There are as many different type of massage as there are therapists in the world, and then possibly even more. For the sake of simplicity, however, here's a quick Cliff's Notes version to help you decide what type of massage is best suited for your needs.
For those just needing to relax and get away for a little while, Swedish massage is the treatment of choice. During your session, your therapist will work with you to soothe stressed muscles, increase your circulation and stimulate detoxification. By the end of your session, you will be feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Deep Tissue Massage
When your body is feeling knotted up and you notice a lack of flexibility, it is time for you to get a deep tissue massage. Contrary to popular belief, deep tissue massage is not intended to be painful. Instead, your therapist will work within your comfort levels to work out knots and adhered tissues, thus promoting a better range of motion while decreasing the pain associated with tight, ropey muscles.
Sports massage incorporates deep tissue work with more emphasis on your specific athletic preference. This form of massage can be done before an event to increase range of motion and blood flow so that you can take on your opponents with what feels like a new body. After an event, your therapist will help remove the lactic acid build up in your muscles and decrease recovery time, which will help you get back into training more quickly. Sports therapy can also be used in conjunction with your current workout program. where your therapist will work with you to achieve your fitness goals.
Sometimes referred to as "Grastoning," scraping utilizes a variety of specially shaped tools to help manually release fascial restrictions, usually around attachment sites.
Cupping utilizes bell-shaped tools that apply suction to the tissue to lift and separate restrictions.
Normally these techniques are integrated into the massage and are not done the whole time to avoid excessively working an area. Both of these techniques frequently leave marks on the skin as they separate tissues that have adhered around capillaries. Marks usually dissipate in a week or less.
One of the happiest times in a woman’s life is when she is expanding her family. Let your therapist soothe your joints and muscles through this transition in your body’s life, so you can focus on your baby and not your swollen feet. Your therapist will adjust your session for each trimester of your pregnancy, to ensure that you are always as comfortable as possible during your treatment.
Reflexology is an ancient technique that works specific points in the hands and feet that correlate with various nerve innervations throughout the body. By working these nerve endings, areas of tension that are not relaxing quickly with massage can start to loosen up before working more into the muscles.
Neuromuscular therapy works by addressing areas of muscular dysfunction through a re-balancing of the central and peripheral nervous systems. Neuromuscular treatments work well in addressing postural issues as well as compressed nerves.
Trigger Point Release
Trigger points, commonly referred to as knots, are areas within the muscle fiber that continue to contract even after the muscle has stopped working. These continued contractions leave muscles feeling weak and result in a local build-up of lactic acid. Trigger point release helps to reset the muscle fibers and then work out any residual cellular degradation.
Fascia is a form of connective tissue within the body. Through overuse, fascia can naturally become adhered, resulting in decreased range of motion, and a decreased ability to have proper circulation. By reducing these adhesions, clients are able to move more freely, resulting in an increased ability to perform activities more easily throughout their day.
Heat and cold therapies are some of the best additional therapies to apply to any treatment. Heated flax seed pillows help to increase circulation to an area prior to being massaged, allowing tight muscles to be more receptive during treatments. Ice packs can be applied to areas which may be inflamed, decreasing pressure on nerve endings, allowing for pain relief.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage
Just as our hearts have their own pulses, our lymphatic system has a pulse of its own. The flow of the lymphatic system can become blocked due to illness or chronic strain. When our lymphatic system is not functioning properly, it can cause chronic fatigue or not allow us to become well after time spent being sick. The lymphatic system is located very close to our skin’s surface, meaning that the therapist needs to use a very light touch to boost the lymphatic system into functioning properly again.
Similar to Manual Lymphatic Drainage, crainiosacral therapy focuses on resetting the flow of the craniosacral fluid around your brain which can become stagnant, especially after experiencing a head trauma.