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Massage Modalities: Lymphatic Drainage Massage


The world of massage is not monotone. There are multitudes of massage modalities, several of which we have covered in previous articles. While completing massage therapy training at East West College, our students can take specialized classes in different massage techniques. Today we’re reviewing Lymphatic Drainage Massage. We will provide a basic definition, as well as listing benefits, techniques, and contraindications. First, let’s review how the lymphatic system works. This portion of the circulatory system has two big jobs: 1. Removing waste and excess fluid, and 2. Fighting off infections. The lymphatic system exists throughout the body, and includes vessels, tissues [...]

Massage Modalities: Lymphatic Drainage Massage2020-03-18T15:38:41-05:00

Massage Modalities: Lomi Lomi Hawaiian Massage


Even if you’ve never been to Hawaii, you’ve probably heard the word “Aloha,” meaning both hello and goodbye. Yet within these three syllables are many other meanings: honor, respect, unconditional love, and sacredness in all things. The Hawaiian form of massage therapy, Lomi Lomi, perfectly reflects this Aloha approach to life. And as with the term “Aloha,” while Lomi Lomi may seem simple—long, relaxing strokes to release tension and rejuvenate the client—with more experience, the deep beauty of this massage modality becomes apparent. Continuing our tradition of examining different types of massage, today we’re introducing the Lomi Lomi massage modality. Students [...]

Massage Modalities: Lomi Lomi Hawaiian Massage2019-11-14T17:06:51-05:00

Massage Modalities: Fijian Barefoot Massage


When you think of deep tissue massage, which tools spring to mind? Do you picture a therapist’s strong hands, thumbs, and perhaps elbows? Massage tools, such as cups and rollers, may appear on your list if you’re already a professional in massage. Portland, Oregon may not have considered a less common tool for deep tissue massage—your feet! Today we’re taking a look at Fijian Barefoot Massage, a massage modality similar to Ashiatsu barefoot massage, as we covered in a previous blog post. What is Fijian Barefoot Massage? In Fijian barefoot massage, the client lies on pads on the floor and stays [...]

Massage Modalities: Fijian Barefoot Massage2019-11-14T17:00:33-05:00

Massage Modalities: Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage


What is Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage? Literally, the word Ashiatsu translates to “foot pressure.” In this type of massage, therapists deliver strokes through their feet, rather than their hands. Traditionally, the therapist stands over the massage table, with parallel bars overhead for support. Using their feet as well as their body weight, the therapist delivers consistent, deep, broad pressure. Benefits of Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage --Deep pressure without pointy elbows or thumbs. The broad surface of the foot decreases the sharpness clients sometimes experience with deep tissue work. --More power. As this type of massage utilizes the therapist’s body weight, it allows for [...]

Massage Modalities: Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage2019-03-11T16:40:10-05:00

Massage Modalities: Neuromuscular Therapy


Neuromuscular Therapy: A Basic Definition NMT practitioners use deep tissue massage techniques such as digital pressure and friction to release muscular trigger points. Trigger points are pea-sized restrictions in muscular tissue. Repetitive motion, injury, stress, and poor posture are some causes of trigger points. In these areas, circulation is restricted, meaning that nutrient delivery and cellular waste are limited. Through Neuromuscular Therapy and other massage modalities, Portland massage therapists can often alleviate lingering pain, weakness, and fatigue. Neuromuscular therapy doesn’t just consider issues in soft tissue, but rather examines multiple levels of the problem—not just where it manifests as a sensation, [...]

Massage Modalities: Neuromuscular Therapy2019-02-28T16:53:27-05:00

Massage Therapy Modalities: Structural Bodywork


In our series on massage modalities, we’ve covered Thai massage, trigger point therapy, and Tui Na. Today we’re looking at a different form of massage: Structural Bodywork. At its crux, structural bodywork explores and offsets imbalances within the body. The mother of structural bodywork is Ida Rolf. Ida Rolf was a biochemist, yoga teacher, manual therapist, and sensorimotor educator who had a holistic vision of health. Her focus as a healer was to improve overall biochemical functioning, rather than treating certain systems. Rolf’s creation, Structural Integration, improves health by improving the human body’s structure in relation to gravity. Within this school, [...]

Massage Therapy Modalities: Structural Bodywork2015-06-11T20:27:07-05:00

Massage Therapy Modalities: Trigger Point Therapy


Muscle pain is one of the most common medical complaints, whether it’s chronic low back pain, or sore muscles from working in the garden. In fact, according to a recent AMTA survey, 30% of respondents have used massage therapy for pain relief. When working with clients who experience pain, it’s helpful to have many different strategies for helping them recover. Trigger point work is often an effective way of decreasing or eliminating pain. Our massage school in Portland, Oregon offers trigger point therapy as an elective course in our 800-hour massage therapy program. In this blog, we’re introducing trigger point therapy [...]

Massage Therapy Modalities: Trigger Point Therapy2015-03-27T21:45:14-05:00

Massage Therapy Modalities: Introducing Thai Massage


Thai massage, known as Nuad Bo Rarn or “ancient massage” in Thai, is a unique massage modality that has only been available in the United States for about fifteen years. However, its rich history in Thailand stretches back over 2,000 years. In a traditional Thai massage, the client lies on a mat on the floor, while the therapist uses his or her knees, feet, elbows, and hands to create compression and stretching. Some say receiving a Thai massage is like going to a massage therapist, chiropractor, and yoga class all in one. The father of Thai massage was Dr. Shivago Kormarpaj, [...]

Massage Therapy Modalities: Introducing Thai Massage2015-01-12T17:11:48-05:00

Proactive Massage: PNF, Range of Motion and Client Engagement During Massage


Ask the average person why they get massage, and they might answer “for stress relief” or “to feel good!” It is unlikely that the first words out of their mouth would be “To improve communication between my nervous system and my muscles.” Yet mind/body proprioceptive learning is at the heart of proactive massage techniques. In proactive massage, the client participates through stretching, awareness of sensation, and mindful breathing. By improving the connection between brain and body, these unique massage approaches can successfully decrease pain, increase range of motion, and empower clients to become aware of their own muscular holding patterns. Let’s [...]

Proactive Massage: PNF, Range of Motion and Client Engagement During Massage2020-03-18T16:03:39-05:00

Our Program


The East West Experience East West College offers students a rigorous and balanced massage education experience. We combine thorough study of the human body – kinesiology, anatomy & physiology and pathology – with extensive explorations in the art of performing massage to meet client needs. East West College instructors are warm, experienced and highly knowledgeable. Our Faculty includes massage therapists, naturopaths and other health care providers, with over 325 years of combined clinical experience. The East West Experience is supportive, professional and highly rewarding for our students. Request More Information The Student Experience East [...]

Our Program2020-04-16T17:51:07-05:00