Massage Modalities

Basic Massage Therapy Modalities

Massage Therapy covers a broad range of modalities, or styles, practiced by massage therapists. While there is no official list of modalities, the number runs into the dozens. One Web site lists 160 modalities.

Following are brief descriptions of the most common types of massage therapy modalities.

Swedish massage is the best-known of the modalities. It is known for long, sweeping strokes up and down the body and kneading to deliver alternating relaxing and energizing impacts. It increases the flow of oxygen in the blood and improves circulation. According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), 84 percent of massage therapists provide this kind of massage. (AMTA, 2010)

Deep tissue massage features slow and deep manipulation of contracted muscles and connective tissue to break up areas where muscles have tightened, causing pain and tension. (Lane, 2010) AMTA says that 77% of massage therapists provide this kind of massage. (AMTA, 2010)

Sports massage was developed to prevent or reverse strains and injuries caused by intense sports or exercise, but it is beneficial for just about anyone. It can be provided before or after an event. Pre-event massage increases blood flow and loosens muscles to help prevent or minimize injury.  Post-event massage reduces soreness and restores the body to its pre-event flexibility. (Lane, 2010) AMTA reports that 45% of massage therapists provide this kind of massage.

Pregnancy massage can help relieve the strain caused by pregnancy. It can boost posture to reduce neck, back, and shoulder strain; relieve sciatic pain and cramps in the calves; and prepare the muscles used in childbirth. It also helps relieve insomnia some pregnant women experience due to increases in certain hormones.

Widdoss Therapeutic Massage, conveniently located minutes off 65 South in the Birmingham, Hoover, Pelham area. Not far from Riverchase, Helena or Galleria Mall area.

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“2010 Massage Therapy Industry Fact Sheet.” American Massage Therapy Association. AMTA, 2010. Web. 21 Dec. 2010.

Lane, Richard. “Introduction to Massage and Bodywork Techniques and Modalities.” Web, 6 January 2010. 21 Dec. 2010.