A Registered Massage Therapy Clinic in Vancouver, BC




Massage Therapy Techniques

Below are some of the massage therapy techniques we practice out of our Vancouver, BC clinic: 

Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD): is a slow repetitive technique that encourages lymphatic flow, which can reduce an accumulation of swelling.  MLD can be used in any stage of healing.


Swedish massage: is an oil based technique that is slow and rhythmical, using light to moderate pressure.  Depending on the rate this technique can have a relaxing or a stimulating effect.  Swedish massage can be used in any stage of healing. 


Petrissage:  is a technique used after the soft tissue has been warmed up.  Petrissage involves a compression and release of soft tissue using short strokes of kneading, grasping, squeezing, or pushing.  Petrissage is ideal for the sub-acute and chronic stages of healing. 


Cross Fiber frictions: is a deep technique that is used to break down existing and forming adhesions in muscle, tendon, and ligaments by using compression and motion.  Cross fiber frictions are used in the sub-acute and chronic stages of healing.


Joint Play: is a technique used to increase the range of motion in a joint.  By using specific positioning, and considering the specific anatomy of joint surfaces, and axis of motion; a passive stretch is applied to the affected restriction in the joint capsule.  Joint play is most appropriate for the sub-acute and chronic stages of healing.


Muscle Energy (MET): is a technique that is primarily used for the pelvis, cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine misalignment.  It involves the therapist moving the joint by a gentle muscular contraction for several seconds, followed by a relaxation and comfortable stretch to lengthen the muscle. This facilitates a correction in alignment.  MET is ideal for later stages of healing when there is less swelling present.


Trigger Point Release:  A trigger point is a taught band or nodule in skeletal muscle or fascia.  A trigger point is usually sensitive to touch and has a specific referral pattern. Releasing of a trigger point involves a prolonged compression until the patient feels the pain diminish and the therapist feels a softening.  Trigger Point Release is ideal for sub-acute and chronic stages of healing.


Myofascial Release (MFR):  Is a technique used to restore optimal mobility systemically.  Fascia is a three dimensional web that starts from the tip of your toes and extends and weaves to the top of your head.  It surrounds muscle, bones, organs, nerves, blood vessels, and other structures.  Fascia provides support, protection and shock absorption. 

Through trauma, inflammatory processes and poor posture, fascia can solidify and shorten, eventually causing adhesions in the layers of connective tissue.  Fascia will organize itself along the lines of tension imposed upon it. 

In the healing process scar tissue starts to form with the laying down of collagen.  This is to create stability which compromises one’s mobility.  It is important to restore tissue mobility as soon as possible to prevent further laying down of scar tissue and new adhesions from forming.  Myofascial release is an intentional technique used to release old and new adhesions throughout the body.  If the fascia has mobility, your body will have and increased range of motion and a decrease in pain.  Myofascial release is ideal for sub-acute and chronic stages of healing.


Cranial Sacral Therapy:  is a technique used to restore the mobility and motility in the cranium and the pelvis.  The connection between the cranium and the pelvis is through a membranous structure called the Dura.  The Dura has fixations at foramen magnum (where the spinal cord exits from your cranium), C2 and C3 in your cervical spine, and S2 in your sacrum.  If there is misalignment in your cranium it can cause misalignment in your pelvis and vice versa.

Not only is mobility and alignment important in the cranium and pelvis but proper motility is equally as important.  Motility is the inherent motion that all tissues possess.  Cranial Sacral therapy requires subtle palpation skills and clear anatomical knowledge.  The practitioner will use gentle yet firm pressure to restore mobility and motility. Cranial Sacral therapy can be used in all stages of healing except for acute head traumas.  


Visceral Manipulation:  is a technique used to enhance mobility and motility of the body’s organs.  Visceral mobility is the movement of organs in response to voluntary movement.    Visceral motility is the inherent motion of the organs themselves. If there is a restriction in the in the viscera mobility, this can manifest throughout the body as muscle skeletal pain, decreased range of motion, and low function of the viscera itself.  It is important to consider the relationships between the viscera and muscle skeletal system especially when patients are not healing from muscular and joint work.


Please check out our team page to find a practitioner that fits your massage therapy needs