Types Of Massage
There are a variety of different styles and types of massage practiced by massage therapists. The following list describes what we mean by the common terms that you might hear when considering a massage. At the end, there is a description of some other services as well.
Sports massage is commonly delivered to athletes - from "weekend warriors" to high school or college athletes, high level recreational athletes, or professional level athletes. The massage typically focuses on increasing blood and lymph flow; reducing and eliminating pain from muscle knots, trigger points, or overuse; and increasing range of motion and flexibility to increase and enhance performance. We provide four different types of sports massage, because different parts of an athletes performance life demands different massage techniques. These four areas are: pre-event sports massage, post-event sports massage, restorative/recovery massage, and rehabilitative massage. As is evident from the categories, the massage delivered depends upon where in the cycle the athlete is at the time.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is designed to relieve severe tension in the muscle and the connective tissue or muscle fascia. The massage focuses on the muscles located below the surface of the top muscles, and is sometimes mildly uncomfortable to receive because of the depth of the work. The client should always communicate with the therapist about what is happening in their body, and the therapist will adjust the pressure or depth of the massage to suit the intent of the client and the massage. Deep tissue massage is often recommended for individuals who experience consistent pain, are involved in heavy physical activity (such as athletes), and people who have sustained physical injury. It is not uncommon to notice that the massage has replaced the pain with a new muscle ache for a day or two, but the pain should subside and result in more freedom of motion and less chronic pain. Remember that what one person thinks is light pressure, another may feel as very deep. It is important to communicate with the therapist about what you are feeling throughout the massage.
Swedish massage, also known as Classic massage, is the type of massage that most people think of when asked to describe massage. It utilizes five different types of strokes, with variable pressure and length. It is beneficial for increasing circulation, skin conditioning, and relaxation. As the massage continues, some of the strokes increase in pressure, but it does not reach the level of the deep tissue or trigger point that other styles apply. Swedish is a wonderful way to lengthen and relax your body and recover from the tension and repetitive motions that we all go through in our day-to-day lives.
The tape is an elastic cotton strip with an acrylic adhesive used with the intention of treating pain and disability caused by athletic injuries or other physical disorders. The tape supports correcting the alignment of weak muscles and facilitating joint motion as a result of the tape's recoiling qualities. The tape lifts the skin, increasing the space below it, allowing increased blood and lymphatic fluid circulation to help reduce swelling. The increase in the interstitial space leads to less pressure on nociceptors, which detect pain, and stimulates mechanoreceptors, improving overall joint proprioception.
Stone Massage (Hot or Cold)
Stone massage utilizes heated or chilled stones to apply heat or cold to the body during the massage. The stones are used in two ways: heated stones are placed in various locations on the body to retain heat and relax muscles from the heat and gentle weight; and the therapist holds stones and uses them to stroke the muscles. The stone massage is very relaxing and warm.
Reflexology is a type of bodywork that focuses on applying pressure to the specific nerve zones in your feet. Unlike other foot massages that intend to mostly relieve tension in the feet themselves, reflexology is a far more in-depth science that aims to harmonize your entire body. According to reflexology, every part of the human body is mapped into your feet. Reflexology treatments have been found to be highly effective for conditions such as allergies, headaches, and depression.
Salt is a cleansing material, both in terms of physical cleansing and spiritual cleansing. Salt lightly abrades the skin and removes layers of dead tissue and oils, while rejuvenating the skin. The client is more exposed during this process, so bathing suit type coverage is recommended. The reason for this is that the whole body is rubbed down with a massage oil/salt mixture, and then the client showers (privately) to remove the salt. The salt cleanses the body,and makes the skin feel wonderfully soft and pliable; it also dissipates disruptive energy and calms the client. Salt scrubs are available as part of a regular massage (salt scrub, shower, return to the table for the massage) or as a stand-alone service.