Typical Techniques Used by Massage Therapists | The Benefits of Massage Therapy
Massage therapy has experienced a transformation over the past couple decades, making its way from the back rooms of many off-the-beaten-path establishments to a place of prominence in chiropractic and wellness practices nationwide. Studies show that
massage therapy offers real healing benefits, helping minimize pain and inflammation. But massage is more than just kneading tight or tender muscles. There are a number of techniques that massage therapists apply to improve client wellness.
Hot Stone Massage
In the hot stone technique, stones are heated with water and then placed on certain areas of your body, where they facilitate circulation, reduce pain, alleviate stress, and promote relaxation. Hot stone massage has also been demonstrated to enhance metabolism.
One of the more popular types of massage, Swedish massage seeks to promote total body relaxation through long massage strokes designed to maximize the flow of blood to the heart. This technique also cleanses the blood of certain toxins and increases the flow of oxygen throughout the body.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage involves a more aggressive approach, with the therapist applying significantly more pressure than most other types of massage therapy. It’s typically used for treatment of chronic muscle tension but is also known to reduce blood pressure and alleviate stress.
Based on traditional Japanese medicine, shiatsu combines manipulation with stretching, acupressure, and accepted Western massage techniques to facilitate healing. Shiatsu focuses pressure on specific locations in the body, using the application of pressure to treat pain, disease, stress, anxiety, and other conditions. Shiatsu is a holistic form of massage, focusing on the whole body. Shiatsu massage therapists believe that applying pressure to the right area of the body opens up energy pathways to promote total body health and wellness.
Reflexology massage focuses almost exclusively on the feet, calves, and upper legs, with the specific purpose of addressing pain or discomfort in the toes, ankles, and plantar fascia.
This technique addresses the common physical challenges associated with pregnancy, including back pain, headaches, leg cramps, swelling, neck pain, and stiffness.
Sports massage generally focuses on the specific muscles used in an athletic endeavor, rather than taking a holistic approach. The emphasis is on relieving aches and pains from competition, loosening up muscles before an event, or eliminating stress before or after a match or game.
In Thai massage, clients typically pose in yoga-like positions during treatment. They tend to wear loose-fitting clothing and lie on a mat or mattress placed on the floor. The therapist employs a rhythmic type of pressure that alleviates soreness and stiffness. Thai massage is typically done without the use of massage oils.