I think that Swedish Massage is the most widely known form of massage therapy. This type of massage uses five styles of long, flowing strokes to massage. The five strokes are:
• Effleurage, which is sliding or gliding
• Petrissage, Kneading, Vibration and shaking
• Tapotement, rhythmic tapping
• Friction, working across the muscle fiber;
Swedish Massage has consistently been shown to be helpful in:
• Reducing pain
• Helping joint stiffness;
• Increasing flexibility and joint function;
• Improving circulation.
An interesting side note: The term “Swedish Massage” is not the name used for massage in Sweden, there, it is called instead, “classic massage.”
Sports massage is specifically designed for people who are involved in physical activity. But you don't have to be a professional athlete to have one-it's also used by people who are active and work out often. The focus isn't on relaxation but on preventing and treating injury and enhancing athletic performance.
A combination of techniques are used. The strokes are generally faster than Swedish massage. Facilitated stretching is a common technique. It helps to loosen muscles and increase flexibility.
Reflexology is based on acupressure points in the hands, feet and ears that relate to every organ, gland, and system of the body.
Based on an ancient Chinese therapy, reflexology massage uses manipulation of specific areas in the foot, hands, and ears. This type of bodywork uses varying levels of pressure to these points to help stimulate body organs, open up energy flows and relieve areas that may be blocked. Reflexology works with the body’s natural energy system to stimulate the immune system and initiate self-healing. Reflexology also helps to reduce pain, increase relaxation, reduce stress, and stimulate circulation of blood and lymphatic fluids.
Deep Tissue MassageDeep tissue massage (also known as deep muscle therapy) removes blockages, damaged cells, scar tissue and adhesion left after injury, speeds up recovery and encourages more complete healing. It uses a technique that releases chronic patterns of tension in the body through slow strokes and deep finger pressure on contracted areas, either following or going across the grains of muscles, tendons and fascia. This is a sometimes painful technique often used to treat sports injuries.
Facials, Braiding and Beading.