Brian L. Polzin, Steaming Stone Massage
Professional and Personalized Massage Therapy

Articles: Modalities

Techniques / Modalities

I have studied and trained in over 25 different modalities, or different ‘styles’ of massage & bodywork.

Here is a list of some of the different styles I incorporate into my practice:

Massage Styles:

Swedish Massage

Certified in “Classic” Swedish Massage in 1995

Swedish Massage is the primary style of massage that everyone thinks of when receiving a massage. Swedish Massage is the main ‘Western’ style of massage. It is basically massage strokes that have been put through the western scientific method of testing and studying to explain what massage does and how it affects different systems in the body. Swedish Massage is an ‘umbrella’ term under which many other known modalities fall into, such as: Sports Massage, Trigger Point, Deep Tissue, etc.

Deep Tissue Massage

Trigger Point Therapy

Lomi-Lomi Hawaiian Massage

Certified in Hawaiian Lomi-Lomi – 2001

Lomi-Lomi is described as a gentle, soothing, stretching type of massage claimed to be one of the most relaxing of all body work styles. Using long continuous, flowing strokes, combined with a very peaceful & positive touch, it relaxes the entire being and assists in a letting go of bad habits, patterns and behaviors that cause limitations and which are stored in the cells of our body. Like most therapies, it can be relaxing or for deep therapeutic release.

Stress-reducing, healing, rejuvenating; Lomi-Lomi massage therapy has been practiced throughout the Pacific islands for thousands of years. In a strict interpretation of Lomi-Lomi, it is an ancient healing practice that encompasses body, mind, and spirit. It involves prayer, the use of herbs, massage (which incorporates hot stones and specially carved wood massage tools), salts and steam treatments. This all inclusive approach differs from our Western idea of healing in which we compartmentalize everything and often only focus on one aspect; whether it is medical, nutritional, spiritual (praying for those ill or dying), or physical (exercise). The Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders did not separate these aspects… physical, mental and emotional illness were all treated equally and each aspect was addressed. Individual illness was seen to affect the entire family (or tribe) and was treated sometimes in a 3-day long healing ceremony in which everyone would gather together to help the sick or ill. The focus was on “releasing and forgiving” to bring all aspects of the self into alignment. It enables the physical and energetic systems of the body to flush out, transform, and revitalize themselves, as the soft tissue is gently but firmly loosened and separated. “Wrong thoughts” were as critical to correct as physical problems. One line in a prayer used during traditional Lomi-Lomi can be translated as “the gentle hand touches to harmonize body, mind, and spirit & to ignite the life-force within”. This demonstrates the rejuvenating, balancing and reenergizing qualities of Lomi-Lomi. Some have compared the experience to that of the ocean; a power and depth hidden within the calming and steady flow of the waves.

Lomi-Lomi focuses on moving out (away from the center of the body) to work in (toward the heart). While this may sound confusing, it’s really not. The movements of the massage techniques move outward from the center of the body, but the pressure of the individual strokes are constantly moving fluids back towards the heart. This is very beneficial in the removal of waste and toxins trapped within the muscles. This toxin release requires receivers of Lomi-Lomi (as well as all forms of massage) to drink plenty of water afterwards to avoid feeling sick or getting headaches.

Anma: Traditional Japanese Massage

Certified in Anma – 2005

Anma first developed over 7,000 years ago in ancient Nepal, Tibet and Western China (some links even take it back to Eastern India). Anma can be seen as the direct predecessor of Shiatsu and the basis for all Western Massage, including Swedish. Like all massage styles, there are an infinite number of variances one could experience – different for each individual practitioner. Anma has its set of basic moves that one learns and then incorporates them in to an outline or a guideline with which to approach each client. Like all massage sessions, the outline may be the same for you (starting with working on the back, and then moving around the body in a set pattern), but the way the outline is filled in will always be different depending on your needs for that moment.

Anma can be performed over clothes (thin cotton preferred – yoga style clothes) or directly on skin. Anma does not require oil for effective application either.

Swe-Thai / Table Thai Massage

Although I do not offer a separate treatment of this style, I do find a few specific moves that I use frequently. Besides, I doubt if most people would take to having me climb on the table and bending them into yoga positions with just a sheet barely tied in place. I think the full Thai Massage offered on the floor is more effective than this modified version on the table.


Reflexology is the practice of working points (or reflexes) in the feet to affect other parts of the body. Again, I don’t offer this as a separate service, but find many of the techniques useful in a slightly modified format for deep tissue work on the feet.

Indian Head Massage

A style of massage for the entire head taught in India for centuries.

Acupressure for Face & Head

Working on specific points of the face for releasing tension stored in the ‘masks’ we wear everyday.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage for the Face & Neck

Releasing tension also releases toxins and should be drained into the lymph system to be flushed out.

Japanese Face Massage

European Face Massage

Standard facial massage techniques from Europe – relaxing as well as toning for the skin.

Myofascial Release & Positional Release

Stretch Massage

A massage treatment that allows client to remained clothed (shorts & t-shirt or yoga type wear) and experiences compression and assisted stretching for a surprisingly deep massage.

Basic Shiatsu

Oncology Massage

The specific techniques helpful for clients living with cancer or compromised immune systems.  Specific focus for breast cancer – massage in collaboration with and post treatment.  Certified in 2010.


The study and use of essential oils. Pick scents for specific physical or emotional needs.

— Discontinued Services —

Stone Styles:

La Stone (Original Hot Stone Massage) & Deep Tissue La Stone

Certified in LaStone – 1999, Deep Tissue LaStone – 2000

I took my first class for LaStone with the founder, Mary Hannigan-Nelson, and use it as the main influence on all my Hot Stone sessions. LaStone offers the best integration of Reiki-type energy work with effective stone massage.

Japanese Hot Stone Massage

Certified in Japanese Hot Stone Massage – 2005 (practiced in it since 2002)

Without question the best form of Hot Stone Massage on the planet. It is a must for all Hot Stone Therapists for effective, specific result oriented stone massage.

Healing Stone Massage

Sacred Stone Therapy

TH (Therapeutic) Stone Massage

Hahana Stone Therapy

Japanese GemStone Massage

GemStone Face Massage


Steam Therapy

Please see Steam Therapy page for details. Been using Steamy Wonder since 1998.

Spa Body Masks & Wraps

Treatments offered in many spas incorporating mud, seaweed, fango, salt glows, sugar scrubs with hot towel wraps.

Steam with Massage

Steam “No-Wraps”

Please see Steam Therapy page for details.

G5/GX/Endermatic Vibratory Machine-Aided Massage

Trained in “G5” massage in 2002

Body Contouring Cellulite Reduction (w/ G5)

Trained in “G5” Body Contouring with founder Frank Berg in 1998, 1999 & 2000

Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals
© Copyright 2018  Brian L. Polzin, Steaming Stone Massage.  All rights reserved.