WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF MASSAGES?
Massages are categorized according to factors such as; technique/components/tools used, target area/s, purpose of the massage, etc. Below are common types of massages today.
This type of massage is designed for athletes (sportsmen/women). A sports massage is meant to deal with aches experienced after engaging in different sports. The massage is intended to increase the speed of recovery from sports-related stress and injury. A sports massage also offers other benefits such as improving performance and range of motion. You should get a sports massage if you play sports or work out frequently and want to maintain the best body condition.
This type of massage targets deep layers of muscle tissues and connective tissues. Deep-tissue massage is more intense than typical massages. This massage aims to release chronic tension as well as to boost the range of motion. You should get a deep-tissue massage if you experience chronic aches/pains or desire a massage that offers more pressure.
Unlike deep-tissue and sports massages, a Swedish massage is primarily focused on relaxation. In fact, this type of massage is what many people think of when they think about massages. Massage therapists administering Swedish massages utilize sequences of long gliding strokes, circular motions and kneads to ease shallow tension experienced in the top layers of muscles. A Swedish massage will ease superficial tension and boost blood circulation. You should get a Swedish massage if you want to relieve slight to moderate tension in your shoulder and back muscles.
Hot stone massage
Typical massages rely solely on the hands to massage stubborn knots. A hot stone massage utilizes hot stones to ease tension – “melt tight areas” on the back. The hot stones (heated basalt stones) are placed by a massage therapist on stubborn spots to improve blood circulation which relieves tension. A hot stone massage is recommendable to anyone who has spots in the body that are hard to loosen and doesn’t mind therapeutic heat.
A shiatsu massage is meant to unlock blockages which stop the body’s energy force from flowing freely. The energy force which is known as Qi in Chinese medicine causes stress when blocked. Shiatsu massage therapists use their elbows, knees, and feet to release tension from the joints, back, and limbs. A shiatsu massage is perfect for stress release since it boosts circulation and oxytocin production.
Prenatal massage is meant to relieve the pain and stress that comes with pregnancy. Prenatal massages are administered using special massage tables that allow expectant mothers to recline on their stomachs or side. Besides reducing pain and stress caused by pregnancy, prenatal massages also help to reduce or eliminate other pregnancy-related problems like anxiety, insomnia, and depression.
Aromatherapy massages combine gentle pressure with essential oils. The massage can boost your mood, reduce anxiety and stress, reduce depression symptoms as well as relieve pain and muscle tension. Aromatherapy massage is recommendable to individuals who love essential oils. Sessions involve full-body massages while inhaling essential oils via a diffuser. The massage can target any area of the body from the head to the back and shoulders.
Trigger point massage
This type of massage is recommendable to individuals with specific issues or conditions (injuries or chronic pain). Muscle tissues have specific areas (trigger points) that tend to experience tightness resulting in pain in other areas of the body. Relieving trigger points can help to reduce pain in other areas of the body.
Trigger point massages are administered using broad flowing strokes which are soft and relaxing coupled with stronger deeper pressure. The massage can work the entire body although therapists focus more on specific areas that need to be released. A trigger point massage can be administered while wearing lightweight clothing or when you are partially or fully undressed.
This type of massage is meant for people interested in relaxing or restoring natural energy levels. It is also great for individuals who aren’t comfortable with touch. Reflexology utilizes gentle to firm pressure on pressure points on the hands, feet, and ears to relax those areas as well as other connected areas. You can get this type of massage while wearing loose, comfortable clothing that offers easy access to your hands and legs.