Types of Massage
The history of massage dates back to thousands of years ago when it was used as a form of alternative medicine in China and Egypt. Since then, there have been a number of developments on the use of massage as well as the various techniques that are employed to do it. If it is going to be you first time, you may be overwhelmed by the various types of massages available and which one particularly is best for you. It is important to know that the various forms of massage present today have specific results and effects on the body. It is important to discuss with your therapist your health condition and needs so that he or she can determine the best massage to administer.
The following are some types of massage that you are likely to encounter in the spa:
This is by far the most common type of massage in the whole world. With this kind of massage, the therapist uses a combination of long smooth strokes together with kneading as well as circular movements to target the superficial layers of your muscles using different kinds of massage oils or lotion. Swedish massage is extremely gentle and very relaxing. It is highly recommended for those who want to try massage for the very first time.
Just as the name suggests, deep tissue massage aims at reaching the deep layers of the muscles and the connective tissues. It is essentially used to offer relaxation and some sort of remedy for painful muscles, chronically tight muscles, postural problems, recovery from injury and bringing relief to repetitive strain. With the deep tissue massage, friction techniques or slower strokes are used by the therapist to target the grains of the muscles. After a deep tissue massage, it is possible to feel slight soreness in the targeted muscle regions. This soreness should not last more than a day or two before the maximum benefit is reached.
If you have muscle tension and you don’t feel like going for deep tissue massage then hot stone massage presents the next best option. This type of massage utilizes heated smooth stones that are placed on certain pressure points on the body. The reason for doing this is so that the stones can warm the muscles and loosen them up while at the same time balancing energy centers in various parts of the body. In some occasions, the therapist may also hold some of the stones and use them to apply gently pressure. The warmth coming from the stones is really comforting and relaxing.
Neuromuscular massage therapy (NMT) is a specialized type of deep tissue massage that may be suitable to those whom have chronic back pain and have been receiving routine massage therapy. Therefore, if you have troubles with your lower back, you may want to consider this type of massage as a potential remedy. In this therapy, pressure is applied using fingers, elbow or knuckles on the muscles spasms around the target regions. The aim of this is to alternate the levels of concentrated pressure to bring relief on the soft tissues thereby bringing the pain to an end.
Chair massage is probably one of the simplest massage techniques you will ever encounter. It is done over clothes and there is no massage oil or lotion used. It is typically a short invigorating massage that last from fifteen to thirty minutes and targets the muscles of your upper back, neck, arms, and shoulders. To get this massage, you will sit on a special chair with your face comfortably rested in a cradle facing downwards towards the floor. The therapist then relieves the muscles tension on your back, neck, shoulder and arms. These relaxing massage movements do have limitations with chair massage due to the body positioning that the chair places patients in.
Sports massage is geared towards people who participate in intense sports activities or fitness enthusiasts. This form of massage is very vigorous and it serves a number of purposes for the sportsmen such as warming up tissues, preventing injuries, assisting in training as well as aiding in healing during instances of soreness or muscle strains. It can be administered both before and after a sporting activity and it can also act as remedy for sports injuries such as tendonitis, strains and sprains. This should therefore be your preferred massage of you participate in sports on a regular basis or if you are a fitness enthusiasts and you want to stop tension build up in your muscles.
Also known as prenatal massage, pregnancy massage is a type of massage that is specifically targeted for pregnant women. Due to the complications of this type of massage, only certified therapists are allowed to offer it. Pregnancy massage is for mothers to be that have reached the second trimester, and is not suitable for those who have been pregnant for less than 12 weeks. The main purposes for this special type of massage are to relieve aches and pains from the expectant lady, reduce depression and anxiety, decrease swelling and reduce stress for the soon to be mother. In doing the massage, special posture positions which will ensure comfort and safety to the mother and the baby must be adopted. There are also certain massage techniques such as, deep tissue massage, which must be completely avoided in pregnancy massage.
This is a massage therapy that includes the inclusion of additional scented essential oils aimed at addressing specific needs during the massage session. The therapist has a choice of selecting essential oils that are relaxing, balancing, stress reducing, relaxing etc depending on intended effects needed by the client. Aromatherapy massage is best suited for stress related conditions or conditions that have emotional aspects attached to them. Remember, the nostrils are attached to the limbic system of the brain which control emotions besides affecting the nervous system as well as the hormonal balance of the body. The essential oils are thus used to create such effects in the body during the process of aromatherapy massage.
These are the main types of massages that you will have available to you at most spas. It may be important to try out several types to find the one that works best with your body. However, be sure that you get your massage done in reputable places. Expert massage therapists will always bring you the best value for money and the highest form of wellness!