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Types of Massage
Have you ever wondered what our students learn at the Ann Arbor Institute of Massage Therapy and what the differences are in the “types” of massage that are offered? Below you will find a description of these, and why you might want to ask to receive a certain modality over another. Many times our students will integrate several of these variations into a massage session. Please keep in mind that depending on when you catch a therapist in their education cycle, they may not have learned all of these “types” yet. Our receptionist will be happy to let you know what modalities the students have learned when you make your appointment.
Swedish Massage is one of the most common forms of massage in the United States. The therapist will use strokes that are kneading in style integrated with long/smooth strokes. Swedish Massage is excellent to request if this is your first massage. The benefits are numerous, like lowering stress levels and improving circulation. The therapist will work on the more superficial layers of muscle, and oil/lotion is used. You are able to request the type of pressure that you desire.
Reflexology is a holistic approach to an ancient and scientific form of treating the whole body through the reflexes of the feet, hands, and ears that correspond to specific glands, organs or body parts. Most people find Reflexology very relaxing. People who request reflexology may benefit from relieving stress, improving circulation, and soothing tired feet or hands.
Shiatsu is a Japanese form of bodywork. Therapists apply finger or palm pressure to different energy pathways called meridians that influence the movement of “chi” (pronounced chee). People who request Shiatsu may benefit from relieving anxiety, tiredness, or constipation. Our students can intertwine Shiatsu into your session.
Pregnancy or Prenatal Massage is for expectant mothers past their 12th week of pregnancy. Its purpose is to reduce stress, decrease swelling, relieve aches and pains, and reduce anxiety and depression that may accompany pregnancy. Pregnancy massage is received with the client either laying on her side, or using pregnancy pillows to lie on her stomach.
Thai Massage is an ancient healing system, beginning with the Buddhist monks. It is a combination of Ayurveda, Yoga, Buddhism, and Thai healing techniques. This style of massage greatly affects muscle flexibility utilizing stretching movements and pressure on energy points. Recipients will experience feelings of relaxation, youthfulness, peace of mind, happiness, and flexibility. Usually preformed on the floor, our students are happy to intertwine and adapt some Thai massage into your table massage.
Myofascial Therapy is an effective form of Deep Tissue Massage which addresses postural distortions like a forward head posture or rounded shoulders. “Fascia” is a connective tissue that runs throughout the body. When Fascia is tightened along with underlying muscles, it can pull a body into a postural distortion. Myofascial therapy will help alleviate these distortions by loosening the fascia. It is preformed without oil, so that the therapist can easily detect the fascial restrictions. When preformed correctly the client will feel as if oil is being used. The benefits may be numerous, with the possibility of increased range of motion, better postural stance, or hopeful relief of neck pain, shoulder pain, or lower back pain.
Sports Massage is preformed on athletes who may be pre-season, in season, or post-season. Combinations of specialized techniques are used to help performance results and accelerate recovery from injury or fatigue. Where you are at in your “season” will determine the type of treatment your therapist will design for you.
Neuromuscular Therapy provides complete and effective relief from chronic pain, repetitive strain, postural problems, tension, or recovery from an injury. It is used for the freeing and relief of chronically tense, contracted, and painful tissues. The therapist is required to have a high degree of anatomical precision, specificity and skilled palpation. Neuromuscular Therapy is intentional work that can be tender from time to time. It’s those tender areas that usually need the most attention. Neuromuscular Therapy combined with Myofascial Therapy is considered true Medical Massage.