TOP Massage Techniques Explained

There are many types of massage, each making use of their own advantages to relieve stress, pain or enhance general wellbeing. Massage is an ancient art with many variations with respect to the country of origin. I explore some of the most popular, explaining the treatment and their individual benefits.

Swedish Massage

Swedish massage, the most used worldwide, is also known as ‘Classic massage’ and is the foundation for most other types of Western massage. It involves using firm but gentle pressure to market relaxation, working on regions of specific muscle tension. It is performed on bare skin using oils or lotions. The therapist uses their hands, forearms or elbows to manipulate the superficial layers of the muscles. Swedish massage shortens recovery time from muscular strain by flushing the tissues of lactic acid, the crystals, and other metabolic wastes by increasing the amount of oxygen in the blood, it does increase the speed cells can eliminate their waste materials.

The five basic strokes of Swedish massage include:

Effleurage (sliding or gliding)
Petrissage (kneading)
Tapotement (rhythmic tapping)
Friction (cross fiber)

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep Tissue Massage, because the name implies, targets the deeper layers of muscle tissue. Unlike Swedish massage, that is used for relaxation, deep tissue massage targets a specific problem, such as: Chronic pain. It treats the connective tissue of your body rather than just the top muscles. It is much like Swedish massage but with slower movements and deeper pressure. Deep tissue massage really helps to refresh and relax muscles, increasing the blood flow and then the oxygen flow around the body. A deep tissue massage is quite slow using long, flowing strokes to ease in and out of the muscle. The purpose of deep tissue massage is not to leave you feeling relaxed and blissful; rather, it can help to tackle particular physical, muscular problems to alleviate pain and restore normal movement.

Sports Massage

Sports massage was designed for athletes, but is suitable for anyone with chronic pain, injury or range-of-motion problems. It targets the prevention and healing of injuries to muscles and tendons. Sports Massage differs from massage therapy in that it is just a deeper form of soft tissue massage using specific techniques to treat physically active individuals.

The different types of massage include: Post-event – to bring body tissues on track state. Restorative – during training allows athletes to train harder and minimise potential for injury. Rehabilitative – targeted at alleviating pain because of injury. A sports massage is an excellent choice if you have a specific problem sustained through sport. It stimulates circulation of blood and lymph fluids that allows for optimal metabolic exchanges, enhanced recovery after intense training, better performance and decreased onset of muscle soreness in addition to reduces the possibility of injury.

Indian Head Massage

Popular in Asia Indian Head Massage has been shown to be proficient at relieving stress, insomnia, headaches, migraine, tension, and sinusitis. The West has caught to its benefits using it as an instant de-stressing program.

Indian Head Massage is an extremely relaxing treatment which, as the name suggests, targets massaging the top. Indian Head Massage (Champissage) also contains massage of the shoulders, upper arms, neck, scalp, face and ears. The treatment uses a selection of different movements including deep kneading and compression movements over the neck, shoulder and scalp areas. Performed sitting upright in a chair, it helps to clear the mind since it revitalizes and improves alertness and concentration levels, whilst improving joint mobility and flexibility in the neck and shoulders.

Reflexology Massage

Reflexology, often known as zone therapy, is based on the concept that there are “reflex” areas on the feet and hands that match specific organs, glands, and other parts of the body. The underlying theory is that when pressure is applied to a specific reflex area, it affects the organ represented.

This seated treatment involves applying pressure to “Zone” areas on your toes and hands with specific thumb, finger and hand techniques minus the use of oil or lotion. Reflexology stimulates organs, boosts circulation and may restore bodily functions to normal. Reflexology promotes healing by stimulating the foot, which increases the flow of vital energy to differing of the body and also releases endorphins (the body’s natural pain killers)

Hot Stone Massage

A hot stone massage is a full body treatment that uses smooth flat water heated stones placed along both sides of the spine (the chakra centres). The aim is to relax muscles and relieve tension rapidly. Differently weighted stones are employed for different amounts of pressure.

Hot stone massage combines the proven great things about Swedish massage with the deep heat and pressure supplied by using warm basalt stones and soothing oils to relax the muscles, enabling a deeper and much more intense all-over massage. The stones are employed as tools to deliver effective tissue and muscle massage at light, medium or deep pressure levels in the treatment of sore muscles, back pain, stress and other common ailments. Benefits are the restoration of your body’s natural balance, deep muscle relaxation, improved circulation and the feeling of all over comfort and warmth.

Shiatsu Massage

Shiatsu massage is really a traditional hands-on therapy while it began with Japan used to achieve the harmony of chi in your body. Shiatsu works on the whole being, from the physical to the spiritual.

Shiatsu, also called acupressure, is a finger pressure massage that involves acupressure techniques (minus the needles) using hand, thumbs, elbows and knees incorporating pressure, holding, rubbing, heating or stretching movements which is often deep and firm. Usually performed on a floor mat or futon, Shiatsu is a deeply relaxing experience which stimulates the body’s own healing systems and brings the body into balance, energetically and physically. Shiatsu massage is best known for relief of stress-related symptoms such as headaches and general muscle tension and also increasing mental and spiritual awareness.

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