There are many types of bodywork available to use in care for oneself. One such type is massage therapy and within that umbrella, there are countless modalities being utilized. I practice the following forms of massage therapy and generally tend to integrate them into a symphony of hands-on work for my clients: Swedish, Deep Tissue, Neuromuscular, Sports, and CranioSacral Therapy.
DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE: Massage using long, deep, and slow strokes intending to gain access to the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. The goal is to create change in chronically bound-up tissues and adheasions. Adheasions are bands of rigid tissue that can be quite painful as they can block circulation, create limited movement, and inflammation. The use of lotion or oil is very minimal if at all. This allows the therapist to gain the depth of pressure needed to create positive change. Though at points there can be discomfort due to the pressure used, it should not be painful enough to create bruising or extreme tenderness post-massage.
NEUROMUSCULAR MASSAGE: This approach is quite similar to Deep Tissue in that it addresses both muscle and the connective tissues that encase these muscles. The strokes are not generally as long nor are they as slow; however, the use of lotion or oil is still very limited if at all. The angle of the practitioner's hands changes too in order to work on more specific points in the tissues called trigger points. This can be uncomfortable for the client at points; however, the end result is better movement in the tissues and better blood flow. In many cases the breaking up of scar tissue can even be achieved.
This is by no means a complete list of therapeutic massage modalities - in fact, it is far from it! My goal to give a brief overview of the therapies I am currently trained to provide so that my clients can know more about what they are receiving. In future blog posts, I will go into greater depth on the above to provide further education on my passion.