Massage Therapy

CONTEMPORARY WESTERN MASSAGE This includes methods based primarily on modern Western concepts of human function, anatomy, and physiology, using a wide variety of manipulative techniques. These may include broad applications for personal growth, emotional release, and balance of mind-body-spirit in addition to traditional applications. These approaches go beyond the original framework or intention of Swedish massage. They included Esalen or Swedish/Esalen, neuromuscular massage, deep tissue massage, sports massage, and manual lymph drainage. Most of these are American techniques developed from the late 1960s onward, though the latter was developed in the 1920's.

ESALEN AND SWEDISH/ESALEN Esalen massage is a modern variation that was developed at the famous growth center, Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. Its focus is not so much on relieving muscle tension or increasing circulation as it is on creating deeper states of relaxation, beneficial states of consciousness, and general well-being. Whereas Swedish is more brisk and focuses on the body, Esalen is more slow, rhythmic, and hypnotic and focuses on the mind/body as a whole.
Esalen massage is not widely taught as a pure form. Rather a marriage of sorts has been formed by the integration of Swedish and Esalen as a way of incorporation the strengths of each. Many massage therapists describe their method as Swedish/Esalen, and this hybrid is commonly taught in massage schools.

NEUROMUSCULAR MASSAGE This is a form of deep massage that applies concentrated finger pressure specifically to individual muscles. This is a very detailed approach, used to increase blood flow and to release trigger points, intense knots of muscle tension that refer pain to other parts of the body (they become trigger points when they seem to trigger a pain pattern). This form of massage helps to break the cycle of spasm and pain and is often used in pain control. Trigger point massage and myotherapy are varieties of neuromuscular massage.

DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE This approach is used to release chronic patterns of muscular tension using slow strokes, direct pressure, or friction. Often the movements are directed across the grain of the muscles (cross-fiber) using the fingers, thumbs, or elbows. This is applied with greater pressure and at deeper layers of the muscle than Swedish massage and that is why it is called deep tissue.
It is also more specific. For example, in the case of someone with a sore shoulder, the practitioner may focus on the trapezius and the rhomboid underneath, trying to work in all the layers of muscle that might be involved. Deep tissue massage lends itself to being more focused on a problem area.

SPORTS MASSAGE This uses techniques similar to Swedish and deep tissue but more specifically adapted to deal with the needs of athletes and the effects of athletic performance on the body. Sports massage is used before or after events, as part of an athlete's training regimen, and to promote healing from injuries.

MANUAL LYMPH DRAINAGE MASSAGE This approach improves the flow of lymph using light rhythmic strokes. It is used primarily in conditions characterized by poor lymph flow, such as edema.

----William Collinge, American Holistic Medical Association

BETHESDA THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE Go to for an interesting and beautiful website which includes a link to my email and testimonials from satisfied clients. I work with multi faceted modalities for over 15 years to bring you body back to balance. Please contact me to schedule a session, kind regards, Marcia.

BLUEBERRY GARDENS  Center for yoga, growth and healing offers classes in Yoga, T'ai Chi, Qi Gong, Biodanza and Meditation. In addition we offer Acupuncuture, Nutrition Counseling, Physical Therapy, Reiki, private Yoga Therapy, Therapeutic Massage, space for your workshops and organic produce and organic U-Pick  

Our unique approach to occupational therapy includes Cranial Sacral Fascial Therapy to relieve strain patterns associated with birth trauma, John F. Barnes Myofascial Release to relieve pain, and Sensory Integration Therapy to promote cognitive, social, and physical functioning in individuals with developmental differences. Please call Nyle MacFarlane at 301-768-0741 to schedule an appointment.


NIHA offers massage and creative therapeutic exercise, incorporating deep tissue massage, myofascial release, craniosacral therapy, and movement reeducation based on dance, Alexander, and Feldenkrais techniques, and Castenada's Tensegrity. Medical insurance is accepted. Please call (202) 364-6016 or go to: http:/ 5225 Wisconsin Ave., NW Suite 601 Washington, DC 20015


Offers Swedish and deep tissue massage, myofascial release, sports injury rehabilitation therapy, soft tissue release-pain relief, medical massage therapy from doctors Rx, foot reflexology, lymphatic drainage therapy and colon hydrotherapy.

National Integrated Health Associates is a patient-centered holistic and integrative medical and dental clinic located in Washington, D.C. with highly skilled and caring massage therapist/Reiki master offering Swedish massage, oncology massage, deep tissue, myofacial release, Reiki and more. Call 202-237-7000,                      

PMTI, a school, has a Professional Massage Therapy Training Program and also offers continuing education programs for massage practitioners and a variety of workshops and lectures for anyone interested in massage, bodywork or holistic health. PMTI, 8380 Colesville Rd. Silver Spring, MD 20910, Visit:

Brigitte Wiss has perfected her detailed Reflexology by addressing the whole person, such as basic nutrition counseling, breathing techniques, Accunet Home visits and nursing homes are possible, positive thinking, and intuitive guidance. Brigitte has been of service since 2000 and is very dedicated to the well-being of her clients. She works mainly with Medical Doctors and Chiropractors, in different offices by appointments only in VA and DC. Please leave a detailed message on her answering machine 703-849-8422. Visit: