My core style is Swedish, which is your pretty standard massage. It's the most common and the starting point for most massage learning. But over the years, I've been refining my technique with a knowledge of nerve pathways and regions of consistency-- for instance, different kinds of stress tend to locate themselves in different parts of the body: work and job stress tends to live in the neck and shoulders, family stress tends to ride mid-back, relationship stress tends to locate itself in the lower back and the ass (makes the term "pain in the ass" all the more endearing).
Also, the kind of stress tends to affect the muscles differently: emotional stress feels different than physical stress, the muscles have a different texture. Scar tissue feels different than a strain, which feels different from a bitch-spasm.
I've learned that a lot of those groupings follow the nerve pathways. From an anatomical standpoint, it makes sense that if the muscles in these areas are spasming, they can constrict the nerve bundles, or the blood vessels that feed the nerves.
Well, in some of my readings, I've started to study Shiatsu. And lo and behold, the Shiatsu meridians are an exact match for the pathways that I have identified through experience.
There are some differences. The meridians are very linear where I've always seen areas or regions, and Shiatsu focuses more on pressure points than on the longer strokes that I prefer. Shiatsu is also done on the floor, or a very low table.
Still there is a vast body of knowledge that I would like to incorporate into what I do.
Of course, before I can really get back into practice, I need to have a clear location. One dedicated room, or at least a room that is clear enough to set up the table would be good, as well as a decently clean and presentable house.
And of course, guinea pigs.