Active Engagement (AE) techniques are used to increase the intensity of a treatment without increasing the pressure. They integrate active movement by the client with therapeutic techniques by the therapist. In addition, these techniques address multiple issues: chronic tension, overuse injuries, and muscles that are difficult to access. The work is performed during concentric and eccentric muscular contractions. Concentric contraction is the shortening of a muscle. In contrast, eccentric contraction is the lengthening of a muscle. Techniques applied during a concentric contraction aim to decrease muscle tightness and fibrous adhesions. Meanwhile, techniques applied during an eccentric contraction aim is to increase pliability and broaden muscle fibers and myofascial tissue.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage and deep pressure massage are different. A request for deep pressure is a sensory preference. This is usually used during relaxation massages on people who find a deeper pressure more relaxing. Deep tissue massage is a technique used to treat muscular and myofascial tightness and restriction, joint dysfunction, and various musculoskeletal pathologies. The technique is based on logical and educated reasoning. There are many different interpretations and definitions of deep tissue massage, but when I think of it, my mind immediately goes to therapeutic techniques to address a complaint. Examples of the techniques include: muscle separation, joint mobilization, musculotendinous work, passive stretching, and lengthening and broadening strokes.
Most importantly, deep tissue is not meant to be painful. In fact, if you experience pain during this type of work, the therapist should reduce the pressure and/or try a different technique. When pain is felt, the body tenses and muscles contract. Consequently, this engages a different part of the nervous system that ultimately fights against the work being done.
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)
PNF is a stretching technique used to restore functional range-of-motion and increase strength and flexibility for people recovering from soft-tissue damage. The technique is frequently used on athletes in a post-activity setting in order to increase range-of-motion and performance. It involves contracting a target or opposing muscle, followed by a stretch.
Relaxation, or Swedish Massage, is a perfect addition to your self-care routine. It helps by reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, and is a great way to reconnect with yourself. Effleurage (long, gliding strokes) and petrissage (kneading) are the techniques used. These techniques assists in blood and lymph circulation and help to decrease muscle spasms, tension, and soreness. This treatment usually involves no movement or stretching and no interaction with the therapist. It is typically a full-body massage and can be done in 60 or 90 minutes. Above all, the pressure is whatever you set as comfortable.