Soft Tissue Treatment AKA Massage Therapy Modalities: Which One is Right for You?

Massage Therapy

There are many different types of massage therapy modalities out there. Which one is right for you? That can be a difficult question to answer, especially if you don’t know much about massage therapy. Massage therapy is an umbrella term that covers a wide range of modalities. Massage therapy in the Belmont area is a popular and effective treatment for a variety of conditions, including pain relief, stress reduction, and improved circulation. 

There are many different massage therapy modalities, each with its own unique benefits. Each type of massage targets different muscle groups and provides different benefits. As a result, it’s important to select the right type of massage for your needs. 

What is a Modality in Massage Therapy?

Massage therapy is the scientific manipulation of the soft tissues of the body for the purpose of normalizing those tissues and consists of a group of manual techniques that include holding, moving, and applying pressure to the muscles, connective tissues, tendons, ligaments, joints, and lymphatic vessels. 

Massage therapists at Infinite Body Health in Belmont use their hands, fingers, elbows, knees, and feet to knead muscles and soft tissues of the body. Massage has been practiced as a healing therapy for centuries in nearly every culture around the world. Massage modalities are specific techniques therapists use to achieve desired results. 

Each modality uses different strokes and pressure to target specific areas of concern. Your massage therapist will select one or more modalities based on your specific needs at the time of your session. A session may incorporate just one modality or a combination of several depending on what will best help you reach your goals for the session. 

Massage is an effective approach to pain management and rehabilitation and has been shown to be helpful for a wide variety of medical conditions such as low back pain, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and more.

Types of Massage Therapy Modalities in Belmont

1. Swedish Massage

This is the most popular type of massage therapy in the United States. It is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, and circular movements on the superficial layers of muscle. Swedish massage is perfect for relaxation and can also be helpful in reducing muscle tension. The therapist will use long, gentle strokes to increase circulation and promote relaxation.

How it Works:

The therapist will start by working on the back, using long gliding strokes (effleurage). Once the back is relaxed, the therapist will move on to the legs. During a Swedish massage, the therapist will use long, smooth strokes to promote relaxation, increase circulation, and relieve muscle tension. Massage oils or lotions are often used to reduce friction on the skin, and the therapist may also use other techniques such as kneading or rolling.

2. Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage therapy is similar to Swedish massage but with more pressure. It is used to release chronic muscle tension by targeting the deeper layers of muscle tissue. Deep tissue massage can be uncomfortable at times but it is very effective in reducing pain and stiffness in the muscles. 

How it Works:

During a deep tissue massage, the therapist will slowly and deliberately make their way across your body, working for the muscle groups with focused attention. In order to reach the deeper muscle groups, the therapist may need to put pressure on the body with their elbows, forearms, or even fists in order to release the tension. 

3. Trigger Point Massage

This type of massage is designed to release knots or trigger points in the muscle tissue. The therapist will apply pressure to specific areas until the knot releases tension in the muscles.

How it Works:

Trigger point massage works by applying pressure to the knots in your muscles. This pressure breaks up the trigger points and relieves the tension in the muscle. In addition to breaking up knots, trigger point massage also increases blood flow and relaxes the muscle. This combination of benefits can help to reduce pain throughout the body. 

Trigger point massage is often used to treat: 

  • Headaches 
  • Neck pain 
  • Back pain 
  • Hip pain
  • Shoulder pain 
  • Arthritis pain 

4. Aromatherapy Massage

This type of massage uses essential oils to improve your mood and promote relaxation. The therapist will choose an oil based on your needs and preferences and then use it during the massage.

How it Works:

Aromatherapy massage works by using essential oils that are diluted with a carrier oil and applied to the skin. The essential oils are absorbed through the skin and enter the bloodstream, where they are believed to have numerous health benefits. 

An aromatherapy massage is said to have numerous benefits, including reducing stress, improving mood, and relieving pain. Some research suggests that aromatherapy massage may also be helpful for conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, and headaches. 

5. Hot Stone Massage

This type of massage uses heated stones to relax the muscles and promote circulation. The therapist will place the stones on specific areas of the body and then Massage them using long, smooth strokes.

How it Works:

A hot stone massage is a form of massage therapy that involves the use of heated stones. The stones are usually made of basalt, a type of volcanic rock that retains heat well. The therapist will place the stones on specific points on your body and may also use them to massage your muscles. The heat from the stones helps to relax your muscles and ease tension.

6. Sports Massage

Sports massage therapy is a specific type of deep-tissue massage that is designed to improve athletic performance and recovery. It helps to release tight muscles, improve flexibility, and prevent injuries. 

How it Works:

The therapist will usually use a combination of kneading, stretching, and compression to target specific areas of the body.  Sports massage can be used both before and after physical activity to improve performance and reduce the risk of injury. The therapist may also use ice or heat to relieve pain and inflammation.

7. Acupressure Massage Therapy

Acupressure massage therapy is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that uses pressure on specific points along the body to relieve pain and tension. 

How it Works:

Acupressure massage therapy works by stimulating the lymph system, which is responsible for clearing toxins from the body. It also helps to increase blood circulation and reduce pain by releasing endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers). In addition, acupressure massage can help to improve mental well-being by relieving stress and anxiety. 

8. Reflexology Massage

Reflexology is a type of massage that focuses on specific points on the feet, hands, and ears that correspond to different organs and systems in the body. It is believed that by massaging these points, reflexology can help to improve your health and well-being. 

How it Works:

Therapists who specialize in reflexology Massage use their fingers, thumbs, and sometimes even elbows and knees to apply pressure to these points. By applying pressure to these points, reflexology massage can help to relieve pain, improve circulation, and promote overall health.

9. Shiatsu Massage

This type of massage originated in Japan and uses pressure point massage techniques similar to acupuncture. The therapist will use fingers, thumbs, or elbows to apply pressure to specific points on the body.

How it Works:

The most common one is called effleurage, which involves using the palms of the hands to make long, flowing strokes over the muscles. This technique is often used to warm up the muscles before more specific pressure is applied. 

Another common technique is called petrissage, which involves kneading the muscles with the thumb and fingers. Petrissage helps to loosen knots and tension in the muscles. It can also be quite relaxing. 

10. Thai Massage

Thai massage therapy originates from Thailand and it combines acupressure, reflexology, and yoga-like stretching. The therapist will use their hands, elbows, knees, and feet to stretch their muscles and loosen their joints. Thai massage can be quite invigorating and relaxing. 

How it Works:

Thai massage works to clear these energy lines, or sen, and restore balance in the body. The therapist will use their hands, knees, legs, and feet to apply deep muscle compression and stretch the body. The therapist will also use acupressure during the massage. 

11. Chair Massage

This type is done while seated in a special chair with your face resting in a cradle, looking down at the floor, with supports for your arms. Your back, neck, shoulders, arms, and hands receive a complete & thorough massage.  This type helps corporate employees relieve stress & tension built up from working at a desk all day long.

How it Works:

During a chair massage, the therapist will typically use a combination of long strokes, kneading, and circular movements on the upper body. The therapist may also use pressure point therapy to target specific areas of tension. Most chair massages last between 10 and 15 minutes, although some may last for 30 minutes or more. It is not uncommon for people to feel relaxed and even sleepy after a chair massage. 

12. Rolfing

Rolfing is a type of bodywork that aims to release tension in the muscular system. The process involves using your own muscles and ligaments for pressure, which relieves stress on soft tissues such as muscle spasms or positional pain from poor posture habits.

How it Works:

The therapist uses slow, deep strokes and pressure to reach the deeper layers of muscle and fascia. The therapist may also use their fists and forearms during the massage. Rolfing Massage is usually performed on a massage table, but it can also be done while the client is seated in a chair. 

13. Cupping, dry, massage, flash, moxibustion

Massage therapy is the perfect way to alleviate stress and tension. There are many different massage modalities, each with its own unique benefits. Massage therapy is also a great way to improve circulation.

  • Cupping is a great way to release muscle knots and tension. 
  • Dry cupping is perfect for those who are new to cupping. 
  • Flash cupping is perfect for those who want immediate results.
  • Moxibustion is perfect for those who want to improve their overall health. Massage therapy is a great way to improve your health and well-being.

How it Works:

  • Cupping

 is a type of massage therapy that uses glass cups to create suction on the skin. This section helps to loosen muscles, improve circulation, and release toxins from the body. 

  • Dry Massage 

is a type of massage therapy that does not use any oils or lotions. Instead, the therapist uses their hands to manipulate the muscles and tissues. 

  • Flash Massage 

is a type of massage therapy that is performed very quickly and is ideal for those who have a limited amount of time for their session. 

  • Moxibustion

is a type of massage therapy that uses heat to promote healing. This heat can come from burning herbs, heat lamps, or heated stones. Moxibustion is said to be beneficial for alleviating pain, improving circulation, and boosting immunity.

14. Chi Nei Tsang

Chi Nei Tsang is a type of massage therapy that focuses on the abdomen. It is based on the belief that the abdomen is the center of the body’s energies, and that by massaging this area, it is possible to release blockages and promote overall health.

How it Works:

The therapist will use a variety of techniques, including acupressure, deep tissue work, and gentle stretching. Chi Nei Tsang has been shown to be effective for a number of issues, including digestive problems, stress, anxiety, and fatigue.

15. Myofascial Release Technique

Myofascial release is one type of massage therapy that has been shown to be effective in treating pain and dysfunction. Myofascial release has been shown to be beneficial in treating conditions such as headaches, TMJ disorders, low back pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

How it Works:

This technique involves applying slow, sustained pressure to the connective tissue (known as the myofascial) to release restrictions and restore normal function. massage therapists may use their hands, elbows, or forearms to apply pressure to the myofascial. 

16. Active Release Technique 

Active Release Technique (ART) is a type of massage therapy that falls into the active category. Active Release Technique (ART) is a hands-on approach that uses a combination of Massage and Manipulation techniques to release muscle tissue and relieve pain.

How it Works:

The therapist will first assess the area of concern and then apply gentle, sustained pressure to the tissue with their hands. The patient is then asked to actively move their body in specific ways to help release the tissue. ART is an effective treatment for a variety of conditions, including carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, and tendinitis.

17. Transfer Friction Massage

This type of massage therapy uses long, fluid strokes to loosen knots and relieve muscle tension. The therapist may also use their forearm or elbow to apply pressure to specific areas. Transfer friction massage is often used to relieve pain in the lower back, neck, and shoulders. It can also be used to improve circulation and reduce stress levels. 

How it Works:

Therapists will apply deep, focused pressure to the affected area using their hands or elbows. The goal is to break up adhesions and release tension in the muscles and connective tissue. This can help to reduce pain, improve range of motion, and promote healing.

18. Graston Technique 

Graston Technique is a Massage Therapy modality that is used to help treat conditions such as chronic pain, scar tissue, and range of motion limitations. The Graston Technique uses special instruments that are designed to Massage the tissue and break up scar tissue. This Massage Therapy modality can be used on its own or in conjunction with other Massage Therapy modalities. 

How it Works:

The therapist will warm up the muscle with their hands before using the instruments to apply pressure. The instruments are made of stainless steel and have smooth, rounded edges. They are designed to glide over the skin with minimal friction, allowing the therapist to access deep tissue without causing pain or discomfort.

Massage Therapy in Belmont

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is a form of soft tissue treatment that uses manual manipulation of the body’s muscles and soft tissues. Massage has been used for centuries.  There are many different types of massage modalities, each with its own set of benefits.
If you’re looking for a way to relax and de-stress, or if you’re experiencing pain or tension in your body, consider giving massage therapy a try at Infinite Body Health in Belmont. With so many different modalities to choose from, there’s sure to be one that’s perfect for you. Contact us at (650) 622-9050 today to schedule an appointment!

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