Techniques and Benefits

*Swedish Massage

This is the most popular form of massage used in North America. Often a lotion or oil is used to reduce skin friction. The therapist uses a combination of stroking, kneading, and joint movements to relax muscles. This treatment improves blood flow which increases muscle nutrition and flushes waste products from the muscles. Ligaments and tendons are stretched increasing flexibility and range of motion, nerves are stimulated and relaxed, and stress is alleviated. Blood pressure and blood sugar levels typically decrease as a result of Swedish massage. This technique targets ongoing muscle tension providing stress and pain relief.

*Trigger Point Therapy

Trigger points are tiny, tight nodules that form in muscles causing pain that can extend far from where they begin. When detected, the therapist applies direct momentary pressure to a trigger point causing its release. This, in turn, alleviates muscle spasms and improves circulation. During the massage, the therapist may return several times to a stubborn trigger point to elicit its release. Trigger point therapy is usually used in combination with Swedish massage and deep tissue massage rather than as a treatment in and of itself.

*Muscle Energy Technique (MET)

MET can be used to treat such issues as tight muscles, low back pain, pelvic imbalance, limited range of motion, headaches caused by tight neck muscles, and more. Frequently, MET is used following tests performed by the therapist that indicate short, tight muscles in a particular part of the body. The technique includes having the client either stretch or contract a muscle against resistance from the therapist followed by complete relaxation of the muscle. The technique is usually repeated 3-5 times increasing the range of motion for the muscle each time. MET can be applied to most areas of the body and can be performed with the client fully clothed.

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Therapeutic Massage

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the jaw bone (mandible) to the skull (specifically, the temporal bone of cranium). For people with TMJ dysfunction, problems with the joint and muscles around it may cause pain that travels through the face, jaw or neck, stiff jaw muscles, limited movement or locking of the jaw, painful clicking or popping in the jaw, headaches and a change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together. Therapeutic massage for this dysfunction includes treating the muscles of the head, neck, shoulders and the inside of the mouth. The goal is to reduce jaw and facial muscle pain and to decrease headaches caused by this dysfunction. A prescription from a physician, dentist or chiropractor for treatment of TMJ dysfunction is required for intraoral (inside the mouth) massage.

*While each of these techniques can be used alone in a treatment session, most massage experiences will include a combination of Swedish, trigger point, and MET.