Natural Therapeutics categorizes the two main types of massage as Relaxation (often referred to as Swedish) and Therapeutic (often referred to as Deep Tissue, Neuromuscular or Sports Massage). Our scale categorizes the massage pressure into 10 different levels. Please note that each therapist has been rated on their ability to perform on this scale in the “Meet the Therapist” tab and a quick reference is also at the bottom of this page!
Relaxation includes levels 2-5 and Therapeutic includes levels 6-10. A therapist can perform up to 10 minutes of Therapeutic massage during a Relaxation massage without adding additional cost.
Relaxation massage is typically a full body massage that is intended to promote relaxation and circulation. This massage includes long broad strokes over muscle groups.
Therapeutic massage incorporates a few relaxation techniques to warm the muscle groups, then moves into a more therapeutic range and targets specific muscles. This massage is tailored to your needs specifically, therefore you can have the therapist work on whichever areas of the body you prefer.
Techniques can include:
- Stripping: Deep, gliding pressure along the length of the muscle fibers using the elbow, forearm, knuckles, and thumbs.
- Friction: Pressure applied across the grain of a muscle to release adhesions and realign tissue fibers.
- Trigger point therapy: a bodywork technique that involves the application of pressure to tender muscle tissue in order to relieve pain and dysfunction in other parts of the body. It may also be called myofascial (myo meaning muscle, fascial meaning connective tissue) trigger point therapy.
- Pin & Stretch: specific areas are identified in muscles and tendons where overuse has caused repetitive injury and scar tissue has built up.This method of stretching involves shortening the muscle length by pinning the muscle, then taking the muscle through the full range of motion.
Therapeutic massage usually focuses on a specific problem, such as chronic muscle pain, injury rehabilitation, and the following conditions:
- Low back pain
- Limited mobility
- Recovery from injuries (e.g. whiplash, falls)
- Repetitive strain injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
- Postural problems
- Muscle tension in the hamstrings, glutes, IT band, legs, quadriceps, rhomboids, upper back
- Osteoarthritis pain
- Piriformis syndrome
- Tennis elbow
- Upper back or neck pain
Not all of these benefits have been scientifically proven. But if you are interested in a massage to prevent sports injury, address sport-specific concerns, or to help with muscle recovery after sports, consider getting a Therapeutic massage.