Massage has a lot more benefits than just relaxing your muscles. Well the health benefits of therapeutic massages are very important to do from time to time there are other types of massage therapy that can be very beneficial to your health as well. Let’s go over a few different types of massage therapy to help you understand which massage might be best for you. There are many different types of massages including prenatal, sports massage and other types of therapeutic massages but these six will give you an idea of your options.
- Deep tissue massage therapy
Deep tissue massage therapy is the type of massage that uses much deeper pressure in order to release muscle tension. The focus of this deep tissue massage therapy is on the layers of muscle tissue and tendons that lay deepest. There have been studies that show that after just one of these types of massages people with high blood pressure found that their blood pressure fell. Another analysis found that deep tissue massage reduced stress levels and heart rate while triggering oxytocin and serotonin which boosted happiness and relaxation.
- Swedish massage therapy
Swedish massage therapy is much like deep tissue massage therapy and it’s technique but deep tissue massage requires a much deeper pressure than Swedish. The goal of this therapeutic massage is to relax the body. Long gliding strokes are used going in the direction of pushing blood to the heart. Sometimes circular pressure can be used in Swedish massage also. Other methods like kneading, tapping, bending and stretching are also common. The study was conducted that found that Swedish massage actually boosted the production of white blood cells which caused an increase in the immune system to help fight colds and the flu.
- Shiatsu massage therapy
This type of massage therapy is done with the thumbs, hands, elbows, knees or even sometimes feet. The focus is on the pressure points in the body moves like rotating and stretching of the limbs and joints is done. Shiatsu massage is known to improve circulation and even bring relief from headaches once the pressure is off nerves and joints. This type of massage therapy is used many times when someone has a stiff neck or shoulders or even suffers from anxiety or depression.
- Hot stone therapy
This is done by placing smooth heated stones in specific areas on the body. The idea is that because of the direct heat from the stones and how it relaxes the muscles, after the stones are removed the therapist can access deeper muscle layers. Benefits from hot stone therapy include relief from certain types of pain even from chronic conditions, reduction of stress and tension as well as promotion of flexibility. Most people find this relaxing but thee have been reports of the direct heat being uncomfortable.
Reflexology focuses on the hands and feet and using oil or lotion, the therapist will apply pressure to specific areas using hand techniques. The idea behind reflexology is that the heads of the feet are connected to all different parts of your body and by triggering the correct pressure points can cause relief in other areas of the body. No studies as of yet support the premise that reflexology is effective treatment for medical conditions, however there are personal testimonies of people having gotten successful reflexology. If nothing else, it feels great to have that hand and foot massage!
- Thai massage therapy
This type of therapy is a lot more rigorous than most forms of massage. The therapist moves the patient into different yoga like positions in order to stretch out the body. Muscle compression and acupressure maybe used during the session also. This is probably the most different type of massage because it is done fully closed with no oil or lotions. The only request is that you wear comfortable clothing. Many people that receive Thai massage stated that it causes less stress, more energy, relaxation, more flexibility while improving circulation and focus.
Overall, massage therapy is a very effective form of pain relief and what type of massage you get just depends on what type of pain you have. Your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist or even a massage therapist before looking into any kind of surgical medical treatment.