Active Stretches - Stretching techniques where the therapist and client work together to
produce a desired change. Active stretching differs from passive
stretching in that the client is an active participant moving, gently
resisting or engaging specific muscles as instructed by the therapist.
Ayurvedic Healing - Ayurveda is the traditional system of healing in India. It is much more
than just a system for the treatment of disease, it is concerned with
how to live your life in harmony with Nature, in this sense it looks at
our relationship with the external world of people, weather, food and
color as well as our relationship with ourselves. Ayurveda is derived
from two words in Sanskrit, the language of ancient India,”Ayus” means
life and “Veda” means knowledge it is thus the knowledge of life and
Biomechanical Dysfunction - Abnormal or impaired functioning of the mechanics of the body,
especially of the forces exerted by muscles and gravity on the skeletal
Breath Awareness - A general term used to describe focused, conscious alteration of breathing and the muscles that coordinate breath.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - A condition caused by compression of the median nerve in the carpal
tunnel and characterized especially by weakness, pain, and disturbances
of sensation in the hand and fingers.
Cranial Sacral Therapy - Craniosacral therapy is a holistic healing practice that uses very light
touching to balance the craniosacral system in the body, which includes
the bones, nerves, fluids, and connective tissues of the cranium and
Cross-Fiber Friction - Friction techniques applied across the “grain” of muscle fibers to
create a stretching and broadening effect in large muscle groups; or on
site-specific muscle and connective tissue. Application of deep
transverse friction can reduce adhesions and scar tissue during the
healing process, and help promote strong, flexible tissue development.
Deep Tissue Massage - A technique that releases chronic patterns of tension in the body
through slow strokes and deep finger pressure on contracted areas,
either following or going across the grains of muscles, tendons and
Direct Pressure - Direct holding of a muscle or area to release tight tissue.
Energy Medicine - Energy medicine is based upon the belief that changes in the “life
force” of the body, including the electric, magnetic, and
electromagnetic fields, affect human health and can promote healing.
Fascia - A layer or sheet of connective tissue that connects the various
structures and organs of the body. Some fascias are simple “sheets” of
connective tissue. Others are complex and multi-layered. Fascia is
usually divided into two types: superficial and deep.
Gait Dysfunction - Abnormal or impaired functioning of walking or running.
Homeopathy - A system of medical practice that treats a disease especially by the
administration of minute doses of a remedy that would in healthy persons
produce symptoms similar to those of the disease.
Injury Rehabilitation - Treatment or treatments designed to facilitate the process of recovery from an injury to as normal a condition as possible.
Massage - A manual soft tissue manipulation, which includes holding, causing
movement, and/or applying pressure to the body. It is the treatment and
practice of manipulation of the soft body tissues with physical,
functional, mechanical and medical/therapeutic purposes and goals.
Target tissues may include muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, joints or
other connective tissue as well as lymphatic vessels and/or organs of
the gastrointestinal system.
Massage Therapy - A profession in which the practitioner applies manual techniques, and
may apply adjunctive therapies, with the intention of positively
affecting the health and well being of the client.
Medical Massage Therapy - Therapeutic massage increasingly is being prescribed by physicians to
complement traditional medical treatment for illness, injury
rehabilitation and pain reduction.
Muscle Energy Techniques (MET) - A combination of active, direct techniques that promote muscle
relaxation by activating nerve cells embedded in the muscle belly and/or
tendon. There are several distinct techniques, which may be called
Muscle Energy Techniques including Reciprocal Inhibition (RI),
Post-Isometric Relaxation (PIR) and Proprioceptive Neuromuscular
Facilitation (PNF). Their purpose is to gain motion that is limited by
restrictions of neuromuscular structures.
Muscular Imbalances - A lack of balance, as in distribution or functioning, of the
neuromuscular system often caused by poor posture, improper
gait/movement or incorrect training and strengthening.
Myofascial Release - A form of bodywork using long stretching strokes that seek to rebalance
the body by releasing tension in the fascia/connective tissue.
Myofascial Release is a highly specialized stretching technique used by
therapists to treat patients with a variety of soft tissue problems.
Myofascial release refers to the manual massage technique for stretching
the fascia and releasing bonds between fascia and muscles with the goal
of eliminating pain and increasing range of motion. Myofascial release
usually involves applying shear compression or tension in various
directions, or by skin rolling.
Neuromuscular (also see Trigger Point Therapy and MET) - Massage techniques that work with the nervous system to release muscular holding patterns.
Orthopedic Massage - A massage modality which focuses on a deformity, disorder, or injury of the musculo-skeletal system.
Post-Isometric Relaxation (PIR) - An active stretching technique where the patient is asked to gently
resist a stretch position for 10 seconds followed by an exhale upon
relaxation. Then the practitioner waits to feel the muscle fully relax
before stretching the patient further.
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) - A massage technique, which uses a combination of passive stretching and
isometric contractions (gentle resistance). PNF is used to supplement
daily stretching and is employed to make quick gains in range of motion
to help athletes improve performance. Good range of motion makes better
biomechanics, reduces fatigue and helps prevent overuse injuries. PNF is
practiced by physical therapists, massage therapists, athletic trainers
Reciprocal Inhibition (RI) - Uses the body’s antagonist-inhibition reflex to induce relaxation of a
“tight” muscle. For example, when the biceps (in this case the agonist)
is flexed, a reflexive inhibition of the triceps (here the antagonist)
is induced. Thus loss of range of motion in the triceps can be
incrementally restored by flexion of the biceps.
Reiki - System of hands-on touching based on the belief that such touching by an
experienced practitioner produces beneficial effects by strengthening
and normalizing certain vital energy fields held to exist within the
Russian Massage - Russian massage is a system of therapeutic and sports massage developed
in the former Soviet Union. It uses a variety of manipulations of the
body’s soft tissues to achieve benefits, including stress reduction and
relief from muscle aches.
Scoliosis - A lateral (side-to-side) curvature of the spine.
Shiatsu - Shiatsu is a manipulative therapy developed in Japan and incorporating
techniques of Japanese traditional massage, acupressure (finger
pressure), stretching, and Western massage. Shiatsu involves applying
pressure to special points or areas on the body in order to maintain
physical and mental well being, treat disease, or alleviate discomfort.
This therapy is considered holistic because it attempts to treat the
whole person instead of a specific medical complaint.
Sports Massage - A kind of massage therapy that focuses on muscle systems relevant to a
particular sport. It involves different massage approaches while an
athlete is in training, during sports activity and after a sport event.
Strain Counterstrain - This technique works to rebalance the nervous system with the structure
of the musculoskeletal system (skeleton and muscles of the body). Strain
Counterstrain works to inhibit hyperactivity of the spasm reflex,
allowing the muscle to relax by improving oxygenation and eliminating
Swedish Massage - A system of long strokes, kneading and friction techniques on the more
superficial layers of the muscles, combined with active and passive
movements of the joints. The four strokes of Swedish massage are
effleurage, petrissage, friction and tapotement.
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders - A group of symptoms that may include pain or tenderness in the
temporomandibular joint or surrounding muscles, headache, earache, neck,
back, or shoulder pain, limited jaw movement, or a clicking or popping
sound in the jaw and that are caused either by dysfunction of the
temporomandibular joint (as derangement of the articular disk) or
another problem (as spasm or tension of the masticatory muscles)
affecting the region of the temporomandibular joint.
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) - The thoracic outlet is an area at the top of the rib cage, between the
neck and the chest. Thoracic outlet syndrome is a disorder that causes
pain and abnormal nerve sensations in the neck, shoulder, arm, and/or
Trigger Point - Irritated area in muscle fibers that when compressed may elicit pain or a
twitching response in local or distal regions. As defined by Dr. Janett
Travell, a trigger point is a hyperirritable tender spot in an abused
muscle that refers pain (“triggers pain”) to other muscles.
Trigger Point Therapy (also known as Neuromuscular Therapy) - A method that applies concentrated finger pressure, and breath work, to trigger points to break cycles of spasm and pain.