Here is a brief description of some of the most common massage modalities:
Swedish- This massage will alleviate stiffness and fatigue as well as improve circulation. Swedish Massage is a general whole body massage using oils on the skin to facilitate treatment using long flowing strokes upwards towards the heart, as well as the use of kneading, stroking, friction, tapping, and vibration . This is the basis of all Western forms of massage treatment.
Deep Tissue- This massage uses slow strokes and deep pressure to work on tight areas to release specific muscle tension and restore flexibility. Deep-Tissue Massage is generally slower than Swedish, this technique goes deeper into the muscle and connective tissue to release chronic tension which might have developed from injury or overuse. Deep tissue massage is a more focused type of therapy that aims to release areas of tension, or “knots,” in the deeper levels of musculature.
Neuromuscular- is an intense form of bodywork that consists of focused, concentrated massage on one specific area of the body. The pressure may continue for a period of up to thirty seconds at a time, and is designed to alleviate tension that extends from a “trigger point” into an entire muscle.
Reflexology- a natural healing art based on the principle that there are reflexes in the feet and hands which correspond to every part of the body. Through application of pressure on particular areas of the hands or feet, reflexology serves to relax tension, improve circulation and promote the natural function of the related area in the body.
Tui-Na- uses rhythmic compression along energy channels of the body, as well as a variety of techniques that manipulate and lubricate the joints. Like acupressure, Tui Na directly affects the flow of energy by holding and pressing the body at acupressure points.
Shiatsu- the aim id to access and increase the flow of your inner lifeforce, known as ‘chi’. According to the theory of acupressure, the body has meridians, which are channels for your chi. Using a combination of kneading, stretching, rubbing and direct pressure to stimulate these meridians with the aim of removing any blockages and turning your trickling chi into healthy torrents.
Myofascial Release- a form of soft tissue therapy used to treat somatic dysfunction and resulting pain and restriction of motion. This is accomplished by relaxing contracted muscles, increasing circulation and lymphatic drainage, and stimulating the stretch reflex of muscles and overlying fascia.
Reiki- a form of therapy that uses simple hands-on, no-touch, and visualization techniques, with the goal of improving the flow of life energy in a person. Reiki (pronounced ray-key) means “universal life energy” in Japanese. Reiki touch therapy is used in much the same way to achieve similar effects that traditional massage therapy is used—to relieve stress and pain, and to improve the symptoms of various health conditions by detecting and alleviating problems of energy flow on the physical , emotional, and spiritual level.
Pre-Natal- focuses on the mother-to-be as she goes through the changes due to pregnancy. This is not a replacement for medical care, but rather as an adjunct to aid in the health and rapid recovery of the mother. Treatment focuses on the concerns of each trimester. After the mother has given birth, treatment will assist in restoring the body back to its normal condition. Prenatal massage may also help reduce and/or eliminate excess water retention. Massage therapy enhances the function of muscles and joints, improves circulation and general body tone, and relieves mental and physical fatigue.
Ayurvedic- these massage techniques provide relaxation, circulation, elimination of toxins, and rejuvenation. They consist of long flowing techniques with the use of lots of oil.
Raindrop Technique Massage- a combination of essential oils, reflexology, and massage techniques in a very gentle way. The essential oils are applied on various locations of the body to bring it structural and electrical alignment, especially good for scoliosis and subluxations of the spine. It is designed to bring balance to the body with its relaxing and mild application. It will help align the energy centers of the body and release them if blocked, without using hard pressure or trying to force the body to change.