You want to get a massage, but wonder are there any benefits to Massage Therapy? Massage Therapy has been used for centuries to relieve joint pain, muscle pain, stress, tension, anxiety and depression, rehabilitate sports or other injuries, as well as increase relaxation and general well-being. Other benefits include relief of back pain, headaches and migraines and the stiffness of osteoarthritis. There are those that enjoy regular routine massage therapy and those that seek the benefits of massage therapy only when the need arises. Whatever the case, massage therapy has its place in today’s society as well as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). There are over 80 different types of massage therapy, but we will take a look at the most common ones and the benefits associated with each of them.
Swedish massage is classified as a gentle massage. It is thought to relieve muscle tension and promote relaxation. Swedish massage is one of the most requested types of massage because of the soft, yet effective, elongated strokes and the relaxation and calm that is achieved by the client when the massage is completed. Swedish massage is the easiest massage for the masseuse to do because there is not the amount of pressure used in other massages, but rather gentle, light strokes with the hands used to achieve the effect needed for a good Swedish massage.
For those that suffer with painful troubled spots that keep reoccurring in muscles and tendons, often a deep tissue massage can work the painful area or knot out. A deep tissue massage differs from a Swedish massage in that the therapist uses slow, deliberate strokes aimed at reaching the tendons, muscles and deep tissue that is irritated, thus relieving the pain and stiffness. If you have reoccurring issues, there may be an underlying issue, but generally speaking, a deep tissue massage should be able to work the pain and knot out so that you experience relief from the pain.
Sports massage has been used more and more in the last 30 years to help athletes prevent injury and promote flexibility. Sports massage became popular during the 80’s during the Olympics to help the athletes. Sports massage can be done while in training for an event to prevent injury or soreness of the various muscles used during a specific sport, prior to a sporting event to loosen up muscles that will be worked out during the event, during a sporting event to help relieve strain on a particular muscle or muscle group, or after an event to help relieve pain and pressure to specific muscles effected by the sport.
Chair massage has been used for quite some time and is believed to relieve tension and stiffness in the neck, shoulders and upper back. This has often been thought of as perhaps an introductory massage, but, nonetheless, it is still considered massage. Often thought of a gimmick used at county fairs and in trade shows, chair massage has been proven to relieve muscle strain to the neck, back, arms, shoulders and hands. There are some employers that have used chair massage to help employees relax and become more productive.
In reflexology massage, pressure is applied to certain areas of the feet or hands that are thought to be pressure points for other areas of the body. Reflexology uses finger, thumb or hand pressure. This type of massage is thought to promote health to whatever area of the body coincides with the pressure point being massaged. This type of massage is also thought to promote general overall well-being. For more information about reflexology massage, consult with your masseuse to get further details on this type of massage and what it can do for you.
Self-massage can be done by anyone at any time. When doing self-massage, quite often it is done to relieve tension, stiffness and soreness. Most people, when doing self-massage will use slow, deliberate pressure. When doing self-massage, it is recommended that a lotion be used when applying pressure directly on the skin. In other words, if you are applying pressure through clothing, then pressure alone is fine, but if doing self-massage, say on your feet, using a lotion will prevent friction, and will make the self-massage more enjoyable and relaxing.
Trigger point massage is where the massage therapist applies firm pressure to tight, achy muscles with the intension of relieving the knot or tightness in the corresponding muscle. This type of massage can be slightly uncomfortable, but should be considered when you have knots in muscles that need to be worked out and are causing pain and discomfort. Trigger point massage is often combined with Swedish massage so that the tight, achy muscles are relieved and then the whole body can enjoy a gentle, slow massage to promote relaxation.
Whether you enjoy the benefits of a Swedish massage or need the pressure and pain relief of a trigger point massage or reflexology massage, there are definite health benefits to each of the types of massage discussed here. As someone that enjoys the relaxation achieved through massage, everyone does not have the same experience as everyone else. You will need to find a massage therapist that you like and that can give you the massage you need.