Massage Techniques

Swedish Massage

Swedish massage involves long, flowing strokes 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. A greater amount of oil, cream, or lotion is applied on the skin to reduce friction and allow long, continuous, smooth strokes. This is a more vigorous fast paced massage. Some of the techniques used in Swedish Massage are the most well known such as kneading or wringing techniques and the well know tapotement.

Hot Stone Massage

Hot Stone Massage is sometimes also called River Rock Massage. Hot Stone Massage can help increase circulation. Hot Stone Massage provides deeply relaxing warmth to ease tired muscles. The stones are used, not only to provide warmth but, as tools to enhance the technique of highly skilled Massage Therapists. The temperature of the stones is adjusted to be comforting and calming. The combination of the soothing warmth and attention to detail provide a truly therapeutic, deeply relaxing massage.


A Relaxation Massage is all about soothing, gentle strokes. A greater amount of oil, cream or lotion is applied so the massage therapist can perform long flowing strokes over sore achy areas. The pressure is lighter but the effects are profound. Any time a more gentle sensitive approach is needed Relaxation Massage is a good option. Stress relief, improved circulation and a greater sense of connection to your body are just a few of the benefits of Relaxation Massage.

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue techniques are generally designed for specific, focused massage work. Working a specific joint, muscle or muscle group, the massage therapist can work into deeper layers of the soft tissue. Starting superficially warming the area of concern and easing into the depth of the muscle slowly allows for deep release of tension. Cross fiber friction and deep specific work allows substantial easing of tension and greater freedom of movement. If the pressure is applied too deeply or too quickly, the muscle may tighten to protect that area. A small amount of lubricant is applied. There is less glide and more grip with this technique.


Sports massage is a very interactive modality. Range of motion and flexibility are strongly emphasized. Active stretches and deep stripping are applied. Good communication is essential as very specific work is applied. A small amount of oil, cream or lotion is applied. This technique is most often applied localized areas of specific need.

Trigger Point

A Trigger Point is a hard knot in a tight band of muscle. This tension often produces symptoms in near by joints and may even cause referred pain to other areas.
Bonnie Prudden developed a technique to work with Trigger Points in 1976. To ease Trigger Points, sustained pressure is applied to the area of tension by means of fingers, knuckles and elbows.

Myofascial Release

JOHN F. BARNES, P.T. Therapist, lecturer and author, is the President and Director of the Myofascial Release (MFR) Treatment Centers and National Myofascial Release Seminars located in Paoli, Pennsylvania and Sedona, Arizona.

Fascia is covering surrounding every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein as well as all of our internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord. In the normal healthy state fascia has the ability to stretch and move without restriction. When we experience accidents, surgery, poor posture over time and repetitive stress injuries however, the fascia loses its pliability. The loss of mobility and flexibility is called a fascial pull or restriction. MFR techniques help to lengthen and ease fascial pulls and restrictions. Specialized fascial stretches and range of motion movements help regain free movement and proper function of the fascial system.


Craniosacral Therapy (CST) was pioneered and developed by osteopathic physician John E. Upledger.

CST is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of the body system called the craniosacral system. The craniosacral system is comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. Using a soft touch generally no greater than 5 grams, or about the weight of a nickel, practitioners release restrictions in the craniosacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system.

Lymph Drainage

Lymph Drainage Therapy (LDT) is an original hands-on method of lymphatic drainage developed by Bruno Chikly, MD, of France.

Using hands on evaluation, LDT enables practitioners to detect the specific rhythm, direction, depth and quality of the lymph flow anywhere in the body. Therapists work with flat hands, using all the fingers to simulate gentle, specific wave-like movements.

Pregnancy Massage

Pregnancy massage is recommended after the first trimester. A Doctor or Midwife O.K. is required. Therapists specially trained in the care of the stages of pregnancy apply soothing, nurturing and relaxing. The techniques are adapted for the stage of pregnancy and can be applied up to delivery. Diaphragm massage can help an expectant mom breath a little easier. Help is available for sore back or aching feet, you do not need suffer, massage can help.

All Original Content Copyright © 2005-2006 by Marijo Jensen.