The Most Common Massage Techniques
The basic techniques of Swedish Massage consist of 5 different strokes. This therapy is the most common type of massage therapy and combines a wide range of motions like soothing, kneading strokes to warm up the body, as well as rolling and squeezing of specific muscle groups to relieve soreness as lactic acid is eliminated.
It is designed to relax muscles by applying pressure to them against deeper muscles and bones, and rubbing in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart. Its main purpose is to increase the oxygen flow in the blood and release toxins from the muscles.
Swedish massage has many medical uses.
- Joint health: As the therapist moves the muscles and surrounding areas of the joints, circulation of blood and lymph is improved. This increases toxin removal from the body. Using knowledge of arthritis and massage therapy, joint mobility can be greatly improved.
- It improves the lymphatic system which also removes waste from the body thus resulting in less swelling from injury.
- It shortens recovery time from muscular strain by flushing the tissues of lactic acid, uric acid and other metabolic wastes.
- It increases circulation without increasing heart load.
- It stretches the ligaments and tendons keeping them supple and pliable.
- It stimulates the skin and nervous system and soothes the nerves themselves at the same time.
- It reduces stress, both emotional and physical, and is suggested in a regular program for stress management.
Deep Tissue Massage
The Deep Tissue Massage is stronger and goes deeper into the muscles than the Swedish massage. Therapists apply firm pressure to the muscles using fingertips, knuckles, hands, elbows and forearms. This is the massage that is usually performed at chiropractic offices.
Deep Tissue Massage is very therapeutic ...
- It offers all the above health benefits and as it is more forceful. This massage does a better job at loosening muscles, elevating pain and increasing mobility – which makes this type of massage very popular with athletes. This massage also releases an enormous amount of tension.
- It stimulates blood circulation to painful areas and thereby helps relieve pain. Sufferers of chronic pain, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, edema, muscle cramping, and even carpal tunnel syndrome may find significant pain relief from this treatment.
- Deep massage therapy also has the added benefit of breaking up scar tissue thus restoring normal movement to muscles.
With the deep tissue massage, however, there may be mild to moderate discomfort during the massage as tight muscles are worked. Depending on the intensity of the massage, there may be a day or two of soreness following this massage. Taking a sauna or steam bath after your massage can reduce any soreness.
Shiatsu uses localized, rhythmic finger pressure on acupressure points for short periods (2 to 8 seconds) and involves the use of thumbs, believed to exert firmer pressure. This is a relaxing yet firm massage and there is usually no soreness afterwards.
The purpose of this massage is to improve the flow of energy and help the body regain balance.
The Thai Massage also includes compression and stretches. Unlike the regular massage, the therapist moves and stretches the patient into a sequence of postures. It can be compared to yoga without the patients having to do any work.
Like the Shiatsu Massage, its aim is to align the energies of the body using gentle pressure on specific points to reduce stress and increase flexibility and range of motion. Many find this massage more energizing than other forms of massage.
Important: Massage is safe for most people with the exception of recent heart attack patients, any individual who may be pregnant, has a pacemaker, suffers from diabetes, phlebitis, and/or thrombosis, or is at an increased risk of developing blood clots due to recent surgery, or has pins/screws or anything mechanical in their legs, ankles or feet, or is suffering from severe osteoporosis or unhealed fractures should consult with a physician before using a massaging device. Please refer to: Medical & Legal Disclaimer.
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