There are dozens of recognized massage techniques and styles,
below are a list of the modalities most often used at the body holistic.
Swedish massage - The most common style in the west, Swedish massage sees the therapist lubricate the client's skin with massage oil/lotion/gel (or any combination thereof) and perform a variety of finger, thumb, arm and elbow strokes that warm up, and work the muscle tissue, releasing tension and breaking up muscle "knots" or adhered tissues. Swedish massage promotes relaxation, eases muscle tension and increases the flow of energy throughout the body. Although Swedish is generally a light form of massage, it warms the body for massage at a deeper level.
Joint Release - Often as a preliminary to deeper work, joint release techniques involve gentle jostling of the limbs to help release the joint muscles and ligaments. Once again, this is not an entire treatment in itself, but an adjunct to the practitioner's repertoire. Great way of finding/releasing blocked energies.
Deep Tissue massage - Designed to relieve severe tension in the muscle and the connective tissue or fascia, deep tissue focuses on the muscles located below the surface of the top muscles. Using many of the same strokes in Swedish, but with a slower, more deliberate movement, deep tissue's pressure goes deeper into the areas of tension and pain. Helping to break down adhesions in the areas of chronic muscle pain, the work can border on discomfort at some points, but ultimately leaves the client feeling released and relaxed. It is often recommended for individuals who experience consistent pain, athletes, or for patients who have sustained physical injury.
Shiatsu massage - Applies finger, thumb, elbow and foot pressure on body points that have been related to the central and autonomic nervous systems. Based on these meridians (the same as acupuncture), Shiatsu confronts the flow of energy in the body and disharmony in the organs. Performed slowly and intentionally, the sustained pressure of Shiatsu moves can help balance energy as they work on muscles at a deeper level. This style of massage can be performed on the table as part of a regular oil massage, and also fully clothed on a traditional floor mat.
Reflexology - Considered alternative medicine, Reflexology (aka. zone therapy) states that every visceral part of the body and head are represented in various zones on the bottom of the feet. With finger and thumb pressure, but without oil, reflexology helps relieve tension, improve circulation and help create a general balancing of the body functions affecting one's chi (prana, or life force) in a positive manner.
Hot Stone - A specialty massage with an exotic reputation, hot stone is exactly that; heated river rocks oiled and applied to the body. The iron-rich basalt stones used exclusively for this massage, hold the heat as they radiate into your skin and down through your muscles. At this point, going deeper is easy and enjoyable for the client, The combination of manual massage and heated stones achieves
a new level of relaxation.
Reiki - A form of energy healing/transference, that came out of the far east, using universal energy to help balance and heal the body. It uses a technique commonly called palm healing or hands on healing as a form of complementary therapy.
At least for today: Be peaceful, Be calm, Be humble and honest in your work, Be kind to people.
Just a few of the benefits most commonly associated with massage are: