Thai massage is an ancient system of massage and manipulation developed in Thailand. It is sometimes called passive yoga. The receiver may be positioned in a variety of yoga-like positions during the course of the massage, but deep static and rhythimic pressures form the core of the massage. The massage therapist leans on the recipient's body using hands and usually straight forearms locked at the elbow to apply firm rhythimic pressure. The legs and feet of the therapist can be used to position the body or limbs of the recipient. In other positions, hands fix the body, while feet do the massaging. Thai massage encourages the recipient to become more engaged and energized, for increased mindfulness.
Swedish MassageThe most widely recognized and commonly used category of massage is the Swedish massage. The Swedish massage techniques vary from light to vigorous. Swedish massage uses five styles of strokes. The five basic strokes are sliding or gliding, kneading, rhythmic tapping, friction (cross fiber or with the fibers) and vibration/shaking. Swedish massage has shown to be helpful in reducing pain, joint stiffness, and improving function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee over a period of eight weeks.
In all Swedish massage, the therapist lubricates the skin with massage oil and performs various massage strokes. These movements warm up the muscle tissue, releasing tension and gradually breaking up muscle "knots" or adhered tissues, called adhesions. Swedish massage promotes relaxation, among other health benefits.
Deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy that focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. It is especially helpful for chronic aches and pains and contracted areas such as stiff neck and upper back, low back pain, leg muscle tightness, and sore shoulders.
Some of the same strokes are used as classic massage therapy, but the movement is slower and the pressure is deeper and concentrated on areas of tension and pain in order to reach the sub-layer of muscles and the fascia (the connective tissue surrounding muscles).