An Ayurvedic massage in which swoop strokes and medicinal oils are used to stimulate the lymphatic system and regulate the body’s energy through energy points called marma points, and chambers, called chakras.

Active Release Therapy

Commonly known as A.R.T., this patented soft-tissue treatment uses movement-based, trigger-point-like techniques to treat soft tissues conditions. Popular among chiropractors. Client is fully clothed. No oils or lotions used.


A Chinese systemic technique that, using thumb pressure, treats the body through the same points as acupuncture. Client is clothed. Oil and lotions are rarely used. Similar to shiatsu.


Essential oils, tailored to the client’s liking or needs, are included in the massage, typically Swedish and deep-tissue.

Cranial Sacral

Developed by osteopath, John E Upledger, around the 1980’s, “cranio” is the evaluation and manipulation of the cerebrospinal fluid which surrounds and circulates from the skull to the sacrum. Using light pressure on soft tissue around the craniosacral system, it is meant to release deep tensions in the body causing discomfort. Clients are fully clothes. No oils or lotions are used.


An ancient Chinese medicine technique in which glass or silicone suction cups are applied to the skin and moved over affected areas to stimulate the flow of chi.


The most in-demand massage in the Western hemisphere. Borrows style and technique from Swedish, but uses deeper pressure to work out areas of tension and “knots.”

Hot Stone

Heated, smooth stones are used in a similar manner as the hands in a Swedish technique. The stones are sometimes used to apply more pressure by manipulating the edges and angles.

Lymphatic drainage

Gentle, rhythmic, circular movements on the body meant to stimulate the circulation of the lymphatic system which carries waste from the tissues back to the heart be eliminated from the body. Most popularly used to treat  lymphedema, the accumulation of lymph fluid, which often occurs after mastectomies and the associated removal of lymph nodes.

Myofascial release

While relieving soft tissue and other types of discomfort in the body, myofascial release focuses on fascia, not muscle. Fascia is a soft connective tissue in the body, often described as a spider web surrounding all the body’s structures, including organs. Using low, sustained pressure, MFR releases restrictions in the fascia to allow other tissues to move freely.

Neuromuscular therapy

Known better by its initials, “NMT” uses specific trigger-point protocol to work the body in regions, releasing tension and disrupting pain patterns.


Specific protocols used to help ease the discomfort of people living with cancer and the effects of cancer treatment.


For the beautiful mothers-to-be. Special props, like body pillows, are used to keep the mother and baby comfortable while traditional massage techniques help relax the mother as her body changes with all stages of pregnancy.


A practice, based on ancient Chinese medicine, that the entire body can be treated by massaging coordinating reflexes on the hands and feet.


Reiki is made of two Japanese words – Rei which means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power” and Ki (chi) which is “life force energy.” Practitioners hover their hands above the client or lightly touch them to regulate the body’s energetic fields.

Rolfing/Structural Integration

Created by Ida Rolf in the early 1900’s, the technique, also known as structural integration, uses deep pressure to manipulate soft tissue at a skeletal level, aiming to change posture and alignment in the body. Oils and lotions are rarely used.


A Japanese massage technique that uses thumb and palm pressure on specific energy points, called tsubos. Clients are fully clothed. Similar to acupressure. Oil & lotions are rarely used.


The Ayurvedic treatment in which medicinal oil is streamed from a canister suspended from the ceiling onto the client’s “third-eye” point between the eyebrows. Thought to induce deep relaxation and neurological calm.


The best known massage in the Western hemisphere. A table, oils, lotions, long relaxing strokes focused on soothing the body more than “working” it out.


Originating in (oh! you guessed it!) Thailand, it is perhaps the third most popular massage technique in the world and the most different from Swedish. The client is fully clothed, on a mat on the floor, and is put through a series of passive stretches that mimic yoga poses, while receiving acupressure-type massage. Oils & lotions are rarely used.


A movement therapy thought in which the client is put through a series of gentle, natural movements aimed to relax the nervous and muscular systems. Founded by Milton Trager in the early 1900’s.

Trigger point

See neuromuscular therapy


A Chinese, often rigorous, soft tissue treatment that works with the principles of acupuncture. Tui means “to push” and na means “to lift and squeeze,” which is applied to the muscles and skin. Clients are usually clothed. Oils and lotions rarely used.

Sports massage

Massage tailored to the specific muscles used in a particular sport. Can be used to prepare and/or recover from extreme exertion or competition. A very good training component.


Created by Harold Dull at Harbin Springs in Middletown, CA, Watsu is water-based shiatsu. Conducted in a warm, shallow pools, practitioners, hold and intuitively move clients through a stretches and movements thought to open up the body, while stimulating Shiatsu points.

*This is the basic list. If there is something you’d like to see added, please send an email and say so. Nicely. 



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