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Based on an ancient chinese therapy, reflexology involves manipulation of specific reflex areas in the foot, hands, and ears that correspond to other parts of the body. This bodywork involves application of pressure to specific reflex zones to stimulate body organs and relieve areas of congestion. Reflexology works with the body's energy flow to stimulate self healing and maintain balance in physical function. This technique is used to reduce pain, increase relaxation, and stimulate circulation of blood and lymphatic fluids. It is especially useful in stress related illness and emotional disorders. Reflexology is also convenient in cases where an area of the body is traumatized or diseased to the extent that direct manipulation is not appropriate.
Techniques that utilize deep-tissue/deep-muscle massage are administered to affect the sub layers of muscles and fascia. 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.
One of the most well-known massage techniques, Swedish massage is a vigorous system of treatment designed to energize the body by stimulating circulation. Five basic strokes, all flowing toward the heart, are used to manipulate the soft tissues of the body. Therapists use a combination of kneading, rolling, vibration, percussive, and tapping movements, with the application of lotion or oil. The many benefits of Swedish massage may include generalized relaxation, dissolution of scar tissue, and improved circulation, which may speed healing and reduce swelling from injury.
Sports massage is designed to enhance athletic performance and recovery. There are three contexts in which sports massage can be useful to an athlete: Pre-event, post-event, and injury treatment. Pre-event massage is delivered at the performance site, usually with the athlete fully clothed. Fast-paced and stimulating, it helps establish blood flow and to warm up muscles. During the massage, the athlete generally focuses on visualizing the upcoming event. Post-event massage is also delivered on site, through the clothes. The intent here is to calm the nervous system and begin the process of flushing toxins and waste products out of the body. Post-event massage can reduce recovery time, enabling an athlete to resume training much sooner than rest alone would allow. When an athlete sustains an injury, skillful massage therapy can often speed and improve the quality of healing.
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Myofascial release is a three-dimensional application of sustained pressure and movement into the fascial system in order to eliminate fascial restrictions. Upon locating an area of fascial tension, gentle pressure is applied in the direction of the restriction. Myofascial release in an effective therapeutic approach in the relief of cervical pain, back pain, fibromyalgia, scoliosis, neurological dysfunction, restriction of motion, chronic pain, and headaches.
Many methods of massage therapy are both effective and safe prenatally and during postpartum periods. Prenatally, specific techniques can reduce pregnancy discomforts and concerns and enhance the physiological and emotional well-being of both mother and baby. In the postpartum period, specialized techniques rebalance structure, physiology, and emotions of the new mother and may help her to bond with and care for her infant.
The use of essential oils (extracted from herbs, flowers, resin, woods, and roots.) in body and skin care treatments is known as aromatherapy. Used as a healing technique for thousands of years by the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, essential oils aid in relaxation, improve circulation, and help the healing of wounds, Specific essential oils are blended by the therapist and added to lotion or oil to be used during the massage. Each oil has its own unique characteristics and benefits.