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The best massage therapy styles and what they fix

Habits | March 17, 2017

People have dozens of options when it comes to massage therapy today. They can choose from over 80 varieties of movements, pressures, and techniques. While the best massage therapy style is debatable, you should choose a style or combination of styles based on what you need. Below is a list of 10 of the most popular styles for you to choose from.

Swedish massage

The Swedish massage is the most popular type of massage in the Western World. It is intended to relax the entire body using techniques that involve rubbing or tapping the muscles with long gliding strokes in the blood-flow direction of the veins. This rhythmic motion is also accompanied by moving the joints. Swedish massages increase oxygen levels in the blood, improve circulation, and easy body tensions.

Deep Tissue

Unlike Swedish massages, Deep Tissue massages target the deep layers of muscles and fascia, and is sometimes recommended by doctors to treat injuries. The massage therapist uses firmer finger pressure to target the muscles. Deep tissue massages are known for stress relief, muscle rehabilitation, reducing chronic pain, and improving lymphatic circulation.

Neuromuscular therapy massage/ Trigger Point Myotherapy

This is a type of deep-tissue massage which is mostly used to treat lower back pain, muscle spasms, and injuries caused by repetitive movements. It involves using alternating levels of pressure and friction to release strained areas (trigger points) in the muscle.

Sports Massage

As the name suggests, this type of massage therapy is mostly used by athletes. These soft-tissue massages are usually tailored to the particular sport the athlete is playing. Because it is used as an injury prevention strategy, sports massages are encouraged at all stages of training, whether before, during or after sporting events. Sports massages increase the athlete’s flexibility, improves endurance, reduces fatigue and prepares his/her body and mind for maximum performance.

Shiatsu massage

This Japanese technique has been used for centuries. The word “Shiatsu” translates to “finger pressure”, however the thumbs, hands, elbows, knees or feet can also be used. Shiatsu massages focus on certain pressure points and also involves stretching areas of the body and gentle manipulations. Regular treatments can reduce stress and maintain overall health and well-being. Shiatsu massages are considered as holistic treatments that are intended to maintain the body’s equilibrium.

Chair Massage

You may find these being offered in airports, corporate environments, or at high-stress events. A Chair massage is a type of seated massage that is done within a short time frame (10-20 minutes). It focuses on the client’s neck, shoulders, hands, and back while they are seated, fully clothed in a special chair. Chair massages lower anxiety, increase circulation, reduce stress, and relive headaches and muscle pains.

Hot Stone massage

In this style of massage therapy, smooth, water-heated stones are placed on acupressure points of the body. The warmth from these stones has a soothing effect and relaxes the muscles. This allows the therapist to use other massage techniques to access deeper layers of muscle. Hot stone massages relieve chronic pain, reduce stress, and promote relaxation.

Thai massage

For the Thai massage, the therapist uses his/her body to move the client’s body into yoga-like poses. This provides a deeper level of relation which promotes mood enhancement, better sleep during the night, and reduces stress and muscle strain.

Pregnancy massage

While your body is going through major changes during pregnancy, a pregnancy massage can reduce stress, edema (swelling), a stiff neck, and leg cramps. Some studies also indicate that it can improve the new-born’s health.

Reflexology

The bottom of our feet have various pressure points that correspond to different parts of our body, such as the liver, kidneys, and shoulders. A reflexology massage stimulates certain areas of the foot to promote overall health and well-being. 

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Kennita Leon Rose

Writer

Kennita's funky style of writing has only blossomed since she discovered her passion for reading. In her downtime, she loves chillaxing with her friends and letting loose. This grown-up flower child, who hails from the Caribbean, can definitely hang with us any time.