Benefits and Differences of Popular Massage Techniques
Massage is one of the simplest and oldest forms of medical treatment used for easing ache and pain in the body.
This glossary includes some of the most popular techniques and terms used in massage therapy and bodywork. Massage has many benefits. It’s a great way to relax and rejuvenate. The practitioners of modern systems of alternative therapies, such as reflexology and aromatherapy also use a variety of techniques. It is known for alleviating psychological problems, like anxiety and stress.
Massage can be delivered using a number of styles and techniques. Which style you choose depends on what you’re trying to get from the treatment and, of course, your own personal taste. Massage involves stroking and kneading the soft tissues, muscles, and skin of the body using varying amounts of pressure.
Here is a quick guide to some of the most popular types of massage therapy:
This is the most popular type people opt for. More oftenly, it is just called as massage therapy. In this system, the therapist uses smooth, long strokes and circular, kneading movements on the superficial muscle layers, using oil or lotion. This can be very relaxing and gentle. If you have never experienced being massaged before, this one is a good option to begin with.
Aromatherapy massage is massage therapy with the addition of one or more scented plant oils called essential oils to address specific needs. The massage therapist can select oils that are relaxing, energizing, stress-reducing, balancing, etc. One of the most common essential oils used in aromatherapy massage is lavender. Aromatherapy massage is particularly suited to stress-related conditions or conditions with an emotional component
This is a Japanese massaging technique wherein pressure is applied with the fingers, in a rhythmic order, on the acupuncture points. At each point, pressure is held for 2 – 8 seconds, which increases the flow of energy, thus, helping the body regain its balance. Usually, when people try out this massage for the first time, they are pleasantly surprised. This is because, although the pressure applied is quite firm, it is immensely relaxing, plus there is no post-massage soreness.
Sports massage is applied to athletes to help them train and perform free of pain and injuries. Massage therapists blend classic Swedish strokes with such methods as compression, pressure-point therapy, cross-fiber friction, joint mobilization, hydrotherapy and cryotherapy (ice massage) to meet the special needs of high-level performers and fitness enthusiasts.
Deep Tissue Massage
In this method, deeper layers of connective tissue and muscle are targeted. The therapist massages across the grain of the muscle using friction techniques and slower strokes. Deep tissue massage is enormously beneficial for chronically painful or tight muscles, postural problems, when recovering from an injury, or when the body experiences repetitive strain. Being a stronger massaging technique, it may result in a little soreness for a day or two after the session.
Hot Stone Massage
Heated, smooth stones are placed on certain points on the body to warm and loosen tight muscles and balance energy centers in the body. The massage therapist may also hold stones and apply gentle pressure with them. The warmth is comforting. Hot stone massage is good for people who have muscle tension but prefer lighter massage
Similar to shiatsu, gentle pressure is applied on specific points of the body in order to align the body’s energies. However, additionally, stretches and compressions are also included. Hence, unlike the other systems of massage, you don’t merely lie down there. The therapist stretches and moves your body in a sequence of postures, much like yoga, except that you don’t have to make the effort of getting into the postures. Apart from reducing stress, it also improves range of movement and flexibility. Compared to other forms, Thai massage is more energizing.