This style utilizes long, flowing strokes, often but not necessarily in the direction of the heart and has a calming effect when performed slowly. Swedish massage has shown to be helpful in reducing pain, joint stiffness, and improving function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee over a period of eight weeks.
Shiatsu technique refers to the use of fingers and palm of one's hand to apply pressure to particular sections on the surface of the body for the purpose of correcting the imbalances of the body, and for maintaining and promoting health. While receiving Shiatsu, you are fully clothed while laying on a mat on the floor.
Working a specific joint, muscle or muscle group, the practitioner can access deeper layers of the soft tissue. Starting superficially and easing into the depth of the muscle slowly often allows more movement. Very little lubricant is used as the pressure doesn't travel much over the skin. The most commonly used 'tools' during deep tissue massage may include, 3 and 6 fingers, reinforced fingers, knuckles, a flat elbow, opposing thumbs, the heel of the hand or foot, and the forearm.
Prenatal massage shares many of the goals of regular massage — to relax tense muscles, ease sore spots, improve circulation and mobility, and just make you feel good. But it's also tailored specifically to the needs of pregnant women and their changing bodies, and therapists who are trained in prenatal massage adjust their techniques accordingly. See pregnancy massage modality sheet for contraindications.
A gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of the CranioSacral system, which is comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. CranioSacral therapy is used in conjunction with many other types of massage, reiki, and energy work.
(NMT) is used for pain relief by analyzing perceived imbalances in human position are initially assessing with a postural assessment. These imbalances are then addressed through systematic and site specific massage.
Massaging, squeezing, or pushing on parts of the feet, hands or ears, with the goal of encouraging a beneficial effect on other parts of the body such as organs, to improve the client’s general health.
A massage that has derived from the Swedish style massage specifically to treat sporting injuries and sports persons, pre and post-event. A Sports Massage may involve treating the entire body, as part of a training routine, or more usually a specific area is treated due to a particular muscle strain or injury. Direct pressure over an injury site is specifically contra-indicated for 48-72 hours after the occurrence and is over and above the standard massage contra-indications.
The Lomi-Lomi technique is focused on finding congested areas in the body and dispersing them, by moving the palms, thumbs, knuckles and forearms in rhythmic, dance-like motion. Setting the intention for healing, the practitioner may also utilize prayer, breath, or energy work. One or two practitioners perform the practice of Lomi-Lomi simultaneously.
Lymph drainage massage is a unique technique first developed in Europe as a physical therapy modality for the treatment of lymphedema disease. Experience has shown that it is not only for ill patients; lymph drainage massage is also a perfect technique for helping clients to maintain health, clear the body of toxins, and improve the beauty of the skin.
A series of gentle, relaxing, rhythmic strokes as a natural way of touching and relating to one’s baby. It is effective for children that naturally love to be touched, but also for babies and children that have difficulties accepting touch. Its simplicity and mesmerizing rhythmic movements are relaxing, enhances a baby or child's sense of security, their sleep patterns, as well as their immune systems. It also promotes a healthy bonding process, and helps with self-regulation.
Chair massage counters the circulatory problems inherent with office work—and provides an appreciated break for employees. Sitting in a massage chair opens up the back muscles, relieves strain on the neck and provides a gentle respite for eyes usually glued to a computer monitor. Even 15 minutes of massage to the neck, back, arms and hands can increase circulation, returning energy levels and helping keep the body injury free.
It is the manual massage technique for stretching the fascia and releasing bonds between fascia, integument, and muscles with the goal of eliminating pain, increasing range of motion and equilibrioception. Injuries, stress, trauma, overuse and poor posture can cause restriction to fascia. This is usually done by applying shear compression or tension in various directions, or by skin rolling.
This can also be called pressure point massage. A trigger point is an area of a muscle (about 50 cells) that may refer pain sensations to other parts of the body. Manual pressure is applied to these points.
Integrative Massage Therapy serves its clients by preserving and improving their health through the integration of a variety of massage techniques, many of which are described in this document. The various techniques used are decided upon by the therapist and are tailored around each individual client’s needs.
Couples massage involves two massages in the same room, by two professional licensed massage therapists. Couples massage is an option that can be enjoyed by any two people, not just those romantically involved. The client has the choice of the type the massage that meets his or her needs. See Couples Massage modality sheet for more information.
Hot stone massage is a specialty massage that uses smooth, heated stones. They are often basalt, a black volcanic rock that absorbs and retains heat well. It is a deeply soothing, relaxing form of massage. The heat helps tight muscles release. Stone layout typically will be along both sides of the spine, or along the chakra centers on top and baseball sized stones would be placed in the hands. While these stones are delivering concentrated centers of heat, the therapist is simultaneously massaging the client with oiled, heated stones held in the palm of the hand with firm strokes along the muscles of the legs, arms, and torso areas.
There are over eighty different massage modalities!
Massage is the treatment and practice of manipulation of the soft body tissues with physical, functional, i.e. mechanical, medical/therapeutic, and in some cases psychological purposes and goals. Massage involves acting and manipulating the patient's body with pressure (structured, unstructured, stationary, and/or moving), tension, motion, or vibration done manually or with mechanical aids. Target tissues may include muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, joints, or other connective tissue, as well as lymphatic vessels, and/or organs of the gastrointestinal system. Massage can be applied with the hands, fingers, elbows, forearm, and feet.
The general benefits of massage are the following:
- Aids in relaxation
- Relieves stress
- Increases circulation
- Lowers blood pressure
- Helps to improve range of motion
- Relieves pain (general & post surgery)
- Heightens alertness
- Aids in the relief of constipation
- Boosts immunity
- Aids in lymphatic drainage
- Reduces pain & depression of fibromyalgia
- Leads to a more physiologically organized state
- Helps to lessen the formation of scar tissue
Massage in controlled clinical studies show the following:
- Increase levels of dopamine, serotonin, natural killer cells, & lymphocytes in cancer patients
- Increases vagal activity in pre-term infant growth & development
- Reduces lower back pain & sleep disturbance
Sources of controlled studies
Dept. of Pediatrics, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL; (Touch Research Institute), 2007
Fielding Graduate University, School of Psychology, Santa Barbara, Ca. 2007
Dept. of Human Development and Family Studies, University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa)
Healing Arts Institute, Citrus Heights, Ca. (James Malley, ND)
Center for Statistical Consultation & Research, Dept. of Anesthesiology & Physical Medicine, Rehabilitation, & Section of Cardiac Surgery, General Surgery, University of Michigan. 2007
Center for Practice, Management & Outcomes Research; Health Research & Development, Ann Arbor, Michigan. 2007