Massage at The Backrub Store, St. Paul

Massage Modalities and Definitions

Therapeutic Bodywork is the general term that encompasses all bodywork styles from Massage Therapy to Reiki, and includes over 200 modalities. At The Backrub Stores, our commitment is to long-term and ongoing health through Bodywork.

Not all bodywork is massage.

It is important to keep in mind that not all bodywork styles feel the same, and not all bodywork modalities can be captured by the word “massage.”

We recommend that you spend some time looking over the descriptions of the bodywork modalities our current practitioners offer. LOOK FOR the brief definitions that follow each practitioner’s name when booking to help you to choose a practitioner that fits your needs:

CMT - Certified Massage Therapist
ShT - Shiatsu Therapist
MFR - MyoFacial Release therapist
CST - CranioSacral Therapy practitioner
DT/Sports - Deep Tissue and Sports trained therapist
Pre-Nat - PreNatal trained therapist
Reiki - Reiki Master
JHeadM - Japanese Head Massage certified therapist

Backrub therapists are exceptionally trained and seasoned in the modalities they practice.

Please read the BIO of each therapist to determine the modality they practice before scheduling a general Therapeutic Bodywork session. You will not receive a refund if you book online and are not satisfied with the modality you’ve chosen.

Massage Therapy uses the palms of the hands, fingers, forearms and elbows to gently or deeply massage muscles and fascia. Massage can be powerful in eliminating acute pain symptoms.

We use the term: “DEEP BASIC MASSAGE” for Massage Therapy.

If you are in extreme pain, it may take up to 3 or 4 sessions to get you to pain-free if you haven’t ever had a massage OR if you have just waited too long to get the care you need. Keep in mind that it can take just as long to heal from pain as it does to develop it. Expecting one massage to cure you is like expecting a dollar to cover your phone bill.

If you suffer from chronic pain, you may require more than one session each month to keep you out of pain so that you can truly enjoy your life.

Massage therapy need not be painful and works best when you commit to the health benefits of regular therapy. We recommend getting bodywork EVERY MONTH to keep your muscles and fascia healthy and pliable. You will move better when your fascia is flexible with the expanded blood and lymph flow informing your entire muscle/fascia and nervous system.

Massage Therapy is a non-invasive self-care option that can benefit every body.


Shiatsu is a therapeutic form of massage that originated in Japan and traditional Chinese medicine, and has been widely practiced around the world since the 1970s. Shiatsu means “finger pressure,” which describes the technique. In shiatsu therapy, pressure with thumbs, hands, elbows, knees or feet is applied to pressure points on the body. This form of massage also focuses on rotating and stretching limbs, joints, and pressure points, or meridians, as they’re called in traditional Chinese medicine.
One of the fundamental concepts of Traditional Chinese Medicine is Qi.

Qi is vital energy in our body that underlies all functioning. Health is present when there is abundant Qi in the meridians and the flow is unobstructed. When Qi becomes out of balance, deficient, or obstructed, symptoms arise. As minor symptoms emerge, such as weekly or daily headaches, digestive difficulties, body aches..., this indicates the imbalance of Qi.

Unaddressed, minor symptoms can progress into a multitude of symptoms as the result of the body developing combined patterns of imbalance (tendonitis, headaches, muscle spasms, poor sleep, mood swings etc.). Shiatsu therapists are trained to recognize these patterns of disharmony and restore the flow of Qi throughout the body, leaving your body more balanced and feeling rejuvenated.

Shiatsu can be used to resolve a wide range of internal, musculoskeletal, and emotional issues. When using a Traditional Chinese Medicine approach, Shiatsu can address these imbalances within our bodies that bring on the many symptoms of discomfort that we may experience. Starting the session with an assessment of the client’s overall health experiences helps locate the root cause or the root imbalance, making it easier to restore harmony to the body. With balance comes the many benefits below.

Craniosacral Therapy (CST)

Craniosacral Therapy was developed by Dr . John Upledger, D.O., O.M.M.

CST evaluates the body's movement in response to the Primary Respiratory Mechanism—often referred to as the Craniosacral Rhythm—which cycles the body through phases of extension and flexion, or expansion and contraction. The Quality, Symmetry, Amplitude, and Rate of movement of all parts of the body in response to the PRM can highlight the areas of the body which lie at the root of dysfunction.
CST practitioners use gentle touch, often less thanbthe weight of a nickel, to induce "still points" to allow the body a moment of reprieve in the face of the dysfunction.  We then invite the body to make corrections at the compromised site. This process is repeated until the body can maintain the changes.


By complementing the body's natural healing processes, CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and is effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction, including:

Myofascial Release (MFR)

Myofascial Release was developed by John Barnes, PT, LMT,

MFR uses extended holds to encourage change in the body. These holds are often not painful and feel like "a good stretch." MFR practitioners hold this good stretch at each resistance barrier, allowing for the tissue to melt and change, and repeating until the targeted area releases. 

The time component is what makes Myofascial Release so special. Muscle only takes 20-35s to release; it takes a full 90-120s to extend to the collagenous barrier which gives the structure form; at this barrier, the gentle forces bring more energy to the area allowing it to change phase like ice melting into water, this process takes a minimum of 3-5 minutes; at the 7-8 minute mark, the body reaches resonance with the previously distressed tissue. From here, the body releases it's own anti-inflammatory interleukins which finish the healing process.

Myofascial restrictions and adhesions can hold a tensile strength of over 2,000 pounds per sure inch. These restrictions can lead to pain, dysfunction, and a lack of coordination in the body-- melting them has shown to be beneficial for a myriad of disorders including :

And Women's Health Issues:

Reiki is a Japanese word, meaning universal life force energy. 

Reiki is an unlimited healing energy that is available in the universe.  During a session, the Reiki practitioner simply channels the Reiki healing energy from the universe by placing his/her hands lightly or a few inches above the client’s body (the client does not absorb the practitioner’s energy). 



Japanese Head Massage uses palms of the hands and fingers (no oils) to gently stimulate the head, face, neck, and shoulders to assist the body’s secretion of dopamine.  


Foot Reflexology/Foot Massage involves the application of pressure to the feet with specific thumb, finger, and hand techniques without the use of oil or lotion. A form of Chinese therapy, foot reflexology is based on a system of zones and reflex areas that reflect an image of the body on the feet that can effect a physical change to the body’s physiology.

Foot reflexology can be painful, but does not need to be excessively painful to be effective.
Please wear socks.



Prenatal Massage

Because a woman’s pelvic bones become soft during pregnancy, hip, low-back and mid-back pain are common symptoms that are routinely addressed with massage therapy.

Through the gentle attention to muscles, fascia and lymph by palpating, kneading and the application of smooth strokes over areas of pain or discomfort, prenatal massage can provide a heightened level of increased well-being, flexibility and pain relief.

Prenatal massage is safe, effective and necessary
for any woman determined to have the best outcome for the birth of her baby.


If you have been in a recent Auto Accident or Work Comp Injury, please let us know.

To schedule by phone, call: 651-698-3338