The different types of massage techniques
There are many different types of massage techniques and all of them help provide a sense of peace and tranquility as well as a refreshed feeling of both body and mind.
The word massage represents the traditional art of relaxation and is synonymous with all things peaceful and calming. It involves the gentle and sometimes firm manipulation of all layers of tissue and muscles in the body in order to achieve this sensation of relaxation. From superficial skin contact all the way down to deeper muscle tissue, a massage can help to heal the body and improve recovery and resilience from the daily stresses and wear and tear of our modern lives. Massages are generally believed to have many health benefits. Many believe that they can aid in the body’s natural healing process from wounds and help to protect the mind and body from the harmful effects of stress.
A massage can be enjoyed as a recreational activity or can sometimes be deemed an essential component of medical treatment for serious conditions. The French translate the very term itself, “massage,” as meaning “kneading by way of friction.” This makes perfect sense, as massage therapist and practitioners will frequently knead their hands into the muscles and tissue of the body in order to create the desired effects.
Trigger Point Therapy Massage
When a group of muscles get tight and experience hypertrophy from stress and anxiety, they can cause the person to suffer from soreness, stiffness and aches in the affected muscle and joints. Usually, people who have overly sedentary lifestyles will have multiple area of these patches of muscle fibers that are contracted in various parts of their bodies.
They can be painful, they can limit movement and one of the best ways to treat them is via trigger point massage. This massage therapy technique focuses on applying different levels of pressure on the trigger points in the body. Trigger points are very sensitive to touch and some can cause excruciating pain upon the slightest amount of pressure. That is why the therapist will know how much pressure to apply on these areas, maximizing comfort while slowly removing the stress of these contracted muscle fibers and returning them to their original loose and relaxed states without causing more pain.
Since muscles take a long time to accumulate and form a trigger point, chances are, the person will need to undergo more than just one therapy session to completely get rid of these sensations of uneasiness, discomfort and pain.
This form of massage is regarded to be one of the most famous and most well-known types of massage in the world due to its being a “beginner friendly” massage. This means that many people who have never had a massage before, will often experience a Swedish massage as their first kind. As some forms of massage can be too painful to bear for a beginner so many opt for the Swedish massage as a way to gain entry in to the world of massage therapy.
Swedish massage involves the use of a lubricant on the body, usually a type of massage oil and then the practitioner proceeds to perform various massage strokes with varying degrees of pressure. It is up to the therapist and the one receiving therapy to guide each other throughout the course of the massage. There can be gentle and easy movements, and there can also be somewhat vigorous movements. It all depends on what the person wants.
Deep Tissue Massage
This massage focuses on the realignment of deep layers of muscles and their connecting tissues. It is especially helpful for patients who have severe muscle soreness and aches in their body. Most people tend to develop chronic back pains, neck pains and pains in multiple joints throughout their bodies. Since these areas are deeply connected with tissue and accompanying layers of muscles, the deep tissue massage therapy is perfect to alleviate the person’s sensations of pain and aches.
This form of massage therapy can cause discomfort and pain and therefore is not recommended for people who are new to the world of massages. It focuses on breaking apart adhesions, which are built up in sore muscles and tendons. Since these adhesions can cause pain and discomfort, it is important to remove them via deep tissue massage therapy. The technique involves simply using enough physical force to break away the adhesions, permanently removing them so that the body can feel rejuvenated and muscle balance restored.
Sports massage is literally a type of massage therapy that is designed specifically with the athlete in mind. It encompasses all athletes from different sports and with differing levels on intensity. It is suitable for the weekend passive sports enthusiast and it is also effective for a professional athletes as well. Unlike other forms of massage therapy, the sports massage requires the therapist to truly understand the nature of the human body and its anatomy with respect to athletic function and performance.
This form of massage therapy only requires the right amount of force applied to the right spot on the athlete’s body. Sports Massages can be applied in two forms, before the athlete is warmed up and after the athlete has cooled down from a sporting event. This is a very important form of therapy as it greatly reduces the chances of an athlete sustaining significant injuries during their athletic performance. Sports massage can help preserve the longevity of an athlete’s career.
The concept of reflexology revolves around the belief that there are certain pressure points on the palms and the feet that can greatly affect a person’s health. The application of pressure to those points on the body will stimulate the body to heal the specific areas. The general belief is that reflexology improves blood flow and circulation throughout the body.
Reflexology needs to be performed by trained reflexologists, as they know which areas of the palm and foot represents certain vital organs and other areas of the body. This form of therapy is useful for overall health and well-being and helps to encourage the body to rid itself of toxins and impurities.
Cranial Sacral Therapy
This form of therapy is an extension of osteopathy. It is based upon the theory that, at a deep level, all living being’s physiological functions and all living tissues respond to rhythmic pulsations. This form of massage involves constantly producing rhythmic impulses which are then palpated by the therapist’s sensitive hands on the base of the skull (or cranium, hence the term “cranial”).
There are three different types of rhythms that come in differing levels. The first being the cranial rhythmic impulse that is expressed at a rate of 8 to 10 cycles per minute. The mid tide is a tidal rhythm that carries forces into the body at a slower rate of 2 cycles per minute. Lastly, there is the long time that is a deep and slow impulse expressed once every 100 seconds. All of these variations are used in varying combinations based on what the patient’s needs are.
Massage and pregnancy has always known to be receive mixed responses regarding its safety and the risks of how massages could affect pregnancies. Fortunately, modern research supports the idea that prenatal massages are not dangerous but vital in every woman’s prenatal care.
Some of the benefits of prenatal massage include reduced stress and anxiety levels for pregnant women. This is especially helpful for women who are pregnant for the first time and do not know what to expect from being pregnant. The massage is also known to regulate hormones to an extent when pregnant women are less stressed and anxious.
Often times, pregnancy can also cause a swelling of the joints, which then causes pain and added discomfort to the pregnant mother. Prenatal massage can help alleviate this problem entirely.
Massages are often designed with specific needs of the person in mind. Geriatric massaging is no different as it is designed for the elderly. This massage is designed to specifically address certain issues that are faced by elderly people such as increased sensitivity to the human touch and being more fragile overall.
Focused touch from a therapist can help lighten one’s mood, alleviating stress, tension, feelings of loneliness, abandonment and more (which can all be serious issues facing the elderly). Often elderly individuals can feel isolated and as such, fears begin to form in the backs of minds. A geriatric massage by a therapist will serve to relieve them of their stress and fears. Focused touch can also stimulate circulation of the blood throughout the entire body, which helps to boost the immune system and ease many pains and aches that are common to the elderly.
This therapeutic massage technique utilizes hot stones as a means of massaging the body. Smooth stones are heated to a tolerable degree that is just enough to give pleasurable feelings of warmth to a person when placed on his or her body. The heated stones will transmit heat to the body, which warms up tightened muscles and helps the therapist unwind them more easily.
Hot stones can be hard to handle so it is important to find a therapist that specializes in hot stone massages to ensure that the proper techniques are followed.
Thai massage is a very popular massage technique that originates from the lands of India and China. No oils are used in this massage technique and often, the massage is performed to people lying on the floor. The therapist will then use his or her hands and elbows to create rhythmic impulses on the body, which serve to relax and loosen tight muscles. There are many standard procedures and rhythms to different massages and the therapist will be trained enough to know how to perform properly.
While there are even more types of specializes massages, the ones we covered are some of the most popular and widely practiced massage techniques amongst most people all over the world.