Massage therapy is no longer a self-indulgent luxury or a special treat, but an essential part of our stressful and wearing modern life. Massage can help you balance your moods and emotions as well as enhancing body functions and accelerating the process of recovery. There are several main massage techniques and styles. Although any type of massage can enhance your overall health in addition to having specific effects, it is better if you choose the massage type which suits your conditions and meets your goals. Before planning for and starting any massage treatment, make sure to consult your massage plan with your doctor, especially for more intense or sensitive types of massage.
What Type of Massage Are There
Are you new to massage? Are you frequently under large amounts of tension and stress? Are you ticklish and sensitive to touch? Do you want to manage the slight pain you are feeling? Then, the most common massage type, Swedish massage, suits you. Swedish massage can help to ease your muscle spasms and knots. This type of massage usually lasts about 60 to 90 minutes. It involves movements such as rhythmic tapping, kneading, friction, vibration, and deep circular motions.
Do you suffer from painful muscle spasms? Then, you can choose a subcategory of trigger point massage which is called neuromuscular therapy. In this massage type, your massage therapist should be specifically trained. He/she puts arrhythmic concentrated pressure with his/her fingers, knuckles, or elbows on the painful muscles. Similar to other pain-reducing massage types, neuromuscular therapy may feel painful at first; however, the pain should be temporary and be reduced as more oxygen and nutrients are delivered to the muscle cells.
Do you want to promote your flexibility, muscle performance, blood circulation, and energy levels all at once? Then, you should select the Thai massage. Thai massage can relieve your pain and stress by a series of movements which are similar to yogic stretching. This most invigorating type of massage is actually yoga for lazy people since a lot of movements and manipulations are similar to yogic movements but only performed by a therapist. The firm pressure of your therapist’s palms and fingers onto your body together with stretching and twisting some parts in specific positions can bring you looser and calmer body muscles. You can remain fully clothed during the massage. It lasts about 60 to 90 minutes.
Do you want to promote your physical and emotional wellbeing? Do you want to fight your stress, depression, and anxiety? Do you want to reduce your agonizing headache or muscle tension? Is your life influenced by a constant lack of energy? Then, try the Japanese massage type of Shiatsu (which literally means “finger pressure”) during which your therapist will use gentle rhythmic pressure of their hands, palms and thumbs to massage your body but with a focus on specific parts. It is believed that Shiatsu can facilitate the flow of energy in your body and therefore enhance the process of recovery and healing. You can be fully clothed during the Shiatsu massage. This massage type usually lasts about 60 to 90 minutes.
Do you want to enjoy your massage while your friend, partner, or family member is in the same room as you? Then pick couple’s massage which comes with the companionship of someone you like plus other relaxing facilities such as hot tubs and saunas. During a couple’s massage, both you and your partner/friend can relish in receiving a relaxing massage as well as enjoying a little chat.
Are you a pregnant woman? Do suffer from pregnancy aches and tension? Are you too stressed about your pregnancy and your baby’s health? Then, you can benefit from prenatal massage which uses very mild pressure onto areas such as your lower back, legs, and hips. Your therapist should be highly trained. He/she should make sure that you are comfortably and safely positioned before he/she starts the massage. However, it is better not to have any massage pressure during your first trimester.
Hot Stone Massage
Are you suffering from muscle tension? Do you want to ease your pain and be more relaxed? Do you want to be relieved from stress and tension? Do you want to enhance blood flow in certain areas of your body? Then choose hot stone massage. The hot stone massage is similar to Swedish massage but through putting slightly heated stones on certain parts of your body. The weight and heat of the stones can more effectively soothe your muscles and joints. This type of massage is good for medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or varicose veins. It usually lasts about 90 minutes.
Trigger Point Massage
Do you have any injuries or chronic pain? Then, you may benefit from trigger point massage. The focus of this massage type is on detecting and soothing specific trigger points (special muscle tissues) that suffer from tightness. Trigger point massage includes flowing strokes with deeper pressure which primarily focuses on reducing chronic muscle’s pain. Trigger point massage usually lasts about 60 to 90 minutes.
Deep Tissue Massage
Do you suffer from chronic muscle soreness or injury? Then you can choose deep tissue massage. This massage type is similar to Swedish massage but with higher pressure through the therapist’s fingers, knuckles, and elbows on your muscles and connective tissues. Similar to trigger point massage, this type of massage also mainly focuses on pain reduction. The pressure that is induced by deep tissue massage is more intense and a little more painful compared to other massage types. Deep tissue massage usually lasts about 60 to 90 minutes.
Are you physically active (whether athlete or non-athlete)? Are you a sportsman or sportswoman with repetitive muscle injury? Then, you can choose sports massage in order to increase muscle performance and flexibility as well as preventing risk for sports injuries. The sports massage usually lasts about 60 to 90 minutes.
Do you want to be more relaxed and regain your natural energy flow? Do you feel uncomfortable if someone touches all your body? Do you prefer to be fully clothed while you receive a massage? Then, choose reflexology which applies firm pressure on specific points in your hands, feet, and ears only. You can stay fully clothed while you receive reflexology since the therapist focuses only on the mentioned parts. Reflexology usually lasts about 30 to 60 minutes.
Do you want to enhance your moods and escape from everyday stress and anxiety? Do you want to reduce your depression symptoms? Are you suffering from muscle spasm? Then, you should probably pick aromatherapy massage which is performed similar to Swedish massage but through applying essential oils – which are highly concentrated extracts from plants and flowers – instead of massage oil or lotion. The aromatic essential oils used in aromatherapy can enhance and heal your emotional feelings. Moreover, this massage type can be effective in curing headaches, digestive disorders, dementia, premenstrual symptoms, or insomnia. During aromatherapy massage, you will enjoy inhaling aromatic oils and receiving a relaxing Swedish massage. This massage type does not suit you if you are allergic or sensitive to the smells of the essential oils. Aromatherapy massage usually lasts about 60 to 90 minutes.
Are you having muscle soreness because of long hours of work or sitting on uncomfortable plane seats? Do you dislike taking your clothes off and lying down on massage tables? Are you too busy to spend an hour on a massage? Then, a quick but effective chair massage is your type. During chair massage, you sit on a special chair with your face down in a cradle while the therapist mostly focuses on massaging your neck, back, and shoulders. Chair massage can help you remove your body tension and regain your energy and concentration. You can benefit from chair massage in any public place such as malls, airports, events, or even your office. Chair massage usually lasts only about 10 to 30 minutes.