Massage is perhaps one of the oldest healing therapies and in modern times, more and more people are beginning to appreciate the benefits of a good massage. What is a massage? Massage can be described as the process of kneading, rubbing, or manipulating muscles and other soft tissue in the body to improve an individual's health and well-being.
Table of Contents
- Benefits of Massage
- Various Types of Massage
- Swedish Massage
- Hot Stone Massage
- Deep Tissue Massage
- Aromatherapy Massage
- Thai Massage
- Sports Massage
- Shiatsu Massage
- Prenatal Massage
- Trigger Point Massage
- Couples Massage
There are different kinds of massage out there each achieving different results. Certainly, our body is good at letting us know when it needs a massage, if only it would let us know the exact type of massage it needs. More so because the key to reaping the most benefits from a massage is choosing the right kind of massage therapy based on your respective needs.
Benefits of Massage
While a lot of people seem to think that getting a massage is more of a luxury rather than a necessity if stop to consider all the benefits that will come with getting one you will realize that you are doing your body, mind, and spirit a whole world of good by booking those massage appointments.
The following are some of the benefits of a massage:
- Promotes relaxation
- Increases flexibility
- Reduces stress
- Lower blood pressure
- Improves blood circulation
- Improves posture
- Reduces pain
- Improves sleep
- Reduces fatigue
Each type of massage feels different and we have a compressive list of 11 major massages. Stay tuned.
Did you know that research shows that men are more likely to get a massage than women?
Various types of Massage
1. Swedish Massage
Swedish massage is the foundation of most massage styles practiced today. So much that when people refer to a massage in general, it is commonly the Swedish massage that is being referenced.
The primary goal of Swedish massage is to relax the entire body. It involves a combination of gliding, kneading, deep circular motion, friction, passive joint movement vibration, and gentle tapping. These movements warm up the muscle tissues to increase blood circulation, release muscle knots, release tension and release muscle tension.
Generally, Swedish massage is ideal for everyone who wants to relax their body with simple but effective movements.
2. Hot Stone Massage
As the name suggests, rather than relying solely on hand movements, Hot Stone Massage uses heated stones to work out stubborn muscle knots. Well, not just any type of stone is used. Massage therapists prefer soft basalt volcanic stones that are known to retain heat.
The hot stones are placed on specific parts of the body usually the spine, chest, face, stomach, and hands. This technique allows the massage therapist to go deeper while using light pressure. Just like the Swedish Massage, in Hot Stone Massage the therapist also uses kneading, long strokes, circular movements, vibrations, and tapping.
When on the receiving end you are bound to reap lots of benefits which include improved sleep, relief of muscle pain and tension, reduced anxiety and stress, relaxing tight muscles, and boosted immunity. Massage sessions take relatively longer compared to other types of massage but it's worth every it.
3. Deep Tissue Massage
Deep Tissue Massage targets deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue where the masseuse can use knuckles, hands, and even the elbow to dig deep into the muscles. This type of massage is particularly ideal in releasing chronic tension and can be effective for people with musculoskeletal disorders, chronic muscles tension & pain, and postural problems.
Deep Tissue Massage utilizes slower but deeper strokes with more pressure. The massage is often associated with the correspondence release of deeper seasonal tension. Stubborn knots due to muscle overuse, poor posture, and excessive training also don't stand a chance.
There is a wide range of benefits of deep tissue massage which include; eliminating muscle knots, reduce muscle inflammation, improve blood circulation, improves poor posture problems, and releases chronic muscle tension.
4. Aromatherapy Massage
Aromatherapy massage is the best for people who want to add an emotional healing component to their tissue massage. This type of massage combines the soft gentle pressure of the Swedish massage with the use of essential oils.
Speaking of essential oils, these are plant extracts that are believed to have healing properties. The essential oil may be directed applied to your skilled or diffused in the room during the massage session. Massage therapists decide on the best essential oils to use but clients can also propose what they prefer. The most used oil is lavender essential oil, one that has a reputation to promote relaxation.
The use of essential oils dates back to the ancient Egyptians. If you are feeling particularly emotionally stressed out you should consider booking an aromatherapy massage appointment. Benefits include: Relieves stress and anxiety, reduces symptoms of depression, treats insomnia, boosts your mood, relieves pain, and promotes inner peace.
5. Thai Massage
Thai Massage is a type of massage where the body is manipulated into yoga stretches. This particular massage will work your entire body from head to feet through a sequence of stretching movements.
The therapist will use their hands to apply firm pressure on your body as they stretch and twist your body into various positions. These long stretches help tone up muscles and relieve muscles tension. Other benefits include: Lowers stress, boosts energy levels, relieves headaches, and improved blood circulation.
Thai massage is done fully clothed hence suitable for people who are not comfortable stripping naked for a massage.
6. Sports Massage
Sports Massage is specifically designed with athletes in mind. This is more of a Swedish massage that aims to address aches caused by repetitive motion. The massage can be done during, before, and after an event.
Sports massage is considered a good option for athletes prone to injuries since the massage can focus on specific areas, whereby deep pressure is alternated with soothing strokes as per your needs.
Benefits of sports massage include: increase flexibility 7 performance, promotes quick muscle recovery, reduce muscle and joint pain, and promotes muscle balance.
Reflexology, also known as zone therapy is a traditional feet massage that helps the entire body. This massage works on the basic principle that the whole body is linked with zones on your hands and feet. The therapist will apply firm rhythmic pressure on specific regions of these organs. As simple as it sounds, reflexology will benefit the entire body from the brain, muscles, and internal organs.
Benefits include: nerve relaxation, reduce headache, increase circulation on the correspondence organ, boost energy levels, reduce anxiety and promotes fast healing. Reflexology is technical and should always be done by certified reflexology professionals.
8. Shiatsu Massage
Shiatsu Massage is one of the oldest massage therapy native to Japan. This massage involves the use of fingers, elbows, and feet to massage the body focusing on the body's natural acupressure points. Shiatsu Massage also involves gentle stretching and is done on a mat or low massage table.
The massage has different variations the popular ones being barefoot shiatsu, healing shiatsu, and movement shiatsu, all of which pressure is applied in a rhythmic sequence along the body.
Shiatsu Massage integrates emotional, physiological, and spiritual wellbeing. Benefits include: increase energy levels, improves recovery promotes physical and mental healing, promotes muscle relaxation, and helps with chronic conditions such as arthritis joint pain.
9. Prenatal Massage
Prenatal Massage is the safest way for pregnant women to get a massage. This massage is specifically designed to take into account the unique considerations of pregnant women. Pregnancy is challenging and more often than not, most pregnant women will suffer from lower back pain, swollen ankles, and stress.
To begin with, Prenatal Massage is done on a special table that allows pregnant women to rest comfortably and safely during a massage. The massage focuses on specific areas such as the lower back, hips, and legs. Benefits of prenatal massage include: reduce muscle tension, relieves stress & anxiety, regulates hormones, reduces swelling and pain, and promotes relaxation.
Never settle for anything short of someone with a valid prenatal massage license.
10. Trigger Point Massage
Trigger Point Massage often mistaken for Pressure Point therapy is a type of massage that combines techniques from both Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage. This massage focuses specifically rather than massaging the whole body. It aims at dispelling chronic tension located deep in the muscles.
Benefits include: tackles stubborn muscle knots, relieves pain, promotes muscle relaxation, and facilitates quick recovery.
11. Couples Massage
What could possibly be better than getting a massage after a long day at work on a Friday evening? Inviting your boo to join you. Couples Massage is where the therapist kneads two clients who lay side by side in the same room.
Couples Massage is ideal if you want to sparkle your romantic life and reconnect with your partner. Least assured that after the session you will both have a high drive to take your relationship to the next level for the night. Wink.
It is not always that Couples Massage is a romantic session. Some will opt to get the massage with a family member or friend side by side. Either way, these sessions are worth your time and money.
There you have it on the various types of massages. Massage therapy is a treatment growing in demand and popularity. However, choosing the right kind of massage is not always a walk in the pack especially if you don't know what you want. Whether its essential oil aromatherapy massage or deep tissue massage there is nothing holding you now from booking those appointments.