- » Swedish Massage
- » Deep Tissue Massage
- » Sports Massage
- » Acupressure
- » Medical Massage
- » Lymphatic Drainage
- » Chair Massage
Swedish Massage is the most predominant type of traditional European massage and the most commonly used in the United States. This modality was developed by Per Henrik Ling in Sweden during 1776-1839 and brought to the United States by two doctors from New York - Drs. Charles F. and George H Taylor. The Taylors (brothers) learned the Swedish system (from Dr. Mathias Roth, an English physician, who studied directly with Ling), and in 1856 they introduced Americans to this modality. This type of massage is also incorporated in many other techniques, especially where lubricants are used.
The application of Swedish Massage uses a system of five basic massage strokes, each with similar but distinctive and therapeutic benefits. These basic strokes are Effleurage (gliding), Petrissage (kneading), Friction (rhythmic pressure), Tapotement (percussion), and Vibration (a highly rhythmic shaking). Although there are many variations of each of these strokes, a few general guidelines apply to all and should be considered to achieve the best results. As a general rule, Americans and Europeans tend to work in a centripetal direction (that is toward the heart), while the Chinese and South Americans tend to work in a centrifugal direction (that is away from the heart).
In the normal channeling of the blood distribution from the heart to the body, the process is aided by the pumping mechanism of the heart muscle. However, in the venous or return flow to the heart, the pumping process is slower and is assisted by the movement and stimulation of the muscles. With that being said, the manipulation and stimulation of the soft tissue via massage therapy, provides an invaluable benefit to the Circulatory and Lymphatic Systems. Swedish Massage is also done on the superficial layers of the muscles and aids in the rest and relaxation of the Nervous System.
In the application of Swedish Massage, clients may be partially clothed but will always be properly draped exposing only the body part that is being worked. Clients may stop a session at any time or choose not to have a particular technique used or certain body areas massaged. The session usually runs between 45-60 minutes. It is generally recommended that anyone receiving massages to drink lots of water to flush the body of toxins released during a massage session.
Some other benefits of this type of bodywork include relief from aches and pains, decreased stress levels in the body, enhanced mental clarity, improved appearance, and greater flexibility. For a more detailed list click on 'Massage Essentials" in the menu section and scroll down to "The Benefits of Massage".
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep Tissue Massage is a form of bodywork that aims to relieve tension in the deeper layers of tissue in the body. It is estimated that one in four Americans suffer from some form of musculoskeletal dysfunction. A number of factors have been cited for contributing to this issue which include personal injury, home, work and automobile accidents, sports related injury, and aging. The anatomy of common injuried areas are: neck, upper and lower extremities, and upper and lower back.
Deep Tissue Massage is a highly effective method for releasing chronic stress areas due to misalignment, repetitive motions, and past lingering injuries. Due to the nature of the deep tissue work, open communication during the massage session is crucial to avoid client becoming too uncomfortable. Deep Tissue Massage can greatly benefit sufferers of chronic pain and injury, but because of the nature of this technique, pain is often recreated to the affected area which further cause more pain and soreness. However, keep in mind that soreness is pretty common after the treatment, and is part of the healing process when working with chronic issues. The pain and soreness are not lasting and should deminish within a few days. During this time, it is recommended that plenty of water be ingested to aid with the flushing and removal of toxins that will have been released from the deep tissue during the session. It is not uncommon for a session to go as long as two hours, but in general the duration is 60 - 90 minutes.
Sports or Athletic Massage is a type of massage designed for highly active people who engage in athletics. Engaging in sports is harsh on the body and can often lead to injuries in both the short and long term. Sports Massage enhances performance and prolongs a sports career by helping to prevent injury, reduce pains and swelling in the body, relax the mind, increase flexibility, and dramatically improve recovery rates. Sports Massage is also highly effective in aiding the rapid recovery of an athlete from an injury by encouraging greater kinesthetic awareness and in turn promoting the body’s natural immune function.
According to Patricia Benjamin and Scott Lamp, authors of Understanding Sports Massage, there are three forms of restorative sports massage: recovery, remedial, and rehabilitation. Below is a brief discussion of each of these forms:
1. Recovery Massage focuses primarily on athletes who want to recover from a strenuous workout or competition when no injury is present. The method used to help athletes in this form is similar to a generally focused full-body massage where emphasis is placed on supporting the body to return to homeostasis.
2. Remedial Massage is used for minor to moderate injuries. Methods used in remedial massage include an integrated approach as well as a selective use of Deep Transverse Friction, Myofascial, and Trigger Point work.
3. Rehabilitation Massage is used for severe injury or as part of a post-surgical intervention plan. The methods of massage vary. Immediately after injury or surgery, more nonspecific, general stress reduction, and healing promotion massage techniques are implemented. Attention is given to the entire body while the area of injury heals. Any immobility, use of crutches, or changes in posture or gait during recovery probably will set up compensation patterns. Massage can manage these compensation patterns while the physician, physical therapist, and trainer focus on the injured area. During active rehabilitation, massage can become part of the recovery process, supervised by an appropriately qualified professional as part of the total treatment plan.
More to come.....
Acupressure is a form of bodywork similar to acupuncture, with the aim of stimulating specific points along the energy lines of the body to establish overall health and vitality by balancing the Qi (energy) flow. This modality is carried out with the hands to apply pressure to the specific points of the body. An easy way to remember the difference between Acupressure and Acupuncture is: Acupressure is without needle; while Acupuncture is with needles, but both produce similar therapeutic results.
More to come...
Massage therapy isn't just for relaxation, as we now have the development of medical massage. Because of its ability to reduce pain and injuries, massage therapy is now being used in the medical field. Medical Massage is designed to address the discomforts of a patient The purpose of the massage is to deal with any dysfunctional areas or problems in the soft tissues of the body. It differs from therapeutic massage, as it does not focus on relieving tension or stress from the body. It is usually used for patients who are recovering from injuries or surgical procedures. The physician will inform the patient if he or she could benefit from massage therapy as it is often used to help speed healing and recovery.
During a session, the massage therapist will manually manipulate the soft tissues of the body using various hand techniques, soft tissue mobilization, active and passive stretching, range of motion techniques, and possibly the use of other therapeutic modalities such as hot or cold therapy to improve the general well-being of the patient.
Medical massage is not a treatment available to everyone, it is especially designed for those individuals recovering from injury or surgery and need muscle rehabilitation. The massage is carried out following the advice of a medical doctor to prevent any further injury to the healing area. The goal is to use a series of manual therapy treatments to correct the affected area of the musculoskeletal system, while at the same time, reducing pain. It differs from regular massage and bodywork in that the treatment is specifically directed to resolve conditions diagnosed by a medical doctor. In the application of Medical masage a variety of modalities and techniques may be used, but treatment is focused on the specific areas of the body related to the diagnosis. This enhances the body’s natural self-healing process and reduces the needed recovery time from injury.
Some of the techniques we may use in our application of Medical massage are: Osteopathic Manual Therapy for Headache and Neck Pain, Upper Extremity Impingement Syndromes, Myofascial Release, Soft Tissue Mobilization and Hand Techniques, Positional Release for the Postural Muscles, Muscle Energy Techniques, 3-Dimentional Techniques. Medical Massage may also be combined with other modalities in its application such as: Lymphatic Drainage, Deep Connective Tissue, and Trigger Point Therapies. The exact combination of its application however, may be different for each individual and will depend specifically on the patient and his or her individual need. Some of these techniques are briefly explained below, but the modalities themselves will be discussed under their individual headings.
Myofascial Release: This technique applies light stretching pressure with specific directions in the fascia. Myofascial Release is used to release the fascia from surrounding tissues that have been stuck together, and to break up adhesions and scar tissue.
Positional Release: This technique uses the positioning of an area of the body or the whole body in a way to evoke a therapeutic response to help resolve musculoskeletal dysfunction.
Muscle Energy Techniques utilize the client's own muscular effort in association with the therapist's assistance to increase blood flow to muscular tissues, stretch joint capsules, ligaments, tendons and fascia. Muscle energy techniques can be used for pain of an acute or chronic nature.
Soft Tissue Mobilization: This is a manual technique that involves specific movements directed at connective and muscle tissue throughout the body. It is applied at various speed, depth and direction with an aim at normalizing dysfunctional tissue capacity that allows healing to occur. It is effective for acute or chronic pain.
Each session typically lasts between 45-60 minutes and sometimes up to 2 hours. These techniques are predominantly slow nature but very effective and measurable. The cost for Medical Massage can be ascertained from our "Fee Structure" page.
More to come...
Lymphatic Massage is known as Lymphatic Drainage. It is a gentle form of massage that stimulates the lymphatic system to improve metabolism, promote the removal of bodily toxins and waste. The application of Lymphatic Drainage is slow, gently, and rhythmically. Its aim is to move the lymph through the body, especially swollen areas, relieving pressure, and encourage and enhance a healthy immune system. When the lymphatic system slows down or becomes blocked, fluid builds up causing the whole body to feel tired and heavy, making us susceptible to illnesses. By stimulating the lymph nodes through massage, it helps to clear any blockages and gives the lymphatic system a boost, keeping it running healthy and strong.
Manual Lymph Drainage or MLD for short, is similar in application. As a preventative and remedial technique, MLD is most commonly used to treat lymphedema which is characterized by blockage of lymph nodes in the arms and legs. Other uses include a wide range of purposes such as fastering recovery from injury, reduction of swelling and discomfort from pregnancy, and strengthened resistance to illness.
More to come...
Chair, Seated or Onsite Massage as it's sometimes called, is credited to David Palmer, who is considered the "father of contemporary chair massage". The term "Onsite Massage" was introduced in 1986 to describe the process of massaging seated clients. In his TouchPro Chair Massage History report, David said he coined the term because at the time, the vast majority of Chair Massage was literally taken to the client "onsite", mainly in the workplace, rather than the client coming to the chair. Today, that has changed for we see at lease half of the chair massage business in the United States involves the clients going to the chair in fixed locations such as: malls, supermarkets, airports and saloons, making the term "onsite" somewhat meaningless". However, "he had come to refer to this work as simply "Chair Massage" to juxtapose it nicely to "Table Massage" and, for variety, he sometimes use the alternative term "Seated Massage"".
Beginning with Apple Computer in the early 1980s, it's amazing to see the far-reaching impact of Chair Massage in many countries around the world. Today, in the United States, more and more companies offer massage therapy not only as a perk, but also to increase their employees productivity and morale. Thus, we see major corporations like Apple Computer, Boeing, United Airlines, PepsiCo, Sony Music, law firms, manufacturers and hospitals offer onsite massage for their workers.
The benefits of Chair Massage are invaluable, though the sessions are usually only enough time for a coffee break. There is no lubricant used in its application and the recipients are fully clothed. This type of massage is user-friendly and it is one of the best ways to introduce clients to massage therapy and the practitioner's touch.