The Right Touch Massage Therapy by Gail Merkel

Gail in massage therapy room

About Me:

I am a Certified Massage Therapist located in Madison, Wisconsin, with national and state certifications. I have worked as a registered nurse for 35 years before returning to school to study massage therapy. I graduated from TIBIA (transformational intuitive bodywork in action) massage school in July, 2004.

Additional courses include certificate of completion for Reflexology, CranioSacral Therapy Level 1 workshop with the Upledger Institute, Myofascial Release 1 workshop with John F. Barnes, PT, and Certified Weight Trainer with IWA. I practice mainly out of my home. I am available for outcalls which means I have a portable table to see people at their residence if medical conditions and/or other limitations inhibit that person's ability to leave their home.

My Philosophy:

Massage therapy can benefit the body in many ways. We are most familiar with the benefit to muscles groups. Massage Therapy is able to relax muscles and relieve tension which will increase the muscle's ability to function with ease and allow the client to be more comfortable.

Tension and/or muscle restrictions can be caused by different factors. These would include surgeries, injuries, repetitive motion of specific muscles, illnesses, and stresses either with body or situational changes.

Massage Therapy can assist to improve circulation, lower blood pressure, assist the lymphatic system which works with our immune system, and also improve our sense of well being or just to feel better.

Massage Therapy can be an opportunity for the client's body, mind, spiritual self, and emotions to heal. A therapy session actually involves the therapist and client working together.

I work out of my home-based office in Madison, Wisconsin, and I also offer mobile appointments.

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See Massage Therapy Testimonies

Lower Back Pain
Other Relaxation Techniques

Massage Benefits

“Benefits of massage are experienced by receivers when the effects of massage support their general health and well-being or their healing process. It is in this sense that someone with a medical condition may benefit from massage even though the intent is not to treat a specific condition.”

“The main physical effects of massage are related to its effects on the skin and its ability to elicit the relaxation response, improve blood circulation, affect immune system function, assist metabolic balance in muscle tissue, promote muscle relaxation, maintain connective tissue pliability and mobility, increase joint mobility and flexibility, and reduce pain.”

The mental and emotional effects of massage may include an increase in mental clarity, a general sense of well-being with the release of endorphins, along with lessened anxiety.

Sometimes an “emotional release” may occur during a session. What this means is sometimes there are unexpressed deep emotions held in the receivers body. These may surface in the form of a deep sigh, release of tears, and sometimes anger. The releasing could be an important step in the healing process for the receiver or client.

Another massage effect is that the massage improves and assists in releasing energy blocks within the body. Balancing the flow of energy in and around the body helps to bring the body and mind back into a balanced state. Therapeutic touch, a form of energy work, addresses the energy fields of an individual. Practitioners and clients may report “feeling” energy flow.

Different Massage Techniques Produce Different Massage Effects:


Trigger Points are spots of tenderness in muscles and tendons, which can be felt as tight areas. When pressure is applied there are regions in other areas of the body where a sensation may be felt. Direct pressure with the therapist’s thumb, finger, or elbow helps to release these points. Other names used instead of trigger point release are neuromuscular technique or neuromuscular therapy.


“Myofascial techniques are used to restore mobility or movement in the body’s fascial system and to soften connective tissue that has become rigid.” Myofascial unwinding refers to the freeing or stretching of the connective tissue so that the body’s posture is improved. Internal body organs and muscles are able to function more adequately once the connective tissue has been released as well.


Reflexology is an ancient healing art based on the theories that there are reflexes in the hands, feet, and ears that correspond to the organs and glands in the body. By massaging on these areas; it will improve circulation, help to detoxify, reduce tension and assist the body’s ability to heal itself.


Deep Tissues Massage is a massage technique that focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue to release the chronic patterns of tension in the body through slow strokes and deep finger, hand, or forearm pressure that is applied to the contracted areas. This releases chronic muscle tension and eliminates scar tissue.


Swedish Massage is to increase the oxygen flow in the blood and release toxins from the muscles. Swedish massage shortens recovery time from muscular strain by flushing the tissues of lactic acid, uric acid, and other metabolic wastes. It stretches the ligaments and tendons keeping them soft and flexible. Swedish massage also stimulates the skin and soothes the nervous system. It reduces stress, both emotional and physical, and can be used in conjunction with a stress management program.


Acupressure is an ancient healing art developed in Asia over 5,000 years ago, using the fingers to press key point locations on the body to stimulate the body’s natural healing process. Acupressure provides the body an opportunity to become very relaxed and calm. Some of the key areas used for acupressure may also be used in an acupuncture session.

The Massage Benefits of a massage session attempts to bring about a more balanced and healthier state to the receiver’s body. Massage improves the recipient’s functioning both physically and emotionally.

Anyone can benefit from the health promoting Massage Effects of a massage with one or several Massage Techniques that can be used during a session.

“The main intention in a general wellness massage is to promote general and muscular relaxation and to enhance circulation. The effects of general relaxation alone improves physiological and psychological aspects of health and well-being. Massage provides healthy touch, which is a basic human need.”

See Massage Therapy Services for more information

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**Resources--l. Tappan's Handbook of HEALING MASSAGE TECHNIQUES 2. Exploring today's touch therapies--MASSAGE

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