Swedish Massage uses five basic movements (Effleurage, Petrissage, Tapotment, Vibration and Friction) to increase circulation and remove toxins from muscles. The Therapist uses firm but gentle pressure, aided by oil to reduce friction, to compress and relax muscles, always stroking in the direction of the heart. Bending and stretching movements may also be used to relax joints.
The principal moves of Swedish massage are:
Effleurage: Long gliding strokes whose pressure can vary depending on the therapist and the client.
Petrissage: A kneading movement designed to relax muscles and increase circulation by compressing and releasing muscle tissue.
Tapotement: Tapping muscles with the side of the hand, fingers or palm to release tension and cramping.
Vibration: Using hands or a machine to create rapid movement that relaxes and soothes muscles.
Friction: This is a strong, rapid, circular movement usually done to release muscle knots. Normally, friction is applied for only a short period of time to avoid an inflammatory response.
Deep Tissue Massage
A 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, and patients who have sustained physical injury. It is 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. Deep tissue massage is a seperate category of massage therapy, used to treat particular muscular-skeletal disorders and complaints and employs a dedicated set of techniques and stokes to achieve a measure of relief. Deep tissue massage should not be confused with a deep pressure massage, which is one that is performed with sustained strong, occasionally intense pressure throughout an entire full-body session, and that is not performed to address a specific complaint.
Pregnancy massage is the prenatal use of massage therapy to support the physiologic, structural, and emotional well-being of both mother and fetus. Various forms of massage therapy, including Swedish, deep tissue, neuromuscular, movement, and Oriental-based therapies, may be applied throughout pregnancy as well as during the postpartum period.