Updated: Jul 16, 2019
Massage therapy is the manipulation of muscles, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments. The purpose of massage therapy is to relax the muscles, to reduce stress, heal injuries, to reduce pain and to promote health. There are many different types of massage therapy available, each one offering its own unique benefits. Choose your massage therapy based on your nees. Here we will look at 7 different therapies.
Swedish massage therapy is the commonest type of massage available in the USA. The therapist uses massage oil or lotion to perform long smooth strokes, kneading, and circular movements on the top layers of your muscles. Swedish massage therapy is good for relaxation, stress relief, relieving cramped or stiff muscles, and for couples massage. If you never had a massage before, then Swedish massage therapy is a good introduction.
Aromatherapy massage uses special essential oils during massage to address certain needs. Basically the therapist selects the oils based on the needs of the client. The oil can be energising, or relaxing, or stress reducing or balancing or uplifting for the mood.
Hot stone massage uses heated smooth stones on certain parts of the muscles to loosen certain muscles and to balance energy throughout the body. The therapist can also hold some of the stones and use them to perform gentle strokes. Hot stone massage is good for people who have muscle tension but prefer gentle massage. It is very invigorating.
Thai massage aligns and balances the energies of the body. The therapist uses his/her hands, feet, knees and legs to stretch you, to apply pressure on your muscles and to loosen your joints. Thai massage energises you, reduces stress, and improves flexibility and range of motion.
Shiatsu is an ancient Japanese massage therapy that uses firm finger pressure in a rhythmic sequence along the acupuncture meridians. Pressure is exerted on each point for 2 to 8 seconds to improve the flow of energy and to help the body regain balance. This massage is highly relaxing.
Deep tissue massage targets the deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. If you have knots in your muscles, this is the best therapy. It targets the knotted points and this is so painful that it feels like the therapist is deliberately torturing you. The therapist also uses slow strokes and friction across the grain of the muscles. Deep tissue massage is used for chronically tight muscles, painful muscles, repetitive strain, posture problems, or for recovery from injury. You will feel sore afterwards.
Reflexology is a special foot massage based on the knowledge that certain points on the feet correspond to certain parts and organs of the body. It targets particular points based on the needs of the client and basically relieve problems in the corresponding parts of the body. A number of studies have found reflexology to be effective for recovery from surgery, pain relief, relaxation, easier pregnancy, symptoms of mental and emotional disorders, and many other problems .
Now you can choose your next massage therapy with knowledge of the benefits.