Getting massages are magical
and euphoric, they create blood flow throughout the body, loosen the muscles, relieve stress and create relaxation. A massage a day will keep the doctors away. Massaging is definitely part of a healthy lifestyle. Call up a massage therapist or do massage trades with your friends. Come on, you’ve been to those parties that turn into massage trains…no?
The art of massage has been practiced for thousands of years. Today, if you need or want a massage, you can choose from so many different styles with a wide variety of pressures, movements, and techniques. These all involve pressing, rubbing, or manipulating muscles and other soft tissues with hands and fingers. Sometimes even forearms, elbows, or feet are used. Don’t forget to breathe while getting your massage. A common thing most people forget, read more about deep breathing exercises.
Types of Massage
The most common type of massage is Swedish massage therapy. It involves soft, long, kneading strokes, as well as light, rhythmic, tapping strokes, on topmost layers of muscles. This is also combined with movement of the joints. By relieving muscle tension, Swedish therapy can be both relaxing and energizing. And it may even help after an injury.
The four common strokes of Swedish massage are:
Effleurage: a smooth, gliding stroke used to relax soft tissue
Petrissage: the squeezing, rolling, or kneading that follows effleurage
Friction: deep, circular movements that cause layers of tissue to rub against each other, helping to increase blood flow and break down scar tissue
Tapotement: a short, alternating tap done with cupped hands, fingers, or the edge of the hand
Aromatherapy uses essential oils that are thought to have healing properties. These oils are the concentrated essences taken from the flowers, fruit, seeds, leaves and bark of certain plants. There are about 400 essential oils, but only about 40 are commonly used in aromatherapy. Aromatherapists believe aromatherapy can boost well being, relieve stress and help to refresh your body.. Aromatherapy massage uses essential oils derived from plants to achieve therapeutic benefits. In aromatherapy massage, essential oils are usually mixed with a carrier oil like sweet almond, apricot kernel, or grapeseed oil. A relaxing aromatherapy massage, for instance, might have lavender or bergamot, while a massage for sore muscles might include peppermint and eucalyptus.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is best for giving attention to certain painful, stiff “trouble spots” in your body. The massage therapist uses slow, deliberate strokes that focus pressure on layers of muscles, tendons, or other tissues deep under your skin. Though less rhythmic than other types of massage, deep tissue massage can be quite therapeutic — relieving chronic patterns of tension and helping with muscle injuries, such as back sprain.
In Japanese, shiatsu means “finger pressure.” For shiatsu massage, the therapist uses varied, rhythmic pressure on certain precise points of the body. These points are called acupressure points, and they are believed to be important for the flow of the body’s vital energy, called chi. Proponents say shiatsu massage can help relieve blockages at these acupressure points.
During a Thai massage, the therapist uses his or her body to move the client into a variety of positions. This type of massage includes compression of muscles, mobilization of joints, and acupressure.
Hot Stone Massage
For this kind of massage, the therapist places warmed stones on certain areas of the body, such as acupressure points. The stones may be used as massage tools or be temporarily left in place. Used along with other massage techniques, hot stones can be quite soothing and relaxing as they transmit heat deep into the body.
Reflexology uses hand, thumb, and finger techniques to stimulate certain areas of the feet. These areas are believed to correspond to different parts of the body. The massage, then, is expected to promote health and well-being.
During pregnancy, your body goes through major changes. Pregnancy massage can help with these changes by reducing stress, decreasing arm and leg swelling, and relieving muscle and joint pain. Massaging may be particularly helpful during a time when medication and other medical options may be more limited. Using specially designed massage pillows, the massage therapist will help get you into a comfortable position for this type of massage.
What Are the Health Benefits of Massage?
Many types of massages offer benefits beyond simple relaxation.
Here are just a few of the health problems that may benefit from massage. Ask your doctor before using massage for any health condition, though.
Back pain . More than one study has shown the effectiveness of massage therapy for back pain. In fact, one 2003 study showed it worked better than acupuncture or spinal modification for persistent low back pain — reducing the need for painkillers by 36%.
Headache . Another type of pain — headache — also responds to massage therapy, as shown by more than one study. Massage therapy can reduce the number of migraines a person has and also improve sleep.
Osteoarthritis . In the first clinical trial looking at the effectiveness of Swedish massage for knee osteoarthritis, participants who received a one-hour massage either one or two times a week had improvements in pain, stiffness, and function. The control group had no such change.
Cancer. Used as a complement to traditional, Western medicine, massage can promote relaxation and reduce cancer symptoms or side effects of treatment. It may help reduce pain, swelling, fatigue, nausea, or depression, for example, or improve the function of your immune system.
Anxiety. A review of more than 12 studies shows that massage helps relieve depression and anxiety. It lowered levels of cortisol by up to 50%. And massage increased levels of neurotransmitters that help reduce depression.
Massage oils consist of carrier oils, including olive oil, avocado oil and almond oil, and infused oils, such as lavender or camomile, which add extra benefits to the oil. Benefits of massage oils may include aromatherapy, providing nutrients and lubrication. Using massage oils helps to glide your fingers smoothly across the skin creating a frictionless deep tissue experience that is sure to relax the soul.