Massage therapy is a system of structured palpations or movements of the soft tissues of the body. The massage system may include, but is not limited to, such techniques as, stroking, kneading, gliding, percussion, friction, vibration, compression, passive or active stretching within the normal anatomical range of movement; effleurage (either firm or light soothing, stroking movement, without dragging the skin, using either padded parts of fingertips or palms); petrissage (lifting or picking up muscles and rolling the folds of skin); or tapotement (striking with the side of the hand, usually with partly flexed fingers, rhythmic movements with fingers or short rapid movements of sides of the hand).
Massage stimulates your body to release endorphins and with that release comes wide-ranging, positive effects.
Levels of stress hormones, such as adrenalin, cortisol and norepinephrine, are also reduced.
In aromatherapy massage, essential oils are usually mixed with a carrier oil like sweet almond, apricot kernel, or grapeseed oil. A relaxing aromatherapy massage, for instance, might have lavender or bergamot, while a massage for sore muscles might include peppermint and eucalyptus.
MANUAL LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE (MLD)
Developed by French physician Bruno Chikly, Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) involves the application of light, rhythmic strokes to help alleviate various conditions related to the body’s lymph system. Among other things, the lymph system is responsible for flushing out toxins and draining fluid, which supports a healthy immune system. When lymph circulation stagnates, however, fluid can build up and cause physical problems, such as inflammation, oedemas and neuropathies.
DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE (DTM)
Deep Tissue Massage (DTM) utilises slow strokes, direct pressure or friction applied across the grain of the muscles with the fingers, thumbs or elbows. DTM works deeply into the muscles and connective tissue to release chronic aches and pains; its purpose is to reach the fascia beneath the surface muscles.
NEUROMUSCULAR THERAPY (NMT)
A specialised form of Deep Tissue Massage (DTM), Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) involves targeting areas of imbalance in the body and their specific muscles to restore balance across the joints and myofascial networks that support and integrate the body. It includes the use of Trigger Point Therapy which is the treatment of noxious pain points in the muscles and fascia.
SPORTS MASSAGE THERAPY
Sports massage therapies are both preventative and therapeutic, and used for athletes during warm ups, training and competition to treat and/or aid in the prevention of injuries; help improve flexibility, range of motion, and performance; and aid in mental clarity.
- Timing refers to when the massage is given: pre-event or post-event; during recovery; during a maintenance period; or when an athlete suffers an injury that requires rehabilitation.
- Technique refers to what application you utilise, and can include a number of different techniques: effleurage; friction; petrissage; vibration; shaking; compression; broadening strokes; direct pressure; cross-fibre friction; range of motion; and stretching.
- Intent refers to your reason(s) for treatment: as warm-up; to increase blood flow; stimulate neurological pathways; aid recovery from exertion; increase flexibility; improve strength; or improve posture.
- Assess the effectiveness of the treatment
STRUCTURAL INTEGRATION (SI)
Based on the work of Ida Rolf, Structural Integration (SI) is a process-based approach to somatic education that explores the possibility of change in how you use and experience your body.
SI is a type of bodywork that focuses on the connective tissue, or fascia, of the body. Fascia surrounds muscles, groups of muscles, blood vessels, organs, and nerves, binding some structures together while permitting others to slide smoothly over each other.
CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY (CST)
Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a form of bodywork using gentle touch to palpate the synarthrodial joints of the cranium.
Bowen Therapy works on the following mechanisms:
- Stretch reflex
- Joint proprioception
- Acupuncture points and meridians
- Harmonic vibration