Massage is a therapy that has benefitted many people throughout history and still does so today. But it isn’t simply about rubbing down sore muscles and relaxation. Massage is a skill that is varied and effective for all kinds of ailments, helping you to feel better in both your mind and body.
There are over 80 different massage types to choose from, each catering to the specific needs of the patient. Some are more effective at relieving physical pain, while others are perfect for relieving anxiety and stress. So it can be tricky deciding which one to try out yourself.
So, if you’ve ever thought about receiving a massage but you’re not sure what it can do for you, stay tuned. In this article, we’ll look at seven of the most popular massage therapies to help you decide which is best suited for your needs.
1. Swedish Massage
We’ll start with the most popular form of massage which is also great for newcomers. Swedish massage is a classic type that works the whole body, helping to relieve pain and tension. It utilizes basic strokes such as gliding, kneading, tapping, vibration, and friction, and the session lasts about 60-90 minutes.
Swedish massage works great for those suffering from muscular pain, back pain, osteoarthritis, joint stiffness, immobility, stress, and fatigue. However, always notify your massage therapist of any prior injuries, aches, or pains, so they can treat you effectively without exacerbating them any further.
2. Thai Massage
Thai is a very different type of massage which has been practiced for thousands of years. It takes influence from traditional medicine and practices from China, India, and Southeast Asia. It incorporates oils, acupressure, and yoga poses to apply rhythmic pressure for pain relief and relaxation.
The participant lays down in loose-fit clothing while the practitioner alters the position of the body while applying techniques. These involve actively stretching, compressing, pulling, cracking, and rocking to relieve pain and stress, improve circulation, and boost energy levels.
3. Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is similar to the Swedish type, only more pressure and slow strokes are applied with the fingers to get deep into the muscles and connective tissues. It can be a little more intense over the 60-90 minute session, but when finished, you shouldn’t feel any soreness.
Deep tissue massage is suitable for those who have chronic pain, tight muscles, injuries, or muscle imbalances. It works particularly well for those with hypertension in areas of the body, and the relaxing and restorative effects also help soothe the muscles and relieve pain and anxiety.
4. Craniosacral Therapy
One of the other different types of massage therapy is craniosacral. This is a gentle, non-invasive method of massage that incorporates practices used in osteopathy and chiropractic care. Light pressure is focused on the skull and upper spinal column in the neck.
This stimulates the muscles and cerebrospinal fluid in these areas to release tension and return the patient to a relaxed state of sacral harmony. It’s a very soothing and tranquil type of massage therapy that helps relieve pain, stress, injury, trauma, and improves the flow and function of the central nervous system.
5. Lymphatic Massage
The lymphatic system has lots of different functions such as absorbing fats, maintaining bodily fluids, removing waste, and protecting from foreign invaders. This system is a network of vessels and nodes which can become blocked from waste accumulation, stress, inactivity, or emotional trauma.
The aim of lymphatic massage is to stimulate the movement of fluids in the lymphatic system so that it can function properly. This is achieved with light and gentle, rhythmic strokes that help drain waste products away from tissues that may cause problems. It is a great way to improve immune system function, alleviate stress, and relax and cleanse the body.
6. Hot Stone Massage
This type of massage is like the Swedish version, where hands may or may not be used with hot stones. During the session, heated basalt stones are placed on different parts of the body such as the spine, stomach, feet, or chest. Kneading, strokes, and tapping with hands can also be incorporated.
The use of heat from the stones helps to relieve muscular tension, improve blood flow, alleviate pain, and relax the body. This makes it an excellent treatment for pain and injury, stress and anxiety, insomnia, immunity boost, and can also help those with cancer symptoms or autoimmune disease.
7. Aromatherapy Massage
Aromatherapy massage effectively takes the traditional Swedish technique and includes additional sensory stimuli to promote mental and emotional wellbeing. It achieves this with the use of essential oils which are massaged into the skin as well as inhaled via a diffuser.
This type of massage helps to relax the mind and body at the same time for complete relaxation and healing. It helps to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression while relieving physical pain and tension. If you are in any way sensitive to oils or smells it may not be for you.
The Different Massage Types Explained
Now that you’re more aware of the different massage types that are available, perhaps you’d like to try some out for yourself. This article sets out to inform you about what each type of massage involves, as well as the symptoms it helps to alleviate.
So, if you’ve been wondering about massage and what it can do for you, now you have a better idea. Massage therapy is designed to help both your mental and physical wellbeing, as it has done for many for thousands of years. Let those magic hands do the work and get yourself back on your feet.
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