Description of Massage Modalities
Massage involves systematically applying various methods to manipulate the muscles and soft tissues of the body to maintain health and achieve relaxation. Specific styles of massage therapy which I utilize include, but are not limited to the following:
- Swedish massage: Generally regarded as the most common form of massage, it involves manipulation of the muscles and connective tissues of the body for relaxation, increased circulation and health maintenance. Swedish massage therapy can be very gentle and relaxing. Typically used to warm and prepare tissues for deeper work. Swedish massage consists of multiple specific massage techniques applied by the Massage Therapist using the fingers, hands, forearms and elbows and used on the most superficial layers of muscle and connective tissue.
The basic techniques are:
- Effleurage (from the French verb meaning "to skim") consists of long, gliding movements with variations of pressure, drag, speed, direction and rhythm. This is one of the most versatile massage techniques.
- Petrissage (from the French verb meaning "to knead") generally involves squeezing, lifting & rolling of soft tissue and muscles.
- Compression is vertically pressing down on the tissue and muscles.
- Vibration consists of light pressure and rapid movements of the therapist's fingers applied to the back or limbs.
- Shaking generally involves a slight and fast movement of a limb.
- Rocking is a smooth and rhythmic movement of the body from side to side.
- Tapotement (from the French verb meaning "to rap, drum or pat") consists of quickly applied percussion like movements applied with the hands.
- Friction consists of small, deep transverse or circular movements made with the fingertips. Friction – is the deepest of Swedish massage strokes. This stroke encompasses deep, circular movements applied to soft tissue causing the underlying layers of tissue to rub against each other. The result causes an increase in blood flow to the massaged area.
http://spas.about.com/od/swedishmassage/a/Swedish.htm Swedish Massage
http://www.massagetherapy101.com/mailbag08.aspx Link to Swedish Massage info
http://www.massagemag.com/Magazine/2002/issue100/history100.php Link to info on Swedish Massage
- Deep Tissue Massage: Focus is on the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue; its purpose is to release the chronic patterns of tension in the body. Many people assume that deep tissue massage is painful. However, this is not the case. There are many ways to perform deep tissue massage, not all of which require strong pressure and client discomfort. Even if the technique involves pain, the client should experience the sensation of "hurts so good" rather than that they are in agony. A discomfort scale of 1 to 10 is often used to monitor this through the treatment process. On a pain scale of 1 to 10; the discomfort level should not exceed a 6 or 7. The deep tissue massage work is done to your level of comfort. Deep breathing can be especially helpful with relaxation on the deep tissue muscle massage. Deep tissue massage is used for chronically tight or painful muscles, repetitive strain, postural problems, or recovery from injury. People often feel sore for one to two days after deep tissue massage. If the tissue is properly warmed up and prepared, the discomfort should be minimal and tolerable. through slow strokes and deep finger pressure on the contracted areas. It is called deep tissue, because it also focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue.
http://altmedicine.about.com/od/massage/a/massage.htm Deep Tissue Massage
- Sports Massage: Sports Massage is specifically designed for people who are involved in heavy physical activity such as a professional or weekend athlete and people who are active and work out often. The focus isn't on relaxation but on conditioning, recovery as well as preventing and treating injury and enhancing athletic performance. Facilitated stretching is a common technique. It helps to loosen muscles and increase flexibility.
· Acupressure: Similar to acupuncture, but without relying on the use of needles. This technique involves pressing on certain points of the body to relieve pain.
· Hot Stone Massage: In this 90 minute session, warm and hot stones are used to induce relaxation and create a sedating effect. The warm stones are placed on and underneath your body to deliver heat and energy while hot stones are used simultaneously to massage the muscles. Heated, smooth stones are placed on certain points on the body and / or held in the massage therapist’s hand while massaging. The warmth is comforting. Hot stone massage is good for people who have muscle tension but prefer lighter massage. The heat warms and relaxes the muscles, which allows the therapist to apply deeper pressure, if desired. The warmth of the hot stones improves circulation and calms the nervous system. The massage therapist always holds the stones first before touching them to your body, which ensures that the temperature will not be too hot. Everyone, however, has their own comfort range. Be sure to speak up if the stones are too hot for you. Cool marble stones are occasionally used during a treatment, particularly if there is inflammation. After the hot stones have relaxed the muscles, the massage therapist may put down the stones and use his or her hands to directly massage the skin. The therapist uses traditional Swedish massage techniques while holding a heated stone.
http://altmedicine.about.com/od/massage/a/hot_stone.htm Hot Stone Massage
Trigger Point Therapy: (also known as Myotherapy or Neuromuscular Therapy) – applies concentrated finger pressure to "trigger points" (painful irritated areas in muscles) to break cycles of spasm and pain.
- Neuromuscular massage: Applied to specific muscles, often used to increase blood flow, release knots of muscle tension, or release pain/pressure on nerves. One type of this therapy is also known as Trigger Point Therapy, in that concentrated finger pressure is applied to "trigger points" of muscular pain.
- Myofascial Massage: “Myo” is muscle tissue. “Fascia” is a type of connective tissue that not only binds our structure together in a web arrangement, but also allows structures to move against one another freely. If the capability of fascia to perform its normal function is reduced via sudden trauma or repetitive strain, adhesions will form to protect the body from further damage. The person's movement may therefore be restricted. Myofascial Release – is a form of bodywork that is manipulative in nature and seeks to rebalance the body by releasing tension in the fascia. Long, stretching strokes are utilized to release muscular tension.
- On-site Massage: (also known as chair massage or corporate massage) – is administered while the client is clothed and seated in a specially designed chair. These chairs most often slope forward allowing access to the large muscles of the back. On-site massage usually lasts between 15 and 30 minutes and is intended to relax and improve circulation.