Understanding the Different Types of Massage
Massage therapy has been around for over 5,000 years. This practice started to become popular in U.S. in the 19th century. Today, it’s widely used in sports, physiotherapy, injury prevention and treatment, geriatric care, drug rehab, and other areas. There are over 80 different types of massage available, and each has unique benefits. Choosing one depends on your individual needs.
Here are some of the most common massage styles:
This is the most popular form of massage worldwide. It involves circular movements, kneading, and tapping strokes that help relax the muscles and ease pain. Swedish massage is ideal for those who want to relax, get rid of back pain, or recover faster from injuries.
Deep Tissue Massage
Unlike Swedish massage, this therapy requires a deeper pressure on the muscles and tendons. Studies have shown that people’s blood pressure dropped after a single session. Deep tissue massage stimulates the release of serotonin and oxytocin, regulates heart rate, and lowers the stress hormone cortisol levels. It’s particularly effective for reducing chronic muscle tension.
As its name suggests, sports massage appeals to athletes, gym goers, and active individuals. Its role is to prevent sports injuries, speed up recovery, and increase flexibility. This therapy also improves blood flow and promotes the removal of toxins from the body.
Athletes who receive regulars massage report greater range of motion, reduced muscle tension, and improved exercise performance. Sports massage therapy can also ease the pain and discomfort caused by delayed onset muscle soreness, enhance soft tissue function, and decrease inflammation.
Hot Stone Massage
This healing practice involves applying heated stones on acupuncture meridians and other areas of the body. When done regularly, it eases muscle pain and soreness, wards off stress, and reduces anxiety. Hot stone massage has proven to be effective in the treatment of fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases.
Another popular massage style is Shiatsu, which uses localized finger pressure on acupuncture points. This therapy helps your body regain its balance, relieves pain, and stimulates circulation. It’s often recommended to those struggling with anxiety, depression, migraines, coughs, respiratory tract disorders, PMS, neck pain, common cold, and sciatica. A 2008 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine indicates that Shiatsu may reduce fatigue and stress levels.
What are the most popular massage therapy techniques?