Massage

Connective Tissue Massage

Connective tissue massage is similar to Myofascial Release in that it involves working with the body’s fascia, or soft tissue, to relieve pain, tightness, and discomfort. The idea behind connective tissue massage is that restriction in one area of the body negatively affects other areas of the body. Practitioners of this technique “hook” their fingers into the connective tissue and utilize pulling strokes to lengthen the area. Benefits include pain reduction, tension relief, improved mobility and stress reduction.

CranioSacral Therapy

CranioSacral Therapy was developed over 20 years ago by Dr. John Upledger, while he served as a researcher and professor at Michigan State University. This gentle, hands-on technique involves the cranial/sacral system — a system of the body composed of membranes and cerebral spinal fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Practitioners utilize CST to loosen and release restrictions or “blockages” in the body that can contribute to pain and dysfunction; removing such blockages improves the functioning of the central nervous system and body as a whole.

CST is effective at treating a number of problems, including pain, headaches, central nervous system disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, stress, tension and more. Proponents of CST also claim that it aids in improving mental clarity and emotional well-being.

Deep-Tissue Massage

Deep-tissue massage utilizes slow strokes, direct pressure or friction applied across the grain of the muscles with the fingers, thumbs or elbows. Deep-tissue massage works deeply into the muscles and connective tissue to release chronic aches and pains; its purpose is to reach the fascia beneath the surface muscles.

Practitioners must have a thorough understanding of the human body and have been trained to administer deep-tissue massage, as injury can occur if the technique is not performed properly. This technique is useful in treating chronic pain, inflammation and injury.

Lymph Drainage Therapy (LDT)

Developed by French physician Bruno Chikly, this technique involves the application of light, rhythmic strokes to help alleviate various conditions related to the body’s lymph system. Among other things, the lymph system is responsible for flushing out toxins and draining fluid, which supports a healthy immune system. When lymph circulation stagnates, however, fluid can build up and cause physical problems, such as inflammation, edemas and neuropathies.

LDT enables practitioners to restore proper lymph flow by using a “mapping” system to assess congested areas in the body, then apply gentle, pressure using the fingers and hands on these areas to reactivate proper circulation.

Sports Massage

Sports massage therapies are both preventative and therapeutic, and used for athletes during warm ups, training and competition to treat and/or aid in the prevention of injuries; help improve flexibility, range of motion, and performance; and aid in mental clarity. Virtually every professional sports team employs professional sports massage therapists, and are often privately employed by professional athletes.

Swedish Massage

Generally regarded as the most common form of massage, Swedish massage involves a combination of five basic strokes and concentrates on the muscles and connective tissues of the body for improved circulation, relaxation, pain relief, and overall health maintenance and well-being. Swedish massage is also one of the less demanding techniques for massage therapists to practice as it usually does not involve deep tissue work.

Thai Massage

Practiced in Thailand for over 2,000 years, Thai massage — also known as yoga massage, Thai yoga massage and ancient massage — works to clear energy blockages and restore balance and harmony to the body. The practice combines typical Westernized massage therapy practices, including Myofascial Release and trigger point therapy, with light stretching similar to that of yoga. It has even earned the name “lazy man’s yoga.” Like yoga, Thai massage helps to strengthen the body and increase flexibility, while allowing the client to benefit from the relaxation and healing properties of massage.

Rather than using a massage table, Thai massage is administered to fully clothed clients on floor mats. Practitioners use their own body weight to position clients into yoga-like forms while instructing clients on proper breathing for maximum results.

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