Massage therapy is a popular art that has been used for centuries as a part of general health care for many people, especially those living in today’s stressful environment. With the increasing demand of massage therapy, the massage options are becoming more confusing. There are so many different types of massages available and you need to make sure you choose the best type for your needs. Whether you are looking for a way to relax, need to have aching muscles soothed or want to relieve some stress, there is a massage therapy for everyone’s needs.
Traditional Thai Massage
Traditional Thai massages use deep tissue, stretching and pressure point techniques. This type of massage is especially beneficial for those who suffer with sore muscles and/or chronic pain. The techniques are typically more rigorous and energizing than the other more classic types of massage. Thai massage is also known as Thai yoga massage and deep tissue massage. If you are recovering from an injury that has resulted in back problems, this type of massage will help relieve the pain; however, you may be slightly sore for a few days following the massage.
Reflexology is often mistaken for being a foot massage; however, with a foot massage the therapist normally uses massage oil or lotion and gentle gliding strokes over the entire area of the foot. Whereas genuine reflexology is done by applying pressure to the pressure points in your foot that correspond to the various organs in your body. Reflexology massage is also done on the hands and fingers as well as the feet. The theory is that by applying pressure to specific locations, it will promote health to the corresponding parts.
The Swedish massage is the most popular type of massage available. A Swedish massage therapist typically uses scented massage oils to facilitate smooth and gliding strokes over the area being massaged. This type of massage also relies on techniques such as stretching, kneading, tapping, friction and vibration. The pressure may change from gentle to heavy, depending on the goal of the massage. For example, to promote relaxation the pressure is typically firm, but not quite as firm as you would experience with a deep tissue massage.
Hot Stone Massage
Hot stone massages are becoming increasingly more popular. During a hot stone massage therapy, the therapists place heated, smooth and flat stones on specific points of your back and/or in the palms and between the toes. The warmth of the stones are used to relax and soothe sore muscles, which allows your therapist to apply deep tissue massage to later. Following a hot stone massage there is typically no soreness even with the followup deep tissue massage.
Aromatherapy is one of the most common types of massage therapy. Aromatherapy massage basically consists of using the Swedish massage technique combined with concentrated plant oils, known as essential oils. The essential oils are typically added to the original massage oil and/or lotion. Each essential oil is thought to have different healing properties. Many therapist use various combinations of essential oils for the optimum benefits. For example, there are essential oils designed to provide a calming effect, uplifting, cleansing, energizing and/or de-congesting.
This is a form of Japanese massage therapy that is similar to acupuncture, except it doesn’t use needles. During a Shiatsu massage, the therapist will apply pressure on the pressure points that are used during acupuncture therapy. This type of massage is excellent for those who have sore muscles or are experiencing pain and/or discomfort in various areas of their body. A Shiatsu massage is often very relaxing, calming and a pleasurable experience.
Massage therapy is beneficial for a variety of health problems as well as promoting better sleep patterns and relaxation. However, some massages are designed to promote better health by helping your body rid itself of harmful toxins. For example, some deep tissue massages are referred to as a detox massage. If you have this type of massage it is important to follow the instructions provided by your therapist for after the massage. For example, you need to drink a specific amount of water, which will help to flush the toxins out. If you fail to follow the instructions, the massage may cause more harm than good. For reasons like this, it is important to discuss the massage therapy you are considering with your therapist to ensure it is appropriate for your needs.