Swedish massage is now known as "traditional" massage. Swedish massage includes long gliding strokes, kneading, friction, tapping, and shaking motions. It is effective for most ailments, because massaging the skin, the body's largest organ, sets up a chain reaction that produces a positive effect on all layers and systems of the body. It affects the nerves, muscles, glands, and circulation, and promotes health and wellbeing.
Popularized in the United States by physiotherapist Eunice Inghram in the 1930s, this is an acupressure type technique performed on the hands and feet and is based on the ancient Oriental theory that meridian lines or pathways carry energy throughout the body. Because each zone or part of the body has a corresponding reflex point on the feet, stimulating that reflex point causes stimulation in the natural energy of the related organ. Crystalline-type deposits and/or tenderness indicate a dysfunction, and pressure is applied to clear out congestion and restore normal functioning and health.
Reiki (pronounced ray-kee) in Japanese means "universal life energy." It is a healing technique of transmitting life energy by placing the hands gently in specific positions either on or above the body. This laying-on of hands is designed to relieve pain, restore vitality, heal illnesses, and aid spiritual growth. It was developed by Dr. Mikao Usui, a Christian monk in Japan, who came upon ancient manuscripts revealing the healing system in the 19th century. It was introduced to the United States in the 1930's by Hawayo Takata.
Pregnancy places strong demands on a woman's body and is a time for the body to be nurtured and pampered. This massage not only relieves the tensions and aches caused by the extra weight and shift in the center of gravity to the body, but it reduces swelling, soothes the nervous system, acts as a tonic, reduces fatigue, and enhances energy.
Some definitions listed above were obtained from the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) website. Learn more.