Massage Therapy Basics

What is Massage Therapy?

Massage Therapy is one of the most effective and readily available ways to prevent and treat muscle injuries, pain, and soreness.

Massage therapy is the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body to help the body heal itself.  During massage various levels of pressure and movement are applied to the skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia (membrane which surrounds the muscles). Most massage is built around combinations of five basic techniques: effleurage (gliding stroke), petrissage (kneading stroke), friction (steady pressure), tapotement (drumming), and vibration and jostling.  See below for a description of the major types of massage built from these techniques, many of which you may already be familiar with: Swedish, Deep Tissue, Neuromuscular, Medical, Sports, and Pregnancy.

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If you are unsure whether massage would be helpful for you, please look at our Blog page or our Medical Conditions page for a partial list and descriptions of injuries and conditions that benefit from massage therapy.

Massage Types

Swedish Massage

Designed to decrease muscle soreness, uses long flowing strokes, deep kneading, surface friction, light tapping, and joint movement.  This type of massage relieves stress and causes the body to relax and unwind.

Deep Swedish Massage (Deep Tissue)

Designed to alleviate the stress and tension that build up in the body’s soft tissues during physical activity.  Minor injuries and lesions, due to overexertion and or overuse, are quickly and effectively broken down by deep tissue massage. It prevents the injuries that get in the way of performance and achievement whether the person is a dancer, sports enthusiast, athlete, hobbyist, or just enjoying the fun of it all.

Injury Treatment Massage (Neuromuscular)

A focused massage session targeting an area or areas of chronic pain or prolonged injury.  Similar techniques to Deep Swedish massage, but also utilizing neuromuscular therapy including myofascial release, positional release, trigger point, and tenderpoint therapy for a focused result.

Initial treatment is usually followed by a series of at least 3 additional sessions to facilitate neuromuscular re-education. A treatment plan will be constructed during the initial consultation and massage.

Medical Massage

A prescription based massage to aid in healing injuries and assist with post-surgical rehabilitation. A variety of techniques are utilized at site- specific areas and coordinated with the prescribing physician and/or other physical therapies.
Please visit our Medical Massage page for more information, including insurance pricing.

Pregnancy Massage

A relaxing retreat for mommy and baby.  This massage is focused on aiding circulation, muscular discomforts, decreasing depression and anxiety, and relieving many of the normal discomforts sometimes experienced during pregnancy.  It can be very helpful for hip and low back pain even after labor (post partum massage.)

Hot Stone Massage

Stones warm the body to allow deep tissue treatment with minimal pain. Excellent for Fibromyalgia/ Chronic Fatigue, as it can use heat rather than pressure to open painful knots of tension.

Chair Massage

Designed for the health and well being of employees. The massage is done on a specially designed chair. No oils or lotions are used and employees do not remove any clothing. Chair massage leaves employees feeling relaxed, refreshed and ready to return to work. A great idea for employee wellness, sports events, and wellness fairs.