Your body is pretty good at informing you when you need a massage. Unfortunately, it can’t tell you the type of massage that can benefit you the most. And as you probably know, there are a dozen types of massages provided out there. But do you know each massage type aims at achieving a particular goal? In this post, we will discuss five massage types that can help your body cope with stress, relieve soreness and pain, and also help you relax. Treating yourself to a massage session is a great idea, but finding the right type of massage and an excellent spa is what you should be focusing on because that’s what matters the most.
Swedish Massage Therapy
Swedish massage is the most popular massage offered in most gyms, spas, clinics, and wellness centers. During a Swedish massage session, the massage therapist utilizes lotion or oil to massage specific parts of the body. They usually begin with broad strokes before transitioning to specific strokes that aim at addressing problems in particular parts of the body.
Swedish massage is usually gentle and targets every part of the body. It is ideal for individuals who are new to massage, those who have a lot of tension, and people that are sensitive to touch. Swedish massage can help release muscle knots, and it’s the best massage type for individuals seeking full-body muscle relaxation.
As highlighted earlier, Swedish massage involves administering strokes to the general body and then focusing on specific parts of the body. The five types of strokes commonly used in Swedish massage therapy include:
- long smooth strokes (effleurage),
- kneading, rolling, and lifting (petrissage),
- small circular movements (friction),
- percussion (tapotement),
- rocking and shaking movements (vibration).
A massage therapist utilizes a combination of the above techniques to deliver a Swedish massage.
Deep Tissue Message
During deep tissue massage, the massage therapist utilizes more pressure than the Swedish massage. It’s a special type of massage that focuses on relieving tension in the deeper layers of the muscle tissue. It is used to address specific problem areas in the deeper layers of the connective and muscle tissue. The massage therapist administers deliberate, slow strokes across the grain of the muscle to relieve chronic tight or painful muscles, postural problems, repetitive strain, or injuries.
While the pressure used in deep tissue massage is more than that of Swedish massage, it doesn’t have to be painful. If you experience muscle pain during deep tissue massage therapy, inform your massage therapist right away. A deep massage session lasts for about 90 minutes. It’s ideal for individuals with a lot of muscle tension or chronic pain.
Prenatal massage or pregnancy massage is a special type of massage designed for expectant mothers to help in relieving pregnancy pain, stress, depression, and promote relaxation. Prenatal massage can be administered at any time during pregnancy, and it’s tailored to help the expectant mother to cope with body changes during pregnancy.
As the pregnancy progresses to the second and the third trimester, the center of gravity shifts outward, leading to back problems. During this time, many women start suffering from sciatic nerve pain, swollen ankles, neck, and back pain. Pregnancy massage is a relatively safe and drug-free way to deal with lower back and neck pain. Prenatal foot massage also reduces the formation of varicose veins and helps to regulate blood pressure. It also helps in promoting lymph and blood circulation.
Prenatal massage is more sensitive than other types of massage, and it needs to be performed by a massage therapist with specialized training. A session of the prenatal massage lasts for about 60 minutes, and you can have as many sessions as you need during the pregnancy period.
Hot Stone Massage
Instead of relying solely on their hands to work out stubborn muscle knots, the massage therapist can use warm basalt stone to target problem areas. The heat in the basalt stones helps in loosening and relaxing tight muscles, thus providing relief much faster than other types of massage. Hot stone massage helps in improving blood flow, easing muscle tension, alleviating pain, relieving stress, and promoting relaxation.
During the hot stone massage session, the massage therapist places warm basalt stones on different parts of the body. They will then hold the heated stone to massage those areas using the Swedish massage technique. The hot stone massage isn’t suitable for everybody. If you have medical conditions such as heart disease, blood pressure, or varicose veins, you should check with your doctor before booking a hot massage therapy.
Reflexology Massage Therapy
As the name suggests, reflexology massage therapy aims at promoting general body relaxation. The massage therapist utilizes finger pressure to promote relaxation in the body. Reflexology massage targets particular areas on the feet and hands. It is believed that certain areas on foot and the hands are connected to organs and other body parts.