10 Most Popular Types of Massage & Their Benefits – Massage CEUs
A Swedish massage is the most popular and well-known type of massage. This type of massage is a full body massage and usually takes between 60-90 minutes. It is best known and used for promoting relaxation and releasing muscle tension. Massage therapists use kneading, long strokes, deep circular movements, and passive joint movements during this treatment. Before your massage begins, make sure to tell your massage therapist if there are any areas that you feel definitely need to be targeted so that you get the best possible experience and come out feeling refreshed.
Benefits of Swedish Massage:
- Pain management
- Increased Blood Flow
- Rehabilitation for muscle injuries
- Increased flexibility
- Reduced stress
- Improved immune system
Hot Stone Massage
A hot stone massage is just a massage implementing the usage of hot stones, typically made from a volcanic rock type called basalt. The massage therapist will emerge the stones into hot water and then they will apply them to the specific area that they are needed most. These stones can be applied to your back, stomach, face, hands, and feet. Massage therapists also can hold the stones in their hands while they are massaging to help get deep into the muscles. While hot stone massages are very popular today, it does require a lot of skill so it’s important to make sure that the massage therapist is reputable and is knowledgeable in hot stone massages.
Benefits of Hot Stone Massage:
- Pain relief
- Stress relief
- Increased joint flexibility
- Decreased muscle spasms and tension
- Better sleep
Hot stone massages are not recommended for everyone. Here are some circumstances when a hot stone massage is not the best option for you:
- Breaks in the skin
- Heart Disease
- If you have used drugs or alcohol prior to beginning treatment
An aromatherapy massage is essentially a Swedish massage using essential oils in a massage oil or lotion. Aromatherapy uses these essential oils to help improve the mind, body, and spirit. An aromatherapy massage is used to treat the same areas as a Swedish massage such as back, neck, and shoulder muscles. It is important to make sure that the massage therapist you are using is knowledgeable and is using quality essential oils. If the quality of the oil is low, it probably is not going to give you the results that you came in for.
Most Common Essential Oils Used:
- Tea Tree Oil
While the effectiveness is still unknown, aromatherapy massages are currently being tested to help with anxiety, dementia, depression, insomnia, and menstrual pain.
Deep Tissue Massage
A deep tissue massage works to manipulate the deep layers of your muscles and soft tissues. The massage therapist will use techniques such as stripping and friction during a deep tissue massage. The massage will begin lightly to prepare your muscles, as your muscles may tighten up further if they feel as though you are experiencing too much pain.
Conditions that a Deep Tissue Massage Can Help With:
- Low back pain
- Limited mobility
- Osteoarthritis pain
- Tennis Elbow
Sports massages have been growing in popularity over the years for how effective they are before and after someone is participating in a game or a run, etc. After exercising or playing a sport, your body has to recover from the stress of the activity. After the event, this is going to combat the metabolic build up and muscle spasms. Also, getting regular sports massage will help speed up the healing process if you are to get hurt during your event or sport.
Benefits of Sports Massage:
- Reduce the chance of injury
- Improve range of motion
- Shorten recovery time
Trigger Point Massage
Trigger points are described as small, tight knots that develop in your muscles. These knots can cause pain in other areas of your body. This type of massage focuses on applying pressure onto your trigger points to get the knot out. Because they are knots in your muscles, this pressure can be painful, so do not expect this to be a relaxing massage. While it is not as relaxing as others, it will definitely give you the relief that you need to function better after those knots are gone.
Trigger Point Massage Can Help Relieve:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Muscle Pain
- Joint Pain
A Shiatsu massage uses fingers, thumbs, and palms to apply pressure onto specific areas, or points, on the body. By using these points, the massage therapist can attain Qi by using the vital points. Shiatsu massage is a specialized area of massage, so be sure that you find someone who specializes in this specifically. Only a trained Shiatsu massage therapist can recognize patterns of disharmony.
Conditions that Benefit from a Shiatsu Massage:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Menstrual Cramps
Thai massages are very different from the traditional type of massage we think of. This technique is done by the massage therapist using stretching, pulling, and rocking techniques, which helps relieve tension and enhances range of motion. When you think of Thai massage, think of yoga. Instead of you doing the poses yourself, the massage therapist uses their arms and legs to move you into these yoga-like stretches. While doing so, they are also applying a deep muscle compression and acupressure.
Benefits of a Thai Massage:
- Relives stress
- Improve range of motion
- Relieve tension headaches
- Reduce back pain
- Relieve muscle pain
- Boost energy
A chair massage is a pretty basic massage. It’s used for convenience, especially if you don’t have time to sit for an hour-long massage. These massages typically last 15-30 minutes. The chair massage usually is not deep tissue related, just a quick massage meant for relaxation on the go. Not only can you have a massage done by a massage therapist at their office, you can use a massage chair which is conveniently located in many places. The massage chair is made to do your shoulders, necks, and upper backs, sometimes including your arms and lower back. You can find these massage therapists or chairs at a small or airport. Some nail salons even have them as their chair for people receiving pedicures.
During pregnancy, your body is constantly in pain it feels like. The added weight of the baby definitely doesn’t help. A prenatal massage is a safe and easy way to help dull those aches. This type of massage is similar to a Swedish massage. During this massage, it’s best to lay on your side or on your stomach. The massage chair should have an area with a cut out for your stomach. Laying on your back isn’t safe because it compresses blood vessels and reduces the circulation to your placenta. You should not get a prenatal massage until you have passed your first trimester to avoid any chance of miscarriage.
Benefits of a Prenatal Massage:
- Hormone Regulation
- Reduction of Swelling
- Improvement of Nerve Pain
- Reduced Back Pain
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