There are many modalities you will be looking into to provide a wider assortment of choices you can offer patients in their treatment plans. Some are quite specific such as sports massage therapy and will involve more training and hours than others. Here is an overview of ten modalities that are in most demand listed in alphabetical order:
- Acupressure applies pressure using the hands, fingers, elbows and sometimes tools to simulate the traditional treatment of acupuncture. It helps increase blood circulation and can assist in many health issues from headaches to constipation, symptoms of PMS and overall stress and tension.
- Aromatherapy uses the olfactory system by offering different scents using essential oils. Different fragrances are associated with different benefits from stress relief to migraine relief. You can learn the benefits of the various oils as well the proper way to add essential oils to your massage oils. You can also diffuse them into the air.
- Craniosacral Therapy applies manipulation to the craniosacral system including in some cases the mouth and face. Manipulation is applied to the skull and can affect the fluid that surrounds the brain, into the spinal cord and down the sacrum. Light pressure can activate the natural healing of the body by encouraging movement of the fluid throughout the system to remove restriction and improve energy throughout the nervous system.
- Deep tissue massage reaches the deep areas of the muscle and manipulates the fascia. Deep tissue massage can release toxins and loosen ligaments and tendons. The deep strokes and pressure of the massage is quite intense and can lead to soreness and tenderness for some patients the next day.
- Hot stone massage gives blood vessels an ebb and flow providing a very pleasing sense of well being. Up to 84 stones can be used between the hot and cold. Hot stones are applied first followed by the cold which will reduce inflammation. It is then combined with the appropriate therapy from Swedish massage to deep tissue massage depending on the patient’s needs.
- Lymphatic massage works on the lymphatic system and aids in removing excess water from the tissue spaces. There are several methods that will help encourage the proper flow to encourage drainage which restores connective tissue, removes toxins and helps the immune system.
- Myofascial Release treats the fascial system using gentle pressure. It is used for trauma as well as areas with restricted motion or fascial damaged areas. It works well to reduce pain and discomfort from back pain, TMJ, restricted motion, fibromyalgia and other conditions as required.
- Shiatsu is similar to acupressure using pressure of fingers, palms, elbows, knees and feet to create proper flow of energy to restore balance. It works using ancient Yin (negative) and the Yang (positive) and energy meridians to vital organs. Shiatsu treats muscle cramps, headaches, chronic pain and digestive problems by stimulating blood, circulation and lymphatic flow.
- Swedish massage is the most common massage modality which uses a number of techniques from kneading and rolling to effleurage and percussive tapping. It aids to relieve stress and improve circulation, blood flow and muscle tone while removing toxic waste.
- Trigger Point massage is designed to treat and reduce myofascial pain using compression to reduce swelling, tension, stiffness and pain. It improves range of motion and flexibility. In order to pinpoint the trigger point pressure is applied.
These are just ten of the most common modalities. You can explore many other areas from Reiki to sports massage and hydrotherapy to prenatal and infant massage.