Types of Massage Techniques

Massage therapy is an ancient form of treatment of moving the soft tissue of the body for therapeutic purposes.  It can alleviate muscle pain and tension, help reduce blood pressure and harmful stress hormones, and boost the immune system.    It has a calming effect on the nervous system and can raise mood-elevating brain chemicals.  Today many people live fast paced, over stressed lifestyles and are constantly in a “fight or flight “mode.  Massage can help bring the body back into balance… and, maybe, even contribute to world peace-one massage at a time!

swedish massageSwedish Massage

Swedish Massage is considered the most common form of bodywork and is the foundation of many other types of massage.   It helps to decrease pain, relieve muscle tension and adhesions, increase range of motion and promote relaxation.   The therapist will use oil or lotion with a combination of long gliding strokes and kneading, friction, percussion and vibration techniques.  The strokes will be applied with firm pressure, ranging from light to deep, according to your preference.

Beach to Beacon sports massage

Boaz Cheboiywo
Beach to Beacon 10k Elites
Cape Elizabeth, Maine 2009

Sports Massage

Sports Massage is a specialized form of massage that is designed to help athletes prepare their bodies for optimal performances.  It mainly utilizes Swedish massage techniques and is customized to an athlete, their particular sport and position and to the phase of their training.  It can be used to warm up before an upcoming event (Pre Event), to recover after a rigorous workout or competition (Post Event)  and as a vital part of their training routine (Maintenance Massage).  It can also assist in rehabilitating an injury (Injury Recovery Massage) and compliment treatments received from other health care professionals. Sports Massage is a great way to help relieve muscle fatigue, promote flexibility, to maintain healthy soft tissue, to decrease injury potential, improve neuromuscular firing patterns, increase circulation to muscles, and enhance mental calmness and concentration.  And, therefore, it is an edge that can help an athlete train more effectively, perform better, or overcome injuries more quickly and completely. 

Myofascial therapy (Core Technique)

Myofascial Therapy (Core Technique) is a technique that focuses on the relationship between the structure and function of the muscular (myo) and connective tissue (fascial) systems. Fascia, the connective tissue that surrounds muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons and organs, gives the body its shape and form.  It helps to produce movement and regulate circulation and either allows or restricts efficient movement.  When normally elastic fascia becomes rigid and restrictive, it can cause limited mobility, pain, postural distortion and poor cellular nutrition. This type of treatment works to restore mobility by reorganizing deeper layers of fascia and muscles that have become adhered. It uses slower, spreading strokes with less lotion to spread, warm and loosen the tissues to provide greater flexibility, structural balance and ease of movement. It is helpful to bring a sports top and pair of running shorts to change into for this treatment.

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Orthopedic MassageOrthopedic Massage

Orthopedic Massage is focused on treating painful conditions that effect the soft tissues of the body.  It utilizes a unique multidisciplinary approach that integrates a range of techniques to restore structural balance throughout the body, reduce or eliminate pain, and rehabilitate musculoskeletal dysfunctions and sports injuries.  The primary modalities used  include functional assessment, myofascial release, multidirectional friction strokes, scar tissue mobilization techniques, p.n.f. stretching, neuromuscular reeducation, and client home care protocols.    During a treatment, the therapist may release tight muscles, help to stretch shortened muscles and tendons, and decompress joints, with the goal of normalizing the soft tissues of the body to treat specific conditions and to keep clients generally healthy and fit.

Russian Massage

Russian Massage is an age old tradition of massage therapy practiced in Russia and is based on a method that was clinically researched in the former USSR. It uses many of the same basic strokes as Swedish Massage such as effleurage (gliding strokes), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (percussion), friction and vibration, but with many variations because there is no movement of the therapist’s wrists or thumbs.  It tends to be a more stimulating and vigorous massage than Swedish Massage with more of an emphasis on friction and vibration and can be used for sports massage, musculoskeletal injuries, cardiovascular dysfunction and many other medical conditions. 

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Pregnancy Massage

Pregnancy MassagePregnancy Massage is designed to support a mother-to-be by addressing the changes that occur during this time of physical, physiological and emotional changes.  It can help to relieve common discomforts experienced during and after pregnancy associated with postural changes and weight gain such as swelling, back pain, muscle soreness and difficulty sleeping.  The massage not only helps the mom relax, it also helps to soothe and calm the baby.   A Body Cushion that is designed for an expanding belly is used so that the client can lay face down which helps take pressure off the low back. 

Infant MassageInfant Massage

Infant Massage is taught to parents so that they can massage their baby.  It uses Swedish massage strokes to help improve circulation, promote relaxation and relieve common newborn ailments such as gas, constipation, and colic.  It also promotes the formation of strong nurturing bonds and helps relax the parents by giving them another tool to calm their child.  Massage has also been shown to help premature babies to have significant weight gain and developmental improvements. 

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Kinesio TapingKinesio Taping

Kinesio Taping is a rehabilitative tool developed by Dr. Kenzo Kase of Japan to facilitate the body’s natural healing process. It is a method used to normalize the function of muscles and other connective tissue without restricting the body’s range of motion. It uses a uniquely designed lightweight tape that lifts the skin slightly to alleviate pain and allow improved blood and lymph flow. The tape can be applied with varying degrees of tension in various patterns and directions to either give support or prevent over-contraction to help create pain-free movement.   www.kinesiotaping.com

I work out a lot and also carry stress in my neck and shoulders. Dorothy melts the stress and muscle 'knots'. It is a great thing to do for yourself. I can go into her office stressed out and come out feeling totally at peace with the world.

~J.O., returning client


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Orthopedic Associates
Performance Center
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Saco, Maine 04072