Not only is continuing education required for massage therapists to maintain state licensures, it can increase your range of skills, boost your confidence in applying new techniques, and provide support from your community – all of which are crucial for keeping you competitive in the marketplace. One of the ways to expand your client roster is to specialize in a particular modality or service. Massage Magazine suggests these 15 specialized techniques out of hundreds that could help you take your practice to the next level.
Uses natural plant extracts to promote health and healing with calming or uplifting properties, depending upon the oils used. Essential oils are delivered either topically or inhaled.
Growing in popularity, massage therapists use assisted stretching to enhance muscle function for active or passive clients. This technique can improve performance in physical activities, relieve sore muscle pain, reduce risk of injury, and provide an increased range of motion.
Chair massages incorporate a variety of bodywork techniques—usually on the neck, shoulders, back, arms, and hands—while the client is seated, fully clothed. Chair massages offer the massage therapist a portable office where they can practice in public sites such as workplaces, trade shows, health fairs, etc.
This technique uses a gentle touch to release the joints in the membranes in the cranium or skull and spinal cord. This method can relieve the anxiety and stress this is associated with autism to improve daily functions.
A therapy that uses suction and negative pressure to draw blood to the affected area, cupping may increase your blood flow to relieve muscle tension, loosen adhesions, reduce inflammation, and drain fluids and toxins. This practice may help clients who suffer from chronic back pain and headaches.
A variety of techniques like Healing Touch, Therapeutic Touch, and Reiki can restore balance and move energy. They are an additional natural system of healing that massage therapists can incorporate into their clients’ sessions to more deeply penetrate tissues with healing energy.
Face-Lift, or Facial Massage
A non-invasive ‘face lift’, facial massages can stimulate blood flow, relax muscles, reduce the appearance of lines, and rejuvenate your clients’ skin. Facial massage can include a combination of techniques acupressure, manual lymph drainage, and massage strokes on the face.
Geriatric, or Senior, Massage
Traditional massage techniques are modified with lighter touch and pressure to accommodate senior clients whose muscle tissue is less active. Therapies include deep tissue, shiatsu, and trigger point.
Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM)
Uses specially designed instruments to help improve soft tissue mobility in the body like scar tissue and myofascial adhesions. This relatively new treatment involves using tools and techniques scraping, taping and stretching.
Light and Laser Therapies
These tools use red and infrared light waves to penetrate the skin to reduce pain and inflammation, accelerate healing in damaged tissues, relax muscles, and stimulate the nerves, When combined with massage, light and laser therapies can help clients feel relaxed and flexible.
Massage techniques administered in a medical setting can offer patients: reduced stress, increased relaxation, and managed pain among other benefits. For these reasons, medical massage therapy is fast becoming an important part of care programs in hospitals and clinics.
A method of relieving muscle tightness, spasms, and discomfort while increasing circulation by applying gentle, sustained pressure to connective tissue in the direction of fascial resistance.
This technique requires the massage practitioner to apply clinical reasoning skills and understanding of the anatomy in order to manipulate and move the soft tissue. Orthopedic massage focuses on soft-tissue rehabilitation, decreasing pain, and increasing range of motion.
Stone & Shell Therapies
Heated or cooled smooth stones or shells are placed on specific body points to warm and relax the muscles so you can work deeper with lighter pressure on specific trigger-points. They are helpful techniques for individuals who live with chronic pain, or those looking for relief from muscle restrictions or sports-related injuries.
Taping uses the application of elastic tape to the skin to improve blood flow and lymphatic drainage with a gentle lifting effect that creates separation between the muscle and the skin. This practice can help ease muscular tension and is effective for athletes as well as those with range of motion conditions.
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