If you’ve never tried them, you may be missing out
Massage therapy is gaining more and more attention as people discover its health and wellness benefits. Some people love a massage as a way to pamper themselves after a long week. Others get massages to help with muscle stiffness, back pain, or recovery from an injury. Some others get massages on a regular basis to promote and maintain a general sense of well-being.
In short, people get massages for many reasons, but there’s one thing for certain: getting a massage feels great! Today’s massage spas offer dozens of massage options. Have you ever wondered why some people choose a Swedish massage while others opt for Shiatsu? Have you ever wanted to try a different type, but weren’t sure what to expect? Here’s an explanation of 6 popular massages, what they’re like, and why people enjoy them so much.
The Swedish massage is a well-known type of massage that nearly all spas offer. It is known for the combination of strokes that the massage therapist uses, including long, gliding strokes, kneading strokes, friction, tapping, and vibration. Many people find that the combination of strokes in a Swedish massage is effective at relieving muscle tension.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is not the same as deep pressure massage. While a deep pressure massage uses a great deal of pressure, a deep tissue massage is different. The massage therapist uses gentler pressure, and gradually reaches the layers of muscles that lie beneath your superficial layers. People appreciate the way this massage slowly works its way down to the muscles that need it most.
Shiatsu is an interesting form of massage, because it focuses on pressure points, rather than massaging all of your muscles. Originating in Japan, the massage uses specific pressure points along your body’s meridian lines. By exerting pressure on these points, the massage therapist stimulates blood flow and energy throughout the body. In Shiatsu, the massage therapist might also stretch and manipulate your joints to help increase the flow of energy. People find that this massage is gentle and relaxing.
The practice of Thai massage uses techniques that are best described as a combination of acupressure and yoga. The massage therapist uses pressure points along your body’s meridian lines—similar to shiatsu—to increase the flow of energy in your body. In addition, the massage therapist manually moves your body into yoga-like positions, which can help ease your muscle tension and support your internal organs. People find that Thai massage provides relaxation, stretching, and overall wellness.
Hot Stone Therapy
In this type of massage, the therapist uses special stones that have been warmed to just the perfect temperature. The therapist places the stones on your body—usually along your back—and applies gentle pressure on them. The heat from the stones and the gentle pressure work together to loosen up your muscles. People enjoy the warmth of this type of massage and find that it is one of the most relaxing massages.
Reflexology is another type of massage that is based on pressure points. In this massage, the therapist focuses on pressure points that are located in your feet and associated with different zones in your body. By applying pressure to the points on your feet, the reflexologist can stimulate the flow of energy to different zones in your body. People say that in reflexology, they feel like energy is flowing through every part of the body.
If you’ve never tried one of these massages but have always been curious about them, why not try something new next time you go to your spa or clinic? You might discover you like it!
The Branford Hall Career Institute offers a Massage Therapy training program at our campuses in Branford, CT; Parsippany, NJ; Southington, CT; and Springfield, MA. If you are interested in becoming a massage therapist, find out more today!