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While some people may view getting a massage as a frivolous modern trend, massage therapy is, in fact, a healing technique from India that dates as far back as 3000 BCE. There are many forms to this method of healing, which involves applying mild or intense pressure to the body using fingers, hands, forearms, elbows, feet, and devices. And the benefits of a massage include physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
You may have always wanted to try massage therapy but didn’t know which technique to choose. Read this essential guide to help you understand the different types of massages available to you and the benefits of each unique treatment.
This popular technique may work best if you are new to massage therapy and sensitive to the touch. A Swedish massage usually relieves tension by releasing muscle knots. To accomplish the intentions of this form, the massage therapist will use a combination of kneading, vibration, rubbing in deep circular motions, gentle, flowing strokes, and stretching and bending the joints.
Swedish massages are also known for:
- Increasing oxygen levels and the number of lymphocytes (white blood cells) in the blood
- Decreasing muscle toxins and levels of cortisol (a stress hormone)
- Improving flexibility and circulation
- Reducing anxiety
Typically, a session using this technique will last 60 to 90 minutes, leaving you more relaxed than when you started.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massages involve the therapist using deep finger pressure and slow strokes to relieve tension in muscles and connective tissues. This method is beneficial for individuals who want to ease chronic aches and pain in the neck, upper back, lower back, legs, and shoulders.
Besides eliminating knots, you may choose to get a deep tissue massage for the following health benefits:
- Breaks down scar tissue
- Improves circulation, flexibility, and posture
- Reduces inflammation of the muscles
- Aids recovery from neck and back injuries
- Alleviates pain from strain injuries and osteoarthritis
- Relieves anxiety
A deep tissue massage should last 60 to 90 minutes and is a good option for those not sensitive to heavy pressure.
If you’re involved in any athletic activity, a sports massage may be what you need. Athletes tend to get this massage as a warm-up before an intense workout or game or after a sports injury. It can improve blood flow, range of motion, flexibility, and overall performance, as well as shorten recovery times and reduce muscle and joint pain.
Trigger Point Massage
You may not need a full body massage but would rather have a therapist work on a particular issue or condition. Therefore, a trigger point massage may best suit you out of all the massage options.
Trigger point massages incorporate similar techniques of both the Swedish and deep tissue massage but only on specific areas of your body where tension needs to be released. And they help to relax you and reduce pain.
Hot Stone Massage
A hot stone massage works to ease tension and soreness with the help of smooth, flat, heated stones. The massage therapist will place one of these hot stones on different parts of your body and then use a method similar to a Swedish massage. The advantage of this technique is it may relieve more tension and knots due to the heat from the stones.
Other Types of Massages
You may want to explore other types of massages, such as reflexology, prenatal, aromatherapy, and shiatsu. Now that you’re aware of the different massage options, we hope you can get the right treatment for you. Check out Islandsaltandspa.com to book your massage today.