The basics of a Massage

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The basics of a Massage

What is massage? How is massage done? What does it do?  What are some of the benefits? Who can do a massage?  Is there more than one type of massage? This article will cover the basics of massage and answer these questions and more.

What is Massage?

Massage is the maneuvering of soft tissue in the body, normally done by rubbing an area with the hands, forearms, feet or elbows.  The rubbing or maneuvering of the soft tissue can be slow and gentle or more intense, depending on the type of massage and the area being worked on.

How is massage done?

When a massage therapist does a professional massage, the client is massaged while lying on a special table.  When massage is a self-massage, you manipulate, rub and massage certain areas to relieve muscle pain and tension.  Aquatic massage is performed in a warm water therapy pool.

What does Massage do?

Massage is used for many different reasons, but most clients have a massage for the relaxation, release of tension and overall good feeling that results from a massage.  It can also be used for pain relief, improve blood flow and may also be used to improve joint movement for use in people with limited joint movement.  The manipulation of the surrounding soft tissue to the joint can improve the joint movement almost if not totally back to normal.

What are some of the benefits of Massage?

Massage can be a wonderful experience.  As someone that enjoys massage, I look forward to the relaxed feeling and stress relief achieved through massage.  Some of the other benefits are improved circulation, pain relief, and improved mobility from stiff joints. Massage can also be used to relieve muscle tension.  Massage is used to relieve back pain, headaches, osteoarthritis as well as anxiety.  Whatever the reason, massage has many benefits and each person may have a different reason for having one done.

Who can do a massage?

Anyone can self-massage, but in order to massage others for pay, the masseuse will need to be licensed through the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB).  The NCBTMB requires each licensed Massage Therapist meet certain training and practice guidelines in order to be licensed.  There are at least three different licenses.  These are LMT – Licensed Massage Therapist, LMP – Licensed Massage Practitioner, and CMT – Certified Massage Therapist.

Is there more than one type of massage?

To date, there are more than 80 different types of massage.  The type of massage you get will be determined by your massage therapist and what your needs are at the time you are having the massage.  Massage is not a one type fits all.  Let’s look at some of the different types of massage and what they entail.

Types of Massage

As stated previously, there are over 80 different types of massage.  We’ll look at the most popular ones here.

  • Swedish Massage – gentle, rhythmic massage that encourages relaxation, relieves muscle tension and improves blood flow. This is probably the most common massage done in the USA.
  • Deep Tissue Massage – used to pinpoint trouble spots. This massage uses slow, deliberate, deep strokes, applying pressure deep to manipulate muscles, tendons and deep tissue.  This massage can be especially helpful on sprained muscles.
  • Chair Massage – is done while dressed and seated in a specially designed portable chair. The massage is done on muscles in the neck, back, hands, shoulders and arms.  These generally last about 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Sports Massage – used to target muscles used during certain sports. It can be used to loosen up certain muscles to prevent strains and injury before, during and after sporting events.
  • Neuromuscular Therapy Massage – soft tissue massage that treats chronic muscle pain. Trigger points are massaged to improve circulation, posture problems and nerve compression issues.
  • Shiatsu Massage – this is a Japanese type of massage using rhythmic finger pressure. The points focused on are called acupressure points which are believed to influence your body energy.
  • Thai Massage – in this type of massage the therapist uses their whole body to manipulate the client’s body into different positions. While in these various positions muscles are compressed as well as acupressure.
  • Hot Stone Massage – this massage uses warmed stones that are placed on certain parts of the body to relax tense muscles. The stones are used as the massage tool by the therapist.
  • Reflexology – uses the technique of massaging specific acupressure points in the feet to promote better health and well-being of the client.

Whatever the reason for choosing to have a massage, there are several choices of types of massage.   Talk with your massage therapist to see what type of massage is recommended, the length, as well as the benefits expected from the massage.

Massage is a very personal experience so make yours the best it can be.  Call Keystone Rolfing & Massage to book your appointment.

 

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