Types of Massage – S

SHEN– Specific Human Energy Nexus Physioemotional Release Therapy. Developed by Richard Pavek whose background was in Gestalt work, electronics, chemistry, aeronautics.

Shiatsu-A Japanese healing modality similar to Chinese acupressure utilizing a Japanese
healing philosophy of ki (life energy). Shiatsu literally means “finger pressure”. This form of acupressure is a combination of many different techniques including pressing, hooking, sweeping, shaking, rotating, grasping, vibrating, patting, plucking, lifting, pinching, rolling, brushing, and sometimes walking barefoot on the patients back, legs, and feet. It is applied
with comfortable pressure to all parts of the body with thumbs, palms, and elbows where the body is gently stretched to loosen joints and muscles. Shiatsu treatments promote good health by strengthening the body and stimulating its self-healing abilities. It is traditionally performed on the floor with the client comfortably lying on a futon with both client and patient dressed comfortably in a kimono (Japanese robe). Shiatsu is considered a special kind of
dance between giver and receiver where a unique rapport develops between the practitioner and client because shiatsu relies on the simple but powerful experience of touch to awaken the client’s own self-healing powers. This “touch communication” between practitioner and client is foundational to all healing methods. When the independence of ki is restored to a free flowing state throughout the body, it touches the physical, emotional, and spiritual sensitivity of the person, and the natural healing flow is restored.

Somatics- Developed by Thomas Hanna building on his work with Moshe Feldenkrais.  Sensory motor amnesia is the memory loss of muscles groups due to habitual movement patterns. We lose awareness and feeling in such areas.  The goal of Somatics is to reawaken them through the use of movement and awareness.
Book resources:
Somatics: Reawakening the Minds Control of Movement, Flexibility and Health by Thomas Hanna
Web resources:
Hanna Somatics

Soft Tissue Release- Stuart Taws- Sports injury technique developed by Stuart Taws while working with the British Athletic Team.  Uses techniques to break up chronic scar tissue adhesions and followed up with specific stretches that involve 3 different levels.
Web resources:
Soft tissue release – techniques, workshops and training videos

Soma Neuromuscular Integration– Developed by Bill Williams, one of Ida Rolf’s first students, in 1978. Combines structural integration with psychological therapy to realign the body, mind, spirit.
Web resources:
Soma Institute
Sports Massage– Massage applied to serious athletes for training, injury prevention, rehab, pre and post event strategies.  You have to know what you are doing to work with athletes as their life depends on their bodies.  Working too deep before an event may leave them weak and unable to  compete.  They work themselves to exhaustion and do it all over the next day.

Stone Therapy – see Hot Rock Therapy

Strain Counter strain- Developed by Lawrence Jones, DO.  The work focuses on joint dysfunction and treatment of such problems by passively putting the joint into its position of greatest comfort.  The malfunctioning muscle is shortened by placing a mild strain (stretching) to its antagonists.  His tenderpoints are located in the deeper muscle, tendon and ligament structures.

Structural Integration- Originally developed by Ida Rolf.  Other therapies have used her work as a basis of their programs and combined it with other techniques.  10 session series of treatments to balance and align the body with the gravitational field.
Web resources:

Hellerwork International- Developed by Joseph Heller, combines bodywork with Voice Dialogue (a form of verbal therapy from Hal Stone)
Institute of Psychophysical Integration
International Center for Release and Integration: Postural Integration- Jack Painter’s work.
Aston Paterning – Judith Aston created the movement work of Rolfing and went on to develop her own system.
The Rolf Institute
 Guild for Structural Integration –
Zentherapy®   – William ‘Dub’ Leigh’s work; from his experiences with Rolfing, Feldenkrais and Zen training.  Articles:   Interview with Dub
Kinesis – Tom Myers: Anatomy Trains Myofascial meridians.
Institute for Structural Integration – John Latz.

Getting it Straight Scoliosis and Structural Integration By Lana Lensman: Massae and Bodywork Magazine


Swedish Massage– A collection of techniques designed for relaxation, using massage oils to reduce friction.  Many of the therapeutic effects include increased circulation, increased flexibility, removal of lactic acid and toxins, relaxes nervous system, and stimulates the skin.  Techniques can be modified to treat injuries and muscular related problems.

See the Section on Swedish Massage