• The Many Different Massage Modalities


    There are many different types of massage, they’re called Massage Modalities. Each one has a different technique and focus, and is aimed at treating different issues. Here’s the most common list of therapeutic Massage Modalities and what the difference is between each of them.

    SWEDISH MASSAGE – This is probably the most familiar and popular massage modality. It’s characterized by long, gliding hand stokes alternated with gentle kneading and light, rhythmic joint movement. This modality never goes any deeper than the top layer of muscle but effects can be dramatic. After a one-hour Swedish massage you’ll feel relaxed and filled with wellbeing. If you’ve never had a massage before, this would be great one to start with.

    DEEP TISSUE – This forceful, hard pressure massage is almost as popular as Swedish massage because it targets tight, strained, or muscles that are in spasm – something many of us suffer from. To achieve the desired result, the massage therapist uses heavy pressure that pushes deep into muscle tissue to break up areas needing attention. Because of the heavy pressure involved, it’s not unusual to feel sore and tender for a day or two following a deep tissue massage.

    SPORTS THERAPY MASSAGE – This firm pressure massage is similar to a deep tissue massage except that it specifically focuses on preventing and treating injury and enhancing athletic performance.  It does this through a combination of techniques including facilitated stretching to help loosen muscles and increase flexibility. Though it’s called Sports Therapy Massage you don’t have to be an athlete to get one. Anyone who is active can benefit from this modality.

    PRENATAL – Pregnancy can be a period of extreme physical discomfort and changes for a woman. As the fetus grows it can put extreme pressure on joints, muscle and soft tissue. Numerous clinical studies have shown that prenatal massage can not only relieve aching muscles and joints but can reduce anxiety and decrease depression. It does this by reducing norepinephrine and cortisol, hormones associated with stress and increasing dopamine and serotonin, the hormones associated with relaxation and feelings of wellbeing.

    SPORTS INJURY MASSAGE - Recovering from an injury can be an exhausting and grueling effort. Numerous studies have show that sports massage can play a critical part in speeding the recovery process. It does this multiple ways. By increasing circulation, breaking down adhesions, and loosening tight muscles, particularly around the injury site, massage allows more oxygen and nutrients to the flow to the area, accelerating the recovery process.

    But you need not suffer from a sports injury to enjoy significant benefits from sports massage. As it stretches tight muscles, stimulates inactive muscles and improves soft tissue, sports massage increases flexibility, which enables your body to move more freely. For weekend warriors sports massage can enhance performance, assist with your recovery from a demanding workout and prevent future injury.

    MYOFASCIAL RELEASE –The fascia is a thin, tough, elastic tissue that wraps most structures in the body, including muscle. Its function is to support and protect these structures. When muscle or other soft tissue become restricted due to disease, overuse, trauma, infectious agents, or inactivity, the result is pain, tense muscles, and reduced blood flow. Myofascial release treats skeletal muscle immobility and pain by relaxing contracted muscles, improving blood and lymphatic circulation, and increasing the stretch reflex in muscle tissue.

    REFLEXOLOGY –Reflexology is the manipulation or pressure on specific parts of the foot that will produce a positive physical reaction in other areas of the body. The theory is that energy pathways within the body can become blocked, causing illness, tension, soreness, etc. When reflexology is applied, those pathways are opened, allowing positive energy to once more flow to affected organ. It does this by sending signals or triggers that 'balance' the nervous system while releasing relaxation and wellness hormones such as endorphins.

    HOT STONE MASSAGE –This is a not a modality per se, but a relaxing and pleasurable add-on to make any massage more effective. Heated, smooth stones are placed on certain meridian points on the body prior to the start of the massage. The warmth is comforting and helps to loosen tight muscles and balance energy centers in the body. The massage therapist sometimes uses the stones themselves to apply gentle pressure during the massage. Hot stone massage is particularly effective for people who have a lot of muscle tension but prefer a lighter massage.

    Therapists at Massage Green Spa Toledo all specialize in different massage modalities so that you can always find the right type of massage for you.

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