Neuromuscular Therapy (Pain Management)
Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) uses a variety of trigger point techniques to treat conditions such as chronic pain, sciatica, rotator cuff dysfunction, carpal tunnel syndrome, temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ) and migraines, as well as traumas, including abuse-related trauma. NMT is the most effective type of massage therapy for lower back pain. When done correctly, massage therapy can help to relieve back pain and tension. It is best to find a therapist trained in techniques that address back pain issues and has knowledge of muscle imbalances relating to back pain, such as sports injuries. The most effective type of massage therapy for lower back pain is neuromuscular therapy. Neuromuscular therapy is also called trigger point myotherapy. The American Academy of Pain Management recognizes this form of massage therapy as an effective treatment for back pain caused by soft tissue injury (such as a muscle strain).
Trigger Point Therapy
Trigger point therapy focuses on the release of tension around specific nerve centers found throughout your body. It is great for relieving cramped and overused muscles. Trigger points or trigger sites are described as hyper-irritable spots in skeletal muscle that are associated with palpable nodules in taut bands of muscle fibers. Trigger point practitioners believe that palpable nodules are small contraction knots[ambiguous] and a common cause of pain. Compression of a trigger point may elicit local tenderness, referred pain, or local twitch response. The local twitch response is not the same as a muscle spasm. This is because a muscle spasm refers to the entire muscle entirely contracting whereas the local twitch response also refers to the entire muscle but only involves a small twitch, no contraction. The trigger point model states that unexplained pain frequently radiates from these points of local tenderness to broader areas, sometimes distant from the trigger point itself. Practitioners claim to have identified reliable referred pain patterns, allowing practitioners to associate pain in one location with trigger points elsewhere.
Deep Tissue Massage
Designed to remove severe tension, deep tissue massage is a technique used to relieve both muscles and connective tissue below the surface. It helps to improve range of motion and heal injuries below the surface. Deep tissue massage is designed to relieve severe tension in the muscle and the connective tissue or fascia. This type of massage focuses on the muscles located below the surface of the top muscles. Deep tissue massage is often recommended for individuals who experience consistent pain, are involved in heavy physical activity, such as athletes, and patients who have sustained physical injury. It is also not uncommon for receivers of Deep Tissue Massage to have their pain replaced with a new muscle ache for a day or two. Deep tissue work varies greatly. What one calls deep tissue another will call light. When receiving deep tissue work it is important to communicate what you are feeling.
Myofascial Release uses specific techniques to stretch and repair the connective issue between your muscles (fascia). It helps your body heal properly from injuries and can restore range of motion. Myofascial release is a form of soft tissue therapy used to treat somatic dysfunction and accompanying pain and restriction of motion. This is accomplished by relaxing contracted muscles, increasing circulation, increasing venous and lymphatic drainage, and stimulating the stretch reflex of muscles and overlying fascia.
Sports massage uses a variety of massage techniques designed to help your body feel freer and stronger. It is particularly great for those with active lifestyles. Sports massage is actually a form of Swedish massage that is delivered to athletes but inactive lifestyles do benefit as well. Most commonly, sports massage focuses on increasing blood and lymphatic fluid flow, reducing and eliminating pain as well as tender trigger points, and increasing range of motion of the affected area. Sports massages can be broken into 4 distinct types - the pre-event sports massage, the post-event sports massage, the restorative sports massage and the rehabilitative sports massage. As the names indicate, each type of sports massage has a different focus for the athlete as they are delivered at different times during their training and performance schedule.
Hydrotherapy, formerly called hydropathy involves the use of water for pain-relief and treating illness. The term hydrotherapy itself is synonymous with the term water cure as it was originally marketed by practitioners and promoters in the 1800s. A hydrotherapist therefore, is someone who practices hydrotherapy. According to the International SPA Association (ISPA), hydrotherapy has long been a staple in European spas. It's the generic term for water therapies using jets, underwater massage and mineral baths (e.g. balneotherapy, Iodine-Grine therapy, Kneipp treatments, Scotch hose, Swiss shower, thalassotherapy) and others. It also can mean a whirlpool bath, hot Roman bath, hot tub, Jacuzzi, cold plunge and mineral bath. These treatments use physical water properties, such as temperature and pressure, for therapeutic purposes, to stimulate blood circulation and treat the symptoms of certain diseases.
Pregnancy massage focuses on addressing the special needs of expecting women. Specially-designed massage tables, cushions, and side-lying postures are used to prevent putting pressure on the abdomen. Not recommended during the 2nd & 3rd trimester. Prenatal massage is similar to massage during non-pregnancy in terms of the goals (relaxation, pain relief, increased circulation & mobility, etc.). However, due to the changes undergone during pregnancy, modifications are made. To accommodate swollen tender breasts and a growing belly, special pillows, positioning and techniques are utilized to ensure comfort for both the expecting mother and baby. With increasing weight, a changing center of gravity and the many other changes associated with pregnancy, prenatal massage can help provide relief and a sense of well being that is much deserved.
Reflexology is a technique that focuses on specific pressure points within your feet and hands to help correct energy flows throughout your body.
Hot Stone Massage
Smooth stones are heated and then lubricated with oil or essential oils, the therapeutic effects of heat are used to relax muscles more deeply. Used as an extension of the therapist’s hands, the use of massage stones induces deep relaxation and provides a unique experience many find to be tremendously calming and centering. A stone massage uses cold or water-heated stones to apply pressure and heat to the body. Stones coated in oil can also be used by the therapist delivering various massaging strokes. The hot stones used are commonly river stones which over time, have become extremely polished and smooth. As the stones are placed along the recipient's back, they help to retain heat which then deeply penetrates into the muscles, releasing tension.
Swedish massage uses five styles of long, flowing strokes to massage. The five basic strokes are effleurage (sliding or gliding), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (rhythmic tapping), friction (cross fiber) and vibration/shaking. Swedish massage has shown to be helpful in reducing pain, joint stiffness, and improving function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee over a period of eight weeks. It has also been shown to be helpful in individuals with poor circulation. The development of Swedish massage is credited to Per Henrik Ling, though the Dutch practitioner Johan Georg Mezger adopted the French names to denote the basic strokes. The term "Swedish" massage is not really known in the country of Sweden, where it is called "classic massage".
Medical massage incorporates many techniques to address muscle and skeletal issues diagnosed by a doctor.