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Types of Massage

There are a variety of different styles, types and techniques of massage utilized by massage therapists. We've provided a description of some of the more popular and well known types of massage being used today.

Cayce/Reilly Massage
Deep Tissue Massage
Reflexology
Myofascial Release
Prenatal Massage
Perinatal Massage
Sports Massage
Swedish Massage
Trigger Point Therapy


Cayce/Reilly Massage


Cayce/Reilly Massage is an "overall wellness" massage treatment that focuses on relaxing and coordinating the nervous system (as described in the Cayce readings), rotation of joints and limbs and the stimulation of the organs and glands, performed in specific "routine" with specific choices of oils (as described in the Cayce readings).


Deep Tissue Massage


Deep Tissue massage is designed to relieve severe tension in the muscle and the connective tissue or fascia. This type of massage focuses on the muscles located below the surface of the top muscles. Deep tissue massage is often recommended for individuals who experience consistent pain, are involved in heavy physical activity, such as athletes, and patients who have sustained physical injury. It is also not uncommon for receivers of Deep Tissue Massage to have their pain replaced with a new muscle ache for a day or two. Deep tissue work varies greatly. What one calls deep tissue another will call light. When receiving deep tissue work it is important to communicate what you are feeling.[2]


Reflexology


Reflexology, or zone therapy, is an alternative medicine or pseudoscience involving the physical act of applying pressure to the feet, hands, or ears with specific thumb, finger, and hand techniques without the use of oil or lotion. It is based on what reflexologists claim to be the system of zones and reflex areas that they say reflect an image of the body on the feet and hands, with the premise that such work affects a physical change to the body.[2]


Myofascial Release


Myofascial release is a form of soft tissue therapy used to treat somatic dysfunction and accompanying pain and restriction of motion. This is accomplished by relaxing contracted muscles, increasing circulation, increasing venous and lymphatic drainage, and stimulating the stretch reflex of muscles and overlying fascia.[2]


Prenatal Massage


Prenatal massage is similar to massage during non-pregnancy in terms of the goals (relaxation, pain relief, increased circulation & mobility, etc.). However, due to the changes undergone during pregnancy, modification are made. To accommodate swollen tender breasts and a growing belly, special pillows, positioning and techniques are utilized to ensure comfort for both the expecting mother and baby. With increasing weight, a changing center of gravity and the many other changes associated with pregnancy, prenatal massage can help provide relief and a sense of well being that is much deserved.[1]


Perinatal Massage/Postpartum Massage


Perinatal Massage is also called postpartum massage, it is a specific massage for women after the baby is born and the mother is now having to heal and take care of a new child/children. The massage focuses on warming the abdominal area and working on creating a healing environment in order to aid in the healing process as the body regains it's shape and organ location. It also helps with circulation and relaxation which is necessary to all new or returning mothers of infants.


Sports Massage

Sports massage is actually a form of Swedish massage that is delivered to athletes. Most commonly, sports massage focuses on increasing blood and lymphatic fluid flow, reducing and eliminating pain as well as tender trigger points, and increasing range of motion of the affected area. Sports massages can be broken into 4 distinct types - the pre-event sports massage, the post-event sports massage, the restorative sports massage and the rehabilitative sports massage. As the names indicate, each type of sports massage has a different focus for the athlete as they are delivered at different times during their training and performance schedule.[1]


Swedish Massage


Swedish massage uses five styles of long, flowing strokes to massage. The five basic strokes are effleurage (sliding or gliding), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (rhythmic tapping), friction (cross fiber) and vibration/shaking. Swedish massage has shown to be helpful in reducing pain, joint stiffness, and improving function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee over a period of eight weeks. It has also been shown to be helpful in individuals with poor circulation. The development of Swedish massage is credited to Per Henrik Ling, though the Dutch practitioner Johan Georg Mezger adopted the French names to denote the basic strokes. The term "Swedish" massage is not really known in the country of Sweden, where it is called "classic massage".[2]


Trigger Point Therapy


Trigger points or trigger sites are described as hyperirritable spots in skeletal muscle that are associated with palpable nodules in taut bands of muscle fibers. Trigger point practitioners believe that palpable nodules are small contraction knots[ambiguous] and a common cause of pain. Compression of a trigger point may elicit local tenderness, referred pain, or local twitch response. The local twitch response is not the same as a muscle spasm. This is because a muscle spasm refers to the entire muscle entirely contracting whereas the local twitch response also refers to the entire muscle but only involves a small twitch, no contraction. The trigger point model states that unexplained pain frequently radiates from these points of local tenderness to broader areas, sometimes distant from the trigger point itself. Practitioners claim to have identified reliable referred pain patterns, allowing practitioners to associate pain in one location with trigger points elsewhere.[2]



[1] Content Copyright ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC dba MassagePlanet.com
[2] Content Obtained from Wikipedia.com.