A good massage is truly a treat and offers many health benefits. In fact, there are over 200 different massage techniques and types, all treating different needs and providing various benefits. Here are some of the most popular massage types:
Swedish massage: Makes use of long, sweeping strokes, usually used at the start and end of a massage. Muscle kneading and rolling, where the muscles are worked on just like kneading dough. Friction, where deep pressure is applied to a particular spot with the thumb, fingertips, or knuckles. Rhythmic tapping, fast percussion movements like chopping and even pounding. These massages are best suited for stress relief, relaxation, releasing cramped or to ease tensed muscles.
Hot stone massage: During hot stone massage, your body is not only weighted down with hot, smooth stones, but the masseuse also uses the stones to massage your body. It’s like being caressed by the smoothest hands, but also being scorched by them. A hot stone massage is mostly relaxing, but it also is more invigorating than your run-of-the-mill massage, thanks to the almost-too-much heat bringing you back to focus on the moment instead of letting you drift off. The heat helps release the tension in your back and shoulders, mostly, so those muscles can be worked on more effectively. This massage is best suited for “Centering” yourself, releasing very tense muscles, relaxation.
Chair massage: You’ve probably seen these strange contraptions at conventions, the mall, nail parlors, and maybe even your office. Chair massages have you sitting face forward in a chair so the therapist can massage mostly your neck, shoulders, and back. The good thing is you don’t have to take off your clothes or have oils slathered all over you. The bad thing is you don’t get a thorough whole-body massage as you do with other methods, and, since this is often done in public places, it can be very distracting and not as relaxing. Depending on the massage therapist, however, a chair massage can really get the tension out of your upper body. These are quick massages to relieve stress if you’ve been walking or working all day.
Deep tissue massage: As the name suggests, deep tissue massage applies deep pressure onto specific trouble points. It feels very much like someone is torturing you on purpose by pushing into your knotted muscle, and the massage can leave you feeling sore. It’s not just more pressure all over your body, however, it’s very specific, methodical treatment. Deep Tissue is a very specific massage treatment in which the therapist uses knuckles and elbow’s to “strip out” muscle tissue as far down to the bone as possible. This is not the kind of massage to ask for if you expect to feel relaxed during the therapy, as afterwards you might feel sore for a couple of days. It is used for treating stiff, painful trouble spots like the shoulder and neck.
Trigger point massage: Like Deep Tissue Massage, Trigger Point Massage focuses on specific areas of the body, rather than massaging the whole body. In this technique, the therapist pinpoints exactly the “problem” muscle and coaxes it with deep pressure to relax. A trigger point is a tight area within muscle tissue that causes pain in other parts of the body. A trigger point in the back, for example, may reduce referral pain in the neck. Trigger point massage therapy is specifically designed to alleviate the source of the pain through cycles of isolated pressure and release. The results and benefits of trigger point massage are releasing constricted areas in the muscles thus alleviating pain. You can experience a significant decrease in pain after just one treatment. Receiving massage with trigger point therapy on a regular basis can help naturally manage pain and stress from chronic injuries. It is best for treating chronic muscle pain and tension.
Shaitsu massage: Shiatsu is an ancient technique from Japan. It combines gentle stretches with finger pressure to work on different pressure points. The idea is to fix imbalances in the flow of energy in your body. A scientific explanation is that shiatsu calms an overactive sympathetic nervous system, which improves circulation, relieves stiff muscles, and alleviates stress. Unlike other types of massage, you stay clothed during the treatment. It is best for ailments such as headaches, back pain, and lack of energy.
Thai massage: Thai massage works your entire body. It’s one of the most invigorating types of massages, as the therapist rigorously manipulates your body, moving it into yoga-like stretches. The therapist uses every part of his or her body—hands, knees, legs, and feet to not only stretch you but also apply pressure on your muscles and loosen your joints. This type of massage is both energizing and, at times, relaxing. This massage is best for improving energy, increased flexibility, overall health and well-being.
These are some of the types of popular massages that people tend to take. Find the massage that suits your requirement best. Massages can be physically and mentally elevating and can help refresh you. Treat yourself to an exquisite massage and feel rejuvenated. Find some good massage parlors on the QuickSearch website.