Massage therapy has been long accepted as a natural alternative for pain relief. Massage involves the manipulation of superficial and deep layers of muscle. There are a variety of massages available fitted to suit your individual need.
The Swedish massage, also known as massage therapy, is the most popular massage in the US. The therapist combines long smooth with kneading, friction and circular motions to relieve muscle tension and encourage relaxation. Clients may find relief in back pain, stress, headaches and muscle related injuries. Generally regarded as a simple massage it is good for first timers.
The aromatherapy massage is a massage where a therapist adds the element of essential oils to meet a specific need of the client. The oils are added to the massage lotion or oil and the essential oils are absorbed by the skin. Aromatherapy can have a calming, uplifting, cleansing or energizing effect during a massage. Lavender is a popular choice because of its calming effect.
Hot Stone Massage
As the name suggests, a massage therapist uses hot stones during the massage to warm and relax the muscles. The stones, made of basalt, retain heat and are rich in iron. The most common stone used is a river rock because they are extremely smooth and polished. The stones are heated in an electrical heating unit after being soaked in water. As the stones are placed on the client’s back, the heat has a calming effect and improves circulation.
The Deep Tissue Massage
Unlike a Swedish massage that only reaches the superficial level of muscle, a deep tissue massage manipulates the connective tissue as well. Those suffering from chronic pain may find relief with a deep tissue massage since it is targeted to adhesions that can block circulation and cause pain and inflammation. Deep tissue massage does not mean an increase of pressure.
During the 40 weeks of pregnancy, a woman will experience many aches and pain related to increase of bodyweight and misalignment of her usual center of gravity. Also called a prenatal massage, a pregnant woman’s body is supported by a series of pillows and padding to ensure proper positioning. Caution should be used by the therapist as certain parts of a pregnant woman’s body should not be massaged.
A sports massage isn’t just for athletes. It is for anyone suffering from a chronic pain or with range-of-motion issues. Sport massages stimulate lymph fluid, improve blood flow, reduce the heart rate, improve flexibility and reduce pain. Athletes benefit from this type of Swedish massage when received before, during and after a sport event.
Trigger Point Massage
Used to relieve trigger points, a trigger point massage relieves knots in the body that cause pain in another location of the body. Trigger point massages targets these knots and uses a cycle of pressure and release.