Massage therapy is the application of soft-tissue manipulation techniques to the body, generally intended to reduce stress and fatigue while improving circulation. It is the manipulation of superficial and deep layers of muscle and connective tissue to enhance function, aid in the healing process, and promote relaxation and well-being.
The many variations of massage account for several different techniques. These various types include deep tissue massage, Bowen therapy, Myofascial release massage, Craniosacral therapy, Reflexology massage, Graston techniques, Hot Stone massage, Swedish massage, Trigger point therapy and Visceral manipulation.
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 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 not uncommon for receivers of DTM to have their pain replaced with a new muscle ache for a day or two.
Myofascial Release Techiques or Massage refers to the manual massage technique for stretching the fascia and releasing bonds between fascia, integument and muscles with the goal of elimination pain, increasing range of motion and equalibrioception. It involves applying shear compression or tension in various directions, or by rolling the skin.
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.
Trigger Point Therapy involves deactivating trigger points that may cause local pain or refer pain and other sensations, such as headaches, in other parts of the body. Trigger points were first discovered by Janet Travell and David Simons
Visceral Manipulation is used to improve the mobility of the visceral organs of the body.
Hot Stone Therapy involves the movement of stones over the body to release the tissue uses heat.