There are literally hundreds of massage therapy modalities in existence.  PCAB offers professional instruction in standard bodywork modalities such as Swedish, Lomilomi, Shiatsu, and Thai massage, and our focus is primarily on slow-movement, deep-listening therapies that are based on the latest (neuro)science of touch and interoception.  Ultimately, there are only so many ways to touch the body, so while we teach separate modalities, our emphasis is to make you skillful in a broad variety of touch styles so that you can apply them in a customized manner that is most appropriate for exploring your client’s goals.
Six components of the therapeutic encounter
Swedish massage is the standard style of massage practiced in North America, and it’s the style that has been most studied. Swedish massage was developed with anatomy and physiology in mind, so each stroke is designed, in theory, in terms of how it will affect the muscular system, the nervous system, and the circulatory and lymphatic systems. Sometimes it is referred to as Relaxation massage or spa massage because it tends to be practiced in a manner that maximizes relaxation.
Lomilomi is the polynesian style of style that is characterized by long, fluid strokes and a fair amount of oil.
Thai massage involves the use of compressions and stretches.  It can be performed on a table or on the floor and does not require oils.
Neuromuscular Therapy, also known as Trigger Point, is a modality that focuses on the relationship between the nervous system and the muscles and is practiced by applying static, perpendicular pressure to specific points on the body. The static holding is in contrast to the fluid movement of Swedish massage. The NMT points are conceptually unrelated to acupuncture/acupressure points, but the technique is similar.
Shiatsu is a form of bodywork from Japan that involves holding points throughout the body.  It can be performed on a table or on the floor and does not require oils.
Cranialsacral Therapy is a deep-listening form of bodywork that allows for an unwinding of the nervous system.  When it was first developed it was thought to work with the movement of cranial bones and a rhythmic movement of cerebrospinal fluid, though no evidence exists for either and both are thought to be the result of palpatory illusions of the therapist.
CTM is a form of bodywork that involves slow movement along the skin.  It’s slow speed makes it better for increasing body awareness than for increasing relaxation.  The “connective tissue” part of the name is a misnomer as the technique does not actually operate on connective tissue as was once speculated.
Fascia is a type of connective tissue that forms a continuous sheath around the body between the skin and the muscle while also wrapping and permeating each muscle.  For the last few decades, it was widely believed that fascia played a critical role in posture and that it was malleable through touch.  Research in the 21st century has thoroughly debunked these ideas and other tissue-based, operator-based, “fix-the-client” models.  In its place has arisen neurocentric, client-centered, inter-operator models that focus on neural patterns of sensory awareness and movement instead of fascia.  PCAB is one of the few places in the country that has adopted this new approach.