Registered Massage Therapy
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. 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”.
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. The term “deep tissue” is often misused to identify a massage that is performed with sustained deep pressure. Deep Tissue massage is a separate category of massage therapy, used to treat particular muscular-skeletal disorders and complaints, and employing a dedicated set of techniques and strokes to achieve a measure of relief. It should not be confused with “deep pressure” massage, which is one that is performed with sustained strong, occasionally intense pressure throughout an entire full-body session, and not to address a specific complaint. It just so happens that Deep Tissue massage is applied to both the superficial and deep layers of muscles, fascia and other structures. The sessions are often quite intense as a result of the deliberate, focused work. When a client asks for a massage and uses the term “deep tissue”, more often than not he or she is seeking to receive a full-body session with sustained deep pressure throughout. If a practitioner employs Deep Tissue techniques, in fact, on the entire body in one session it would not only be next to impossible to perform; it might lead to injury or localized muscle and nerve trauma, thereby rendering the session counterproductive.
Trigger Point Therapy Sometimes confused with pressure point massage, this involves deactivating trigger points that may cause local pain or refer pain and other sensations, such as headaches, in other parts of the body. Manual pressure, vibration, or other treatment is applied to these points to relieve myofascial pain. Trigger points were first discovered and mapped by Janet G. Travell (president Kennedy’s physician) and David Simons. Trigger points have been photomicrographed and measured electrically. In 2007 a paper was presented showing images of Trigger Points using MRI. These points relate to dysfunction in the myoneural junction, also called neuromuscular junction (NMJ), in muscle, and therefore this modality is different from reflexology, acupressure and pressure point massage.
Infant Massage Infant massage is massage given to a young infants involving tactile and kinesthetic stroke and rubbing stimulation as a therapy to enhance their cognitive and physical development. Such contact is also found in other mammals where the mother provides tactile stimulation as part of their care through licking, grooming, and physical contact. Infant massage is widespread in traditional societies. Research finds that massage enhances neural development and body growth in rodents and humans and is particularly important for preterm infants.
Pregnancy Massage Pregnancy massage has been found to reduce stress, decrease swelling in the arms and legs, and relieve aches and pains in muscles and joints. It’s a popular complementary therapy during pregnancy for back pain, when choices for pain relief, such as medication, are often limited. Not only can massage be physically beneficial, but the human touch can be comforting and provide emotional support during pregnancy. Massage therapy has been found to reduce anxiety and depression.
TMJ Dysfunction (Temperomandibular Joint) TMJ Disorder or Syndrome is a term often used to describe temporomandibular disorders (TMD), which occur as a result of problems with the jaw, jaw joint and surrounding facial muscles that control chewing and moving the jaw. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the hinge joint that connects the lower jaw, or mandible, to the temporal bone of the skull. This bone is located immediately in front of the ear on each side of the head. When healthy, the joints are flexible, allowing the jaw to move smoothly up and down and side to side, also enabling one to talk, chew, and yawn. Muscles attached to and surrounding the jaw joint control the position and movement of the jaw. For the purposes of this article, the term TMD will be used to describe the disorder, and TMJ will be used to describe the actual joint. People with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) experience severe pain and discomfort that can be temporary, or it may last for many years. More women than men experience TMD and this disorder is seen most commonly in people between the ages of 20 and 40. Massage therapy is a time-honored modality, dating back thousands of years and practiced the world over. It has been proven to help alleviate a variety of medical conditions, including temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).
Sports Massage Sports massage is a type of Swedish massage that stimulates circulation of blood and lymph fluids. Some sports massage movements use trigger point therapy to break down adhesions (knots in the muscles) and increase range of motion. There are four types of sports massages:
- pre-event sports massage — a short, stimulating massage 15 – 45 minutes before the event. It is directed toward the parts of the body that will be involved in the exertion.
- post-event sports massage — given within an hour or two of the event, to normalize the body’s tissues.
- restorative sports massage — given during training to allow the athelete to train harder and with less injury.
- rehabilitative sports massage — aimed at alleviating pain due to injury and returning the body to health.
Aromatherapy Aromatherapy massage uses essential oils derived from plants to affect your mood and alleviate pain. In aromatherapy massage, essential oils are mixed with a carrier oil like sweet almond, apricot kernel, or grape-seed oil. The massage therapist use up to five oils in a mixture, and chooses the oils based on what you need. A relaxing aromatherapy massage, for instance, might have lavender or bergamot, while a massage for sore muscles might include peppermint and eucalyptus. Essential oils are a volatile, highly concentrated plant extracts, derived from leaves, bark, roots, seeds resins and flowers. They can also be used in hydrotherapy baths, facials and body treatments. You can also use them at home. Aromatherapy should not be confused with fragrances or perfume oils. Fragrances are often made from chemicals, and lack the therapuetic properties of essential oils. So just because someone lights a scented candle doesn’t make it aromatherapy! Hydrotherapy Hydrotherapy is the use of water to revitalize, maintain, and restore health. Hydrotherapy treatments include saunas, steam baths, foot baths, sitz baths, and the application of cold and hot water compresses. There is a physiological basis to hydrotherapy. Cold is stimulating, and it causes superficial blood vessels to constrict, shunting the blood to internal organs. Hot water is relaxing, causes blood vessels to dilate, and removes wastes from body tissues. Alternating hot can cold water also improves elimination, decreases inflammation, and stimulates circulation.
Massage Cupping™ “Massage Cupping™ bodywork is based on the common practice of Chinese cupping therapy, and the incredible result that this simple treatment produces has truly impressed those who experience its subtle power. By creating suction and negative pressure, Massage Cupping™ therapy is used to soften tight muscles and tone attachments, loosen adhesions and lift connective tissue, bring hydration and blood flow to body tissues, and drain excess fluids and toxins by opening lymphatics pathways. Massage Cupping™ bodywork is versatile and can easily be modified to accomplish a range of techniques, from lymphatic drainage to deep tissue release.”