Razan Gregory, LMT (16264), D.PSc
Modalities: Deep Tissue, Myofascial Release, Trigger Point Therapy, Craniosacral Therapy, Thai Massage, Fertility Massage, Hijama Therapy
Business Name: Al-Afiya Massage & Hijama
Razan “Raz” Gregory has been in the holistic health industry for nearly 20 years. She has been a licensed massage therapist since 2003, specializing in therapeutic modalities such as deep tissue, myofascial release, craniosacral, fertility, and Thai. She likes to work deeply but gently, providing as little trauma to the muscles as possible, while effectively addressing pain, trigger points, and range of motion issues. Her policy is “come as you are”, which allows her clients to choose between clothed and unclothed massage.
She is also a trained hijama therapist and pastoral wellness counselor, providing ancient holistic therapies in accordance with Islamic texts and principles. Some of these therapies include wet cupping (hijama), nutritional and fasting guidance, and lifestyle counseling; as outlined in the Qur’an and Sunnah.
Razan has had a passion for natural health therapies all of her life. Raised by children of the 70s who were passionate about health/human/animal rights, a natural lifestyle was always promoted in her home. She’s experienced nearly every now mainstream way of eating (SAD, keto, vegetarian, vegan, raw, fruitarian, etc.), water fasted, dry fasted, and drank more green sludge than she can remember. But the end result is a well-rounded and firsthand awareness of the current and past state of food and health, and knowledge of the measures needed to improve it for each individual, on a case by case basis.
All of Razan’s services are available to women only, all women, of every age and stage. Her ultimate goal is to assist women in achieving a balanced mind, body and spirit; using modern and ancient therapies.
Prior to becoming a holistic health practitioner, Raz was an editor in the private sector. Words are her first love. So when she is not at Health Touch, she enjoys editing Islamic books, writing her own books (none completed as of yet), home schooling her 3 beautiful daughters, and entertaining two hopelessly spoiled fur babies of the feline persuasion.
About Raz’s Work:
Deep tissue: This massage is very effective for pain, tight muscles, postural issues, and decreased range of motion. The superficial muscles are warmed and relaxed with moderate and sweeping massage strokes. Once the outermost layer of muscles is relaxed, more direct and deep pressure is applied in order to address tightness in the deeper musculature of the body that can inhibit range of motion and good posture. Deep tissue is a slower and less sweeping style of massage than that intended for relaxation. Clients report feeling less pain, deeper breathing, increased range of motion, greater balance, better posture.
Myofascial release: Very slow and gentle, but extremely deep, myofascial release is an extremely effective yet overlooked form of massage. The entire body is wrapped in a layer of fascia that travels under the skin and around all of the muscles and organs. When this fascia becomes restricted in areas, muscle tension, pain and bad posture can be the result. Slow and steady pressure is applied to areas where restrictions are observed, causing the fascia to “melt” and open under the pressure. This can create a feeling of openness, and increase blood flow and range of motion. This therapy is an assisted therapy, meaning that client participation is sometimes required for more effective results, so clients should not expect to be able to zone out. Clients report feeling lighter, more open, better posture, and more freedom of movement. Very little to no oil is used in this therapy.
Trigger Point Therapy: Trigger points are areas within muscles that hold pain and tension, and refer that pain to other areas of the body. In this therapy, pressure is applied to those points for up to 1 minute in order to disperse the tension. Clients report feeling less pain and greater range of motion.
Craniosacral Therapy: A hidden gem, craniosacral work is a must for anyone who just feels off balance or “uneven”. This therapy is great after an accident; and for those who experience headaches, TMJ/TMD, spinal issues, low back/sacral issues, etc. Unlike most massage modalities, there is very little observable movement with craniosacral therapy. It is the manipulation of the cerebrospinal fluid that runs throughout the cranium and spine .Adhesions anywhere within this system can cause pressure on the nervous system, creating pain, discomfort, or odd feelings throughout the body. All of the nerves within the body originate on the spine, so this therapy is a way to address the nervous system. Clients remain clothed and many report feeling a deep sense of relaxation, slight buzzing or tingling during the session that they interpret as healing, and a gentle pulling or unwinding. No oil is used in this therapy.
Thai Massage: Although this style of massage can be done on a massage table, it is traditionally performed on the floor using light cushions for client comfort. I offer both table and floor styles of Thai massage. Clients wear lightweight and stretchy clothing for this therapy. During the treatment the client is stretched and moved into positions that release tight muscles, increase range of motion, and free blocked energy channels within the body. Often called “lazy man’s yoga,” the treatment is very flowy and gentle, but will challenge you to stretch to your limits! Clients report feeling less muscle pain and tension, increased range of motion, a feeling of lightness, and relaxation.
Fertility Massage: This massage incorporates abdominal massage, craniosacral massage, foot reflexology, and dietary advice. Sessions should be done in increments of 3 or 5, back to back between the end of the menses and beginning of ovulation. As opposed to a full body massage, this treatment works on the areas specific to fertility; and therefore, does not include any work on the back of the body. However, the combination of these therapies create a feeling of deep relaxation and address the body as a whole to relieve stress, break up adhesions in the abdomen, increase circulation to reproductive organs, stimulate egg production, and prepare the body to welcome life.
Hijama Therapy: Hijama is the Arabic word for cupping. It means “to pull”. This ancient therapy has been used for many centuries throughout Asia and Egypt, and goes by many names depending on the culture or religion of the people. Although also called wet cupping, hijama includes the placement of dry cupping as well. But the main therapy is wet cupping. Unlike dry cupping, with wet cupping (hijama), small, superficial scratches are made in the skin to release small amounts of “bad” and stagnant blood from the capillaries under the skin, allowing the body to rebalance itself and heal. Scientific studies have shown that this blood is very different from venous blood and contains dead red blood cells, high amounts of cholesterol, heavy metals, enzymes, etc. Thankfully, the scientific literature available regarding the benefits of hijama is growing! Hijama is very good for addressing muscle pain, high blood pressure, headaches, anemia, acid reflux, infertility, sciatic pain, and many other imbalances. All supplies are disposable and the universal precautions are followed in performing this service. Clients can expect to feel very relaxed after the treatment. Many report feeling lighter and relief of muscle pain. And I’m happy to report that I have clients who, after having hijama treatment(s), have reduced blood pressure, conceived children, relieved years of foot pain, and experienced an increase of egg production that rivaled their results from taking Clomid!