Swedish massage is a vigorous system of treatment designed to energize the body by stimulating circulation and is one of the most well-known massage techniques. Swedish massage uses five basic strokes, all flowing toward the heart, to manipulate the soft tissues of the body. The disrobed client is covered by a sheet, with only the area being worked on exposed. The therapist uses a combination of the five basic strokes—kneading, percussive, rolling, tapping, and, vibrational movements—with the application of oil, to reduce friction on the skin. The benefits of Swedish massage include relaxation, dissolution of scar tissue adhesions, and improved circulation, which may speed healing and reduce swelling from injury.
TUI NA Massage
Tui Na (pronounced t-weigh na) is an ancient Chinese system of manual therapeutics with a wide range of techniques and indications. While traditional Chinese medical precepts form its theoretical basis, clinical experience governs its application. Tui Na techniques range from light and soothing to strong and invigorating. Refined over the centuries, Tui Na facilitates healing by regulating the circulation of blood and qi (vital energy), which controls body function and enhances resistance to disease. Tui Na combines the names of two of the hand techniques, tui meaning to push and na meaning to lift and squeeze, which are used to represent the system. Practitioners of Tui Na claim there are more than 365 hand techniques, although they can be generally placed in the category of pressing, rubbing, waving, shaking, percussion, or manipulating. The term Tui Na first appeared in the Ming Dynasty text Pediatric Tui Na Classic in 1601.
DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE
Techniques that utilize deep-tissue/deep-muscle massage are administered to affect the sub-layer of musculature and fascia. These techniques require advanced training and a thorough understanding of anatomy and physiology. The muscles must be relaxed in order to effectively perform deep-tissue massage, otherwise tight surface muscles prevent the practitioner from reaching deeper musculature. It helps with chronic muscular pain and injury rehabilitation and reduces inflammation-related pain caused by arthritis and tendinitis. It is generally integrated with other massage techniques.
Thai massage, also called nuad bo rarn, has been taught and practiced in Thailand for nearly 2,500 years. Although the origins are vague, credit for Thai massage is given to a famous Indian doctor Shivago Komarpaj, who was the personal physician of the Buddha and Magadha king. Historically, manipulation was one of four major branches composing traditional Thai medicine. This is based upon the theory that the body is made up of seventy-two thousand sen, or energy lines, of which ten hold top priority. Thai massage also involves peripheral stimulating, meaning it acts as an external stimulant to produce specific internal effects. This point serves as the main division between Thai and Western massage. Thai massage is practiced on a firm mat on the floor instead of on a table, instrumental in the effective use of the practitioner’s body weight. Except for the feet, the client remains fully clothed, so draping is not necessary.