The most common type of massage in the West, it is the foundation for which many other massage modalities are based on. It consists of:
- Long, sweeping strokes (effleurage), usually used at the start and end of a massage
- Muscle kneading and rolling (petrissage), where the muscles are worked on just like kneading dough.
- Friction, where deep pressure is applied to a particular spot with the thumb, fingertips, or knuckles
- Rhythmic tapping (tapotement), fast percussion movements like chopping and even pounding
A trigger point is a tight area within muscle tissue that causes pain in other parts of the body. Trigger point massage therapy is specifically designed to alleviate the source of the pain through cycles of isolated pressure and release. The results and benefits of trigger point massage are releasing constricted areas in the muscles, thus alleviating pain. You can experience a significant decrease in pain after just one treatment. Receiving massage with trigger point therapy on a regular basis can help naturally manage pain and stress from chronic injuries.
Deep tissue massage therapy is similar to Swedish massage, but the deeper pressure is beneficial in releasing chronic muscle tension. The focus is on the deepest layers of muscle tissue, tendons and fascia (the protective layer surrounding muscles, bones and joints).
Myofascial massage is a safe and very effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the Myofascial connective tissue (fascia) restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion. The fascia is a protective layer of connective tissue that surrounds each muscle and muscle fiber. There is typically very little or no oil used in this type of massage. Its focus is for long-term structural changes to our connective tissue, therefore allowing more ease in the body.
A sports massage uses techniques of passive and active stretching to lengthen muscle fibers that have contracted from lack of use or excessive use, restore flexibility to the muscles after injury, restore muscle balance, and to increase overall flexibility. Massage improves the benefits of stretching by allowing greater muscle stretch, controlling the intensity of the stretch, and enabling you to relax during the stretch.
Shiatsu is a manipulative therapy developed in Japan and incorporating techniques of anma (Japanese traditional massage), acupressure, stretching, and Western massage. Shiatsu involves applying pressure to special points or areason the body in order to maintain physical and mental well- being, treat disease, or alleviate discomfort. This therapy is considered holistic because it attempts to treat the whole person instead of a specific medical complaint. All types of acupressure generally focus on the same pressure points and so-called energy pathways, but may differ in terms of massage technique. Shiatsu, which can be translated as finger pressure, has been described as needle-free acupuncture.
Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a form of bodywork using gentle touch to manipulate the synarthrodial joints of the cranium. A practitioner of craniosacral therapy may also apply light touches to a patient's spine and pelvic bones. Practitioners believe that this manipulation regulates the flow of cerebrospinal fluid. Craniosacral therapy was developed by John Upledger, D.O. in the 1970s, as an offshoot osteopathy in the cranial field, or cranial osteopathy, which was developed in the 1930s by William Garner Sutherland.