TOP Massage Techniques Explained

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

Swedish Massage

Swedish massage, the most famous worldwide, is also known as ‘Classic massage’ and may be the foundation for most other types of Western massage. It involves using firm but gentle pressure to promote relaxation, working on areas of specific muscle tension. It really 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, focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue. Unlike Swedish massage, which is useful for relaxation, deep tissue massage focuses on a specific problem, such as: Chronic pain. It treats the connective tissue of the body rather than just the surface muscles. It is similar to Swedish massage but with slower movements and deeper pressure. Deep tissue massage helps to refresh and relax muscles, increasing the blood flow and therefore the oxygen flow around the body. A deep tissue massage is very slow using long, flowing strokes to help ease in and from the muscle. The aim of deep tissue massage is not to leave you feeling relaxed and blissful; rather, it helps to tackle particular physical, muscular problems to relieve pain and restore normal movement.

Sports Massage

Sports massage was created for athletes, but is suitable for anyone with chronic pain, injury or range-of-motion problems. It focuses on 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 create body tissues to normal state. Restorative – during training allows athletes to teach harder and minimise potential for injury. Rehabilitative – targeted at alleviating pain because of injury. A sports massage is a good 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 as well as reduces the chance of injury.

Indian Head Massage

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

Indian Head Massage is a very relaxing treatment which, because the name suggests, focuses on massaging the head. Indian Head Massage (Champissage) also includes massage of the shoulders, upper arms, neck, scalp, face and ears. The treatment uses a range of different movements including deep kneading and compression movements on the neck, shoulder and scalp areas. Performed sitting upright in a chair, it can help to clear the mind as it revitalizes and improves alertness and concentration levels, whilst improving joint mobility and flexibility in the neck and shoulders.

Reflexology Massage

Reflexology, also called zone therapy, is based on the concept there are “reflex” areas on your toes and hands that correspond to specific organs, glands, along with 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 without the usage of oil or lotion. Reflexology stimulates internal organs, boosts circulation and will restore bodily functions on track. Reflexology promotes healing by stimulating the foot, which escalates the flow of vital energy to differing of the body along with releases endorphins (the body’s natural pain killers)

Hot Stone Massage

A hot stone massage is really 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 used for different amounts of pressure.

Hot stone massage combines the proven benefits of 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 treating sore muscles, back pain, stress along with other common ailments. Benefits include 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 a traditional hands-on therapy while it began with Japan used to achieve the harmony of chi within the body. Shiatsu works overall being, from the physical to the spiritual.

Shiatsu, also called acupressure, is really 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 that may be deep and firm. Usually performed on a floor mat or futon, Shiatsu is a deeply relaxing experience which stimulates your body’s own healing systems and brings the body into balance, energetically and physically. Shiatsu massage is most beneficial known for relief of stress-related symptoms such as headaches and general muscle tension along with increasing mental and spiritual awareness.


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