Choose the Massage That is Right for You
Massages have lots of benefits but there are a lot of different types of massages. How can you know which is best for you? Here are five common massage practices and each of their primary focuses:
Swedish massage is the most common and well-known type of massage in the west. If you’re not sure which massage will be best for you, a Swedish massage is a good place to start. This massage uses oils and various massage strokes to warm up the muscle tissue. This massage focuses on breaking up “knots” in the muscles. Therapists usually begin by massaging your back with various strokes including, effleurage which is a smooth gliding stroke made with the flat of the hand, kneading, friction, and tapping.
Then they work on the back of each leg. Lastly, they massage the front of your legs, both of your arms, and your neck and shoulders.
- The Swedish Massage promotes relaxation and eliminate mental stress.
- It increases blood flow and quickens the removal of bodily waste.
- It is good for decreasing muscle toxins and increasing the level of oxygen in
Deep Tissue Massage
Therapists use firm pressure and slow strokes that reach the deeper layers of the muscle and fascia—the connective tissue surrounding the muscles. A deep tissue massage focuses on specific pains targeted toward chronic pain or injury rehabilitation. It can help with things such as carpal tunnel, postural problems, and those recovering from injuries like falls or whiplash. A common question that is asked about a deep tissue massage is, will it hurt? Because deep tissue massages use more pressure there may be some times when you feel discomfort. This discomfort comes when the therapist works on areas where there are knots or scar tissue. The therapist can always adjust the amount of pressure during the massage so be sure to let them know if you ever feel any pain.
- Reduces muscle tightness
- Increase movement by breaking down scar tissue
- Can reduce chronic lower back pain
- Lowers high blood pressure
Hot Stone Massage
In a hot stone massage, therapists use smooth heated stones by placing them on the body or using them in their hands while conducting gliding strokes. The stones are generally basalt, which is a black volcanic rock that retains heat and has been naturally smoothed by the sea or river. This massage helps relieve muscle tension and the heat from the stones help increase blood flow to the affected areas.
- Promotes relaxation and sleep. The thought is that massage helps you enjoy restorative sleep. Adults who suffer from insomnia may benefit from a massage in place of taking sleeping pills.
- It boosts immunity
- Decreases muscle tension and pain
- Reduces stress
Chair massages are performed on ergonomically designed portable massage chairs that are especially designed for this kind of massage procedure. Your face rests in a cradle that faces down towards the floor and your arms, back, and neck are completely relaxed. The therapist uses Swedish massage techniques to relieve muscle tension. This massage is quick and focuses on your back, shoulders, neck, and arms.
- Increase circulation
- Relieves headaches
- Generates more flexibility
- Encourages better posture
Sports massages are geared towards athletes but not exclusive to them. This type of massage focuses heavily on the areas of the body that can get stressed or overused. Lots of tension gets stored in soft tissue areas like ligaments and tendons. Stretching is usually applied in these situations to ease tension. This massage differs from others because it focuses on applying pressure deep inside the muscles to create less pressure on the joints.
- Targets muscle tendon junctions
- Aids in recovery from injuries
- Prevents initial injuries from occurring
- Can help increase performance
No matter what kind of massage you choose, the overall benefits can improve your health. Massages are known to reduce stress by alleviating muscle tension and headaches. They can boost mental health and wellness and increase range of motion. So the next time you’re in the need of some me time, consider treating yourself to