Known the world over, massages are one of the most popular forms of healthcare. They can treat muscle pains and illnesses like insomnia - it's even been shown to reduce stress levels! This article will introduce you to ten different types of massage.
1) Swedish Massage
Swedish massage is what many people think of when they hear "massage." It's a full body treatment that uses five basic strokes: effleurage, petrissage, friction, tapotement and vibration/shaking. The therapist uses their hands and fingers to apply pressure to muscles in order to release tension or toxins. It increases blood flow throughout the body and increases flexibility while relieving stress on the joints
"Swedish Massages are one of the best ways to relieve stress and tension," adds Jacky Edstrom, a registered massage therapist at CC Massage Therapy Clinic. "Most clinics offer this massage and it is easy to book an appointment online or by telephone."
2) Deep Tissue Massage
Also known as "trigger point therapy," deep tissue massage focuses on spots of tension in the muscles. The therapist applies pressure directly to those areas, which can cause discomfort for some people. However, it has been shown to be
Shiatsu means "finger pressure" in Japanese. The masseuse uses their fingers, palms and thumbs to apply pressure to tense muscles. It is based on the theory that energy pathways run throughout your body. By applying pressure along these lines, the flow of life energy known as "qi" can be released or restored. Shiatsu is said to unblock this qi and allow it to flow freely again, curing illness and pain
3) Stone Massage
This type of massage isn't just rubbing stones on your back! A therapist will place heated basalt stones onto certain points in order to warm up muscles and increase circulation for healing purposes. Stones aside, you'll still get a full body massage (even though it's called a "stone" massage).
4) Esalen Massage
Designed for maximum relaxation, an Esalen massage is like a four-handed Swedish massage. The therapist uses their hands, forearms and elbows to apply pressure
Acupressure is an ancient form of Chinese medicine that uses the fingers to press on key points on your skin in order to restore balance throughout your body
6) Trigger Point Therapy
Trigger point therapy works with "hyperactive trigger points," or sensitive spots in your muscles that can produce pain when pressed upon. A therapist will work on these knots in order to restore movement and relieve pain
7) Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Lymphatic drainage massage focuses on "clearing blockages" in the lymphatic system, helping you feel lighter and more energized. It can also help you recover from injuries and illnesses faster
A type of massage that's quickly gaining attention is cupping, where a therapist will apply glass or plastic cups to your back and move them around in order to improve blood flow and flexibility. This method is often used at the end of a massage to detoxify your body
9) Polarity Massage
Polarity massage uses hot and cold stones as well as the therapists' hands (and sometimes elbows!) to stimulate energy channels known as meridians. When these pathways are blocked, it can cause pain and illness, but when they're unblocked, patients report feeling lighter
10) Sports Massage
Sports massages are great for athletes or anyone who participates in a lot of physical activity. They help release lactic acid in your muscles after vigorous activity, leaving you feeling more refreshed and invigorated. A sports massage is much shorter - usually only 30 to 90 minutes.