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Types of massage

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BreemaEdit

Breema bodywork is performed on the floor with the recipient fully clothed. It consists of rhythmical and gentle leans and stretches which leads to deep relaxation, increased vitality, and stimulation of the self-healing processes of the body. Sessions can be any length of time, although 50 minutes is common. There are also self-Breema exercises. The essence of Breema is expressed in the Nine Principles of Harmony. The Breema Center is located in Oakland, California, and there are Breema practitioners and instructors in many locations around the world.

Chair massageEdit

A Chair Massage is, by far, the most convenient method of massage therapy. Chair massage lasts about 15 minutes and is done while fully clothed. A chair massage promotes better circulation and muscle stimulation. This form of massage reduces tension in the back, neck and shoulders; thus providing deep relaxation. A swift chair massage revitalizes the anatomy and encourages overall well-being.

Chair massages are also advantageous, mostly because chair massage practitioners will sometimes pay work or housecalls. Chair massage can also be found in hotels, airports and convention centers amongst other places.

Chinese Tui Na massage (推拿)Edit

Tui Na is a form of Chinese massage (按摩) that is similar to Zhi Ya, but focusing more on pushing, stretching and kneading the muscle.

Chinese Zhi Ya massage (指壓)Edit

Zhi Ya is a form of Chinese massage based on acupressure. It is similar to Tui Na massage except it focuses more on pinching and pressing at acupressure points.

Deep muscle therapyEdit

Deep muscle therapy (created by Therese Pfrimmer), is a massage technique that focuses on using a very specific set of movements applied to all muscles and concentrating on all layers of the muscle that have become depleted of their regular blood and lymphatic flow. This technique aims to restore the circulation with its healing properties to the cellular level. Deep muscle therapy is widely used to treat the following ailments: carpal tunnel syndrome, neck and back pain, headaches, poor circulation, whiplash, and more. See Pfrimmer.com

Deep tissue massageEdit

Deep tissue techniques are generally designed for more focused massage work. Working a specific joint, muscle or muscle group, the practitioner can access deeper layers of the soft tissue. Starting superficially and easing into the depth of the muscle slowly often allows more movement. This is the recommended approach in this modality since each person experiences pressure differently. If the pressure is applied too deeply or too quickly, the muscle may tighten to protect that area, and unnecessary damage or inflammation can be induced. Very little lubricant is used as the pressure doesn't travel much over the skin. See also: Myofascial Release

Erotic massageEdit

Erotic massage is a form of massage that includes the genitals and leads to sexual arousal and (sometimes) orgasm. Widely practiced by couples as part of lovemaking. Also practiced commercially. See also Tantramassage.

Foot or sole massage Edit

Also known as reflexology, foot massage, as practiced by the Chinese is performed in the context of chi, in that each spot on the sole of the foot corresponds to an internal organ, and the applied therapy is healing to one's overall well being. The theory supposes that an ailment of an internal organ will be associated with the nerve ending on the sole of the foot.

Before the massage, the patient's feet are soaked for about ten minutes in a foot bath, typically a dark colored solution of hot water and Chinese herbs. The massage therapist uses liberal amounts of medicated cream, to moisturize the foot and to provide lubrication. The knuckles on the therapist's hand are usually used to provide a hard and smooth implement for the massage. As pressure is applied to the sole, theory holds that a healthy patient should not feel any strong pain. Painful spots, reflexologists believe, reflect illnesses of other parts of the body. The practitioner rubs and massages the painful spots to break down rough spots and accumulated crystals and increase circulation.

The ailments are healed when the sore spots of the sole are treated and removed by massage. Based on this theory, some shoe liners are made with pressure points to stimulate the soles of the feet to promote better health of the overall body. The nature of these "crystals" has yet to be elucidated or demonstrated scientifically. Regardless of the actual correlation of reflexology to internal organs, many enjoy it for the mix of stimulation and relaxation.

Lomilomi — Traditional Hawaiian MassageEdit

Lomilomi (meaning massage in Hawaiian) is an ancient art from the Hawaiian healing specialists. They were taught their art over 20 years and received their last instructions from their master on his death bed. Today there are many styles of Lomilomi, the main ones being the style of Big Island which was passed on by Aunty Margaret Machado, and Maui style from Uncle Kalua Kaiahua. On the island of Kaua'i, Kahu Abraham passed on what is today called Kahuna Bodywork (TM). It is not clear if other styles, called temple or lomi nui, are from Native Hawaiian practitioners or are of recent origin. Books: Na Mo'olelo Lomilomi: The Traditions of Hawaiian Massage & Healing edited by Makana Risser Chai; Hawaiian Lomilomi - Big Island Massage by Nancy S. Kahalewai Lomilomi hawaiian massage

MA-URI massageEdit

MA-URI is a new form of massage introduced by Hemi Hoani Fox in 1990, who cites as its roots Hawaiian Lomi-Lomi Nui dance, claiming increased so-called energy flow within the body and mind. Focus is internal, upon breathing, intent, and concentration. Claimed benefits include mental and physical health. Study and advocation is primarily carried out at the MA-URI Institute, headed by Hemi and Katja Fox. It is currently difficult to find practitioners, though this may change as it grows more popular.

Myofascial releaseEdit

Myofascial Release refers to the manual technique for stretching the fascia with the aim to balance the body. Injuries, stress, trauma, and poor posture can cause restriction to fascia. The goal of myofascial release is to release fascia restriction and restore its tissue.

Myoskeletal alignment techniqueEdit

Myoskeletal Alignment Technique (MAT) identifies postural distortions to improve and prevent pain conditions. Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) and myofacial techniques are used to lengthen tight/facilitated muscles while fiber activation techniques tone weak/inhibited muscles. MAT was developed by Erik Dalton.

Neuromuscular therapyEdit

Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) is used for pain relief and specific problems. Structural and postural imbalances are identified through an initial postural assessment. These are then addressed through systematic and site specific massage. NMT reduces pain, tension, postural imbalance, and lengthens and strengthens tissues. NMT was developed by Paul St. John.

Scalp massageEdit

In some barber shops in Hong Kong, scalp massage often lasts 30 minutes to 45 minutes during shampooing of the hair.

Shiatsu (指圧)Edit

Shiatsu is a form of Japanese massage based on acupressure. It is uncertain whether it originated from Chinese Zhi Ya.

Stone massageEdit

Massage in which hot or cold stones, usually basalt or marble, are used to massage the body.

Structural muscular balancingEdit

A gentle and effective technique that releases chronic contraction in the muscles. The nervous system is triggered to release contractions through compression applied to muscles placed in a shortened position.

Swedish massageEdit

This style utilizes long, flowing strokes, often but not necessarily in the direction of the heart. Swedish massage is designed to increase circulation and blood flow. There are six basic strokes: effleurage, petrissage, friction, tapotement, compression and vibration. Oil, cream, or lotion is applied on the skin to reduce friction and allow smooth strokes. This style of massage is generally attributed to the Swedish fencing master and gymnastics teacher Per Henrik Ling (1776-1839). However, it was in fact the Dutch practitioner Johan Georg Mezger (1838-1909) who adopted the French names to denote the basic strokes under which he systemized massage as we know it today, as Swedish or classic massage. Somehow, the term Swedish Movement System was transposed to Swedish Massage System sometime during the second half of the 19th century. Ling’s system was the Swedish Movement System or Swedish Gymnastic Movement System. This may be how he has become incorrectly associated for so long with Swedish massage. (See http://www.massagemag.com/2002/issue100/history100.htm) In Sweden, the term "Swedish massage" is not used.

Tantramassage (Tantric massage)Edit

Original Tantramassage is a new form of massage developed in the early 80's by Andro, Andreas Rothe an experienced Tantra and Bodywork Teacher in Berlin / Germany. The methode includes various massage techniques, elements from Bioenergetic, Yoga and Sexualtherapy. The word "Tantra" emphasizes the connection with the old Indian cultural background where the body is seen as the temple of the soul. Clients are in a passive role, supported by breathing techniques they experience a very deep and intense journey through their own body. Every Massage session lasts 90 Minutes or longer. The Tantramassage movement is very popular in Germany and Switzerland, some practitioners are organized in the Association of Tantramassage in Germany. Detailed information about Tantramassage in English can be found here: Tantra & Massage Note: Original Tantramassage is not to be mixed up with prostitution, it does not include any kind of sexual exchange or sexual favors for money.

Thai traditional massageEdit

Known in Thailand as นวดแผนโบราณ (nuat phaen boran, IPA [nuɑt pʰɛn boraːn]), and in English also as Thai ancient massage, Thai classical massage, Thai bodywork, passive yoga, or assisted yoga. It is usually soothing because of its emphasis on stretching and loosening the body. Its roots go back far into history, originating in India based on the Ayurveda, and then becoming popular in Thailand.

The massage taker changes into pajamas and lies on a mat or firm mattress on the floor. (It can be done solo or in a group of a dozen or so patients in the same large room.) The massage giver leans on the taker's body using hands and forearms to apply firm rhythmic pressure to almost every part of the taker's body. In some gestures, legs and feet of the giver are used to fixate the body or limbs of the taker. In other gestures, hands fixate the body, while the feet do the massaging action. Usually no oil is applied. A full course of Thai massage typically lasts two hours or more, and includes pulling fingers, toes, ears etc., cracking the knuckles, walking on the taker's back, arching the taker's back in a rolling action etc. There is a standard procedure and rhythm to the massage. Sometimes in a large group massage, the practitioners do the procedures in unison.

A full massage in Thailand of typically two hours costs around THB 300 (US$ 8 in 2005) depending on location (it may cost ten times more inside a five star hotel).

Note: The traditional therapeutic practice of Thai massage should not be confused with the service of the same name that is available in some hotels and brothels.

Trigger point therapyEdit

A trigger point is an area of a muscle that refers pain sensations to other parts of the body. Trigger Point Therapy applies pressure to these points leading to immediate release of tension and improved muscular functioning. This work is based upon the trigger point research and manuals of Dr. Janet Travell.

Sometimes this work is incorporated into other styles of massage therapy such as neuromuscular therapy (NMT).

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