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The ABC's 

of Massage

You may have heard a variety of words to describe different types of massage. Here is a breakdown of different terms used in the massage industry that describe a variety of techniques and modalities our therapists may use during a session.  Definitions are provided courtesy 


The art and science of applying essential oils to promote health and well being. Aromatherapy is mostly utilized to help relax, stimulate the mind, enhance the mood, as well as countless other applications.


Gentle manipulation of the spinal cord, bones of the skull, sacrum and interconnected membranes, to correct misalignments and distortions in the structure and function of the craniosacral mechanism that surrounds the central nervous system.


Involves the application of ice to treat many kinds of injuries, including those associated with back or neck pain. Ice causes the veins in the affected tissue area to constrict. This decreases the circulation of blood while acting as form of anesthetic to numb the aches and reduces inflammation. 


Is a technique focused on the deeper layers of muscle tissue. It aims to ease the chronic patterns of tension in the body through slow strokes and deep finger pressure on the contracted zones, either following or going across the fibers of the muscles, tendons and fascia.


Natural substances extracted from grasses, flowers, herbs, shrubs, trees, resins and spices, regularly through a process called steam distillation. Oils can soothe, relax, rejuvenate, cure, energize or alleviate pain, thereby affecting the body's physical, psychological and emotional levels.


A Chinese massage-like form using a round edge instrument to stimulate the affected zone. Regularly employing a therapeutic oil as lubrication, the area is stimulated in a stroking manner to alleviate congestion and stagnation.


The practice of the employ of active ingredients in minute dosages along with naturally occurring substances in order to provide a healthier balance of internal chemistry. These minute dosages would be viewed in conventional medicine as ineffective.


Uses smooth, heated stones that absorb and retain heat well. The weight and heat of the stones help soften muscle tissue.


Treating a disease with hot or cold water to maintain and restore health. Techniques we use at ICT are hot towels to loosen muscles, and upon request, cold towels to help reduce inflammation. 


Is a delicate type of massage that boosts the body’s lymphatic system, helping the body to remove waste and toxins and providing a stimulate to the immune system. It is helpful to swelling and water retention.


Is the three-dimensional application of sustained pressure and movement into the fascial system in order to remove fascial restrictions and facilitate the emergence of emotional patterns and belief systems that are no longer relevant or are impeding progress.


Specific somatic therapies to reduce pregnancy discomforts and enhance the physiological and emotional well-being of both mother and fetus. Skilled, proper touch facilitates labor, shortening labor times and easing pain and anxiety.


Japanese therapy in which the practitioner places his or her hands on the client's body to channel energy into the body. Blockages are released and energy stimulated. Very useful again for stress related problems. Leaves you feeling calm, relaxed and more in control.


Involves the use of hands, forearms or elbows to manipulate the superficial layers of the muscles to improve mental and physical health. The benefits include increased blood circulation, mental and physical relaxation, reduced stress, muscle tension and improved range of motion.


Is a method in which the therapist applies specific compression to a tender area on muscle tissue in order to assist the body in releasing tension and pain. As these spots are deactivated, gentle strokes to elongate the muscle paired with passive stretching will aid in the process of restoring the muscle.

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