The assessment of the soft tissue and joints of the body and the treatment and prevention of physical dysfunction and pain of the soft tissues and joints by manipulation to develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment physical function, or relieve pain (Massage Therapy Act, 1991).
Deep Tissue Work
Deep tissue work focuses on treating chronic muscle pain and improving range of motion. Although the primary objective is not relaxation focused, this is often a pleasant side effect of treatment. As the name would suggest, the pressure used during this style treatment is considerably more compared to other relaxation focused treatments. How much more? This is based on what the therapist deems to be needed. This does not follow the 'no pain no gain' theory; more pressure is not always better! You should always be able to maintain a comfortable breath rate (ie not holding your breath)!
Temporomandibular (TMJ) Work
Pain when you chew? Does your jaw click, pop, or lock when you open and or close it? Headaches related to chronic clenching? Massage therapy can help! Releasing trigger points and tight muscles of mastication (muscles that you use to chew) can drastically aid in easing symptoms. In the case of clicking, popping, or locking when opening/closing the jaw, this is often an indication of there being dysfunction in the joint itself, indicating joint mobilization.
General Swedish Massage
When you think about massage therapy, this is probably the type of massage that comes to mind; flowing and gliding techniques at a slow rate to not only promote relaxation, but also decrease muscle tension.
Myofascial Cupping Therapy
Cupping is a form of soft tissue manipulation via the application of cups on the skin surface. A vacuum like seal is created, resulting in pulling up the underlying tissue (skin, fascial connective tissue, muscle, blood and other fluid) towards the surface of the skin. These cups may be left on statically for a given amount of time (potentially accompanied by active or passive movement of the surrounding joint) or may be glided across the skin surface. Cupping is commonly used to decrease the number of fascial adhesions and trigger points, allowing for an increase in range of motion at a joint.