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Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is the manipulation of soft tissues for the purpose of normalizing those tissues. It consists of manual techniques that include applying fixed or movable pressure to areas that need loosening. Active or passive movement of a joint can also be integrated with or without pressure to the muscles attached to it.

Generally, massage is known to provide a number of benefits such as:

  • reduction of muscle tension and stiffness results in greater flexibility and range of motion
  • increase of ease and efficiency of movement
  • relief of muscle spasms
  • faster healing of soft tissue injuries, such as pulled muscles and sprained ligaments, and reduction in pain and swelling related to such injuries
  • reduction in the formation of excessive scar tissue following soft tissue injuries
  • improvement in posture through changing tension patterns that affect posture

Massage therapy has a number of documented clinical conditions it can help relieve: repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and thoracic outlet syndrome, chronic and temporary pain, tension headache, myofascial pain, and sports injury sprains and strains.

Types of massage

Deep Tissue Massage is used to release chronic patterns of muscular tension using slow strokes, direct pressure, or friction directed across the grain of the muscles. It is applied with greater pressure and to deeper layers of muscle than Swedish (where the main focus is more superficial layers of muscles). This is why it is called deep tissue and is effective for chronic muscular tension.

Sports Massage uses techniques that are similar deep tissue, but are specially adapted to deal with the effects of athletic performance on the body and the needs of athletes regarding training, performing, and recovery from injury.

Trigger Point Release is a form of deep massage that is applied to individual muscles that have trigger points (which are intense knots of muscle tension that refer pain to other parts of the body). It typically increases blood flow and reduces pain.

Shiatsu applies finger or thumb pressure to specific points located on the meridians (channels of energy flow identified in Asian concepts of anatomy) in order to release blocked energy along these meridians that causes physical discomforts, and re-balance the energy flow.

Pre- and Postnatal Massages are designed to relieve the pregnant or postpartum woman from any pain and aches associated with pregnancy. During later stages of pregnancy pillows are used to position the pregnant woman comfortably on her sides and on her back. Relatively softer pressure is used throughout the massage as ligaments and tendons tend to be more lax due to the pregnancy hormone relaxin.