Massage therapy benefits virtually every part of your body. From your feet to your head (especially areas that have injury, arthritis or certain disease) there are at least 85 different types of massage and body work techniques. Every method achieves a different objective. If you think you need a massage, here are the most common types of massage practiced in the West.
1. Sports Therapy Massage. Sports medicine includes various muscle massage and stretching procedures, both to treat and prevent injuries (usually athletic). There is also a focus on physical therapy often for athletes or people involved in sports.
2. Chair Massage. A 15 to 30 minute massage, given to a person who is dressed and seated, in a chair (sometimes one designed for it). Massage on the tight and tense areas in the neck, shoulders, back, and head to help with stress relief. Chair massage is common and you may find it practiced in your local mall.
3. Foot Massage. This is a massage performed on the feet ankles and sometimes the lower legs. It relieves pain and stress on overworked feet, which in turn reduces tension throughout the body.
4. Deep Tissue Massage. Deliberate, more-forceful pressure, which targets the connective tissues and muscles, aids in the recovery from injuries or tissue/muscle damage. Deep tissue massage is also where the therapist works repetitively on specific muscles to break down scar tissue . A person may feel tenderness and slight soreness for 24 to 48 hours after a deep tissue massage.
5. Swedish Massage. A Swedish or full body masseuse applies lotions or oils on the skin as it is being massaged. This form of massage uses gliding strokes , kneading , deep circular motions, as well as, vibrations or tapping motions to help get rid of tension and boost the energy levels. Swedish massage usually involves a specially designed table and the person who receives it may be unclothed or partially unclothed so the practitioner can work on the surface of the skin on the back, legs and arms.
6. Muscle Trigger Point Massage. This massage focuses on tight muscle groups and nerve fibers that form in muscles due to overuse, injury or stress impact.
7. Hot Stone Massage. Hot Stone is where heated stones are applied to various pressure points of the body. It works great for stress relief and healing.
Health Benefits of Massage:
So if you still haven’t decided if you need a massage or not here’s a little research into how your massage can heal your body and your mind.
Massage has some clinically proven and research based health benefits. It helps get rid of tension, reduces inflammation, relieves stress and pain. There is mounting clinical and medical evidence that massage aids in the healthy activity of the muscle, circulatory, lymphatic, skeletal, immune and nervous systems.
Massage is also used to treat osteoarthritis, for increased mobility and range-of-motion in the affected areas. Massages help the patients reduce their pain and stiffness. It has been proven to lower high blood pressure, and increase function of the neurological and immune systems in cancer patients. Massage is often prescribed to treat lower back conditions, as well as, chronic pain.
Sports medicine was practically founded on the research that muscles recover more quickly and better restored when massage is used as treatment. There are very real physiological and psychological positive effects.
Despite its various health benefits, massage does not replace medical treatment. It is often prescribed and performed by a medical provider in hospitals or clinics. It is also available in clinics, spas, and private practices. Different treatments recommended (massage, physical therapy, and heat therapy) are often used together as the key to curing the body and maintaining your health and well-being.
So book your appointment and enjoy that massage.