Swedish Massage Therapy
Swedish massage is the standard type of massage offered in most clinics, gyms, spas, and wellness centers. Using lotion or oil, massage therapists typically begin with broad general strokes and then transition to specific strokes to address problem areas.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is a focused, therapeutic massage that targets muscle knots (also known as "adhesions") and specific problem areas in the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. Using deliberate, slow strokes or friction across the grain of the muscle, the therapist can address chronic tight or painful muscles, repetitive strain, postural problems, or injuries.
A form of Japanese bodywork, shiatsu massage involves localized pressure using the therapist's fingers (or sometimes hands and elbows), applied in a rhythmic sequence along the body. Each point is held for about two to eight seconds.
With roots in traditional Chinese medicine, the goal of shiatsu is to stimulate acupressure points on the body to improve the flow of energy and help regain balance.
Since no oil or lotion is used, you wear loose clothing. Shiatsu is normally done on a mat on the floor or on a low massage table and is often used to reduce stress and protect against stress-related health issues. Some research has shown that shiatsu may be effective for treating pain, nausea and insomnia.
A unique blend of assisted yoga, passive stretching, and pressing massage movements, Thai massage is more energizing than other forms of massage. It's a little bit like yoga without doing the work, as the therapist moves and stretches you in a sequence of postures, usually on a mat on the floor.
Thai massage aligns the energies of the body. The massage therapist uses rhythmic compression along the body's energy lines to reduce stress and improve flexibility and range of motion. It is done fully clothed.
This type of massage can improve range of motion and back pain, and has been shown to be useful in reducing anxiety.
Like having your feet worked on? The therapist uses finger pressure and techniques such as kneading and rubbing to promote relaxation and healing in the body. Reflexology is based on "reflex areas" on the hands and feet, whose energy is believed to be connected to organs and other body parts.
This can be a deeply relaxing therapy, especially if you stand all day or have tired, achy feet. You remove your shoes and socks but otherwise remain clothed.
Designed to prevent and treat injuries, improve flexibility, and enhance athletic performance, sports massage can be used by athletes of all abilities to prepare for or recover from sporting events.12
The idea behind sports massage is to manipulate the body's soft tissues, and focus on certain muscle groups depending on which sport the athlete plays.
In sports massage, the strokes are generally faster than a typical Swedish massage. The therapist may also include compression, pressure point therapy, friction, and joint mobilization.
IASTM (Gua Sha) Muscle Scraping
Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) is a skilled myofascial intervention used for soft-tissue treatment. It is based on the principles of James Cyriax cross-friction massage. “a skilled intervention that includes the use of specialized tools to manipulate the skin, myofascia, muscles, and tendons by various direct compressive stroke techniques”.
Instruments effectively break down fascial restrictions and scar tissue. The ergonomic design of these instruments provides the clinician with the ability to locate restrictions and allows the clinician to treat the affected area with the appropriate amount of pressure.
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.
Cupping has been used to treat a wide variety of conditions. It may be particularly effective at easing conditions that create muscle aches and pains. Since the cups can also be applied to major acupressure points, the practice is possibly effective at treating digestive issues, skin issues, and other conditions commonly treated with acupressure.