Deep Tissue

Deep Tissue Bodywork is a therapeutic technique used to reduce or eliminate bodily pain and discomfort. This technique often goes very deep into musculoskeletal tissue; however, the term “deep” mostly refers more to its penetrating effects. Deep Tissue is designed to relieve muscles of scarring and adhesions that cause pain and limited range of motion, reduce pain and swelling after injury, and increase ease and range of motion.

While this technique is clinical in the sense that it is used to address issues of disease, Deep Tissue work can be profoundly relaxing. The skilled practitioner knows that the client must trust their therapist and relax completely in order to fully feel the effects of any modality. Due to the depth of pressure of some techniques—such as Deep Tissue, Trigger Point and some Orthopedic work, real gains will never be attained without the skilled touch of a trained and caring practitioner. Therefore, treatments will involve softening of an area, followed by slow, intense, sustained pressure. Deep Tissue work necessitates a deep understanding of anatomy, and your Psoas therapist will employ his or her knowledge to reach the desired effects.  This work also helps release toxins that have been stored in the muscle for an extended period of time. As with any therapeutic technique, Deep Tissue is often combined with other modalities to achieve a specific goal.

Sports Massage

A large number of athletes (competitive and weekend warriors) incorporate Sports Massage into their regimen. The benefits of Sports Massage include improved circulation, flexibility and range of motion, decreased recovery time from competition and training, injury prevention, increased muscular efficiency and the increased physical awareness that comes with anatomical and functional education.

Efficient circulation is particularly important because it ensures the delivery of essential nutrients and oxygen to musculoskeletal tissue, increasing physical productivity and removal of metabolic waste. By breaking up scar tissue and adhesions, sports massage can release muscles and tendons from inefficiency, freeing them to glide in the way they were designed. The skilled hands-on assessment of a Psoas massage therapist can detect minor imbalances at an early stage. Once identified, our therapists can help prevent these imbalances from developing into strains, sprains, or tears.

At Psoas, we provide Sports Massage at local events for the competitive athlete, which enhances immediate competitive output and recovery. Most of our athletes, however, come to our clinic for regular maintenance sessions, which are most effective when performed regularly through the competitive season and training.

Myofascial Release

Myofascial release is a technique specifically aimed at facilitating positive change within the connective tissue in the body known as fascia. Fascia is a pervasive tissue in the body, representing a three-dimensional network from head to toe. Fascia thickens and forms adhesions when there is trauma caused by repetitive motion, injury, or sitting in one position for long periods of time.

Healthy, flexible fascia means better circulation, better tissue nutrition, and better movement within the body and muscle systems. Poor function in the fascia will cause pain and stiffness.  To manipulate the fascia, your Psoas therapist will perform tests of range of motion, incorporate subtle pulls, use a variety of stretches, and apply gentle pressure to the joints and attachment sites of muscles. This work requires a therapist skilled in perceiving minute changes and adapting the level of fascial manipulation based on the changes that occur within the tissues themselves.

This work can be very relaxing, and is appropriate for a wide range of clients, from geriatrics to athletes. As with other massage techniques, Myofascial Release is used at Psoas in conjunction with other modalities to provide the most effective therapeutic session possible.

Trigger Point

Trigger Point Release is a clinical technique used to eliminate myofascial trigger points from bodily tissue. The term “trigger point” seems to be a very misused and misunderstood term. While a trigger point is hypersensitive to pressure, it also produces a referral of pain or sensation elsewhere in the body. Trigger points limit range of motion, often causing altered body mechanics and posture.

Trigger points develop duo to lifestyle, trauma, injury, overuse, misuse, and stress, and often cause headaches, neck and jaw pain, lower and upper back pain, tennis elbow, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Most clients and practitioners assume that the cause of pain is located in the area that is producing that pain. Yet, studies have shown that up to 75% of bodily pain and discomfort is caused by trigger points located away from the area of sensation. Trigger points refer pain in very predictable patterns, therefore they are easy for your trained Psoas therapist to find and deactivate.

Trigger Point Release work is a very effective and natural way to alleviate pain, and we often integrate this technique into other therapeutic treatments to help attain desired effects of pain relief. If you have had longstanding pain that has been untreatable, this may be your answer.

Active Release Techniques®

Active Release Techniques (ART) is a patented soft tissue system/movement-based technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves. Headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, and tennis elbow are just some of the many conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently.

As scar tissue and adhesions build up, muscles become shorter and weaker, tension on tendons cause tendonitis, and nerves can become trapped. This can cause reduced range of motion, loss of strength, and pain. If a nerve is trapped you may also feel tingling, numbness, and weakness.

Every ART session is a combination of examination and treatment. The ART provider uses his or her hands to evaluate the texture, tightness and movement of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Abnormal tissues are treated by combining precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements. These treatment protocols – over 500 specific moves – are unique to ART. They allow providers to identify and correct the specific problems that are affecting each individual patient. ART is not a cookie-cutter approach.

Neurokinetic Therapy® 

Neurokinetic Therapy (NKT)® is a relatively new, breakthrough modality designed to release chronic pain, muscle tension, and compensated movement patterns. It is also a great modality to facilitate better movement in the body for athletes looking to improve their sport. At Psoas, we’ve had rave reviews from our clients on their NKT® treatments; they often experience lasting relief from acute pain and movement restrictions.

NKT® uses muscle testing to determine which muscles are being inhibited by muscles that are painful or over-contracted. As your NKT® therapist releases the over-contracted muscles, the inhibited muscles re-engage, and the Motor Control Center (MCC) of the cerebellum in the brain relearns how to perform a functional movement pattern. In simpler terms, sore compensating muscles are released, allowing dysfunctional muscles to relearn their natural movement patterns.

There are a variety of ways that muscles can “learn” to work improperly – accident, trauma, overuse, or misuse. NKT® is an effective modality for a number of ailments including: frozen shoulder, whiplash, scoliosis, knee and hip pain, cervical spine injuries, sciatica, migraine headaches, balance and fine motor skill problems, rotator cuff impingements, pre- and post-operations, and can even help people in their 80s and 90s regain movement in areas where they haven’t had free range of motion in decades.

Motor Control Therapy (MCT)

If you cannot move HOW you want to, WHEN you want to — easily and without pain — the problem is not just with your muscles, tissue, and bones (the MOTOR); it’s with the operating system that resides in your Brain (CONTROL).

What is Motor Control Therapy?

Animals with spines, such as humans, have bodies that have evolved to move under the direct control of their brains. This is Motor Control: the ability of the brain to direct specific appropriate muscle groups in coordinated movements.

Movement problems develop in our bodies when injured muscles continuously send feedback through the nervous system to the brain indicating pain and dysfunction. CONTROL’s response is to initiate compensatory movement patterns in the MOTOR intended to prevent further injury and compensate for lack of muscular ability.

But, this non-intuitive, non-authentic movement eventually results in chronic pain, awkwardness, and a lack of ability to move as you wish. MCT enables us to solve these movement problems at their source.

So tell me about the therapist –

Michael Talbot has seventeen years of experience (ten of them here at Psoas) resolving motor control issues, with a background that began with a BS in Physiological Psychology. After beginning a career in bodywork as a Deep Tissue therapist, Michael studied and became expert at NeuroMuscular Reprogramming® and NeuroKinetic Therapy®, two of the more advanced modalities that address neuromuscular issues.

Over the course of attending to thousands of clients’ pain and movement dysfunctions, his work has evolved into this coherent, systematic modality called MOTOR CONTROL THERAPY® (MCT).

What happens during a Motor Control Therapy session?

An initial MCT session begins with a thorough discussion of your symptoms and a detailed look at your physical history – things such as car accidents, sports injuries, bad falls, past occupations, and past sports activities. We also discuss how you currently use your body – your occupation, sport/activities, and hobbies.

Every MCT session is both physically and verbally interactive. You remain fully clothed. Depending on your condition, you may be asked to sit, stand, or walk about the room, at various times throughout the session. While on the treatment table, the therapist moves you into various positions and determines which muscles your brain can engage and which ones it cannot. Throughout the session, the therapist alternates between releasing and activating the muscles that are relevant to your condition.

Beginning with the first session, normal sensory/motor connectivity can be re-established and as a result, comfortable, intuitive movement returns. Significant change is immediate, both in the ability to engage muscles in a smooth, coordinated manner, and in a significant reduction in chronic pain.

Is MCT for me?

Some of the conditions that Michael treats on a regular basis include: neck, shoulder and upper back immobility, whiplash, sciatica, knee/leg/hip/ankle pain, cervical spine injuries, rotator cuff impingements, wrist and elbow immobility, and much more.

The work is equally effective at addressing repetitive stress conditions, athletic injuries, and physical trauma. Clients range from those with chronic workplace and postural challenges to highly athletic, maximum performance oriented individuals.

Please feel free to call the clinic at 415.227.0331 with any specific questions about MCT. 


Connective tissue wraps around every muscle, organ, and structure in the body. By manipulating the connective tissue, we can realign the bodily structure to improve balance as well as the quality and ease of motion. Essentially, the Rolfing process enables the body to regain the natural integrity of its form, thus enhancing postural efficiency and your freedom of movement.

The Rolfing 10-Series: The 10-Series of Rolfing is a systematic progression of Rolfing sessions designed by Ida Rolf to bring any person’s structure back towards a more neutral balance, reducing pain, and facilitating ease of motion across the joints and through the muscles, improving everyday energy levels.

Structure of the Rolfing 10-Series: The first 3 sessions, called “The Sleeve,” focus on opening the outer layers of connective tissue (fascia) and gross movement muscles. Sessions 4-7, “The Core,” focus on deep fascial layers and core stability musculature. The final sessions, “Integration,” focus on integrating the superficial fascia and movement muscles with the core to bring about a greater organization and continuity to the client’s body. Please note that not everyone will need the 10-Series of Rolfing. Clients are more than welcome to try individual Rolfing sessions, i.e. Structural Integration sessions, to see which direction they should take.

Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle form of bodywork developed by an osteopathic medical doctor. It works to release tension and compression in the body – relieving pain, addressing dysfunction, and improving performance and health. Craniosacral therapists support the movements of the bones with very gentle pressure, about 5 grams worth.

Craniosacral Therapy is very relaxing, and brings relief to people suffering from headaches, TMJ, sciatica, arthritis, joint pain, neck pain, and sleep disorders. It is also optimal for clients recovering from surgery and multiple forms of head trauma, as well as for anyone seeking to rebalance the central nervous system.

Oftentimes, clients seek out Craniosacral when they require a lighter touch than that of a chiropractor or massage therapist. Still, Craniosacral works very well in conjunction with those and other therapies, and usually increases their efficacy.

For many clients, Craniosacral may be “the missing link” in their treatment plans. If the body were a house, massage therapy would support the drywall, bricks, insulation, and plaster. Craniosacral Therapy would support the electricity, wiring, and plumbing.

During a Craniosacral session, the client lies on their back—unless injuries prevent them from doing so. With the client fully clothed, the practitioner observes the nervous system with a light touch—determining where abnormalities are causing dysfunction, pain, or discomfort. The session activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the body’s “rest/digest” function. This generally leaves the client feeling highly relaxed, while also helping the body to reorganize and become reacquainted with its original functions.


Prenatal & Postnatal Massage

Psoas offers pre- and postnatal massage, possibly the most effective resource available to ease the discomfort and increase the enjoyment of pregnancy.  Prenatal massage is performed side lying, supported with firm bolsters, or using a body cushion, allowing the soon-to-be-mother a chance to lay face down comfortably.  Postnatal massage is designed to help the body’s recovery process and to give relief to the new mother.

Prenatal massage is designed to aid with sleep, digestion, physical pains, and trimester specific issues. Work ranges from light to medium pressure, and focuses on such problems as swelling, sciatic pain, and low back pain. As you get closer to “the big day,” your massage therapist will work to assist the natural stretching of tissues and to prepare your muscles for delivery.

Postnatal massage offers relief to the new mother from sleep deprivation and the neck-and-shoulder aches associated with nursing and carrying a newborn. The work can range from light to deep pressure and focuses on strengthening muscle tissue, assisting circulation, and regaining normal posture and weight-bearing within the body’s framework. Your Psoas therapist can also address any concerns you have about re-starting your normal exercise routine and help you achieve your recovery goals.

Orthopedic Massage

Orthopedic massage is a manual approach to the treatment of numerous pain and injury conditions previously treated only with conventional, medical methods. Whether you are suffering from whiplash, a sprained ankle, tennis or golfers elbow, many types of impingement syndromes, or any type of tendonitis, orthopedic massage is often a holistic alternative to pills, injections or surgery.

Using specific assessment and evaluation skills, a Psoas practitioner will assess the nature of the soft tissue condition and make appropriate plans for effective treatment. Each client provides a unique presentation of the pain or injury condition; therefore we are always flexible in our approach. Often, treatment includes the use of multiple modalities to attain the desired goal.

Orthopedic techniques are particularly effective at breaking down excessive lesions or adhesions. Reduction in these adhesions aids in the restoration of broadened tissue required for normal movement. It also increases local blood supply to injured tissue, which reduces pain. More gentle work, applied in the early inflammatory phases of an injury increases circulation and the rate of healing. It is now generally recognized that manual orthopedic techniques applied at an injury site helps remodel immature and weak scar tissue into linearly arranged bundles of connective tissue.

Proprioceptive Deep Tendon Reflex®

Proprioceptive Deep Tendon Reflex (P-DTR) is the newest, cutting-edge modality in the world of bodywork because of its quick, long lasting results. It is a precise diagnostic and treatment methodology, which treats the receptor system of the body, developed by Orthopedic Surgeon and Neurologist, Dr. Jose Palomar.  If our sensor system (our proprioception) is “off,” then the structures designed to relay all of our sensory information (touch, stretch, pressure, hot/cold, vibration) to the brain becomes incorrect, and this in turn leads to faulty responses (spasms, uncoordinated movement, inflexibility) by the body.

P-DTR is a system of therapy designed to make improvements to our nervous system and resolve long standing pain, difficult to figure out conditions, faulty patterns of movement, repetitive stress and instability. Simple yet accurate muscle testing is used as the means of sifting through faulty receptors that are at the heart of these responses that most of us know as the end of the workday pain, post run spasms or just another headache. Corrections to this misguided information is achieved through “rebooting” these receptors so that they send the proper information to the brain.

So far, P-DTR has been successful in treating most of what we’ve come to expect with our other bodywork modalities. It has also been especially successful in resolving tough to figure out pain conditions, past or current injury, decreased athletic performance and issues that are not normally expected to be improved by massage. 

The Feldenkrais Method®

In a Feldenkrais Functional Integration (FI) session, you lie fully clothed on a low table as the practitioner gently moves or presses your body in different directions to make you aware of (a) subconscious tension and holding patters that make your movement less efficient, and (b) efficient ways of coordinating your body. At times, various props (pillows, rollers, blankets) are used to support posture of facilitate movements.

Through gentle touch and a series of guided movements, the practitioner develops lessons that are tailored to the clients’ unique structural needs with the goal of expanding flexibility and coordination.

Through precision of touch and movement, the client learns how to eliminate excess effort and thus move more freely and easily. Lessons may be specific in addressing particular issues brought by the client, or can be more global in scope. Clients with orthopedic problems in bones and joints can use the Feldenkrais Method to assist in correcting poor posture or habits of movement that may cause pain. Issues such as chronic muscle pain may resolve themselves as the client may learn a more relaxed approach to his or her physical experience.

Corporate Massage

With Psoas Corporate massage, you can expect the same dedication and expertise towards improving employee performance that we do towards improving athletic performance. Our goals are very similar to those in a Sports Massage; to prevent injury, encourage greater physical capacity, and sharpen the efficiency of activities requiring repetitive motion. Office work is often as demanding as athletic endeavor. Let us bring results to your  team.

Psoas Massage + Bodywork has experience providing corporate massage to law firms, financial institutions, non-profits and mid and small-sized businesses in the Bay area. We offer session lengths that range from 15 minutes to one hour for as many as 20 employees per day. We work with employers to offer specific massage therapy and self-care information to their employees as part of an on-going wellness program (multiple sessions package) or as a one-time, in-office health event (single session). A small room is all we need to provide you and your employees a low-cost, high-return work break with lasting benefits.

Interested in what positive effects we can have in your work environment?

Please call us at (415) 227-0331 to discuss our recommendations and rates. 

Event Massage

Want exceptional massage at your party or athletic event? With Psoas Event Massage, you can expect the same expertise and dedication we bring to our clients in the clinic. Our therapists love to join you on-site to meet the specific needs of your event’s participants — whether they’re looking for recovery after a run, prevention of future injuries, or a rehabilitation of the nervous system.

Psoas Massage + Bodywork has experience providing on-site massage for events at gyms, marathons, and athletic competitions around the Bay Area. We offer session lengths that range from 15 minutes to one hour and can work inside or outdoors to provide your event’s participants with clinical bodywork.

Interested in what phenomenal massage can do for your event?

Please call us at (415) 227-0331 to discuss our recommendations and rates.  


Chiropractic is a form of alternative medicine mostly concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of mechanical disorders of the neuro-skeletal system. It is both an art and science, as it is a skill that is acquired through understanding how subluxations work, and how to correctly adjust them. The initial Chiropractic Treatment at Psoas begins with 2 x 30 minute sessions, with 1-7 days in between, described below, then moves on to 15 minute treatment sessions.

Consult & Examination: Up to 30 minutes At this first visit, you will fill out a short intake form and then begin the consultation.

  • We will discuss your health concerns, lifestyle goals, and any questions that you may have.
  • The examination will follow the consultation and will include:
    • range of motion
    • posture review
    • chiropractic analysis
    • orthopedic and neurological evaluation.
  • When X-rays are necessary for your care, Dr. McCarty will guide you to the nearest walk-in radiology center in San Francisco.
  • Once Dr. McCarty has gathered all the information, you’ll set up a time to go over exam findings and any necessary X-rays.

**Adjustments will only be given on the first visit on an emergency basis, and if not, Dr. McCarty promises to perform any necessary relief care until we can go over exam/X-ray findings.

Tailored Care Explained: Up to 30 minutes During your second visit, we will go through a report of exam findings. You will get a thorough understanding of what your condition is, and if X-ray were performed, we will review them with you as well. This is an extremely important visit, as you will understand the necessary next steps to not just address your current health needs, but to make an educated choice on strengthening your body to for future lifestyle habits.

  • We will go over a detailed, specific, care plan agreement, including chiropractic and bodywork.
    • You will either be a candidate for corrective care, where we work on fixing the cause of your problem, or you will opt for relief care only.
    • You are free to choose the type of care you wish to receive, just know that outcome expectations will be different with each option.

**At this visit we will move forward with care, and you will receive your first, or follow up, adjustment!

Treatment: 15+ minutes This is where we make a huge difference in your health and lifestyle goals!

  • Regular chiropractic adjustment visits will be conveniently shorter and more focused on your specific care management.
  • Each visit we will monitor your progression, and the progression of every family member in your household.
  • Once maintenance care is recommended to you, it will be based on your health history and the care you need to sustain your desired lifestyle.

The gem of chiropractic care, especially in collaboration with bodywork, lies here. When you take control and transform your future health, and the health of your spine, you will have endless potential to move, function, and thrive in the activities you love most.