Glossary of Services

Feel Free to ask your therapist about the availability of any of the following types of massage and their benefits.


Acupressure - Acupressure is a form of bodywork based in traditional Chinese meridian theory in which acupuncture points are pressed to stimulate the flow of energy or chi.2


Bodywork - Bodywork is a general term for practices involving touch and movement in  both Eastern and Western practices  where the practitioner may use manual and energetic techniques to promote health and healing in the recipient.2


Chair Massage - Chair massage refers to massage given with the recipient seated in an ordinary or special massage chair. Recipients remain clothed in chair massage. It has been called on-site massage when the chair is taken to a public place such as an office or commercial establishment.2


Craniosacral - Cranio refers to the cranium, which is the bony part of the head. Sacral refers to the bony bottom of the spine called the sacrum. In the 1900s Dr. William Sutherland, an osteopathic physician, discovered cranio movement. In the 1970s Dr. John Upledger, an osteopathic doctor, helped to further Sutherland's discovery as both an evaluative tool and a corrective one. Craniosacral therapy is a light touch manipulation of the head and bottom of the spine to restore optimal cerebrospinal fluid movement..1


Deep Tissue Massage - Deep tissue massage is also called deep muscle therapy or deep tissue therapy. It is an umbrella term for bodywork systems that work deeply into the muscles and connective tissue to release chronic aches and pains.3

Sports Massage - Sports massage is applied to athletes to help them train and perform free of pain and injuries. Massage therapists blend classic Swedish strokes with such methods as compression, pressure-point therapy, cross-fiber friction, joint mobilization, hydrotherapy and cryotherapy (ice massage) to meet the special needs of high-level performers and fitness enthusiasts.2


Manual Lymph Drainage - Manual lymph drainage is a gentle method of promoting movement of lymph into and through the lymphatic vessels. It reduces edema, a condition in which the tissues of the body contain an excessive amount of fluid.3


Massage - Massage is the intentional and systematic manipulation of the soft tissues of the body to enhance health and healing. Joint movements and stretching are commonly performed as part of massage. The primary characteristics of massage are touch and movement.2


Massage Therapy - Massage therapy is a general term for health and healing practices involving touch and movement, which are based in massage and related manual techniques.2


Myofascial Release - Myo means muscle and fascia is the elastic connective tissue wrapped around muscles and other parts of the body. During myofascial release restrictions (stuck areas) are located and gentle sliding pressure is applied in the direction of the restriction to stretch the tissues. The stretching of tissues and the heat imparted by the practitioner's hands are thought to help produce a softer consistency of fascial tissues.2


Neuromuscular Therapy  - A systematic approach to myofascial treatment that attempts to interrupt the neuromuscular feedback that maintains pain or dysfunction.1


Ortho-Bionomy™ - Ortho-Bionomy is a technique where points of pain are located and then the body is gently moved to fold around the point and rest in a position where there is no pain. The body is placed in the most comfortable position called the preferred position. In doing this, reflexes are initiated, relaxing muscles and freeing the body of its stresses and tensions.

Ortho-Bionomy was developed by British osteopath Arthur Lincoln Pauls, D.O.3


Polarity Therapy - Polarity therapy is a form of bodywork that uses light touch and gentle rocking movements intended to balance life energy by affecting general and muscular relaxation. Polarity therapy was developed Dr. Randolph Stone, who was trained in natural healing methods of chiropractic, naturopathy and osteopathy.2


Pregnancy Massage - Pregnancy massage is the massage of pregnant women (prenatal) and women after giving birth (postpartum). It address the special needs of pregnant women such as discomforts in the low back, feet and legs.1


Reflexology - Reflexology is a form of bodywork based on the theory of zone therapy, in which specific spots of the body are pressed to stimulate corresponding areas in other parts of the body. Foot reflexology, in which pressure techniques are applied only to the feet, is the most common form of reflexology.2


Shiatsu - Shiatsu (Japanese for "finger pressure") is a system for healing and health maintenance that has evolved over thousands of years. Shiatsu derives both from the ancient healing art of acupuncture and from the traditional form of Japanese massage, amma. The goal of each of the different types of shiatsu being practiced, Zen shiatsu, tsubo point therapy, shiatsu massage and water shiatsu, is balancing energy flow.3


Swedish Massage - Swedish massage is also known as the Western or classic style of massage. It is credited to the Swedish fencing master and gymnastics instructor, Per Henrik Ling. It is a scientific system of manipulations on the muscles and connective tissues of the body for the purpose of relaxation, rehabilitation or health maintenance. Swedish massage therapy is comprised of five basic strokes and their variations: effleurage, petrissage, friction, tapotement (or percussion) and vibration.3


Trigger Point Massage - Trigger point massage utilizes ischemic compression of individual areas of hypersensitivity in muscles, ligaments, tendons and fascia. These trigger points are defined by their referral of pain to distant locations in muscles, connective tissues and organs. Janet Travell, M.D., pioneered trigger point therapy in the United States.1


The glossary terms above are provided by the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCTMB) and other referenced material below. Please go to for more information.






1. Knaster, Mirka. Discovering the Body's Wisdom. Bantam 1996

2. Tappan, Frances. Tappan's Handbook of Healing Massage Techniques. Appleton and Lange. 1998

3. Stillerman, Elaine. The Encyclopedia of Bodywork from Acupressure to Zone Therapy. Facts on File. 1996.

Clay, James H. Pounds, David M. Basic Clinical Massage Therapy:  Integrating Anatomy and Treatment. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 2003.