Massage involves working and acting on the body with pressure – structured, unstructured, stationary, or moving – tension, motion, or vibration, done manually or with mechanical aids. Massage can be applied with the hands, fingers, elbows, knees, forearm, feet, or a massage device. Massage can promote relaxation and well-being.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy that focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles. It is used for chronic aches and pain and contracted areas such as a stiff neck and upper back, low back pain, leg muscle tightness, and sore shoulders.
Some of the strokes are the same as those used in classic massage therapy, but the movement is slower and the pressure is deeper and concentrated on areas of tension and pain in order to reach the sub-layer of muscles and the fascia (the connective tissue surrounding muscles).
With chronic muscle tension or injury, there may be adhesions (bands of painful, rigid tissue) in muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Adhesions can disrupt circulation and cause pain, limited movement, and inflammation. Deep tissue massage works to break down those adhesions to relieve pain and improve movement.
Hot Stone Massage
Hot stone massage therapy melts away tension, eases muscle stiffness and increases circulation and metabolism. Each 1 ½ -hour hot stone massage therapy session promotes deeper muscle relaxation through the placement of smooth, water-heated stones at key points on the body, and others are held by the massage therapist and used to work the muscles.
The premise behind hot stone massage therapy is that the direct heat of the stones relaxes muscles, allowing the therapist access to their deeper muscle layers. The hot stones also expand blood vessels, which encourages blood flow throughout the body. The hot stones have a sedative effect that can relieve chronic pain, reduce stress and promote deep relaxation.
Shiatsu Massage is an alternative technique that involves manual pressure applied to specific points on the body in an attempt to relieve tension and pain. It uses kneading, pressing, soothing, tapping, and stretching techniques.