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Types of Energy and Body Work

There are a variety of different styles, types and techniques of massage utilized by massage therapists. Below is a description of the energy and body work techniques I use to assist in relieving pain and stress. In addition these techniques promote relaxation and harmony within the body, which assists us in aligning our whole being.

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» Deep Tissue Massage
» Shiatsu
» Sports Massage
» Hot Stone Massage
» Swedish Massage
» Reiki

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep Tissue massage is designed to relieve severe tension in the muscle and the connective tissue or fascia. This type of massage focuses on the muscles located below the surface of the top muscles. Deep tissue massage is often recommended for individuals who experience consistent pain, are involved in heavy physical activity, such as athletes, and patients who have sustained physical injury. It is also not uncommon for receivers of Deep Tissue Massage to have their pain replaced with a new muscle ache for a day or two. Deep tissue work varies greatly. What one calls deep tissue another will call light. When receiving deep tissue work it is important to communicate what you are feeling.


Shiatsu (指圧) ("shi" meaning finger and "atsu" meaning pressure.) is an eastern (oriental) born therapy that uses pressure applied with thumbs, fingers and palms to the same energy meridians as acupressure. Shiatsu includes techniques such as rocking, vibrating, compression and assisted stretches. Shiatsu is performed in a rythmic fashion, generally using moderate to light pressure.This treatment strategy balances and affects the energetic system, for the purpose of treating the human body, emotions, mind, energy field and spirit for the promotion, maintenance, and restoration of health.

Sports Massage

Sports massage is a form of Swedish massage customized for athletes. Most commonly, sports massage focuses on increasing blood and lymphatic fluid flow, reducing and eliminating pain as well as tender trigger points, and increasing range of motion of the affected area. Sports massage can be divided into 4 distinct types --> pre-event, post-event, restorative and rehabilitative sports massage. As the names indicate, each type of sports massage has a different focus for the athlete as they are delivered at different times during their training and performance schedule.

Hot Stone Massage

A Hot stone massage uses water-heated stones to apply pressure and heat to the body. Stones coated in oil can also be used by the therapist delivering various massaging strokes. The hot stones used are commonly river stones which over time, have become extremely polished and smooth. As the stones are placed along the recipient's back, they help to retain heat which then deeply penetrates into the muscles, releasing tension. On occasion, cold stones are implented for contrast therapy.

Swedish Massage

Swedish massage is the best known type of massage. Swedish massage uses five styles of long, flowing strokes to massage. The five basic strokes are effleurage (sliding or gliding), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (rhythmic tapping), friction (cross fiber) and vibration/shaking. Swedish massage has shown to be helpful in reducing pain, joint stiffness, and improving function. It has also been shown to be helpful in individuals with poor circulation and reduced range of motion.


Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by "laying on hands" and is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words - Rei which means "God's Wisdom or the Higher Power" and Ki which is "life force energy". So Reiki is actually "spiritually guided life force energy." Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and well-being. Many have reported miraculous results.

*A.J. Rodriguez is certified in Usui/Holy Fire Reiki 1 & 2

[1] Content Copyright ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC dba MassagePlanet.com
[2] Content Obtained from Wikipedia.com.