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Glossary of Terms

Chair Massage (Work-Site/On-Site Massage): This method is administered while the client is clothed and seated in a specially designed chair. Therapists generally massage the neck, shoulders and back. On-site massage can be done almost anywhere, including professional offices, work places and sporting events. Treatments usually last from 10 to 15 minutes, relieve stress and improve productivity. For businesses, this is a unique option for creating incentives, rewarding outstanding performers, improving morale and establishing a more favorable work environment.

Connective Tissue Massage: Fairly light pressure applied by a dragging or pulling strokes throughout the skin and connective tissue in one area of the body, which causes a related effect at a distant site.

Cranial-sacral Therapy: This technique can be used for finding and correcting cerebral and spinal imbalances or blockages that may cause sensory or intellectual dysfunction.

Deep Tissue: Releases the chronic patterns of tension in the body through slow strokes and deep finger pressure on the contracted areas, either following or going across the grain of muscles, tendons, and fascia. It is called deep tissue, because it also focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue.

Esalen: A deeply relaxing massage form. It’s fluid; seamless strokes nurture the receiver into a state of relaxation. Developed in the 1960s, this style originated at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur , California , and is based on a combination of Oriental and Swedish massage techniques. Esalen is light and gentle in nature, emphasizing nurturing and empathy. The strokes are soft, easy, and slow, promoting deep relaxation. It is used to reduce stress, relieve pain, improve sleep, aid in digestion, and promote healing.

Friction: is the deepest of Swedish massage strokes. This stroke encompasses deep, circular movements applied to soft tissue causing underlying layers of tissue to rub against each other. The result causes an increase in blood flow to the massaged area.

Heated Stone: Stones of all shapes and sizes and varying temperatures, ranging from zero to 140 degrees, are used to elicit physical healing, mental relaxation, and a spiritual connection to earth energy. Warm stones encourage the exchange of blood and lymph and provide soothing heat for deep tissue work.

Joint Movement Massage: Movement of limbs and joints to promote improved mobility and circulation.

Myofascial Release: Is the three-dimensional application of sustained pressure and movement into the fascial system in order to eliminate fascial restrictions and facilitate the emergence of emotional patterns and belief systems that are no longer relevant or are impeding process. First, an assessment is made by visually analyzing the human frame, followed by the palpation of the tissue texture of various fascial layers. Upon locating an area of fascial tension, gentle pressure is applied in the direction of the restriction. Long, , stretching strokes are utilized to release muscular tension. Myofascial Release (MFR) is an effective approach in the relief of cervical pain, back pain, Fibromyalgia, scoliosis, neurological dysfunction, restriction of motion, chronic pain, and headaches.

Neuromuscular ReEducation: This therapy utilizes a form of positive kinesthetic conversation with the body to imprint new learnings on the motor control center of the brain, and replace damaged imprints created through trauma, injury, or repetitive strain. It uses manual techniques to encourage the body’s own power to heal itself.

Neuromuscular Therapy: This comprehensive program of soft tissue manipulation balances the body’s central nervous system with the musculoskeletal system. Based on neurological laws that explain how the central nervous system initiates and maintains pain, the goal is to help relieve the pain and dysfunction by understanding and alleviating the underlying cause. It is used to locate and release spasms and hyper contraction in the tissue, eliminate trigger points that cause referred pain, rebuild the strength of injured tissues, assist venous and lymphatic flow, and restore postural alignment, proper biomechanics, and flexibility to the tissues.

Prenatal/Pregnancy Massage: Many methods of massage are both effective and safe prenatally. Specific techniques can reduce discomforts related to a pregnancy and contribute to the physiological and emotional well being of both mother and fetus.

Reflexology: An acupressure type technique is performed on the hands and feet and is based on the ancient Oriental theory that meridian lines or pathways carry energy throughout the body. Because each zone or part of the body has a corresponding reflex point on the feet and hands, stimulating that reflex point causes stimulation in the natural energy of the related organ. Crystalline-type deposits and/or tenderness indicate a dysfunction, and pressure is applied to clear out congestion and restore normal function.

Reiki: Pronounced ray-kee, in Japanese means “universal life energy”. It is a healing technique of transmitting life energy by placing the hands gently in specific positions either on or above the body.

Rolfing: Also known as “Structural Integration”, Rolfing was perfected by American biochemist Dr. Ida Rolf in the 1930s. She maintained that when one part of the body is out of balance or misaligned, the rest of the body attempts to compensate until the entire structure is weakened. By manipulating the myofasical tissue in a ten session series, each building on the previous one, Rolfers assist the body to reorganize, lengthen, and integrate itself into wholeness.

Seated Chair: Known as seated massage, chair massage, or on-site massage, this technique involves the use of a specifically designed massage chair in which the client sits comfortably. The modern chair massage was originally developed by David Palmer, but the technique is centuries old, with some Japanese block prints illustrating people having just emerged from a nearby bath, receiving massage while seated on a low stool. Seated massage includes many types of bodywork depending on the practitioner, and is provided to the fully clothed client in a variety of settings, including businesses, airports, and street fairs.

Shiatsu: Shiatsu is the most widely known form aof acupressure, literally meaning “finger pressure” in Japanese, and has been used for thousands of years in Japan . Shiatsu uses rhythmic pressure from 3 to 10 seconds on specific points along the body’s meridians by using the fingers, hands, elbows, knees, and sometimes feet to unblock and stimulate the flow of energy. A session may also include gentle stretching and range of motion manipulations. Shiatsu is used to treat pain and illness, to relax the body, and to maintain general health.

Sports Massage: Sports massage consists of specific components designed to reduce injuries, alleviate inflammation, provide warm-up, etc. for amateur and professional athletes before, during, after, and within their training regimens to prepare the athlete for peak performance.

Swedish: One of the most commonly taught and well-known massage techniques, Swedish massage is a vigorous system of treatment designed to energize the body by stimulating circulation. Five basic strokes, all flowing toward the heart, are used to manipulate the soft tissues of the body. Therapists use a combination of kneading, rolling, vibrational, percussive, and tapping movements, with the application of oil, to reduce friction on the skin. The many benefits of Swedish massage may include general relaxation, dissolution of scar tissue adhesions, and improved circulation, which may speed up healing and reduce swelling from injury.

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