After a long and tiring day, there is nothing more soothing and relaxing than spending an hour or two at the spa for a massage. It allows us to escape the hustle and bustle of our lives, for just a little while, enough time to relax our body and get it energized, as it readies itself to face whatever hurdles may come tomorrow.
Many people become hooked on a massage as it also tends to calm nerves, and drives away the stresses of the day. Aside from pamperinng your body though, a massage helps your body gain tons of health benefits that you may not be aware of and motivate you for your next appointment.
Before we tackle that though, it is best to learn first the different types of massages out there, so that you’ll also get to know, which type of massage would work best with your current condition.
Different Types Of Massages
At a spa, we are often asked, what type of massage would we like, but it’s best to know what each type does to our body so that we can make a well-informed choice.
Here’s a list of the top ten types of massage that many people are going crazy for and why:
Swedish Massage Therapy
This type of massage is considered to be one of the most common and widely available massages in various spas. It is known as Swedish massage or simple massage therapy. Massage therapists employ long and smooth strokes across the superficial muscle on your body using a massage oil or lotion. The strokes are combined with kneading and circular movements to relieve muscle tensions in the body.
This massage is very gentle and relaxing and is highly recommended for those who are trying a massage for the very first time.
When you are very much stressed and want to relax, this is the type of massage you need to book. Massage therapists allow you to choose from various essential oils that have relaxing, soothing smell, and effects to the skin; these range from coconut, lavender, mint, chamomile,and many more.
Depending on the oil, you can get your body energized, calm down, or balanced. Ask your therapist which oil would suit your condition best. It is also a gentle massage that uses long strokes and circular motion kneading onn the body.
Hot Stone Massage
For those who often get muscle tension but still prefer a light, gentle massage, this is the one to choose. Massage therapists place heated, smooth stones on different points of the body to warm and loosen the tightened muscles.
There are times that the therapists even hold and gently put pressure on it, to help your body ease into the heat. The warmth brought about by the stone is considered to be very comforting.
As its name implies, this massage technique originated all the way from Thailand. This massage is definitely one to try for those who want to really stretch out their bodies. In this massage, you do not just lie down, just the opposite as the therapists move you through a series of various stretches and poses.
It’s like doing yoga without having to do any work, as the therapists control your body’s position. The therapists apply pressure to different points of the body, thereby aligning its energy. It is considered to be the most energizing form of massage that helps reduce stress and even help improve flexibility and the body’s range in motion.
Deep Tissue Massage
This massage is recommended for people who experience pain with their chronically tight muscles. It is also for people who are recovering from injury or suffering from postural problems. Deep tissue massage targets the deeper layer of muscles and connective tissues of the body. The massage therapists use slower strokes or friction techniques across the grain of the muscle.
The pressure being applied is no longer as gentle as Swedish or aromatherapy massage. Those who get deep tissue massage even experience some soreness for a day or two after the session but it only shows how it effectively targeted and loosens the tightened muscles.
From the land of the rising sun comes this type of bodywork that will help ease your troubles away. Shiatsu is the type of massage from Japan that uses localized finger pressure in a continued rhythmic sequence on acupuncture meridians.
During the massage, the therapists puts pressure on different points of the body from two to eight seconds to help improve the flow of energy in the body to help regain its balance.
The best thing about this massage is that you do not feel soreness afterwards. People who tried this are often surprised how it can be both firm and gentle at the same time and find themselves wanting more.
More often than not, reflexology is referred to as foot massage, but it isn’t that plain and simple. Although this type of massage therapy only focuses on the feet, the pressure being applied to its various points corresponds to different organs and systems in the body.
It can help regulate energy flow from your stomach to your head, to your toes. This is a very relaxing type of massage for those who are on their feet all day, or even just those with sore and achy feet.
As the name implies, this type of massage is intended for athletes whose bodies tend to be sore due to their activities But still you can avail yourself of this massage even if you are not a professional player and just simply have a very active physical body.
While most massage primarily gives your relaxation, this type of massage is designed to help prevent injury from occurring. A combination of Swedish and other massage techniques are used and performed in a gentle manner to help loosen muscle and enhance its flexibility.
Trigger Point Therapy Massage
Trigger point referres to the tight area within the muscle tissue that often cause pain, not just in that area but other parts of the body.
Using trigger point therapy massage, the trigger points are applied with cycles of pressures and pleasures as it is released. This help to alleviate the pain allowing your body to ease up.
Cranial Sacral Therapy
This can also be considered as one form of head massage that concentrates only on that specific location. It uses gentle techniques to address the bones of the head, the spinal column, and the sacrum. This removes pain from headaches, soreness of neck and even shoulders muscles.
Now that you are familiar with some of the popular different types of massage available to help suit your needs, it is now time to discuss health benefits other than relaxation that you may get from getting a massage therapy.
Ten Health Benefits Of Massage
Massage is often found with the word therapy added at the end because in essence it really is a type of therapy, and therapy is the word we used for when we try to heal something, which is exactly what massage does.
It helps heal the body from broken tissues, sore muscles and more. Below is a rundown of the ten health benefits that your next massage appointment should provide you.
1. Stress Reduction
The main reason we get a massage is to relax and de-stress. Massage sessions reduce both emotional and physical stress. As we lie down for a gentle, and relaxing back rub down, endorphins are released from our body, giving us the feel-good factor.
Likewise, those nasty stress inducing hormones, such as nor epinephrine, adrenaline and cortisol are reduced. This is primarily the reason why it is highly recommended in anxiety and depression treatment programs.
2. Alleviating Muscle Pain And Tension
When conducted by a registered professional, your massage session can help improve the flow of blood to tissues in the body helping to release the tensions in the muscle, and also help in eliminating toxins and oxygenate the cells.
Massage can be a wonderful way to address trigger point pains, and break down adhesion. You can request the therapists to simply focus on the sore or injured area to help boost its recovery.
3. Boosting The Immune System
With your body de-stressed and those hormones inducing it being trickled down, massage gives your immune system that opportunity to work more effectively, without impairment.
It also helps in the circulation of lymphatic drainage which is responsible for effectiveness of the body’s immune system.
4. Improving Body’s Posture
When our muscles are filled with pain and tension, this situationn often creates a posture that is not aligned with the body’s regular blood flow. With the help of massage though, the muscles are lengthened and help balance the body, thereby improving or helping correct our body’s posture.
5. Clarity And Alertness Of Mind
Stress often clouds thought preventing us fromnneeded focus on different situations. With the body de-stressed, thanks to massage, our state of mental clarity and alertness becomes heightened allowing us to perform better for the challenges of the day.
6. Improved Joint Mobility
Releasing muscle tension helps increase the range of mobility of the body. It allows the muscles to efficiently conduct its function of support and help improve the movements of the joint.
7. Beat PMS
Women are often faced with crabbiness, bloating and mood swings once their pre-menstrual syndrome takes center stage.
Various studies have shown that these can be countered by a trip to the spa for an hour of massage, as it relieves tension and stress from the body, giving women just the right amount of relaxation to battle PMS symptoms away.
8. Curb Headache
Just as muscles and back pain can be combated with massage, the same goes for headaches. Massaging the bones of the head, help to reduce the number of migraines that a person gets.
It also helps to limit the amount of pain one can experience when migraine occurs. A thirty-minute session of head massage can loosen tightened muscles in the necks, shoulder blades and spine that contribute further to the occurrence of headaches.
9. Better Sleep
While on a massage table, studies have shown that our delta brain waves become more active, this is the kind of wave that is connected with deep sleep. When we have sore muscles, we often also suffer through sleepless night, and so booking a massage appointment might cure just that.
As it helps to relax our body, and promote better blood flow, we find ourselves being able to sleep soundly at night, allowing us to recharge for the following day. Those who sleep after an appointment find their sleeps more comforting and stretching to eight to nine hours, just the hours that our body needs.
10. Improved Skin Tone
Massage gives our body a healthy, toned skin as it helps reduce its tension and adjoining tissues and improving the body’s circulation.
By increasing the body’s circulation in and under the skin, it helps aid the nutrition cycle and aid in cell regeneration. It also stimulates sebum production which gives moisturized and soft skin effect to our body.
With all these awesome health benefits that we can get from our trip to the spa, it’s also important what to remember when getting the massage treatment— such as its possible side effects.
Side Effects Of Massage
As addicting as massages can be, there are just some important notes to remember before booking for your next appointment. First, of all, know your allergies. Make sure to find out whether you are allergic to a certain kind of scented oil prior to your session.
It might cause some skin irritation should you be unfamiliar with what oil you are allergic to. Massage can also cause some temporary pain or soreness a day or two after the session, bruising or even swelling.
Hence is it very important that the session is booked with registered massage therapists who know how to best take care of your body. Massage poses no serious risk when done by a professional so make sure to validate your therapist’s license as one wrong stroke, or pressure may add harm rather than pleasure to your body.
Massage Health Benefits Final Words
Now that you are well informed of everything there is to know about massage, from different types and its health benefits,- you can now call and book your massage appointment.
Lie down on that massage table, and release all your stress and troubles away with every gentle yet firm strokes applied to your pressure points.