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Six Massage Techniques Every Massage Therapist Should Know


One of the world’s oldest and simplest form of medical care is massage therapy.  It has been applied for relaxation, fitness, and other health purposes throughout history. Massage therapy is a therapeutic technique that contains manipulation of the body’s soft tissue and is the process of kneading, stroking, and pressing the body in order to alleviate pain, relieve stress and tensions, or relax, stimulate and tone the body.

Massage, no matter the level of difficulty of the techniques used, can be a great healing scheme. The number of massage techniques available today are vast.  Massage is commonly applied using different techniques and with different strokes. The techniques and strokes vary.  A delicate touch with the fingertips can be applied all the way to a more focused deep tissue massage work. These massage methods often also vary in speed as well touch pressure.

This article strives to address the top massage techniques. These six may be sure to trigger some thought on which massage you should get or perform soon.

1.   Deep Tissue Massage

A massage technique that focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue and one of the most well-known massage methods is the deep tissue massage. A deep tissue massage generally is comprised of slower than normal movements for a massage.  Generally, the pressure in a deep tissue massage is more intense.  Its goal is to release chronic patterns of tension within the body. The most common target of these movements and deep finger pressure are the contracted areas, either following or going across the muscles of the fiber, fascia and tendons. For the most part during a deep tissue massage, the massage therapist will use their thumb, fingers and even elbows to apply a strong pressure.

2.   Swedish Massage

Swedish massage is also one of the most well-known massage techniques in the world.  Even those that do not regularly engage in massage or understand various methodologies know the term Swedish Massage. The technique of a Swedish Massage involves the use of kneading, tapping or calming strokes applied to the entire body.  The goal of the strokes in Swedish Massage is to loosen sore joints and relieve muscle tension and pain. That which sets Swedish massage apart from other massage techniques is that it incorporates five major beneficial massage strokes: effleurage, petrissage, friction, tapotement, and vibration.  Each of these massage strokes are developed to promote the feeling of being pampered, each differs according to their movements and their body target points.

One of the major health benefits of a Swedish massage is that one of its primary goals is to increase the oxygen flow in the blood.  This ultimately helps to release toxins that are trapped within muscle fibers.  By allowing the body to more rapidly release and flush toxins out of its system it is often used to help with recovery time for muscular strain both from injury and from exercise.


3.   Sports Massage

Sports massage put simply is a form of massage that is applied towards improving and enabling relief from sports pursuits. It is the kneading and manipulation of body’s soft tissues to help athletes improve their performance and to help prevent and treat sports injuries. It is highly regarded in the field of sports. As the participation in sports becomes more popular amongst those of all genders and ages, and as athletic performance continues to improve amongst athletes, more is expected and demanded from the athletes. Because of this, athletes have begun to seek effective ways to boost their performances, and sports massage is one of the best solutions. 


4.   Heated Stone Massage

Heated stone massage, also known as la stone massage, is widely appreciated and accepted in the healthcare and bodywork industry today. Several clinics, spas, fitness centers, and other healthcare establishments have in fact considered it a very effective alternative to the regular massage therapy.

During the heated stone massage procedure, the therapists and the clients themselves will notice certain changes on the body temperature, including the heart and breathing rates. Heated stone massage is used to indicate such changes to determine the flow of the blood and the exchange of blood and oxygen in the body, allowing a sense of well-being in the end. That ís basically how the heated stone massage works.


5.   Neuromuscular Massage  

This is actually a form of deep tissue massage that is applied to the individual muscles. However, the main purpose of the massage techniques involved here is to increase the blood and lymphatic flow, while reducing the pain and release pressure trapped on the nerves. The neuromuscular massage techniques are also considered to release the trigger points which could help relieve headaches and the pain in your shoulder.


6.   Rolfing

Rolfing also hit the line of the most well-known and widely performed massage techniques available. This technique, on the most basic, involves reeducating the body about proper posture. Yes, posture is given much attention here for the belief that posture highly determines health problems like headaches, backaches and joint pain. With that focus, the rolfing massage techniques no doubt seek to straighten and realign your body by working the myofascia, which is actually the connective tissue that assists to hold your body together. This tissue surrounds your muscles.

Any good massage therapy school should be able to teach these modalities and allow students to learn the art of massage therapy.  The Austin Massage Academy specializes in higher massage therapy education with the student in mind.  Not only can massage students understand these basic concepts at the end of the massage program, but each class is designed to provide a deep understanding of all the business of massage.  Each of these are practiced in our massage school austin student massage clinic.  Knowing each of these massage techniques can most certainly lead to a fulfilling career in massage therapy.

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