Although the range of benefits of massage therapy is not yet fully understood by the scientific community, it’s generally believed that massage can provide some, if not all, of the following beneficial effects:
- Alleviate pain, from head to toe
- Reduce stress
- Ease sleep
- Reduce blood pressure
- Assist with pregnant women’s labor
- Reduce cramping
- Help athletes recover from strenuous activity
- Release the body’s endorphins
- Improve skin complexion
- Help with depression
- Increase the body’s immunity
- Improve circulation
- Increase energy
Students of therapeutic massage specialize in a variety of modalities, or different types of massage. Each of these different modalities offer different physiological and emotional benefits.
Below is a partial list of the 160-plus types of massage in which a massage therapist can specialize. Many of these are taught in basic programs at massage schools nationwide
Active Isolated Stretchin: Is one of the methods of stretching most used by today’s athletes, massage therapists, & personal/athletic trainers.
Alexander technique: Is an alternative medicine and educational discipline focusing on bodily coordination, including psychological principles
Aromatherapy massage: Swedish massage with scented oils used to illicit a physical responce.
Ayurveda is an ancient medical science. The word, ayurveda is composed of two words of Sanskrit, ayur (meaning life) and veda (meaning knowledge).
Ashiatsu: Japanese foot pressure massage.
Bowen technique: Involves gentle rolling movements.
Breema: Meditative pulling and pushing of limbs.
Connective Tissue Therapy: A deep tissue bodywork designed to help re-align the human structure to a more efficient form.
Deep tissue massage: Targets deeper layers of connective tissue.
Elder Massage therapy: Is particularly valuable for the aches and pains associated with growing older.
Feldenkrais Method: A form of self-education and mind-body functional development, rather than a manipulative therapy. Incorporates movement to relearn what the body forgot.
Heliotherapy: The use of sunlight or of an artificial source of ultraviolet, visible, or infrared radiation for therapeutic purposes.
Hilot: Filipino method of healing involving massage and holistic energy treatments.
Hot stone massage: Hot stones are used to loosen muscles and expand blood vessels to allow blood to flow more freely.
Hydropathy: the internal and external use of water in the treatment of disease
Infant massage: Targeted to infants to alleviate pain, ease sleep or strengthen the parental bond.
Lomilomi: A traditional Hawaiian massage using knuckles, thumbs, elbows and forearms.
Medical Massage: Is an outcome-based massage which is primarily the application of specific treatment protocols targeted to the specific problem(s)
Myoskeletal Alignment Technique: Combines massage, stretching and spinal alignment to ease and prevent neck and back pain.
Neuromuscular therapy: Uses pressure from fingers, knuckles or elbows to target specific points to release pain and physical restrictions.
Polarity Therapy: Designed by Dr Stone, it is based on meridians, chakras and energy centers in the body.
Prenatal massage: Designed for pregnant women’s needs; also known as pregnancy massage.
Reflexology: Foot massage focusing on specific pressure points.
Reiki healing: Is the usage of spiritual energy to heal a person’s energetic imbalance.
Rolfing: A popular variation of deep tissue massage.
Scalp massage: Massaging the top of the head.
Shiatsu: Applies pressure to specific acupuncture areas and regions of stiffness; also known as acupressure.
Sports massage: Designed for athletes and people involved in physical activity.
Swedish massage: Uses long strokes, kneading and circular movements with lotion or oil.
Thai massage: Similar to shiatsu; focuses on specific pressure points, with an emphasis on stretching and opening up the meridian lines.
Trager work: Uses gentle rocking motions.
Trigger point therapy: Applies pressure to areas of tightness with the intent of releasing chronic contractions.
Watsu: Performed in water, combining hydrotherapy with shiatsu.
Tui Na: A Chinese massage that is similar to Zhi Ya, but focusing more on pushing, pulling and kneading the muscle.
Zhi Ya: A Chinese massage based on acupressure. It is similar to Tui Na massage except it focuses more on pinching and pressing at acupressure points.
For more on massage therapy or for scheduling an affordable student session, contact ASIS Massage Education in Flagstaff, Prescott, Tucson and the Verde Valley at 928-639-3455 or visit them on the website.
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