Medical Massage – is outcome-based massage, primarily the application of a specific treatment targeted to the specific problem(s) the patient presents with a diagnosis and are administered after a thorough assessment/evaluation by the medical massage therapist with specific outcomes being the basis for treatment. It is also known as clinical massage or treatment massage. Treats sciatic nerve, neck/back pain, migraines, sinus, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel, shoulder pain…
British Sport Massage – Physio Sports Massage or British Sport Massage focuses on muscles relevant to the event. For athletes who train continuously, the goal is to enhance endurance, lessen the chance of injury and shorten the time needed to recover from an event. Sports Massage may utilize a variety of techniques such as classical Swedish Massage, trigger point therapy and soft tissue massage. Prior to an athletic event, Sports Massage may be used with stretching in order to help athletes to loosen, warm and prepare their muscles so that their performance and endurance might be enhanced. Following an athletic event, Sports Massage may be used to relieve pain, prevent stiffness and return the muscles back to their normal state. Sports Massage may also be used for injury rehabilitation.
Deep Tissue Body Massage – is a type of massage therapy that focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. It is especially helpful for chronic aches and pains and contracted areas such as stiff neck and upper back, low back pain, leg muscle tightness, and sore shoulders. When there is chronic muscle tension or injury, there are usually adhesions (bands of painful, rigid tissue) in muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Adhesions can block circulation and cause pain, limited movement, and inflammation. Deep tissue massage works by physically breaking down these adhesions to relieve pain and restore normal movement. To do this, the massage therapist uses massage deep tissue cream and often uses direct deep pressure. Muscles must be relaxed in order for the therapist to reach the deeper musculature.
Myofascial Release – is a safe and very effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the Myofascial connective tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion. This essential “time element” has to do with the viscous flow and the piezoelectric phenomenon: a low load (gentle pressure) applied slowly will allow a viscoelastic medium (fascia) to elongate. Trauma, inflammatory responses, and/or surgical procedures create Myofascial restrictions that can produce tensile pressures of approximately 2,000 pounds per square inch on pain sensitive structures that do not show up in many of the standard tests (x-rays, myelograms, CAT scans, electromyography, etc.)
Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) – is an approach to soft tissue manual therapy in which quasi-static pressure is applied to soft tissue to stimulate skeletal striated muscle. Through applied knowledge of trigger points, neuromuscular therapy addresses postural distortion (poor posture), biomechanical dysfunction, nerve compression syndrome, and ischemia. In NMT, one must apply manual pressure perpendicular to the skin surface if muscle is to be stimulated.
Trigger Point Myotherapy – is a noninvasive therapeutic modality for the relief and control of myofascial pain and dysfunction. The goal of treatment is the client�s recovery from or a significant reduction in myofascial pain. The treatment goal is achieved through a systematized approach. Treatment consists of trigger point compression, myomassage, passive stretching, and a regime of corrective exercises. Success may be measured subjectively by the level of pain reduction experienced by the client and objectively through increased range of motion, strength, endurance, and other measures of improved function.
Orthopedic Massage (OM) – involves therapeutic assessment, manipulation and movement of locomotor soft tissue to reduce pain and dysfunction. Restoring structural balance throughout the body allows us to focus on both prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal dysfunctions. I hope for this to be one of many articles on the differences between orthopedic and medical massage so that there is more consistency within the profession on the use of the terms.
Cryotherapy – Pain and muscle spasms are common responses to injury. Tendons and ligaments are tissues that connect muscles and bones to each other and to other tissues. The basic building material of muscles, tendons, and ligaments is a protein called collagen. Under normal conditions, collagen acts like a rubber band: It stretches when tension is applied (as when we pull a rubber band) and returns to its normal length when the tension is released. However, when the collagen is stretched too far, it tears. In this tearing process, blood vessels are torn and blood cells and fluid escape into the spaces among the muscle fibers. This is sometimes visible on the surface of the skin as a swollen, bruised area.
Visceral Manipulation – enhances the normal mobility and tissue motion of the organs of the visceral system. Hypertonicity, displacement, and adhesions can all cause organs to work against each other, creating chronic irritation and fixed, abnormal points of tension. The visceral organs are dependent on their ability to move freely in the visceral cavity to then work correctly and efficiently. When they are pulled out of their effective positions, they cease to function properly. By freeing each organ to work compatibly with the others, a therapist can potentially alter and improve the structure and functioning of the entire body.
Swedish Body Massage – Achieve a peaceful, relaxed state with the classic Swedish style strokes of light to moderate pressure that increases circulation and relieves muscular tension. A great choice for the over-worked and over-stressed.
Therapeutic Massage – Massage therapy is manual manipulation of soft body tissues (muscle, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments) to enhance a person’s health and well-being. The pressure is much less than Deep Tissue Massage
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) – is a type of gentle massage which is intended to encourage the natural drainage of the lymph, which carries waste products away from the tissues back toward the heart. The lymph system depends on intrinsic contractions of the smooth muscle cells in the walls of lymph vessels (peristalsis) and the movement of skeletal muscles to propel lymph through the vessels to lymph nodes and then beyond the lymph nodes to the lymph ducts which return lymph to the cardiovascular system. Manual lymph drainage uses a specific amount of pressure (less than 9 ounces per square inch or about 4 kPa) and rhythmic circular movements to stimulate lymph flow.
Prenatal Body Massage – A special technique that is designed to keep both the mother-to-be and baby in mind. The ultimate in relaxation, a specialty nurturing massage to calm and release tension of pregnancy.
Soft Tissue Release – is an advanced massage technique widely used in assessing and stretching soft tissues; muscles, fascia, tendons and ligaments. STR involves the therapist using manual pressure on a muscle to create a temporary false attachment point and then taking the muscle into a pain-free stretch to untangle the muscle fibers. STR is used to increase range of movement, relieve pain, prevent, repair and manage injuries. STR is an excellent way of treating tendinitis in a muscle as it takes pressure off its point of origin, which is where the inflammation occurs in this condition. It has also been proven to be useful in the treatment of certain conditions such as medial and lateral epicondylitis (Golfers and Tennis Elbow) and plantar fascistic (Policemen’s Foot/Heel) as it stimulates tissue repair in these conditions. Soft tissue release is a recognized sports massage technique.
Reflexology – is an alternative medicine involving application of pressure to the feet and hands with specific thumb, finger, and hand techniques without the use of oil or lotion. It is based a system of zones and reflex areas that reflect an image of the body on the feet and hands, with the premise that such work affects a physical change to the body.