massage glossary

Resources | Health News | Therapies | Fitness


Massage Therapy Glossary

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
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.

Rosen Method
utilizes gentle touch and verbal communication to help clients to release suppressed emotions and subsequently muscular tension in some instances.

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).

Sports Massage
massage therapy focusing on muscle systems relevant to a particular sport.

Swedish Massage
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
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.

Massage Therapy || Websites || Glossary of Massage Terms



last update: April 2009



This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this material to diagnose or treat a health condition or disease without consulting with your healthcare provider.
Privacy Policy © 1998-2017 Personal Health Zone
Click above for Service Agreement and Contact Information. Accessing this service binds you to terms stated. Advertisements appear throughout this website as a means of funding the site. This site is updated monthly and operates independently of any health associations or organizations. The owner of this site has no medical training and the information presented comes from government resources and health professionals in their respected fields.

Home Page: Personal Health Zone
HONcode accreditation seal. We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.