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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.

Cranial Sacral Therapy
Deep Tissue Massage
Thai Massage
Reiki
Prenatal Massage
Shiatsu
Sports Massage
La Stone Massage
Swedish Massage
Relflexology


Cranial Sacral Therapy


Cranial Sacral therapy (also called CST, also spelled Cranial Sacral bodywork or therapy) is an alternative medicine therapy used by osteopaths, massage therapists, naturopaths, chiropractors, and occupational therapists. A craniosacral therapy session involves the therapist placing their hands on the patient, which they say allows them to tune into what they call the cranial sacral system. The practitioner gently works with the spine and the skull and its cranial sutures, diaphragms, and fascia. In this way, the restrictions of nerve passages are said to be eased, the movement of cerebrospinal fluid through the spinal cord is said to be optimized, and misaligned bones are said to be restored to their proper position. Cranial Sacral therapists use the therapy to treat mental stress, neck and back pain, migraines, TMJ Syndrome, and for chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia.[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]


Thai Massage


Thai Massage is a massage that combines the stretching of yoga and deep tissue of pressure points. Also known as Thai yoga massage or lazy mans yoga. Attire for this treatment is loose clothing something you would wear to a yoga class or work out in.


Reiki


Reiki is a treatment where universal life force is channeled through the therapist to help balance body mind and spirit.


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]


Shiatsu


Shiatsu (指圧) ("shi" meaning finger and "atsu" meaning pressure.) is an eastern (oriental) born therapy that uses pressure applied with thumbs, fingers and palms to the same energy meridians as acupressure and incorporates stretching. It also uses techniques such as rolling, brushing, vibrating, grasping and in one particular technique developed by Suzuki Yamamoto, pressure is applied with the feet on the persons back, legs and feet (special set up is required for the "foot" shiatsu).[2]


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]


La Stone Massage


A La 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. 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]


Reflexology


Reflexology is a treatment that works with the stimulation of points on the feet, hands and ears. Each of these body sites reflect the whole body. With the feet located at the lower part of the body, the hands in the middle and the ears at the top the body feels as if it were touched and worked on.



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