Types of Massage

Below are the types of massage therapy in which I specialize. These will give you a general idea of my type of practice, and if I might be able to address your concerns. Rest assured, though, you don't need to specify which type of treatment you'd like before you come into the office. I'll use any number of these techniques, or others, in order to help you feel better!

Deep Tissue Techniques

These techniques are used primarily to "readjust" muscular misalignment which causes pain and discomfort. Although used primarily with athletes, these are the techniques that are useful for most people, in order to reduce everyday latent and acute pain we experience.

Lymphatic Drainage

Very simply, the lymphatic system is responsible for the movement and production of lymph, a whitish fluid composed of various cells. It filters, immono-defends and synthesizes cell components, along with many other functions. Due to the fact that the system flows throughout the body, just underneath the skin but above the muscles, the lymph fluid can get "stuck" at various locations. When the lymph doesn't move as freely as it should throughout the body, negative effects can occur. Lymphatic Drainage is a method of freeing the flow of lymph properly through the body. I have been trained to treat the generally healthy patient, as opposed to the immono-compromised one (cancer, serious disease). The best use of this treatment for that healthy patient is to boost the immune system and organ function at what may be a particularly stressful time, such as cold and flu season, holiday time, etc. This treatment is also frequently prescribed by doctors for patients after simple surgeries. In surgery, the lymph vessels are physically severed, and sutures do not reconnect them. The lymph then has nowhere to go in the body, which leads to a hardness around the surgery area. Lymphatic drainage will help both move the lymph away from the area, as well as begin the healing process for the severed lymph vessels. I can also use scar tissue release techniques along with this treatment in order to minimize the look of scars. This drainage is an extremely light touch, performed primarily on the front side of the body, where most lymph nodes exist. You will likely find it a very pleasant and gentle way to spend your session.

If you're curious about whether lymphatic work is right for you, I've created this blog post with FAQ.


Primarily, these techniques are used on athletes in order to relieve tension and improve muscular function. That said, running marathons is not a requirement for being considered athletic. This type of massage can aid all types of exercise and even your everyday gait. You will certainly begin to notice that receiving massage regularly markedly improves your physical performance, no matter your athletic level.

TriggerPoint Therapy

Trigger points are the spots in our muscles that feel like hard little "knots". They are often symptomatic of dysfunction in the entire muscle, or surrounding group of muscles. Trigger points are thought to be localized points of tension within muscles and fascia where blood and oxygen are not regularly flowing. The science behind these areas is still evolving, so we're not completely sure why they occur, but it is documented that the manual manipulation of muscle tissue helps reduce their severity. I think the reason is primarily the neurological relaxation of muscle tissue, combined with the physical movement of blood and other healing substances in the body.

Myofascial Techniques

Fascia is the layer of connective tissue beneath your skin but above your muscles. It runs throughout our entire body and aids in muscular movement. Some current researchers even suggest that fascia is more responsible for joint movement than tendons and ligaments. Myofascial ("myo" means "muscle") techniques manipulate fascia in order to free muscle movements. Often, fascia is affected by our posture and habits, rather than actual muscle injury or exercise. In fact, fascia has been observed to be harder and more dense in occupation-related bodily areas in cadavers. For example, a person who had a desk job for the majority of his or her life might have an increase in fascial tissue in the neck and shoulders, whereas someone who performed manual labor would likely not. This physical evidence suggests that our everyday movements, or lack of movements, can affect lifetime tension patterns. Myofascial release massage physically affects fascial connections in order to keep blood and lymph flowing freely, which makes tissue feel softer, more pliable and more flexible.

Swedish Massage

This is the European, most classic type of "relaxation" massage. This is the type of massage most people imagine when they think of long, relaxing strokes and melting away into the massage table. Scientifically, this type of massage moves blood and lymph fluids toward your heart and other body filters, improving circulation and aiding in filtering cellular waste. Excellent for reducing tension and feeling like walking away on a cloud!

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Diana Remaley, LMT Diana@RemaleyMassage.com
19 Compo Road South
Westport, CT