Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is designed to reach the deep portions of thick muscles,
specifically the individual muscle fibers. Using deep muscle compression and friction along the grain of the
muscle, its purpose is to unstick the fibers of the muscles and release both toxins and deeply held patterns of
Deep tissue techniques are designed for more focused massage work. Working a specific
joint, muscle or muscle group. Starting superficially and easing into the depth of the muscle slowly often
allows more movement. Very little lubricant is used as the pressure doesn't travel much over the
Myofascial Release Therapy All muscles, arteries, bones, organs, etc. are held together by a
Saran wrap kind of tissue called fascia. Developed in the late 1960's by John Barnes, Myofascial Release works by
the manipulation of the fascia that connects and surrounds muscles. Because the fascia is body-wide, a tension or
trauma in one part of the body can affect another part. The fascia responds to the trained touch to release the
adverse effects of inflammation, tension, trauma overuse and poor posture. This is usually done by applying
shear compression or tension in various directions, or by skin rolling.
Positional Release Therapy (PRT)
PRT is a technique of decreasing and eliminating trigger points in the affected muscle by
placing the client in a position where pressure on the trigger point is no longer painful, and then holding that
position for approximately 90 to 120 seconds. This technique is very useful in clients with Fibromyalgia and neck
and shoulder pain.
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)
PNF or CRAC (Contract Relax Antagonist Contract) as I learned
it, is advanced flexibility training that involves both the stretching and contraction of the muscle
group being targeted. PNF stretching was originally developed as a form of rehabilitation, and to that effect it is
very effective. It also targets specific muscle groups. Not only does PNF increase range of
movement, it also helps to improve the strength of the targeted muscle group.
Popularized in the United States by physiotherapist Eunice Inghram in the 1930s, this is an
acupressure type technique 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, 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 functioning and health.
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. This laying-on of hands is designed to relieve pain, restore vitality, heal illnesses, and aid spiritual
growth. It was developed by Dr. Mikao Usui, in Japan, who came upon ancient manuscripts revealing the
healing system in the 19th century. It was introduced to the United States in the 1930's by Hawayo
Trigger Point Therapy
Trigger point therapy is a technique that involves the application of
pressure to tender muscle tissue in order to relieve pain and dysfunction in other parts of the body. Trigger point
therapy was developed by Dr. Janet Travell in the 1940s.
Trigger points are areas of tenderness in a muscle. There are two basic types of trigger
points. Active cause muscular pain and will refer pain and tenderness to another area of the body when pressure is
applied and latent, thought to be one of the causes of stiff joints and the restricted range of motion of old
Trigger points are very common. They are also referred to as muscle knots and are caused by:
birth trauma, an injury, poor posture, or overexertion. Trigger points may be associated with myofascial pain
syndromes or Fibromyalgia.