Deep tissue: Oftentimes, deep tissue and pressure get confused with one another. Since muscle is a type of tissue in the body, a deep tissue massage is one where the deepest layers of muscles are engaged.
Medical: Medical massage is one that is intended to help a specific problem or ailment of a medical nature. This is best performed with the input of your medical team (chiropractor, physical therapist, etc).
Swedish: Swedish massage is a great choice for those clients who are new to massage. It typically involve lighter strokes and gentle stretching of the body. Swedish traditionally focuses on the more superficial muscles and affects the circulatory and lymphatic systems of the body.
Corporate/chair/event: This type of massage usually involves a specially designed chair that allows massage to be performed in non-traditional venues while fully clothed. This is a great choice for invigorating employees and enhancing morale and productivity. This is also a great choice to loosen up athlete’s prior to an event.
Esalen: Esalen massage started on the west coast at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. Influenced by lomi-lomi, esalen is a more integrative approach to bodywork. The body is approached as a whole entity, rather than as a collection of various parts. Instead of working on each body segment separately in a sequence like other modalities, esalen incorporates longer body strokes that may stretch from the foot to the shoulder in a single pass. To facilitate these longer strokes, draping is usually more minimal for this style of work. A major benefit to this approach is the inability of the client to equate the passage of time with the sequential nature of a typical massage. Since this style utilizes more minimal draping, please assess your comfort level when considering this style.
Lomi Lomi: This style descends from Hawaiian traditions. Traditionally incorporating an element of prayer, lomi lomi is often described as a moving meditation. Some signature elements of this style are: the uninterrupted contact with the body, flowing and dance like rhythm of movement, full length body strokes, etc. The word lomi refers to massage as practiced historically by healers in the Hawaiian tradition of Kahuna (traditional Hawaiian religious beliefs).
Benefits of massage
Massage can affect the following systems of the body. We listed just the basics as we don’t want to short change the effects of massage and several other websites have more information on the following effects.
range of motion
Petrissage is all about compression of underlying muscle.
Effleurage is a light gliding stroke that is used to introduce the body to touch. It can consist of long or short sweeping or brushing strokes along the skin.
Tapotement is a type of percussion or tapping motion designed to loosen up muscle.
Cross fiber friction: Cross fiber is done going against the “grain of a muscle fiber,” usually in perpendicular fashion.
Muscle stripping: Muscle stripping is the opposite of cross fiber friction in that the length of the muscle fiber is traced going with the “grain” (direction of the muscle fibers).
Here’s a list of just some of the techniques used by a good therapist: We encourage you to do more reading.
Here’s a list of more style of massage and bodywork for you to explore: