Massage done on the table is typically done with the client nude and draped; draped meaning covered with sheet and uncovered and tucked at the parts of the body being worked on. There are some advantages to working directly along the skin. When prone, chest down, there is a face cradle that the face rests in, a rare opportunity for the neck to be relaxed and untwisted while belly down. There will be a bolster under the ankles to raise and allow the feet and toes to aim downward and neutral. This also give a slight bend in the knees to help shorten and relax the hamstrings. When supine, face up, the client scoots down the table so that the back of the head is on the table itself, not the face cradle, and the bolster is under the knees keeping a slight relaxed bend there.
Please consider treating yourself to a thorough massage that covers your whole body. Everything in your body is connected. For full benefit, schedule enough time for a full body massage. YOU WON'T REGRET IT!
Restorative through relaxation and blood circulating. Fluid strokes. Connecting strokes. Body sensory awareness. Deep gliding compressions into and across the muscles. Comforting firm pressure.
Skin contact allows for oil skin gliding or effleurage which is "Swedish" style. I primarily use almond oil which is all natural and emollient It absorbs naturally into the skin after enough gliding or effleurage as the skin desires the nutritious long fatty acid chains. Effleurage can be relaxing through nerve stimulation and enriching for muscle and other soft tissues with linear blood circulation influence.
Deep Tissue Massage
Fine Focal pressure. This is often integrated with Swedish as desired.
For deep tissue, skin contact can help palpation and perception of the tissues therapy is being applied to. I can apply fine focal pressure when I find bound muscles fibers, sometimes at a single point like a knot. Sometimes bands of fiber are taught or contracted. I also find trigger points or neuromuscular junctions commonly at muscle attachment points and sometimes in muscle belly. When these are compressed, the muscle gives up, relaxes, and reopens for reintegration.
From my perspective there is no such thing as a one hour full body deep tissue massage... I will continue to find adhesions and contractions that you were not aware of for a long time.
Dry shear strokes. Deep and slow. Tractioning your skin to pull deeply. Feel your muscle fibers elongate and realign. Great for treating postural distortions and binding that extends across muscles.
Fascia is a continuous webbing connective tissue that moves through your entire body in every direction. It is responsible for holding all of the organs together, and that there is no/zero empty space in the body between organs. While holding everything firmly together, it is meant to be dynamic and fluid to allow organs to move around as we are dynamic beings, not couch potatoes. Fascia also runs through the muscles and between the muscles. The muscles need dynamism in their connection to each other to allow for many actions. As the fascia passes through a muscle it is known as myofascia.
I will most likely use other techniques with this like compressions, trigger points, and stretches.
Massage is diverse, and there are many many techniques. Rhythmic rocking to release holding patterns. Jostling. Positional-release to hold and support in space contracted or inflamed muscles to allow them to relax. Tapotement also known as percussion massage or striking is stimulating and invigorating. The list goes on.