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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.

Chair Massage
Deep Tissue Massage
Medical Massage
Myofascial Release
Prenatal Massage
Stone Massage
Swedish Massage
Trigger Point Therapy



Chair Massage


Chair Massage is done in an ergonomically designed portable chair. Chair Massage focuses on the head, neck, shoulders, back, arms and hands. Massage Therapists are able to offer on-site massages to many corporate environments because of the portability of the massage chair. Clients do not need to disrobe ot receive a chair massage. Due to these two factors, chair massage is often performed in settings such as Corporate Offices, Employee Appreciation Events, Trade Show Events, Conferences and Trainings, Corporate Golf Outings and Wellness Events.[2]



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]



Medical Massage


Medical Massage is medically necessary and prescribed by a physician. it is approached with a specific treatment plan in mind. It has goals set for improvement with in a certain time frame. Progress and sessions are always documented. An accident can cause you to get an injury that is traumatic to your body. Working to realign soft tissue and improve range of motion is a primary goal of any rehabilitation program. Medical Massage can assist with this process. At the end of set time frame their is a revaluation to see if goals were met or if more time is needed. In cases where there is an auto accident, worker's comp, or slip and fall the insurance or company end up paying the bill. Some health insurance companies cover massage therapy as well.


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]



Stone Massage


A stone massage uses cold or water-heated stones to apply pressure and heat to the body. Stones coated in oil can also be used by the therapist delivering various massaging strokes. The hot stones used are commonly river stones which over time, have become extremely polished and smooth. As the stones are placed along the recipient's back, they help to retain heat which then deeply penetrates into the muscles, releasing tension.[2]


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. This type of massage is relaxing and helps with tension. It is also recommended for people who are sensitive to the touch. The term "Swedish" massage is not really known in the country of Sweden, where it is called "classic massage".


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.