Different Modalities of Massage

Remedial

Remedial Massage Therapy utilises many techniques, to address a wide range of soft tissue problems. The aim is to reduce pain and tension by releasing pressure of muscles in spasm, and to address tendon and ligament complaints. Treatments can dramatically reduce pain and discomfort and assist the body’s natural healing process and circulation. Whether it is stress, work related, the daily activities of everyday life, or a sport injury, Remedial Massage Therapy can assist people of all ages. It is a specific treatment which involves treatment of the muscles, ligaments, tendons and other soft tissues. Injuries that respond well to this treatment are carpel tunnel syndrome, tension headaches, whiplash, back pain, frozen shoulder, fibromyalgia, sciatica, stress, jaw pain, tennis elbow, arthritis, muscular cramps and spasms, stiff neck. The treatment focuses on the problem or problems as there may be more than one area that you are feeling the pain, discomfort or stiffness rather than the entire body.

Sports Massage

Sports massage is a type of massage that is specifically tailored to sporting injuries or ailments. It is not intended to be a relaxing massage and it can become quite vigorous at times. Not only professional
athletes or people who train heavily can benefit by receiving a Sports massage, anyone that is active and participates in any mild exercise even a daily regular walk.

Sports massage is designed to prevent and relieve injuries and conditions that are associated with exercise. It can often be quite intense and is meant to relieve and reduce the stress and tension that can build up within the body’s soft tissues while exercising. It can be carried out before, during, or after playing sport or exercising and uses techniques that are designed to increase endurance and performance, to minimise the chances of injury and, if there is an injury, to reduce the recovery time.

Sports massage has other benefits that allow you to train or exercise more efficiently. Some benefits that sports massage has include:

  • draining away fatigue
  • relieving swelling
  • reducing muscle tension
  • promoting flexibility
  • injuries that occur as a result of overexertion or overuse
  • relieving pain
  • preventing injuries
  • improving heart rate and blood pressure
  • increasing blood circulation and lymph flow

Deep Tissue

This style of massage focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue. Its purpose is to reach the deep sections of the thick muscles, specifically the individual muscle fibres. By using deep muscle compression and massaging along the grain of the muscle. Deep Tissue Massage is to unstick the fibres of the muscles and release both toxins and deeply held tension points. Specific hand positions and strokes are used to respond to various tissues while breath and movement techniques are employed to release muscular congestion. It helps to loosen muscle tissues, release toxins from muscles and get blood and oxygen circulating properly. It is both corrective and therapeutic. It is beneficial for many physical problems, including sports injuries and chronic pain.

Deep Tissue Massage focuses on specific areas and may cause some soreness after the session. Drinking water after your treatment helps to eliminate toxins from the body so it is important to drink plenty of water to help this process along and to allow the body to heal.

Relaxation

Relaxation massage is essentially the same as Swedish massage that uses smooth, gliding strokes. The primary purpose will be to help you relax, and the therapist moves at a slower pace and uses light pressure. During a relaxation massage there is less emphasis on working through adhesions/knots within the muscle tissue and the therapist won’t push your pain limits in order to get the muscle to release. Sometimes people even fall asleep during a relaxation massage. There are still many health benefits in receiving a relaxation massage, including calming the nervous system, promoting a sense of well-being, improving blood circulation and stimulating the body’s lymphatic system, some reduction in muscle tension including the relief of muscle tension headaches, improvements to any stress-related symptoms. This can include providing a gentle boost to the immune system if you undergo regular treatments.

Hot Stone Therapy

Hot Stone therapy massage utilises both hot stones incorporated with massage techniques in order to bring about a feeling of deep relaxation and wellbeing. The hot stones are usually volcanic rocks such as basalt. The stones are heated in a hot stone heater and they come in all shapes and sizes which are used on various parts of the body. The stones are placed on the client according to their needs and, when used with massage, can provide the ultimate healing experience. Hot Stone therapy massage can be used to treat a variety of conditions including: improving the lymphatic and immune systems, normalising body functions, helping your body to heal itself, increasing of cellular activity, improving the flow of blood, inflammation and muscle injury and removing stress and inducing a feeling of
well-being.

Pregnancy

Specially trained practitioners, use a combination of relaxation and remedial massage techniques, to assist with the tensions and pains experienced during pregnancy. These are often caused by the extra weight and shift in the centre of gravity. There are many physical benefits to Pregnancy Massage, in addition to the nurturing and emotional support provided by the therapist. Massage reduces peripheral swelling, (fluid accumulation in body tissues. It commonly occurs in the feet and legs. The swelling is the result of the accumulation of excess fluid under the skin in the spaces within the tissues), soothes the nervous system, helps to prevent insomnia, muscle cramps and back pain. Care must be taken during the first trimester but Pregnancy Massage is beneficial throughout the whole pregnancy. Various techniques are used as the client progresses through the pregnancy and massage may be performed whilst she is lying on her side or seated. Once the pregnancy is advanced, she is discouraged from lying on her back as this may cause pressure on deep blood vessels. Regular massage throughout the pregnancy is also said to shorten labour time and the return to optimal fitness after birth.

Reflexology

Reflexology is based on the principle that congestion or tension in any part of the foot mirrors congestion or tension in a corresponding part of the body. These parts, known as reflex points can also be found on the hands and other body parts, however, the most commonly treated area is the feet. Reflexology has many beneficial and lasting effects. Some treatments are gentle in nature, aiming to restore systems for better function while others are more specific, addressing the client’s particular conditions. It is a healing process that can be safely used when it is not convenient to treat other body parts. As a non-intrusive technique, it heals indirectly. Reflexology can be a relaxing therapy that works on many levels, soothing, calming, balancing and boosting the entire body.

The client’s case history leads to the treatment protocol so that the technique is tailored to the needs of the client. A Reflexologist can facilitate relief for: sinus pain, menopausal symptoms, migraines, pre-menstrual syndrome and other menstrual irregularities, constipation, diarrhoea, sciatica, asthma, back pain, neck pain and shoulder pain. The general benefits of Reflexology include: reduced stress and tension, improved circulation, reduced toxicity, improved immunity and increased body awareness.

Shiatsu Therapy

Shiatsu is a traditional hands-on Japanese healing therapy that has been formulated over the last 100 years from the traditional Japanese amma massage which is a feel good, therapeutic massage. Shiatsu literally means finger pressure and as such describes part of the therapy whereby natural body weight (finger, thumbs, elbows, forearms, feet and knees) is used in applying pressure to special points on the body. This is combined with stretches, joint rotations and joint manipulation to give an all-over treatment, which aims at treating the patient on a holistic level.

The aim of a Shiatsu Practitioner is to rebalance the flow of energy (Ki), along the meridians or channels. The surface touch uses points on the surface known as Tsubo to access those meridians. The practitioner feels for excessive (Jitsu) or deficient (Kyo) energy (Ki) within the meridians as they control the movement in the body (blood, gas, air, water). Shiatsu massage incorporates pressure, holding, rubbing, heating or stretching techniques which can be deep and firm, but which are applied with sensitivity. Shiatsu is a deeply relaxing experience and regular Shiatsu sessions help to prevent the build up of stress. Common conditions helped by Shiatsu include: back pain, headaches, whiplash and neck stiffness, joint pain and reduced mobility, menstrual problems, digestive problems, asthmatic symptoms, sports injuries, depression and stress.

Cupping Therapy

Cupping therapy is one of the oldest treatments known to medicine. It is not known when or where the technique originated, however one of the oldest medical textbooks, Ebers Papyrus, records its use by the Egyptian priest/doctors as far back as 1,550 B.C. It was also used extensively by the Ancient Greeks during the time of Hippocrates (approx. 460 B.C). The material used to make the cups has progressed over the years, starting out with animal horns or bamboo it then progressed to pottery, bronze and brass. Then in the early 20th century when cupping was being used throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia, England and America it was mostly pewter or tin.

Today they are either made from plastic or glass. In all cases the vacuum is achieved either by heating the air inside the cup or by removing the air by a mechanical pump. Heating the air inside the cup has been achieved by various different methods, some of these include placing the cup in hot water or into the oven or by placing a flame into the cup. Using a pump however gives the therapist greater control, cuts out the risk of burning and also allows more extensive use.

Once the vacuum is achieved, the cups are allowed to remain on the skin for a few minutes (5-15minutes: less in sensitive areas such as the face and neck) and then removed either by releasing a valve or by inserting a finger under the rim of the cup thus breaking the seal. Cupping has been used to treat many ailments over time, from muscular aches and pains to disorders of the internal organs such as asthma, digestive disorders, colds and high blood pressure. It has been found that cupping affects circulation as deep as four inches below the surface of the skin. Some benefits of cupping include, localised
stretching of the muscle fibres, increased blood and lymph flow, reduction of oedema, stimulated metabolism, relieving muscular tension and knots.

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