The art of massage therapy has been practiced for thousands of years. And while any massage includes a variety of pressure and movement, there are a number of styles you can choose from. Now that more and more people are recognizing the benefits, we thought it would be helpful to review and explain the most popular types of massage therapy.
But First, Questions to Ask Yourself
The first thing you’ll need to do before booking a massage is to ask yourself this one question. Why are you seeking massage therapy? What do you hope to get out of each session? Maybe you are feeling fatigued or have discomfort in your joints. Is your back pain continually flaring up? Are you looking for an improvement in soft tissue related pain symptoms? Or perhaps you are looking for general relief from the stresses daily life brings.
Types of Massage Therapy
One. Swedish Massage
The most common type of massage is Swedish massage therapy. It involves soft, long, kneading circular strokes, as well as light, rhythmic, tapping strokes, on topmost layers of muscles. This is also combined with the movement of the joints. By relieving muscle tension, Swedish therapy can be both relaxing and energizing. And it may even help after an injury.
Swedish massage is great for those who:
- Are new to massage
- Have a lot of tension
- Are sensitive to touch
- Experience minor amounts of pain
Two. Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is best for those with trouble spots. This type of massage uses more pressure than a Swedish massage. The massage therapist will use slow, deliberate strokes that target layers of muscles, tendons, or other connective tissues.
Deep tissue is a great option for those who:
- Suffer from chronic muscle problems (soreness, injury, imbalance, etc.)
- Need relief from tight muscles
- Suffer from anxiety
Three. Sports Massage
Sports massage have been developed to help with muscle systems used for a particular sport. They are used to help athletes before, during, or after training or events. Some athletes have used sports massage to increase their flexibility and performance. While others have utilized it to relieve pain, anxiety, and muscle tension. Sports massages are also an incredible tool as they can help prevent injury as well!
Sports massages are great for those who:
- Have an injury from repetitive muscle use
- Need help improving flexibility
- Want to improve your sports performance
- Are looking for preventative injury care
Four. Hot Stone Massage
A hot stone massage is best for those suffering from muscle pain or needs a little extra help relaxing. During this kind of massage, the therapist places warmed stones on certain parts of the body. The heat from the stones can help ease muscle tension and improve blood flow. 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.
A hot stone massage is best for those who:
- Want to ease muscle tension
- Want to improve blood flow
- Are looking to alleviate pain
- Need help promoting relaxation
- Are looking to relieve stress
Reflexology is a great type of massage therapy for those who aren’t the most comfortable being touched. That is because reflexology uses hand, thumb, and finger techniques to stimulate certain areas of the feet, hands, and ears. These areas are believed to correspond to different parts of the body. Because of these acupressure points, this type of massage is most known for promoting health, restoring energy, and improving well-being.
Reflexology is best for those who:
- Are uncomfortable with their entire body being touched
- Want to be fully clothed during a massage
- Are looking to restore their internal sense of peace and well-being
Six. Shiatsu Massage
In Japanese, shiatsu means “finger pressure.” For shiatsu massage, the therapist uses varied, rhythmic pressure on precise acupressure points. These points are important for the flow of the body’s vital energy (chi). Shiatsu massage is best for those who are looking to feel relaxed and relieve stress, pain, and tension.
This is a great type of massage therapy for those who:
- Want to promote emotional and physical calm and relaxation
- Are looking to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression
- Suffer from chronic headaches and migraines
- Want to reduce muscle tension
- Feel more comfortable being fully clothed during a massage
- Need help with stretching (in most cases the therapist will stretch your body in addition to the massage)
Seven. Prenatal Massage
During pregnancy, the body goes through major changes. Prenatal massage is a safe way for women cope with these changes. It can help reduce stress, reduce body aches, decrease swelling, and relieve muscle and joint pain. This is a wonderful alternative medicine, especially at a time when traditional medication and options may be limited. Prenatal massage uses mild pressure similar to Swedish massage. The therapist will focus on areas such as your lower back, hips, and legs.
Prenatal massage is best for women who are pregnant and in search of relaxation and tension relief.
Types of Massage Therapy with Zock Family Chiropractic
Massage therapy and wellness adjustments can help your body find optimum health. It improves the blood flow in the nervous system, and it corrects any misalignments in the spine. These misalignments compress the nerves and cause a lack of communication between the spine and the brain. This can lead to a stress response which puts the body out of balance. And sleeping well becomes challenging. Luckily, this can be easily treated with chiropractic care.
Regular chiropractic care and massage therapy can solve several problems that may be the cause of sleepless nights such as back pain, breathing problems, and restless leg syndrome. Many people are thrilled with how well their sleep has improved after getting regular wellness adjustments. See our massage page today and then schedule an introductory chiropractic session. We can discuss your pains and needs as part of my initial chiropractic workup for you as a new patient to our practice! Make an appointment for more information!
* This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please contact a medical professional for advice.