Massage therapy is used to treat pain in muscles, for muscular relaxation, promote recovery from injuries and to cure muscular problems like muscular misalignment due to bad posture. Evidences of massage therapy have been found in many cultures and from ancient times (as old as BC 2330). Despite this the science behind massage therapy is still not that well understood although research is being conducted by many organizations and it is popular in many professional environments like sports.
Many different massage therapy techniques exist and have different theories behind their functioning. A few techniques practiced under medical massage will be discussed here.
Deep Tissue Massage: Very similar to Swedish massage techniques, this focuses on using long and slow strokes and firm pressure to reach muscles even in deeper layers and the connective tissue surrounding them called fascia. It is especially effective in breaking up knots and scar tissue.
Myofascial Release: This is done to relieve pain and to increase flexibility and improve balance. It works by the application of pressure, using skin rolling and application of tension.
Triggerpoint Therapy: Also known as neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), these are points where neurons transmit signals to muscle fibers. This therapy works by deactivating these points by applying isolated pressure and release or vibration to alleviate local pain or pain referred to other parts of the body.
Craniosacral Therapy: Light touches are applied to synarthrodial joints (fibrous joints that allow very little movement) in the skull, spine and pelvis to regulate the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and improve primary respiration which involves motility of central nervous system and mobility of cranial components to relieve pain.