A massage is a popular method of stress relief and relaxation and is often used for recovering from injuries or reducing pain. Confusion in the process of choosing a type of massage is common. In this article, we explain the 5 most popular types of massage and discuss which one is right for you.
1. Swedish Massage
A Swedish Massage is the most popular type of massage, often used to relieve stress, back pain, and muscle injuries. In this massage, a therapist uses lower pressure when compared to other similar techniques, along with shorter tapping strokes and longer deeper strokes to moderate pressure.
Therapists also utilize flowing, long strokes in the heart’s direction along with kneading and circular movements and massage oil or lotion to minimize friction. Swedish massage is often the first massage recommended to anyone who has never undergone a massage before.
Reflexology is perhaps the oldest massage in existence, with usage tracing back as long as 4000 years to ancient China and Egypt. The technique involves applying different amounts of pressure at specific parts of the feet and hands to benefit other areas of the body.
Reflexology is known to reduce stress, pain and help the body relax. It’s mainly used for relaxation, although some claim it may help heal muscle injuries. Researchers are divided; there is no conclusive evidence to show that it can aid the healing process.
3. Hot Stone Massage
A hot stone massage, as the name suggests, involves heated stones that are placed on the back and shoulder muscles. Stones usually include basalt, a type of volcanic rock with high iron content, which is known to hold heat well due to its molecular structure. Stones are typically heated in hot water of up to 100°F before being placed on the back and shoulders.
Because of the heat the stones provide to the muscles, this massage is especially useful for healing muscle injuries, increasing blood flow to the area, and relaxation. It is also used for reducing stiffness and discomfort and is usually performed by trained specialists.
4. Deep Tissue Massage
A therapist applies slow and firm strokes to reach deep connective tissues in deep tissue massage. It is often used at muscle knots to deal with posture issues, chronic pain and muscle strain. Deep tissue massage is ideal for someone who is suffering from any muscle-related problems and is also a favorite of sports professionals.
5. Shiatsu Massage
A Shiatsu Massage is one of the most famous Japanese massages, and is often used for correcting the imbalances in the body. It is developed from ancient Taoism healing practices and is also used in traditional Chinese Medicine. During a Shiatsu massage, different amount of pressure is applied at specific points of the body with the purpose of promoting healthy energy flows and rectifying imbalances.
Shiatsu is one of the several massages that is based on the belief that most health issues are a result of unhealthy energy flows in our body as several eastern cultures have the belief that energy flows within our body, and any imbalance manifests itself in the form of illness or pain.
Although most massages are free of risk, you must take several precautions before getting one. People with open wounds or cuts must avoid massages to avoid worsening bleeding, and those taking anticoagulant medicines must also avoid massages.
More importantly, you must always ask a therapist about his or her qualifications, experience and licenses, as most jurisdictions regulate who can provide a massage.
Massage is one of the most common ways to deal with muscle pain, strains, and sprains and there is evidence that it can help people suffering from several medical conditions. If possible, consult your physician to be sure that massage is the right treatment for your situation.
If you are looking for a licensed massage therapist serving Richardson, TX and surrounding areas, feel free to book an appointment with Kylie Ellison, LMT. Kylie has firsthand experience with helping sufferers of chronic pain, and other medical conditions via massage therapy. It is her goal to provide massage therapy that fits every schedule and budget.
Contact her at (903) 521-1358 or book an appointment here.
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