Below you will find some brief descriptions of modalities and techniques that may be used by your therapist to address your specific needs. If you need more in depth information or have any questions, please contact us.
Swedish Massage is by far the most common modality in the west. Typically the client will be fully or partially disrobed on a massage table and be draped with sheets, towels or blankets. Massage is most frequently performed using a therapists hands but may include the use of elbows, forearms or a massage device. Massage will target soft tissue including muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, skin joints or other connective tissue. Massage can range from gentle or vigorous depending on the client's needs. Swedish Massage is the primary modality used in most Relaxation Massages.
Relaxation Massage is a minimally invasive massage experience. Often incorporating Swedish Massage techniques, Relaxation Massage may also include some Myofacial Release and Aromatherapy among others. Relaxation Massage is designed to bring the client to a relaxed state in both mind and body.
In Therapeutic Massage, a therapist will target specific areas of injury or discomfort, incorporating multiple modalities depending on the target location. Massage may include hydrotherapy including heat & cold application, sports therapy including manual and assisted stretching, and other modalities.
Developed in Thailand and influenced by the traditional medicine systems of India, China, and Southeast Asia, Thai Massage is gaining greater notoriety in the West. Thai Massage is generally performed while fully clothed in loose fitting garments. Traditional Thai Massage is performed on a mat on the floor but there are adapted table techniques. The therapist will use their entire body to position and manipulate the client through both relaxed positions to assisted yoga-like positions throughout the session. There is a lot of gentle deep stretching of the entire body. Be sure to communicate any joint pain or instability you may have prior to and during your massage. Additionally, Thai Massage puts a lot of focus on the Sen Lines (or energy lines) that run through the body. Unblocking and promoting flow through these lines is key in Eastern healing.
Deep Tissue Massage is not generally designed to be an all-over body experience. Deep Tissue Massage is more often for targeted areas of the body and used during a Therapeutic Massage session. A therapist may use their body in conjunction with massage tools to dig deep into the muscle fibers to obtain the desired results. While Deep Tissue Massage can sometimes be uncomfortable, no massage should ever be painful. Always communicate your comfort tolerance to your therapist to ensure you are getting the maximum results from your massage.
In the Kerala region of India, home of Ayurveda, a practice called “Chavutti Thirumal” is believed to be the one of the earliest ancestors of Ashiatsu. “Chavutti” meaning foot and leg, and “thirumal” meaning massage. Chavutti Thirumal practitioners use generous amounts of oil on the body and a single rope hung from the ceiling for balance. Chavutti Thirumal spread to surrounding countries and continents of Asia. There, it was combined with the study of meridians (energy lines in the body) and the ancient practice of Shiatsu to give us our modern Ashiatsu.. Ashiatsu is performed with the therapist using their feet for both gliding and compression techniques. The therapist can use part or all of their body weight depending on the needs of the client. While Ashiatsu is very deep and relaxing, it is important for the client to communicate any discomfort with the depth of pressure.
Sports Massage is a form of bodywork specifically designed for highly active people. Sports Massage enhances performance, helps to prevent injury, reduces pain and swelling in the body and increases flexibility. Sports massage also dramatically improves recovery times by encouraging greater kinesthetic awareness and promoting the body's natural immune function. Sports Massage can be pre-event, post-event or part of a regular fitness program.
Chair Massage includes many modalities including Swedish & Thai, et al. The client remains fully clothed and is in a seated position, often in a specially designed massage chair. Sessions can range from a few minutes to 30 minutes or more. Chair massage concentrates mainly on the back, neck, and shoulders, but may include scalp, arm and hand techniques.
Massage can be safe during all three trimesters, providing relief from many of the discomforts experienced during pregnancy including postural imbalance, improved breathing and relaxation, and uncomfortable digestive issues. There are numerous modifications a therapist will use to keep the massage experience pleasant for the client including incorporating different positions and using bolsters and pillows. Pre-Natal Massage techniques are also gentler than a regular relaxation massage. It is important for the client to communicate with the therapist any discomfort or changes in comfort during the massage.
Aromatherapy is widely used in massage for both emotional and physical response. There are a wide variety of techniques used and may include an Aromatherapy full body wrap or simply application of emollients infused with essential oils. Be sure to discuss any food or skin allergies you may have prior to undergoing Aromatherapy.
This may include passive and active stretching as well as resistance movements. Some muscles and other soft tissues are too deep to affect from the surface and can be better manipulated through stretching and range of movement exercises. These techniques are often used in Therapeutic & Sports Massage modalities like Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) and British Sports Therapy (BST).
More than 36 million people suffer from migraines in the U.S., and 73% of Americans suffer from Headaches. There are numerous techniques a therapist can use to help manage headache & migraine pain. Because there are numerous types of headaches it is important to communicate the type of headache you have including descriptions of the kind of pain and location. This will help your therapist to determine the best techniques to use for your specific pain. Moderate to Advanced sufferers should also consult a physician to rule out any medical causes.
Some estimates suggest that over 10 million Americans suffer from Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders (TMJ). There are several massage techniques that a therapist can use to alleviate tension and help manage associated pain. Moderate to Advanced TMJ sufferers should also consult a dentist or physician to diagnose and treat the condition.
Gentle manipulation of the nasal cavities and massage of surrounding muscles can aid in sinus relief. Communicate your symptoms, history and current treatment methods to your therapist so they can be sure to perform the techniques that will provide the most relief from sinus pressure.
Between 4-10 million American suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. While extreme cases can require surgery, many can find relief in less invasive procedures. There are several Carpal Tunnel techniques that include massage & stretching a therapist can apply that can provide, sometimes immediate, relief from pain. Be sure to disclose to your therapist your medical history and current treatment plans prior to your session.
All muscles and organs are covered in a thin tissue known as fascia. Myofascial Release is the stretching of this tissue. Myofascial Release is very gentle and relaxing and is often used to provide relief and relaxation to the head, neck and shoulders but is not limited to those areas.
Hot Stone Massage is a specialty massage where the therapist uses customized smooth stones, often made from basalt, as an extension of their hands to perform the massage or by placing them on the body. The heated stones warm the muscles and soft tissue and can be deeply relaxing.