There are several styles of massage therapy:
• Swedish massage - The most widely used massage technique. Developed by a 19th-century
Swedish athlete, Per Henrik Ling, this method uses a variety of movements: 1)long, firm strokes
are directed towards the center of the body; 2) kneading or grasping movements work deeply
into the muscles; 3) percussive, rhythmic movements are used to create a relaxing effect; 4) light
vibration or friction is a cross-fiber movement that affects the underlying tissue; and 5)
therapists may also actively or passively move a client's joints.
• Deep tissue massage is often used on a specific area, rather than the whole body. The therapist
uses slow strokes and deep finger pressure on areas of contracted soft tissue to release chronic
patterns of tension.
• Myofascial release - Used since the 1950s, this softening and stretching technique developed by
osteopaths is used to remove fascial adhesions and to soften and stretch scar tissue. The client is
required to draw on the muscle while the practitioner maintains pressure on the restricted area,
alert to feedback from the muscle in order to avoid reflexive tightening.
• NeuroMuscular Therapy - This deep tissue pressure technique is generally used to reduce and
eliminate chronic myofascial and muscular pain. Through postural analysis, the practitioner
determines where the patient's chronic patterns of connective tissue holding may require
stretching and release.
• Trigger point massage - Finger or thumb pressure is performed release nodules in muscles and
connective tissue, thereby breaking patterns of chronic tension or spasm, reduce pain and
hypersensitivity, and increasing range of motion.
• Sports massage - Several massage techniques can be used, including Swedish massage,
rhythmic compression to soften and warm up muscles for deeper massage techniques, trigger
point massage, lymphatic massage and cross-fiber or transverse friction massage. Sports
massage helps the athlete maintain optimal muscle health, while event massage is an adjunct to
the warm-up and can take place before, during, or after a competition.
• Rehabilitative massage can improve and enhance recovery from injury
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