Probably the most commonly taught and well-known of massage modalities, Swedish massage is also known as the “Western” or “classic” style of massage. It is a scientific system of treatment designed to energize the body by stimulating circulation. Five basic strokes are used to manipulate the muscles and connective tissues of the body. The disrobed client is covered by a sheet, with only the area being worked on exposed. A combination of kneading, rolling, vibrational, percussive, and tapping movements are used, usually with the application of oil or lotion, to reduce friction on the skin. The many benefits of Swedish massage may include generalized relaxation, dissolution of scar tissue adhesions, and improved circulation, which may speed healing and reduce swelling from injury.
Massage therapy specifically tailored to the expectant mother's needs is called “prenatal” or “pregnancy” massage. Postpartum massage generally refers to body work given to a new mother in the first several weeks or months after the birth of her baby.
During a prenatal massage, the woman’s body must be properly positioned and supported to ensure the comfort and safety of both mother and baby. This is accomplished with the use of special pillows and bolsters.
Prenatally, massage can reduce pregnancy discomforts and concerns and enhance the physiological and emotional well-being of both mother and baby.
In the postpartum period, specialized techniques can help to rebalance structure, physiology, and emotions of the new mother and may help her to bond with and care for her infant.
Techniques that utilize firmer pressure and are designed to affect the deeper layer of musculature and fascia are known as “deep tissue” massage. This modality is effective for releasing tension from contracted tissues, and for helping to alleviate chronic pain from repetitive motions or past injuries.
Due to the nature of the deep tissue work, open communication during the session is crucial to make sure you don't get too uncomfortable. Keep in mind that some soreness is quite common after the treatment, and that plenty of water should be ingested to aid with the recovery process.
Medical massage utilizes specific treatments appropriate to working with conditions diagnosed by a medical doctor. This type of massage incorporates a variety of techniques, and focuses on the specific areas of the body associated with the diagnosis. The objectives of treatment are generally met over the course of a number of treatments, rather than in a single session.
Sports Massage is a type of body work designed for highly active people who engage in athletics, and may be administered before, during, or after athletic events.
Sports Massage can help the athlete by reducing fatigue, calming the mind, relieving swelling, reducing muscle tension, promoting flexibility, and preventing injuries. Sports Massage may also promote greater athletic endurance and performance, lessen the chance of injury and reduce recovery time.