Merely thinking of it and the world stops.
For the word, massage has this way of invoking happy feels: like it’s Friday (and a long weekend).
Or like a walk on the beach. That feeling every time the gentle waves touch your toes. Amazing.
But whatever it is that sends you on cloud nine, we all know it. A good massage leaves a soothing bliss that reaches out to our souls.
You know when you’re craving for a good massage. Or when you really need one because more often than not you’ve got sore stiff and aching muscles or a doctor has referred you. Or you simply just need to relax and escape work and the kids.
But you’re just not sure which one.
After all, there are over a hundred different types of massage therapy that can leave you scratching your head and wondering what is the difference between each one.
So we went ahead and listed down every moment you might refer to when looking to get a massage that you can relate to.
Whether it’s finding joy, relaxation, energy renewal or healing—you’ll find the right type of massage therapy that best suits what you’re in need of.
#1 I WANT TO RELAX. DE-STRESS. SPEND SOME “ME’ TIME.
If you want to reconnect with yourself or just simply relaxing. Then these options are for you. Indulge as you please.
More often than not this is the type of massage first-timers will usually get usually. One being because it is the most universally known type of massage and two, it’s a great introductory way to get a feel for the whole massage experience.
For those of you who have had a Swedish massage before, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about when I say It feels like a touching treat because of the combination of long gliding strokes, firm kneading and rolling of the muscles. It also mixes in friction strokes, as well as stretching of the joint and muscles which is an absolute treat to anyone’s body.
However, don’t think it as something that just feels good. Because these purposeful movements help to warm your muscle tissue, release tension, and release those tight “knots” you may have been experiencing in your neck, shoulders, or back – all whilst relaxing and unwinding.
A research site published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine even shows that indulging in a 45-minute Swedish massage results in decreased levels of the stress hormone cortisol and increased immunity.
For the best stone experience of your life, get a hot stone massage therapy.
You’ll forget everything when you feel the warmth of the stones glide along key points of your body.
Your massage therapist will then proceed to apply different types of massage therapy techniques to deliver the best relaxing experience you could have wished for.
The stones used are typically river rocks or other very smooth-surfaced stones made of basalt.
The high iron content in basalt helps the stones retain heat during the massage which is beneficial on both physical and psychological levels.
This massage therapy style certainly goes into the ‘Me’ time column for total relaxation and to de-stress.
Chair massage is a style of seated massage that is typically short in time length, roughly 10 to 15 minutes per each seated massage session.
This style of massage focuses on your back, shoulders and neck and arms and is done over clothes and doesn’t require any massage oil to be used.
For chair massage, you are seated in a special chair with your face resting in a cradle (or simple in your own chair in your workplace), looking down towards the floor, with support for your arms with your back and neck completely relax while the therapist relieves muscle tension using Swedish massage moves like kneading and compression and tapotement.
Chair massage is often offered at high-stress locations like airport spas, trade shows and within the workplace. It’s a great way to work out muscle tension and is sometimes a free perk at corporate parties or events.
A growing trend now has shown that seated massage in the workplace is great for employee morale and motivation.
Next time you are in the mall and see seated massage being offered, give it a go! It just might help your shopping process run smoother.
#2 I’M ALWAYS ON THE RUN. SERIOUSLY. I NEED TO PREPARE FOR THE NEXT 3K MARATHON?
Sometimes you want more than to feel good after a massage. You want an energy boost. You want to reach your goals. These massage techniques can do just that, even more.
It’s not just for professional athletes. Sports massage is for everyone who is physically active. You may be a dancer, a gym enthusiast or just plain sporty.
The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) can attest to the efficacy of this massage treatment.
Sports massage combines different types of massage therapy techniques like Deep tissue, Swedish and Shiatsu among others to condition your muscles and help you prepare for your peak performance.
It’s also ideal for preventing injuries and helping you recover faster from your muscle and joint injuries.
Then again if you’re looking for a simpler pick-me-up perk, you could use this Japanese-original “finger pressure” massage technique.
Shiatsu Massage is based on the principle of energy flow. Any blockages on your energy lines can cause lethargy, tension and stress.
Thankfully, this massage technique was developed to remove any hindrance that hampers your energy flow. Once removed, you can realign your mind and body again and tap into your energy resources.
An ever-growing body of Scientific evidence has pointed that Shiatsu Massage helps calms an overactive sympathetic nervous system to improve circulation alleviate stress and relieve tension. It’s even used as a complementary cancer treatment.
During a shiatsu massage, your therapist will apply force to pressure points on your body using his / her thumbs, elbows, feet, or knees. Additionally, shiatsu focuses on rotating and stretching the limbs and joints.
One of the benefits also, is that you can get Shiatsu Massage fully-clothed because this is one of the different types of massage therapy techniques used in chair massage that promotes energy boosting and healing.
So the next time you complain about “your lacking in energy”, try complimenting your health and active routine with a Shiatsu Massage to get you back on track.
# 3 I’M IN PAIN. HEAD, SHOULDERS, MUSCLES, BACK. HEARTBROKEN TOO. JUST OUCH!
Let’s face it. This is probably to category most of us will fall into.
When you’re in pain, most of us probably won’t think to book in a massage but there are loads of different types of massage therapy styles that can help with stiff and sore muscles. Here are some of the top massage therapy styles that will certainly help with the promotion of muscular repair and pain relief.
Aching lower back?
Take a few deep breaths and book yourself in for a deep tissue massage.
For this style of massage, a therapist will help alleviate your aches and pains with a few of the following techniques; knuckles, elbows and hands (even forearms) to go down to the deep layers of your tissue. You can even feel the pressure all the way to your core. Hence, pain before pleasure.
But don’t worry, your massage therapists will make sure that you are always comfortable whilst achieving your desired results. And don’t hesitate to let them know if the pressure is too deep, because a great massage starts with great communication.
It may take a few treatments to start feeling comfortable with this massage style, however, chronic pain sufferers swear by deep tissue massage because they say it can loosen painful “knots” and realign deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue in your body through firm pressures combined with slow, deliberate strokes.
A study published in Studies in Health Technology and Informatics even found Deep Tissue Massage better than other different types of massage therapy for treating chronic back pain.
Another study published in the Scientific World Journal conclude that Deep Tissue Massage was as effective as NSAID painkillers in reducing pain among patients with chronic pain symptoms.
Even if you’re not in pain and you just want an extreme massage, you could reap the benefits of regular deep massage sessions such as:
- Lowered blood pressure
- Reduced stress hormone levels
- Enhanced mood
- Better relaxation
So, you’ve been experiencing tension headaches for the past months.
You’ve seen many massage therapists even tried different types of massage therapy treatments, hoping it relieves the pain. But you just end up with the same discomfort.
All this discomfort might be caused by one little tight spot in your muscle (which could be far from the painful area itself).
An experienced massage therapist can locate that trigger point and ease the pain you’ve been bearing for months.
Trigger point therapy shares some similarities with deep tissue massage: they are both ideals for pain management but can be invasive, or too deep. Even intense.
Just like deep tissue therapy, you can choose to bear the direct pressure for as long as you can but it’s best if you respond when it’s hurting every time that trigger point gets prodded, pressed or stretched.
Remember, these movements are meant to help and though painful at times, you’ll end up feeling “free” and refreshed.
It’s not just for headaches, trigger point therapy works best for all your chronic muscle pain and tension throughout your body and can be used as a stand-alone therapy style or as a mixture of different types of massage therapy all within the one treatment.
Plus, science is starting to recognize the benefits of trigger point therapy in relieving pain. Try it for yourself and be one of the believers.
Neuromuscular therapy is another popular massage therapy treatment for relieving muscular pain and muscle spasms.
If you suffer from lower back pain, posture problems, poor circulation and other related injuries, then you can try Neuromuscular therapy.
This medical massage aims to treat any underlying causes of chronic pain involving the muscular and nervous systems. Since Neuromuscular therapy belongs to the class of trigger point therapies, it uses different types of massage therapy techniques on the targeted point like compression, stretching and friction.
Expect a highly-trained therapist to apply heavy pressure on your sore muscles to release restrictions and trigger points for maximum results.
#4 I’M PREGNANT, THAT SAYS IT ALL
When you’re carrying your bundle of joy, the only thing you want to do is relax.
But pregnancy symptoms like aches and pains, hormonal fluctuations and fatigue can get you down, literally and figuratively. So one of the best ways to start recharging your batteries and have some you time is by booking in a pregnancy massage. Just check with your doctor first.
When your baby bump starts to get bigger and heavier, your massage therapist can alleviate the extra strain being put on your lower back and glutes using customized massage techniques that will calm and sooth this the tension in these areas.
Don’t worry, you’ll lie on your left side supported by soft cushions to keep you comfortable and in some cases, the massage therapist may have a pregnancy massage table with a hole in it where you’ll be able to put the baby bump into…
You’ll find prenatal massage relaxing all the way down to your tense muscles and leave you with a feel-good experience and may even help you get a good night’s rest.
That’s because studies from the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami found that pregnant women who get a weekly dose of prenatal massage have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and higher levels of the feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine.
Specifically, researchers found that moms-to-be who enjoy a 20-minute massage twice a week were not just happier but had fewer childbirth complications. Less depression and anxiety also lead to a 75% decrease in premature birth.
But of course, no massage therapist is a miracle worker here but massage can certainly help with you as the mom to be feel like your unborn baby is not taking over your body.
There are many different types of massage therapy techniques that are not on this list and here is an extensive list of different types of massage therapy that you can read through and see which one best suits you.
Once you have found the massage that is right for you head on over to the MassageBook directory and find a massage therapist in your area that you can book in a massage with.
That very special type of massage therapist can guide you to the best type of massage you either need or want. Whatever therapy you end up choosing, don’t forget the basics: tell your therapist of any health concerns and don’t let the ‘pressure’ get to you.
Massage is your time. It’s your moment of bliss or healing. Make it count!
The MassageBook directory is a great resource for finding the best massage therapists. Explore it for yourself and start relaxing now!