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Some Types of Massage

Swedish Massage Swedish massage is usually used for a more relaxing massage as opposed to a therapeutic massage.  This style utilizes long, flowing strokes, often but not necessarily in the direction of the heart.  Swedish massage is designed to increase circulation and blood flow.  There are six basic strokes: effleurage, pettrisage, friction, tapotement, compression and vibration.  Oil, cream, or lotion is applied on the skin to reduce friction and allow smooth strokes.  This style of massage is generally attributed to the Swedish fencing master and gymnastics teacher Per Henrik Ling.

Shiatsu/Acupressure These styles are traditional Chinese medicine bodywork techniques based on the same ideas as acupuncture.  It involves placing physical pressure, by hand, elbow, or with the aid of various devices, on different pressure points on the surface of the body (which may be far distant from the symptom, related by what is called the meridian system) to bring about relief through greater balance and circulation of energies in the body (qi).  It is intended to affect and balance the energetic system of the body in order to treat the human body, mind, emotions, energetic fields, and spirit.

 

Deep Tissue Massage - Deep tissue techniques are generally designed for more focused massage work.  Working a specific joint, muscle or muscle group, the practitioner can access deeper layers of the soft tissue.  Each client experiences pressure differently.  Starting superficially and easing into the depth of the muscle slowly often allows more movement.  If the pressure is applied too deeply or too quickly, the muscle may tighten to protect that area.  Very little lubricant is used as the pressure doesn't travel much over the skin.

Trigger Point Therapy - A trigger point is an area of a muscle that refers pain sensations to other parts of the body.  Trigger Point Therapy applies pressure to these points leading to immediate release of tension and improved muscular functioning.  This work is based upon the trigger point research and manuals of Dr. Janet Travell.  Sometimes this work is incorporated into other styles of massage therapy such as neuromuscular therapy (NMT).

Neuromuscular Therapy - Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) is used for pain relief and specific problems.  Structural and postural imbalances are identified through an initial postural assessment.  These are then addressed through systematic and site specific massage.  NMT reduces pain, tension, postural imbalance, and lengthens and strengthens tissues.  NMT was developed by Paul St. John.

Myoskeletal Alignment Technique - Myoskeletal Alignment Technique (MAT) identifies postural distortions to improve and prevent pain conditions.  Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation and myofacial techniques are used to lengthen tight/facilitated muscles while fiber activation techniques tone weak/inhibited muscles. MAT was developed by Erik Dalton.

Chair Massage - A portable massage chair is designed for comfort and support and can be adjusted quickly to fit almost any size body.  Chair massages usually last from 5 to 20 minutes, and no oils or lotions are used.  It takes place while clients are fully clothed, and is usually concentrated on the upper body and back.  Disposable face cradle covers are used for each massage and the massage therapist uses disinfectant wipes for the chair and instant hand sanitizers before and after giving each massage.  Chair massages can be done in any setting, home or corporate location.

Aromatherapy This type of massage uses essential oils, absolutes, carrier oils and other fragrances from plants to affect someone's mood or health, and is commonly associated with alternative medicine.  While pleasant scents can make a room a nicer place to be in and therefore relaxing, lowering stress and related effects, there is no scientific basis at all for aromatherapy or any form of proof it does anything other than make a room smell nice.  There are some that give a form of relief for the airways when having a cold or the flu, such as most citrus-based essential oils.  While there is no scientific proof that essential oils cure diseases, many people have found great success in their usage.

Sports Massage Sports Massage is massage therapy focusing on muscle systems relevant to a particular sport.  This is done in multiple stages: pre-event, intra-event, post-event, rehabilitation, and maintenance.  For those clients that are active in athletics, this massage could be the best for them.

Hot Stone Massage Hot stone massage is a form of bodywork that involves the application of heated or cooled stones to the body during deep tissue massage.  The client will enjoy the deep penetrating heat from the hot stones blended with Swedish strokes.  Stones are also used as tools for deeper, more penetrating massage of thicker muscular areas.