Explore the World of Massage – Types of Massage

Types of MassageSwedish Massage
A system of long strokes and techniques on the more superficial layers of the muscles. These techniques are designed primarily to relax muscles by applying pressure to them against deeper muscles and bones. These strokes are typically performed in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart, it is however safe to apply light pressure in the opposite direction. The lymph system and veins both rely on muscle action, rather than heart pump pressure, to operate. Swedish massage can help the recipient to obtain a feeling of connectedness and have a better awareness of their body position. Each stroke and technique of Swedish massage has a specific therapeutic benefit. Recovery times from muscular strain can be shortened with the help of massage by flushing the tissue of lactic acid, uric acid and other metabolic wastes. It can improve the circulation without increasing load to the heart.

Types of Swedish Strokes:

A smooth, gliding stroke is used to relax soft tissue and is applied using both hands with light pressure.

Also called kneading involves squeezing, rolling and kneading the muscles to access deeper layers of muscle and to loosen the fascial layers.

The deepest of the Swedish massage strokes. This stroke encompasses deep, direct, circular, linear, or cross fiber movements applied to soft tissue causing the underlying layers of tissue to rub against each other and the bone. The result is an increase of blood flow to the massaged area.

Executed with cupped hands or the edge of the hand with short, alternating rhythmic taps to the client.

Deep Tissue Massage
Releases the chronic muscle tension patterns through slow strokes and deep pressure on the specific areas, either following or going across the grain of muscles, tendons and fascia. This invigorating experience is a process to detect stiff or painful areas and determining the quality of the deeper layers of musculature while slowly working into the deep layers of muscle tissue. Specific positions and strokes are then applied to respond to various tissue qualities.

Chair MassageChair Massage
This type of massage is usually administered while the client is fully clothed (in a more private space
the option to remove your shirt can be available) and seated in a specially designed chair.
These chairs most often slope forward, which allows access to the muscles of the back and neck.
On-site massage usually lasts between 15 and 30 minutes and is intended for relaxation,
stress relief, and to improve circulation.


Myofascial Release
A form of bodywork that seeks to rebalance the body by releasing tension in the fascia. Long, stretching strokes are typically utilized to release muscular tension. A release is used to evaluate and treat restrictions in the body’s muscles and fascia by the application of gentle traction, pressures, and positioning. Fascia is a complex supportive web throughout the body that affects all components of the musculoskeletal, nervous and visceral (organ) systems. The fascia surrounds groups of muscle fibers, entire muscle groups, and organs. It can become elastically deformed and therefore can retain tensions from physical and emotional traumas. Myofascial release techniques are used to coax muscles that are in spasm to relax, and loosen adhesions in the fascia. The body responds to this type of therapy by releasing tension that has been stored in the fascia, thus allowing muscles to increase its functional flexibility and mobility.

Massage based around a system of points in the hands and feet thought to correspond, or “reflex,” to all areas of the body.

Reiki is a healing practice that originated in Japan. Reiki practitioners place their hands lightly on or just above the person receiving treatment, with the goal of facilitating the person’s own healing response. In a Reiki session, the client lies down or sits comfortably, fully clothed. The practitioner’s hands are placed lightly on or just above the client’s body, palms down, using a series of 12 to 15 different hand positions. People use Reiki for relaxation, stress reduction, and symptom relief, in efforts to improve overall health and well-being. Reiki balances and strengthens the body’s energy system, supporting its ability to heal itself.

Stone MassageStone Massage
Stone massage involves the application of water-heated basalt stones of varying sizes tokey points on the body, giving a deep massage and creating sensations of comfort and warmth. The direct heat relaxes muscles, allowing manipulation of a greater intensity than with regular massage.

Couples Massage
Couples Massage is a new option for those that want to make any occasion special. Two people receive their massages at the same time in the same room by two massage therapists. This is a perfect getaway treatment for two people, whether husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, mother and daughter, or two special friends. Couples massage is a great way to introduce a partner who has never experienced a massage before in a way that makes them feel more comfortable the first time. Talking between the couple during their massages is purely a personal choice.

The massage room is custom made for the occasion, with two heated tables, fitted for the ultimate in comfort, a working fireplace, soft music, candles and/or aromatherapy, and soft lighting. The room is also equipped with a 52″ TV displaying HD relaxation scenes such as seashore sunsets, waterfalls, and forest imagery.

The session may be limited to the 30 minute, 60 min or 90 minute packages or be accessorized with an additional 30 minute relaxation time to chat in the massage room while enjoying optional add-ons such as hot or cold beverages, chocolate dipped strawberries and/or cheese and crackers.

Shiatsu and Acupressure
Oriental-based systems of finger-pressure which treat special points along acupuncture “meridians” (the invisible channels of energy flow in the body).

Sports Massage
Massage therapy that focuses on muscle systems relevant to a particular sport and is used primarily for the serious athlete who trains continuously. The focus is primarily on the muscles relevant to the particular athletic activity. It also includes a pre-event, post-event and maintenance techniques that promote greater athletic endurance and performance, lessen chances of injury and reduce recovery time.

Trigger Point Therapy
(Also known as Myotherapy or Neuromuscular Therapy) This type of massage therapy applies concentrated finger pressure to “trigger points” (painfully irritated areas in muscles) to break cycles of spasm and pain. The therapist locates and deactivates these ‘trigger points’, which are often tender areas of muscle that have been damaged or are in a constant state of spasm that worsens when aggravated. The major goals are to reduce the spasm by inducing new blood flow into the affected area. Direct pressure is applied to the trigger points for a short period of time, which can be painful for the moment but is greatly relieving. Ice or another cooling agent may be used to reduce nervous system response, making the area easier and more comfortable to work. Then the muscles are gently stretched to complete the relaxation process. Myotherapy aims to erase pain and soothe tightened muscles. People with acute or chronic muscle tension and the associated pain are likely to benefit greatly from this type of treatment.

Craniosacral MassageCraniosacral Therapy
Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle method of detection and correction of the craniosacral rhythm to release problem areas and relieve undue pressures to the brain and spinal cord. Using a light touch, generally no more than the weight of a nickel, sessions can last between 15 minutes and an hour. Craniosacral therapy can be used alone or in conjunction with other modalities. It encourages the body’s natural healing mechanisms to achieve better overall health and resistance to disease.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage
This healing technique blends soothing, gentle, precise massage-like movements to accelerate the flow of lymphatic fluid in the body. This type of massage should be performed by a certified therapist in Manual Lymphatic Drainage.

By Dr. Ida Rolf, aligns the major body segments through deep manipulation of the fascia or connective tissue.

Thai Massage
Thai Massage or Nuad Bo-Rarn, is the traditional massage of Thailand. It came to Thailand along with Buddhism and was originally practiced by Buddhist monks in their temples. The work consists primarily of a large variety of stretching movements and pressure along energy lines and points. The stretching movements of Thai massage often resemble passive yoga asanas. One receives all the benefits of Yoga without having to perform any of the work! These stretches affect the entire body by increasing flexibility, releasing both deep and superficial tension, and helping the body’s natural energy to flow more freely.

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