
• Relief of stress and aide of relaxation
• Promotion of deeper and easier breathing
• Improvement of the circulation of blood and movement of lymph
• Relief of tension-related conditions, such as headaches and eyestrain
• Promotion of faster healing of soft tissue injuries, such as pulled muscles and sprained ligaments, and reduction in pain and swelling related to such injuries
• Enhancement in the health and nourishment of skin
• Improvement in posture through changing tension patterns that affect posture
• Reduction in stress and an excellent stress management tool
• Creation of a feeling of well-being
• Reduction in levels of anxiety
• Increase in awareness of the mind-body connection
• Promotion of a relaxed state of mental awareness


What is a trigger point?

A trigger point, also known as "muscle knots" are described as hyperirritable spots in muscles that are associated with palpable nodules in taut bands of the muscle fibers.

But a trigger point is more than a tender nodule. It affects not only the muscle where the trigger point is located, but also causes "referred pain" in tissues supplied by nerves.


Deep Tissue massage is designed to relieve severe tension in the muscles and connective tissue. Deep Tissue is often recommended for individuals who experience consistent pain, involved in physical activity or work, or for patients who have sustained physical injury. The sessions are specific to problem areas. Trigger Point work is consistent with Deep Tissue therapy, this involves deactivating "knots" which can form when fluids passing through the muscle and connective tissues get trapped in the fibers due to a build up of lactic acid, forming little "sacks" of metabolical waste , which when get activated due to overuse or injury, start to push on nerve endings resulting in pain or limited range of motion.


What are the five basic techniques for Deep Tissue/Trigger Point therapy?

Using deeper pressure allows the therapist to reach deeper layers of muscles and connective tissues. The long slow strokes are usually performed primarily with forearms and elbows. This helps loosen the tension and toxicity located beneath the surface.

Skin lifting is an example of basic fascial release technique used to free restrictions in the connective tissue. The skin is gently picked up with the fingers and slowly pulled away from the underlying tissues. This technique releases adhering tissues and makes them more pliable.

Myofascial mobilization techniques uses the fingertips to engage and elongate superficial fascial tissues. First, sensitive fingers feel for adhesions in the fascia. When a restriction is located, the tissues are then pushed horizontally to the point of resistance, until the release is felt.

FASCIAL MOBILIZATION USING FOREARM / ELBOW The forearm / elbow may be used in a similar way to release restrictions in myofascial tissues in broad areas. The forearm is used to apply enough pressure to engage deeper fascia and then slowly stretch the tissues horizontally.

In this technique, the hands engage the skin side-by-side and then pull apart, spreading the tissues until resistance is felt


Stretching counteracts tension by lengthening contracted muscle tissue, and mechanically "pumps" lactic acid and other waste products out of the muscles, once the contraction has been relaxed, normal circulation is restored, and the muscles can rest. If there has been micro-tearing due to overuse or injury, stretching will help realign developing scar tissue to prevent Adhesions from forming. Stretching allows the muscle to regain its full range of motion by lengthening muscle fibers that have become shortened by work or exercise.