Massage is a treat you give yourself and one of the best things you can do for you. Take the time to explore the different types of massage and find out which is best for you.
Massage has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce muscle pain, improve joint flexibility and alleviate headaches, just to name a few of its healing powers.
Most people think of massage in terms of muscle aches, but it's much more than that. It increases blood flow to your muscles, tissue and every cell in your body which brings oxygen and nutrients to these critical areas. It also stimulates lymphatic flow, improving tissue drainage and the immune system. And as an added benefit it will boost your mood.
Here is a simplified version of 9 of the different types you have to choose from:
An ancient Chinese technique involves the therapist using his fingers to press key points on the skin to release muscle tension and promote circulation and energy flow. Acupuncture and acupressure use the same points, but acupuncture involves needles. The acupressure is usually hands but can also be instruments and restores balance to the body, treating ailments such as headaches, menstrual cramps and constipation.
This is probably the most common form of massage in the US. Its main goal is relaxation and improved circulation. The therapist applies oil to the skin and uses flowing strokes and kneading movements to relieve tension from the muscles, improving circulation, and moving the lymph.
Deep Tissue Massage
This type of massage is more vigorous and uses various styles to loosen the muscles. It helps break patterns of tension, relieves chronic pain, including inflammation-related pain such as tendinitis and improves range of motion.
Shiatsu is Japanese for finger pressure. This technique is similar to acupressure where the practitioner uses their finger, thumb, palm, elbow, knee (and sometimes even walk on you) to put pressure on acupuncture healing points. This unblocks the flow of energy and encourages blood and lymphatic flow. It also promotes relaxation and strengthens the body against disease and restores balance.
This treatment incorporates several massage techniques which is great for athletes. It keeps the body flexible, increases performance and assists in rehabilitation from an injury.
Hot Stone Therapy
During this therapy, heated stones are placed strategically on the body which dilates blood vessels and gets blood and oxygen flowing into tense areas. It can feel like a body 'rush.' The soothing heat can also prepare the body for deep-tissue work as well as alleviate PMS symptoms.
The therapist incorporates essential oils extracted from herbs, flowers and roots into the massage. They select the proper oils based on a particular physical condition and blend them into a massage oil or lotion. The end result is a relaxing massage tailored to your individual needs.
This massage focuses on a pregnant woman's needs including swollen hands and feet, stress on weight-bearing joints, exhaustion and lower back pain. And of course the practitioner positions you to accommodate your baby bump.
This therapy involves the craniosacral system which extends from the skull to the bottom of the spine and consists of the brain, spinal cord, cerebrospinal fluid and surrounding membranes. The practitioner uses a light touch to restore cerebrospinal fluid movement. This can help treat such conditions as headaches, eye and ear problems as well as whiplash and back pain.
I get calls all the time asking if I do massage, I hope this helps you clarify what you are wanting or needing thus, making it easier to achieve your desired results.