Swedish Massage - By far the most gentle of the massage techniques. Combining five basic long, smooth strokes - sliding, kneading, rhythmic tapping, friction and vibration or shaking - the therapist focuses primarily on the superficial layers of muscle and soft tissue. The end result is deep relaxation, increased flexibility and, perhaps most significant, a release of stress and tension. Swedish massage is exceptional for increasing the level of oxygen in the blood, decreasing muscle toxins, and improving circulation and flexibility.
Deep Tissue Massage - Deep tissue massage is best for giving attention to certain painful, stiff "trouble spots" in your body. The focus is on the deepest layers of muscle tissue, tendons, and fascia (the protective layer surrounding muscles, bones and joints). The practitioner works against the grain of the muscle by applying deep, penetrating pressure. The force necessary to break up adhesions that may have formed in the tissue of muscles or tendons can be uncomfortable or even painful and may cause soreness that lasts a couple of days before resulting in the desired relaxation and pain relief.
Sports Massage - Sports massage is geared toward athletes of every kind to help prepare their bodies for optimal performance, recover after a big event, or function well during training. Sports massage is also good for people with injuries, chronic pain or restricted range of motion. Sports massage is a type of Swedish massage that stimulates circulation of blood and lymph fluids. Some sports massage movements use trigger point therapy to break down adhesions (knots in the muscles) and increase range of motion.
Trigger Point Therapy - A trigger point is a tight area within muscle tissue that causes pain in other parts of the body. The pain may be sharp and intense or a dull ache. Trigger points are caused by muscle overuse or injury, and because the aches are associated with moving parts, the pain is commonly mistaken for arthritis. Trigger point work is specifically designed to alleviate the source of the pain through cycles of isolated pressure and release. In this type of massage the recipient actively participates through deep breathing as well as identifying the exact location and intensity of the discomfort. The result of trigger point massage is the elimination of toxins in the muscles and the release of energizing endorphins. A significant decrease in pain is often found after just one treatment.
Neuromuscular Therapy (similar to Trigger Point Therapy) - the utilization of static pressure on specific myofascial points to relieve pain. This technique manipulates the muscles, tendons and connective tissue to balance the central nervous system. In a healthy individual, nerves transmit impulses (which are responsible for every movement, function and thought) to the body very slowly. Injury, trauma, postural distortion or stress cause nerves to speed up their transmission, inhibiting equilibrium and making the body vulnerable to pain and dysfunction. It is therefore necessary to stabilize low levels of neurological activity to maintain normal function and overall health.
Shiatsu (Accupressure) - Traditional shiatsu seeks to read the body as pressure is applied on key areas, known as meridians, finding evidence of imbalance and blocked energy or qi. Through the use of finger, palm and thumb pressure, the therapist works to stimulate the areas and restore balance to the system. This leads to the calming of the autonomic nervous system which relieves stress and can strengthen the immune system. By soothing an overactive sympathetic nervous system circulation is improved which, in turn, relieves stiff muscles and joints.
Cranial Sacral Therapy - Seeks to restore misaligned bones to their proper position and is thought to eliminate the negative effects of stress as well as provide relief from migraine headaches, neck and back pain, TMJ disorder (the inflammation of the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull) and more. With a very soft touch, the therapist gently works with the spine and the skull to ease restrictions of nerve passages, allow the movement of cerebrospinal fluid through the spinal cord providing nourishment and allowing misaligned bones to return to their proper position.
Reflexology - a branch of massage that focuses solely on the hands and feet by applying pressure on reflex areas that correspond to specific organs and other parts of the body. Endorphins are released throughout the entire body, reducing stress and returning the body to equilibrium. Reflexology has been known to provide relief from ailments such as tension headaches, arthritis, digestive issues and back pain.
Thai Massage - During a Thai massage, the therapist uses his or her body to move the client into a variety of positions. This type of massage includes compression of muscles, mobilization of joints, and acupressure.
Myofascial Therapy - Myofascial release is a form of soft tissue therapy intended for pain relief, increasing range of motion and balancing the body. Techniques include manual massage for stretching the fascia and releasing bonds between fascia, integument, muscles, and bones. The fascia is manipulated, directly or indirectly, to allow the connective tissue fibers to reorganize themselves in a more flexible, functional fashion.