Types of Massage Techniques and Massage Therapy

Massage Techniques

Myofascial Release

Superficial and deep techniques are used to manipulate the fascia (a connective tissue) with the goal of decreasing adhesions within the fascial sheaths.  The body consists of various lines of fascia and myofascial release should address these lines. Myofascial release is indicated to increase range of motion of a joint (if mobility is decreased), decrease pain and increase blood flow to area as well as increase body movement. Musculoskeletal injuries result in fascial adhesions; as a result almost all therapeutic massages will treat this important tissue.

Trigger Point Release

Trigger points are created in the neuromuscular junctions of the muscle and fascia and have specific referral patterns.  When active a trigger point can have a negative impact on circulation, nerve and muscle and joint function. Manual pressure is applied to trigger points“muscle knots”to relieve localized and/or referred pain. Usually if someone suffers from tension headaches trigger points may be the culprit and therefore this technique is indicated.

Joint Mobilizations

Generally, traction and gentle oscillations from Grade 1 to 4 are used to restore range of motion in a joint where adhesions from injury or immobilization have occurred. It is also used to decrease muscle guarding.

End range loading

Is an innovative technique that is performed by gently loading various tissues close to end range repeatedly.  The client’s response and feedback helps to guide the direction of treatment.  This treatment helps to restore blood supply (increase blood flow) to affected tissues, decrease disc creep, reduce spinal stenosis and nerve encroachment.

Active Isolated Stretching (AIS)

A method of stretching that is repeated and held for approximately 2 seconds. To stretch the muscle in question the client focuses on the contraction of the opposing muscle which takes the muscle being stretched through its range.  The main target is fascia and muscles, which there after have an effect on other soft tissues such blood vessels and nerves.

Soft Tissue Release (STR)

A technique that has an effect on muscles and connective tissue in acute and chronic phases.  This technique involves placing pressure on the tissue in question and then taking that tissue through its various planes of movement.  The goal is to help the soft tissue regain its normal resting length.  The result is reorganization of scar tissue, regain proper resting length of muscles, improve muscle performance and decrease pain.

Muscle Energy Technique (MET)

To improve joint function and re-align the bones of your body, Muscle Energy Technique (MET) uses a very gentle technique to calm the nerves down that control the muscles involved. MET uses the muscles of your body to pull bones back into their normal positions and correct postural problems that arise from the rigours that we put our bodies through. Ideal for those situations where mobility is a problem, when your back goes out or you wake up with a stiff neck, or even for those nagging aches that just don’t seem to go away. Quick and simple with surprising results.

Systemic Deep Tissue Therapy (SDTT)

In its approach to chronic or acute pain and tension, the entire pattern of musculoskeletal involvement is assessed and treatment strategies formulated. Everything is based on the principles of “systemic” structural deviations with all of the three dimensional implications that are inherent in such patterns.  This is such that the body tends to develop compensations in the body structurally, muscularly, and facially.  Key compensation sites of the body, believed to condition and underlie the patient’s symptoms, are determined and addressed each session. The muscles are treated deeply and specifically in order to access the different levels of dysfunctional muscle tissue. Deep should not be confused with high pressure. SDTT was developed by and is the intellectual property of Armand Ayaltin RMT, RHP, DNM

Therapeutic Exercise

Registered Massage Therapists are trained to prescribe stretching and strengthening exercises that are specific to your condition. Whether it is neck stretches for someone suffering from tension headaches or core endurance exercises for someone with low back pain, your RMT will be able to provide you with exercises that fit your treatment plan and goal.


Types of Massage Therapy

Swedish Massage

The basis of most western massage techniques the flowing strokes and petrissage helps the therapist to assess and target the superficial layers such as skin and superficial fascia. Rarely used alone, Swedish techniques are combined with many of the techniques below for maximum effect.

Deep Tissue Massage

Similar to Swedish massage, deep tissue massage varies. This massage targets the superficial and deeper soft tissues such as muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and circulatory tissues. Deep tissue massage is not about the pressure used. Clients involved in physical activity, sustained injuries, chronic pain may benefit from a deeper treatment.

Prenatal (pregnancy) Massage

During pregnancy massage the body positioning needs to be altered once the belly is showing. During treatment, women can lay on their side with pillows to support legs and belly or face down with pregnancy bolsters (add link to bolster image)(specially designed foam cushion with a cut out for the belly). Pregnant women may have complaints such as piriformis syndrome, pubic symphysis diastasis, calf cramps or edema, all of which pregnancy massage can address. Many women have specific complaints during pregnancy that will be assessed and addressed as needed.

Postnatal Massage

As a new mother, some body aches may develop from these new tasks such as feeding, holding, carrying, and changing your baby. Post-natal massage helps address those aches and pains and can also be time for you. Treatment focus may include Caesarean section scar mobilization to treating myofascial tissues.

Infant massage

Infant massage can help reduce colic, improve sleep and increase weight gain in premature babies. Babies born with conditions like torticollis can benefit from a very short and gentle massage treatment. For healthy babies, infant massage can be taught to parents in order to provide relaxation and bonding at home.

Sports Massage

Used before or after an athletic event. Pre event massage is primarily done 15 minutes before the event to “wake up” the tissues. Post event massage is primarily done 15 minutes to a day after the event to decrease the sense of discomfort from the event.