Meet Adam Sears
Licensed Massage Therapist
Owner - Stepwise Bodywork, LLC
Adam Sears was raised in Missoula and has always appreciated being part of the vast Montana landscape. He graduated in the summer of 2020 from the Sacred Roots Massage School of Montana in Missoula. Adam views massage therapy as a way to build up and support the wellbeing of our community, one person at a time. He believes in providing a caring, confident, and responsive treatment for every client. Adam’s intuitive sense of flow, timing, and informed understanding of the human body translates well in his work with therapeutic deep-tissue, Swedish massage, Trigger Point and Positional Release.
Adam also holds a Master of Music degree in piano performance from the University of Montana. Being a pianist has informed many aspects of his approach to massage therapy. Stepwise motion is a term used in music that refers to stepping progressively from one note to its neighboring notes. The name Stepwise Bodywork similarly implies progress for the body. Massage treatments serve as a way to regain and maintain function and comfort in your daily activities. It is best to have a series of sessions so each treatment is another step towards your wellness in life.
Apart from working, Adam enjoys playing and teaching piano, cooking, foraging in the outdoors, woodworking, and living with his lovely wife and dog in Stevensville, Montana.
©Photo by Liam Queneau
Your therapist will help identify an individualized treatment plan that addresses your goals and concerns. Adam is trained and experienced with the following massage techniques.
Uses techniques including effleurage (gliding), petrissage (kneading), friction, vibration, tapotement (percussive) strokes, and active or passive range of motion to enhance and encourage relaxation and a healthy flow throughout the body. Due to its relaxing, warming effects, I often use Swedish Massage in combination with other bodywork modalities to improve my clients’ experience.
‘Myo’ derives from Latin, meaning ‘muscle’, while ‘fascia’ is Latin for ‘a band, swathe, or bundle’. Fascia serves as a connective tissue throughout our bodies. Every muscle and organ is wrapped and secured by this fascinating structure. Myofascial Release focuses on gently stretching and releasing sticky, dehydrated, and restraining fascial tissue, which helps the tightly bound and dysfunctional muscles regain mobility and a more healthy performance level.
Positional Release Techniques
Also referred to as ‘Strain-Counterstrain’ in Orthopedics, Positional Release is a proprioceptive technique aimed towards resetting the body’s reflex system so muscles and tendons can start fresh and regain a healthy balance. Reflexes are a built in security system meant to protect our soft tissues from straining and tearing. When they get out of balance or dysfunctional, a muscle will become chronically tight and build up painful knots and adhesions (trigger points). Positional Release approaches these imbalances by passively shortening and holding the muscle until the reflexes can reset and refresh. This technique also improves blood circulation (oxygenation) to the area and helps disarm the ‘stressed out’ nervous system.
Deep Tissue Techniques
The term “deep-tissue” has a broad range of applications and is used in several modalities. It is a general term that implies approaching soft-tissue manipulation at a deeper level within the muscles and attachments. Muscle stripping, separation, compression, and deep friction strokes are all considered “deep-tissue massage.” Techniques are applied slowly and methodically to help persuade the tissues to soften, release adhesions, and flush out built-up waste. Although everyone has different tolerances for the amount of pressure used (some prefer the “hurts so good” approach), deep tissue strokes do not need to be painful or uncomfortable in order to be effective! However, you may feel groggy or sore for a couple days after a session as your body processes wastes and refreshes with less restrictions.
Trigger Point Therapy
Trigger points (TPs) are small nodes in tight bands of stubbornly contracted muscle tissue (commonly called knots). They often cause sharp referred pain patterns and restrict and weaken muscles, which develops and influences a whole network of TPs. One way to release these dysfunctional muscle formations is to isolate the TP and use focused compression (pinpoint and hold about 30 sec, 3X) to interrupt and dissolve the muscle fiber’s contraction loop and flush out and refresh the zone with blood nutrients. With the client’s constant feedback (we must avoid unhealthy pain), this therapy systematically targets the most active TPs first and aims to release the TP network so the muscle system can regain an optimal functional state.
Reiki Energy Healing
From the atomic level to the cosmic level, energy flows through and around our bodies at all times. Reiki is one subtle energy approach that focuses on untangling and realigning the energy pathways and energy hubs that circulate our bodies. I think of it mostly as giving good intention and wellness through a compassionate, warm touch. The healing energy I offer seems to combine with and reorient the client’s energy flow so they can release built up negativity and darkness, and promote a balanced confidence, empowerment, and change in themselves. Reiki energy healing is always subtly present and flowing in my practice, even when applying an intense deep-tissue or trigger point treatment. It serves to calm and reassure that you are in good hands.
“Adam is an excellent massage therapist. He is very knowledgeable, professional, and listens to his clients needs for an optimal massage."
Book a Treatment
To experience the sense of timelessness and deep relaxation, I recommend booking 60 or 90 minutes for a full body massage session. Deep tissue treatment benefits from this additional time in order to yield longer lasting results. Hot Stones require a 90 minute session.
30 minute sessions are beneficial for focus on specific trouble areas or as a short escape from daily stress.
Feel free to ask me about any modalities that you may be unacquainted with, such as Reiki energy healing, positional release, or myofascial release.
The 30 min appointment works well as an initial treatment assessment. It introduces your body to massage and allows your therapist to develop a more thorough treatment plan.
30 min massage can also work for a specific problem area (such as head and neck relief, or a flared up shoulder, sore feet…etc.) and offers a brief relaxing escape from the daily bustle and grind.
60 min is ideal for a full body Swedish massage and allows your body and mind to completely relax and release. Swedish massage provides a consistent flow and promotes healthy circulation while helping the autonomic nervous system calm and rebalance. I can also apply other modalities such as deep-tissue or positional release to make the treatment most effective for you.
90 min is the ‘Goldilocks’ of session times for a thorough deep-tissue massage and full body relax/release. A thorough massage yields a longer period of positive results and functionality as you tackle whatever life presents to you next.
90 min with Hot Stone massage provides a deeply relaxing, painless release in your muscles and nervous system. The grounding nature of the heated basalt stones quickly convinces your tissues to melt and broaden, giving you more lasting therapeutic effects. I highly recommend the addition of Hot Stones to your massage.