Massage Terminology

CRANIO-SACRAL is a technique for finding and correcting cerebral and spinal imbalances or blockages that may cause sensory, motor or intellectual dysfunction.

DEEP TISSUE releases the chronic patterns of tension in the body through slow strokes and deep finger pressure on the contracted areas, either following or going across the grain of muscles, tendons and fascia. It is called deep tissue, because it also focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue.

EFFLEURAGE is a stroke generally used in a swedish massage treatment. This smooth, gliding stroke is used to relax soft tissue and is applied using both hands.

FRICTION is the deepest of swedish massage strokes. This stroke encompasses deep, circular movements applied to soft tissue causing the underlying layers of tissue to rub against each other. The result causes an increase in blood flow to the massaged area.

MYOFASCIAL RELEASE is a form of bodywork that is manipulative in nature and seeks to rebalance the body by releasing tension in the fascia. Long, stretching strokes are utilized to release muscular tension.

PETRISSAGE (also called kneading) involves squeezing, rolling and kneading the muscles and usually follows effleurage during swedish massage.

REFLEXOLOGY massage based around a system of points in the hands and feet thought to correspond, or “reflex,” to all areas of the body.

SHIATSU AND ACUPRESSURE Oriental-based systems of finger-pressure which treat special points along acupuncture “meridians” (the invisible channels of energy flow in the body).

SWEDISH MASSAGE a system of long strokes, kneading and friction techniques on the more superficial layers of the muscles, combined with active and passive movements of the joints.

TAPOTEMENT is executed with cupped hands, fingers or the edge of the hand with short, alternating taps to the client.

TRIGGER POINT THERAPY (also known as Myotherapy or Neuromuscular Therapy) applies concentrated finger pressure to “trigger points” (painful irritated areas in muscles) to break cycles of spasm and pain.