Types of Massage
Swedish massage is a gentle type of full-body massage that’s ideal for people who:
are new to massage
have a lot of tension
are sensitive to touch
It can help release muscle knots, and it’s also a good choice for when you want to fully relax during a massage.
The massage therapist will use a combination of:
long, flowing strokes in the direction of the heart
deep circular motions
vibration and tapping
passive joint movement techniques
Deep tissue massage uses more pressure than a Swedish massage. It’s a good option if you have chronic muscle problems, such as soreness, injury, or imbalance. It can help relieve tight muscles, chronic muscle pain, and anxiety.
During a deep tissue massage, your massage therapist will use slow strokes and deep finger pressure to relieve tension from the deepest layers of your muscles and connective tissues. While deep tissue may be more intense, you shouldn’t feel any pain or soreness.
Sports massage is a good option if you have a repetitive use injury to a muscle, such as what you may get from playing a sport. It’s also a good option if you’re prone to injuries because it can be used to help prevent sports injuries. You may also use sports massage to increase flexibility and performance. Additionally, sports massage can be used to relieve pain, anxiety, and muscle tension.
A sports massage can be done as a full-body massage or the massage therapist may focus on the parts of the body that need the most attention. Deep pressure may be alternated with soothing strokes depending on your needs.
Trigger point massages are best suited for people who have injuries, chronic pain, or a specific issue or condition. Sometimes areas of tightness in the muscle tissues, known as trigger points, can cause pain in other parts of the body. By focusing on relieving trigger points, this type of massage can reduce pain.
Trigger point massage uses broad, flowing strokes that are gentle and relaxing combined with stronger, deeper pressure. The massage will include work on your entire body, though your therapist will focus on specific areas of your body that need to be released.
Prenatal massage can be a safe way for women to get a massage during pregnancy. It can help reduce pregnancy body aches, reduce stress, and ease muscle tension. You can get a massage at any time during your pregnancy. However, women are advised not to have massages in the first trimester due to the risk of miscarriage during this time.
Prenatal massage uses mild pressure similar to Swedish massage. The therapist will focus on areas such as your lower back, hips, and legs. During the massage, you’ll either lie on your side with pillows place around you for support and comfort. If you’ve had pain in your calves or other parts of your leg, see a doctor before you have a massage. Postnatal massage uses the same techniques and helps the mother recover from pregnancy and birth.
A chair massage is best for people who want a quick massage that focuses on your neck, shoulders, and back. A chair massage can also be a way to introduce you to massage if you’ve never had one before. Chair massage also helps to relieve stress and promote relaxation. This type of massage uses light to medium pressure.
During the massage, you’ll remain fully clothed and sit in a specially designed chair. You’ll straddle the chair so that your chest pushes into the back of the chair, allowing the massage therapist to have access to your back.
CUPPING (see below to left)
Cupping is a type of alternative therapy that originated in China. It involves placing cups on the skin to create suction. Cupping increases blood circulation to the area where the cups are placed. This may relieve muscle tension, which can improve overall blood flow and promote cell repair. It may also help form new connective tissues and create new blood vessels in the tissue. The cups can be manipulated to help release fascial restrictions in the soft tissue.
IASTM -Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (see above to right)
IASTM is a new range of tool which enables clinicians to efficiently locate and treat individuals diagnosed with soft tissue dysfunction. The technique itself is said to be a modern evolution from Traditional Chinese Medicine called Gua Sha. However, Gua Sha was not used to treating musculoskeletal conditions but was traditionally applied along meridians to move the bad chi out through the skin. IASTM is performed with ergonomically designed instruments that detect and treat fascial restrictions, encourage rapid localization and effectively treat areas exhibiting soft tissue fibrosis, chronic inflammation, or degeneration.
Instruments effectively break down fascial restrictions and scar tissue. The introduction of controlled microtrauma to affected soft tissue structure causes the stimulation of local inflammatory response. Microtrauma initiates reabsorption of inappropriate fibrosis or excessive scar tissue and facilitates a cascade of healing activities resulting in remodeling of affected soft tissue structures. Adhesions within the soft tissue that may have developed as a result of surgery, immobilization, repeated strain or other mechanisms, are broken down allowing full functional restoration to occur.
HOT STONE MASSAGE
A hot stone massage is a type of massage therapy. It’s used to help you relax and ease tense muscles and damaged soft tissues throughout your body. The stones are usually made of basalt, a type of volcanic rock that retains heat. Hot massage stones are heated to between 130 and 145 degrees.
The stones may be placed on various parts of your body or the massage therapist may hold heated stones as they massage your body using Swedish massage techniques. The heat from the massage stones opens up blood vessels and improves circulation. Improved circulation allows more oxygen to be delivered to the muscles, which helps alleviate aches and pains.
WHOLE BODY VIBRATION
This technology was initially used and researched by the Russian Space Program, allowing astronauts to stay in space longer without suffering muscle atrophy and loss of bone density. It has more recently being used for enhancing the performance of their Olympic athletes.
Benefits of Exercise
increase muscle tone and flexibility
improved bone density
movement of lymph (a natural detox)
better sleep quality and improved mood
Percussion therapy involves a revolutionary handheld device that jolts target areas of the body. It accelerates and enhances the repair of the muscle fiber by providing rapid bursts of pressure in concentrated, short-duration pulses deep into the tissues of the body. This enhances the flow of blood to different critical areas, allowing for pain relief and subsequently improving function and range of motion.
One of the greatest proposed benefits of ultrasound therapy is that it is thought to reduce the healing time of certain soft tissue injuries. The thermal effects may reduce muscle spasms and reduce pain.
Common Injuries Treated with Ultrasound:
Muscle strains and tears
Sprains and ligament injuries
Joint contracture or tightness
Electrical Muscle Simulation machines are commonly used to help break the pain "gate". They help block pain signals from getting to the brain by disrupting information or providing competing information from nerves in painful areas, and the electrical shocks themselves may stimulate the release of the body's own endorphins locally in the painful areas.
Common Injuries Treated with E-Stim:
poor muscle strength