Swedish massage combines oil with gentle strokes in light to medium pressure for a relaxing and luxurious massage. Good for people with lower stress levels or sensitive bodies, the light pressure helps to achieve a state of relaxation that is similar to a meditation. This relaxation can help relieve milder muscle tension.
Swedish is also known as western massage because it originates in western Europe. This massage modality uses 5 basic strokes as follow:
Palpation: Touching in order to feel what is going on with the clients body. Effleurage: Long smooth light strokes used to spread lubrication (oil, cream, lotion, gel
Petrissage: medium to deep pressure to warm up the muscles, releases waste build up in tissue and loosens muscle fascia.
Tapotement: Beating, pommeling, chopping, cupping, tapping. A variety of pressure and speeds can be used here to accomplish anything from waking up the nervous system to forcing muscles to clench and relax.
Vibration: Rapid and shot, back and forth movement, lowers pain response.
These strokes allow the body-worker to give you a personalized relaxation massage for your needs.
Deep Tissue/ Sports/ Medical Massage-
Similar to Swedish, Deep Tissue uses the same 5 basic strokes, combined with oils or lotions. As implied by the name however, much more pressure is used in the massage to help eliminate more stubborn muscle tension and removed lactic acid from your muscles. This massage is very good for releasing the fascia (connective tissue around muscles and bones), and for releasing chronic muscle tension and knots.
The deeper pressure can activate sensitive areas, and may feel tender, so checking in with your therapist often is a necessity. Strokes should always feel generally good, and more like the burn of a good workout. If at any point you feel your body reacting with tensing, spasms, or extreme pain, that is a sign of too much pressure. At that point, immediately let your therapist know so that adjustments can be made. If you allow your body to react, it can counteract work that has already been done, and the benefits of the massage may not be as noticeable.
Sport Massage only references that special care is given to accommodate workouts or sports that the client has participated in. This helps guide the practitioner to ensure that the heaviest areas of wear and tear receive the most attention.
Medical Massage is the same concept but with medical conditions in mind. Common conditions that medical massage can help: Fibromyalgia, TMJ, Tennis Elbow, Carpal Tunnel, Chronic Back Pain, Migraines, etc.
Integrative massage is the term given to any massage that combines techniques from more than one massage modality. Ultimately many massages that are received fall into this category as the practitioner will use whatever necessary to ensure full relaxation and complete release of muscle tension, so that the client is fully satisfied.
For example, at Atira Massage, I pride myself on having an excellent and broad education, including knowledge of Cranio-Sacral, Myo-Fascial Release, Certification in Active Isolated Stretching, and Hydro & Temperature Therapies. For instance: in this image I am utilizing hot towels to combine heat therapy with myofascial release for an extremely helpful, yet not so painful result.
If you are unsure of your massage preferences, this may also be used to help you find what you like and don't like. If you experience something during your session that you love, PLEASE tell your therapist so they can make note of it and guide you toward more wonderful experiences. Alternately, if you find something that you dislike, PLEASE also tell your therapist of that so they can ensure that you will not experience that again. Massage is to aid you in finding a way toward greater health and well-being, and your therapist is willing to ensure that you have the utmost satisfaction from each service.
Pregnancy Massage can be combined with any style that you find here in this website, however, most commonly it is preformed in the Swedish style.
Most importantly, pregnancy massage is preformed only on pregnant women. Depending upon the phase of the pregnancy, side-lying positions may be necessary to ensure proper blood flow to the fetus. Usually this is necessary later in the 2nd trimester and for all of the 3rd trimester. Light to firm pressure may be used, however, very deep pressure is to be avoided, especially to certain points of the body. Special body pillows can be used for lying face down, and regular pillows are often used to make side-lying positions more comfortable.