Different Types Of Stroke And Pressure:
The manner in which a practitioner massages your body depends on the
problem being treated. A massage session can last from 15 to 90 minutes
and may include a schedule of follow-up visits, depending on the severity
of your situation.
Types of Massage:
1. Massage for Pain Relief: Massage is a very effective technique for
controlling pain. There are number of ways it may help in controlling pain.
Massage blocks the body's pain signals; it may increase endorphin levels,
body's natural painkillers; massage provides deep relaxation, it relieves
muscle tension, spasm, and stiffness; and, massage relieves mental stress
2. Relaxation Massage: A smooth, flowing style that promotes general
relaxation, improves circulation and range of movement, and relieves
3. Remedial Massage: A paramedical treatment that helps to restore
function to injured "soft tissues" (muscles, tendons and ligaments). Therapy
may involve the use of various types of Massage, as well as a range of
other physical treatments to assist your recovery. In addition, you may be
asked to perform some activities at home to assist the process of recovery.
4. Sports Massage: Combines different Massage techniques to enhance
sports performance and recuperation. An effective component of any
5. Body Somatic Therapy (i.e. Structural Realignment): This technique
focuses on one to three key body areas. The most popular areas people
ask to have worked are back, neck and shoulders but our therapists are
trained to work on the scalp, face, chest, abdomen, arms, legs, hips, feet
and hands. The purpose of this technique is to get you out of pain,
increase flexibility, mobility and circulation. It does provide secondary
relaxation but that is not the focus. A typical session involves discussing
what is hurting and then working on those parts. This form of therapy can
be done in 60, 90 or 120 minute sessions. If you have serious issues, if
you have never received a massage before or if you have a number of
places that need work, it is recommended to book a 90 or 120 minute
6. Aromatherapy Massage: Combining the therapeutic properties of
essential oils with specific Massage techniques to promote health and
7. Reflexology: Using thumb and finger pressure on the reflex points of the
feet (which correspond to all areas of the body) to assist in achieving
balance within the body.
8. Lymphatic massage: Light, rhythmic strokes are used to improve the
flow of lymph (colorless fluid that helps fight infection and disease)
throughout the body. One of the most popular forms of lymphatic massage,
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD), focuses on draining excess lymph.
MLD is commonly used after surgery (such as a mastectomy for breast
cancer) to reduce swelling.
9. Myofascial release: Gentle pressure and body positioning are used to
relax and stretch the muscles, fascia (connective tissue), and related
10. Hot Stone Massage: The sole purpose of the hot stone massage is
relaxation. Smooth stones, chosen for just this kind of work, are heated to
about 200 degrees for at least 4 hours to ensure that they will stay warm for
the duration of the treatment. This is similar to a Swedish massage in that
it is done with the client completely or almost completely nude, with
appropriate draping. It is performed with oil and is a full body treatment.
Stones are placed in towels or wash cloths and then placed on the body so
as not to burn the tissue. Some stones (toe stones and face stones) are
placed directly on the skin but not until they have cooled to a comfortable
level. Stones are never placed on bones or vertebrae, as often shown in
pictures, but rather on soft tissue and muscle. Sometimes hot stone is
suggested for people with armored muscles, meaning that the muscles
(particularly in the back) have hardened like a suit of armor. The stones
assist in melting the armor so the therapist can achieve an optimal result.
This massage takes 75-90 minutes, depending on the needs of the client.
11. Chair Massage: Chair Massage refers to a brief bodywork session
done in a special chair in which the client sits facing toward the cushions,
exposing the shoulders, neck, arms, back, and hips. Sessions may last
between five and thirty minutes and focus on relieving muscle tension and
promoting relaxation & well-being.
12. On-site/chair massage: Popular in offices and other public places,
on-site massage therapists use a portable chair to deliver brief, upper body
massages to fully-clothed people.
13. Reiki: An ancient form of energy work, where the therapist channels
universal energy through their body into the body of the client. It is a
healing technique believed to go back to ancient Tibet and Japan. Reiki is
done by placing the hands about 4-6 inches above the body or directly on
the body, depending on the training and style of the practitioner. Reiki
practitioners should go through training with a Reiki master and should be
attuned. Reiki can be done by itself or as part of a massage. If done as a
single treatment, the client will remain fully clothed. If done as part of
massage, clothing and draping will be done according to the needs of the
therapy. A typical treatment can last 30 or 60 minutes.
14. Trigger point massage: Pressure is applied to "trigger points" (tender
areas where the muscles have been damaged) to alleviate muscle spasms
Basic Techniques of Swedish Massage: Traditional Swedish Massage
uses many strokes and variations, to achieve its relaxing and healing effects.
Many therapists use a variety of techniques, ranging from the most delicate
touch with the fingertips to focussed deep-tissue work. All strokes can be
varied in speed and pressure. Work begins slowly and rhythmically,
gradually building up speed and pressure.
Some basic points:
1.As a general rule, strokes should be made firmly in the direction of the
heart, and then lightly for the return stroke.
2.By varying their intensity, strokes can be used either to stimulate or relax.
3.Ideally the reciever should experience the massage as one long series of
1.Gliding (Effleurage): This stroke is used a great deal throughout the
massage sequence and is particularly useful for applying oil to the body. It
can be a feather-light or a firm re-assuring stroke. Keeping the stroke is
applied with fingers together and hands outstretched, glide the hands
forward along the length of the body or limb, retaining contact with the flat
of the hand. The strokes can be either long or circular, using one or both
hands. The function of gliding strokes is to relax and stretch your muscles.
When done on the limbs, all strokes are toward the heart help to aid blood
and lymphatic flow.
2.Kneading: Kneading is a firm stroke used on a specific area to help
release muscle tension and improve circulation. Grasping of the area(e.g.
calf, thigh, or fleshy area over the hip) with both hands and make a
kneading action similar to that of kneading dough.
3.Draining: A light-to medium-pressure stroke which relaxes and stretches
the muscles anmd improves circulation. Using either the heel of the hand on
larger areas (e.g. thigh) or the thumbs on smaller areas(e.g. calves,
forearms), one hand following the other, firmly, traveling slowly upward
along the limb or muscle.
4.Pulling (Petrissage): This stroke can be used to pull and stretch the
muscles of the trunk, and the legs. By using alternating hands in a pulling
motion, and gradually moving them up the body. Pulling attempts to
increase circulation with clearing out toxins from muscle and nerve tissue.
5.Wringing: This stroke is similar to "pulling", but works right across the
body or limb. This is a good stroke, which to finish can be used on the
torse, legs, and arms. The wringing stroke is achieved by moving the hands
in a forward and back motion across the body, and progressing slowly up
toward the head.
6.Friction Strokes: These are deeper strokes wich work around joints and
into the muscles and tendons, and to iron out knots and release tension.This
is the most penetrating of the strokes, and done by using the thumbs or
fingertips, and working slowly and firmly into the area, making tiny circular
movements. Different individuals will prefer different pressures-some will
only be able to tolerate light pressure, others will want work as deeply as
possible. Friction breaks down adhesions, which are knots that result when
muscle fibers bind together during the healing process, thus contributing to
more flexible muscles and joints.
7.Percussive Strokes: Percussive strokes, such as hacking, cupping and
plucking, are used to stimulate areas, improve circulation, and release
muscle tension. They can be used on the shoulders, arms, legs, buttocks,
and gently along the back. We should not be use percussive strokes directly
on the spine. They can be performed very lightly, or with more intensity, as
8.Hacking: A hacking stroke is used With hands open and palms facing
each other, make an alternating "chopping" motion up and down the body.
A variation on this stroke, is having the fingers curled into loose fists to
create more of pummeling effect on the body.
9.Cupping: A cupping stroke is using a cupped hands with palms facing
downwards and gently beating up and down along the body.
10.Pinching Or Plucking: Gently lifting of small amounts of flesh and let
it slide through the fingers.
11. Tapotement: This consists of a series of briskly applied percussive
movements, using the hands alternately to strike or tap the muscles for an
invigorating effect. There are many variations on this stroke. It may be
applied with the edge of the hand, with the tips of the fingers, or with a
closed fist. Tapotement attempts to release tension and cramping from
muscles in spasm.
12. Vibration or Shaking: This involves the therapist pressing his or her
hands on the back or limbs, and rapidly shaking for a few seconds. It
boosts circulation and increase the power of the muscles to contact.
Vibration is particularly helpful to people suffering from low-back pain.