Active Isolated Stretching
Active Isolated Stretching (A.I.S.) allows the body to repair itself and also prepares itself for daily activity. This method of stretching works with the body’s natural physiological makeup to improve circulation and elasticity of muscle joints and fascia. A.I.S. has been successful in correcting many types of muscle and neurological disease and injuries, including, but not limited to, whiplash, stroke, arthritis and chronic neck and back pain.
Acupressure is a form of touch therapy that utilizes the principles of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. In acupressure, the same points on the body are used as in acupuncture, but are stimulated with finger pressure instead of with the insertion of needles. Acupressure is used to relieve a variety of symptoms and pain.
Aromatherapy is an alternative therapy for the senses, using aromatic oils. It is considered a noninvasive complementary medicine. Aromatherapy usually consists of massage using essential oils.
Cupping is a massage modality that finds its roots in traditional Chinese medicine. The practice uses glass cups to create a vacuum seal on areas of the body. The suction created by this seal brings blood to the surface of the skin and is thought to help expel negative energies from the body. Although cupping is not painful, the recipient commonly walks away with circular bruises on the areas where the cups were applied.
Deep Tissue Massage is a therapy focussing on the deeper layers of muscles to reduce chronic tension from the body muscles through use of slow strokes and deep finger pressure. The massage employs numerous strokes and has similarities with classic massage therapy. The main difference lies in the fact that the movement is slower with deeper pressure.
Hot / Cold Stone Massage
Although stone massages can utilize hot or cold stones, hot stone massage is the more common of the two. During a stone massage session, a therapist may first rub the back in a Swedish massage style, meaning deep strokes are used to relieve muscle tension. After this massage, stones are applied to the body, with special concentration on the spine. When the stones begin to cool, the stones are removed and the massage concluded.
Hydrotherapy, or water therapy, is the use of water (hot, cold, steam, or ice) to relieve discomfort and promote physical well-being. Hydrotherapy can soothe sore or inflamed muscles and joints, rehabilitate injured limbs, lower fevers, soothe headaches, promote relaxation, treat burns and frostbite, ease labor pains, and clear up skin problems.
Neuromuscular / Trigger Point Therapy
Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) is a massage modality that focuses on the treatment of trigger points. They are called trigger points because they refer pain to another part of the body. Trigger points are painful points located within taut bands of muscle, and are treated primarily with the application of sustained pressure which can vary from very light to heavy depending on the stage of development of the trigger point. NMT aims to reduce chronic pain, increase range of motion, and correct postural distortions.
Positional release uses comfortable body positions and the release of tender points to relieve pain and discomfort. Tender points are localized areas found in the muscle tissue, which are used as indicators of the location of the dysfunctions and also used to determine when reduction of the discomfort has occurred. Once these areas of pain have been located, the body is placed into a comfortable position in order to reduce the discomfort in that specific area of the body. This position of comfort is then held for approximately two to three minutes depending on the nature of the dysfunction.
Reflexology is an ancient Chinese technique that uses pressure-point massage (usually on the feet, but also on the hands and ears) to restore the flow of energy throughout the entire body. The science of Reflexology has been around for thousands of years. It is based on the premise that there are reflexes in our hands, feet and ears that relate to every organ and part of our body. By stimulating these reflexes with pressure and manipulation, nerve function and blood supply may be improved, which may alleviate stress and other health problems. Reflexology is based on the belief that each part of the body is interconnected through the nervous system to the hands and feet. Stimulating specific reflex points in the feet can bring needed nutrients to poorly functioning areas of the body. This can help restore balance throughout the body.
Reiki is a form of therapy that uses simple hands-on, no-touch, and visualization techniques, with the goal of improving the flow of life energy in a person. Reiki (pronounced ray-key) means "universal life energy" in Japanese, and Reiki practitioners are trained to detect and alleviate problems of energy flow on the physical, emotional, and spiritual level. Reiki touch therapy is used in much the same way to achieve similar effects that traditional massage therapy is used—to relieve stress and pain, and to improve the symptoms of various health conditions.
Seated-Chair massage is a short (15-20 minute) massage of a client sitting in a special, portable massage chair. The client remains fully clothed and no oils are used while their shoulders, neck, upper back, head and arms are massaged.
A Sports massage is a type of therapy geared toward athletes and the particular stresses they place on their bodies. A sports-massage therapist is trained in applying techniques to help athletes avoid injuries, cool down after exertion and enhance their overall performance. Proper sports massages should concentrate on increasing motion and flexibility, relieving muscle soreness, and promoting a quick recovery from muscle overuse.
Strain / Counterstrain
The strain/counter strain technique was initially discovered by an osteopathic doctor who identified tender points, which are tiny tender spots on the body that result from an abnormal reflex (unnatural movement). When sloppy movements (for example bad posture) are carried on for a number of years, eventually strain and injuries will develop. With strain/counter strain the therapist can restore pain-free movement. The gentle technique of strain/counter strain puts the client in a comfortable position for approximately 90-seconds. During this time the patients muscles will naturally reset to their proper positions.
Swedish / Relaxation
The term "Swedish Massage" refers to a variety of techniques specifically designed to relax muscles by applying pressure to them against deeper muscles and bones, and rubbing in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart. It involves the use of kneading, friction, tapping, and vibration and may provide relief from stiffness, numbness, pain, constipation, and other health problems. The main purpose of Swedish massage is to increase the oxygen flow in the blood and release toxins from the muscles.