Amy Cooper, CMT ~ (831) 359-2020 ~ 735 Chestnut St. Suite D, Santa Cruz, CA
Massage Therapy & Bodywork in Santa Cruz
Amy Cooper, CMT
Whether you are looking for relief from pain or simply deep relaxation massage, I look forward to assisting you in your renewal.
|60 Minute Session||$90|
|90 Minute Session||$135|
|120 Minute Session||$180|
Gift Certificates available for each option
Amy Cooper, CMT
Santa Cruz Massage Therapist
Massage Therapy & Bodywork
in Santa Cruz
Welcome to Deep Serenity Massage! I am a Certified Massage Therapist, in private practice since 1993. I have been living and practicing in Santa Cruz since 2000. I offer a variety of healing modalities with a focus on holistic healing, believing that there is more to us than just flesh and bone. People who stick with me as their therapist, I believe, do so because I am genuinely interested in nourishing them and supporting their healing of the body, the mind, and the soul.
As often is the case with bodyworkers, we evolve our practices over the course of our lives, as we continue to receive and study different forms of nourishing and healing touch and bodywork. The arc of my practice has been in the direction of exploring the transformational aspect of bodywork, as we touch into tissue memory and begin to unravel the pain and trauma from past circumstances and events. I continue to offer deeply nourishing massage for those who are looking primarily to relax and feel more whole, but more and more, I find my work moving into the realm of healing on more spiritual and emotional planes.
Swedish ~ Deep Tissue ~ Esalen ~ Shiatsu ~ Hot Stone
Emotionally Healing Compassionate Touch
Gentle Release of Connective Tissue
Have a Chair Massage offering at your office or event
Deep Serenity Massage
735 Chestnut St. Suite D
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Serving Santa Cruz,
Capitola, Felton, Soquel, Aptos
95062, 95065, 95010, 95003, 95017
Effects of Massage
There’s a reason massage feels so good. It is because it is good for you! It can:
Alleviate physical tension and pain
Reduce mental stress and anxiety
Promote a sense of overall well-being
Support the immune system
Improve cardio-vascular health
Help increase flexibility and range of motion
Massage should be a part of every body’s general care. In my mind it is not a luxury, but a necessity for a healthy and satisfying life.
The Six Components of a Great Massage
Being very familiar with the benefits of bodywork, I often treat myself by taking my turn as the one to receive. Sometimes I receive a session that is so satisfying that it truly ranks as what I would call “great.” At other times, I may leave the table disappointed. Many massages feel good, but fail to fully reach the potential I know is possible. This got me thinking about what are the components of truly great bodywork. Here’s my list.
To give a great massage, a therapist must be fully present. Being present means that the full attention of the therapist is on the client. If the therapist is daydreaming or pre-occupied with her own thoughts, that lack of presence affects the experience of the client. Few things are more annoying than having to ask your therapist to move along, because she has been absent-mindedly stroking the same muscle for the last five minutes. In fact, none of the other components below are likely to be optimized when the therapist is failing to stay present.
Being fully present throughout a session takes preparation. We all have stresses in our lives that compromise our ability to be present at any given time. A bodyworker can increase her ability to stay present by devoting adequate time to dealing with life stressors prior to giving a massage. It is also helpful to limit contact with stressful situations on workdays. Limiting the total number of massages offered each day and each week is also a key to staying present for each session. In general, the quality of self-care therapists practice in their lives is the main way to maintain the ability to stay present while giving to their clients.
Massage therapists can’t know exactly what their touch feels like to their clients. So they are always guessing as to how much pressure or what type of stroke will feel best. Paying close attention to clients, however, allows a therapist to perceive all the subtle clues about how their touch is being received (skin tone, breathing, tightening, bracing, releasing, slight movements, moans, etc.). When a therapist is keenly sensitive to the client’s responses, she can quickly adapt her technique. This relieves the client of the burden of articulating specific requests. When I get a session from a really sensitive massage therapist, it feels like she knows what I want before I ever have to say anything.
Massage does not only relax me. It teaches me about how my body is doing. It helps me be more aware of where I am storing tension and stress. When a therapist has precise knowledge of anatomy, her hands and fingers can help me differentiate specific muscles that I am otherwise only vaguely aware of. When a bodyworker’s touch help me identify exactly which muscles are holding tension, I am better able to release that tension. It’s like the therapist shines a clear light on the dark and murky areas of my body. The better the therapist is at palpating distinct muscle fibers the more I learn about myself through the massage.
Proving a great massage takes both strength and wise use of body mechanics. Therefore it is important for a therapist to both be strong and well versed in how to use different parts of the body (fingers, thumbs, palms, forearms, elbows, etc.) to deliver the right amount of pressure to the client’s muscles. A massage therapist can only provide deep pressure gracefully if she has the strength and coordination to do so without exhausting herself. Adequate strength allows a therapist to provide deep pressure without “efforting” or stressing herself. Thus, it is important for massage therapists to stay fit, work out, and keep their own muscles well toned.
Massage helps me relax in multiple ways. Direct pressure on my muscles is one part of it. But a nurturing touch offers another key element of a great massage. When I sense a kind, nurturing touch, I feel a sense of safety that allows my whole body to relax at once. It is all too rare that we adults get to experience the kind of caring touch that a mother may offer her baby. But when we do get touched like this, even the softest touch can be very healing, allowing us to let in the touch more deeply.
Last, but definitely not least, a great massage is one that flows naturally from one stage to the next. Experienced therapists can sometimes move from one part of your body to the next without awkward pauses or clumsy repositioning. And a flowing massage often includes a variety of full body strokes that integrate work done on one muscle group with the rest of the body. A graceful, flowing session allows the client’s mind to drift freely for an extended period, uninterrupted by breaks between different segments of the massage. A massage without good flow can feel a bit like your body is on an assembly line, with each piece receiving a particular service in a rather mechanical order. Bodywork with good flow feels more like you are being danced with, and through no effort of your own, the dance gracefully unfolds until your whole body has been included.
When these components: presence, sensitivity, precision, strength, nurturing, and flow, are combined, the chances are high that you are experiencing a truly great session. This is what I am looking for when I choose a massage therapist. And this is what I strive to provide all the clients I have the honor to work with.
Giving Massage with a Gift Certificate
Finding a good gift for someone can be challenging. We want our choice of a gift to communicate our love and appreciation. And we want it to be meaningful. A good gift says: I know you well enough to know what you like, and I want to support you in having a better life.
A gift certificate for massage can give both messages. Most people love bodywork. But often people do not treat themselves to the bodywork, no matter how badly they need it. Sometimes they need a little encouragement; the message that it is okay to indulge themselves. So they feel delighted receiving a gift certificate because it is something they know they will enjoy, but they wouldn’t otherwise give to themselves.
The message of a gift certificate is “you deserve to really enjoy yourself” and “your health and vitality is important to me.” I have seen people receiving a gift certificate use the experience to launch a series of more healthy lifestyle choices. A good bodywork session can be the catalyst for beginning to prioritize your health more.