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Massage- a healing and stress-free path! 10 different types of massage techniques and their benefits

Massage heals you physically and psychologically and gives you initial and complementary treatment for most of the medical issues. 

According to the research of the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, “ massage can reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure, and increase blood and lymph circulation flow. And also facilitates muscles, improves  motion, and enhances endorphins stimulations, which all can improve medical treatment.”  

Massage therapy is one of the old traditional ways to relax; it is popular in China, India, Japan, Arabic nations, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. During the Renaissance period, Europe widely used massage techniques.   

Massage is a term used for pressing, rubbing, and shaping of skin, muscles, tendons, and ligament. Massage techniques may vary from light stroking to intense pressure and consider it integrative medicine.

When science and technology made progress in the medical world during the 1930s and 1940s, massage fell out as a favourite in the United States. Attention towards massage revived in the 1970s, especially for athletes.

What happens during a massage?

Massage technique varies in many forms and time periods may last from 15-90 minutes or depend on the client’s conditions. 

During the massage therapy, the client is unclothed on the specially designed massage table. The table is made up of soft but firm padding and a hole for the face. The massage room is kept warm, quiet, and soft music sometimes plays.   

Massage practitioners treat the whole body, using oil or lotion, stones to help their hands move over the patient’s body. Massage practitioners who handle sports injuries and musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) may include techniques acquired from physiotherapy, osteopathy, and chiropractic, including deep massage, passive and active stretching, and muscle energy techniques. 

Clients usually find massage deeply relaxing and pleasurable. Some techniques involve strong pressure, which can create painful sensations, but these are usually momentary.

What types of techniques used in massage!

A variety of strokes used in massage therapy like;

  • Effleurages → mildly stroking forward the length of a muscle.
  • Petrissage → pressure used across the width of a muscle.
  • Friction → intense massage applied by the circular motion of the thumb or fingertips.
  • Kneading → compressing across the width of a muscle.
  • Tapotement → light slap or karate chops. 

Scope of massage:

The primary effectiveness of massage is to aid relaxation, treat painful muscular conditions, and reduce anxiety. Practitioners said massage manages short-term improvements in sleep disorders and pain, conditions known to be exacerbated by anxiety.

Massage practitioners and their clients also claim that massage improves self-image in individuals with physical unfitness and terminal illnesses. 

Massage also helps patients feel cared for. Patients may be more ready to handle and discuss difficult psychological issues when they are less anxious, feel better about themselves, and trust their care providers. And practitioners said that “the sense of caring driving to better communication is one of the reasons why massage can be an important stepping stone to effective counselling.

Advantages of massage:

According to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, in which 18 million U.S. adults and 700,000 children had received massage therapy last year.

Concluded that people who received massage for health-related purposes including pain rehabilitate sports injury, reduce stress, increase relaxation, address depression, and aid general wellness.

What massage practitioners do in treating patients?

Massage therapists and massage practitioners work in a variety of settings, including private offices, hospitals, nursing homes, studio, sports, and fitness clubs.

Massage therapists usually ask new patients about their symptoms, medical history, and desired results. The massage therapist also performs a test through touch, to locate painful or tense areas, and identify how much pressure to apply.

How massage affects the body?

According to an analysis, the massage shows effective results like a single session of massage can reduce anxiety, balance blood pressure, heart rate, and multiple sessions can overcome trait anxiety, depression, and pain.

  • A 2008 review article of 13 clinical trials found evidence that massage might be useful for chronic low-back pain when patients do not respond to conventional treatment.
  • Three hundred advanced cancer patients also concluded that massage might also help to relieve pain and improve mood.

There are many theories about how massage may influence the body. For example, the “gate control theory” recommends that massage may provide stimulation that helps to block pain signals sent to the brain. Other theories suggest that massage might excite the release of certain chemicals in the body, such as serotonin or endorphins, or cause necessary mechanical changes in the body. 

Side effects of massage:

 The serious injuries reported are very small. The adverse effects of massage may include pain, discomfort, bruising, swelling, and allergy to massage oils.

Cautions about massage:

  • Vigorous massage should be withdrawn by people with a bleeding disorder or low blood platelet counts, and by people taking blood-thinning medicines such as warfarin.
  • Avoid areas with blood clots, fractures, open or healing wounds, skin infections, or weakened bones.
  • Massage therapy seems to be safe for cancer patients, but see oncologists before having a massage is a better option. Any direct pressure over a tumour usually is frightened. 
  • Pregnant women should consult their doctor before using massage.

10 different types of massage techniques:

Before you can decide which massage technique is best for you, you need to ask yourself a question.

  • Do you simply need a massage for relaxation and stress control? 
  • Do you want symptom relief or help with a specific health condition?

Before booking a massage, let the therapist know what you’re looking for and ask which technique the massage therapist uses. Or may determine your message, depending on your age, condition, or any particular needs or goals you have.

1.Swedish massage:

Swedish massage is one of the popular massage techniques in the United States. This massage technique includes the use of hands, forearms, or elbows to manipulate the upper layer of muscles to improve psychological and physical health.

Swedish massage is the full body massage and suitable for people who are new to massage, have a lot of stress, or are sensitive to feel or touch.it may last for 60-90 minutes or depend on condition.

Benefits of Swedish massage:

  • Losing tight muscles and increase muscles strength
  • Stretching connective tissues
  • Relief cramping 
  • Reduce muscles spasm
  • Improve range of motion
  • Enhance the healing process.
  • Reduce symptoms of disorders like asthma, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, pain syndrome, and athletic injury.
  • Mental relaxation and improve the quantity of sleep
  • Increase strength to concentrate and sense of well being.

2.Hot stone massage:

The hot stone massage technique is best for people with muscle pain, tension, or damaged soft tissue. It may take 90 minutes to relax a person.

In hot stone massage technique, smooth, flat, heated stones are placed on any parts of your body. The stones are basalt, a type of volcanic rock that retains heat. Some places where stones are placed are;

  • Along your spine
  • Stomach
  • Chest
  • Face
  • Palms
  • Feet or toes.

Benefits of hot stone massage technique are;

  • Relieve muscle tension and pain
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Promote quality of sleep
  • It helps to relieve the signs and symptoms of autoimmune diseases, Cancer 
  • And helps to boost immunity.

3.Aromatherapy massage:

Aromatherapy massage technique uses essential oil or lotions and gentle pressure by hands, and it is best for emotional healing.it also takes 60-90 minutes to relax.

Some of the essential oils used in aromatherapy are chamomile, lavender, geranium, ylang-ylang, clary sage, rose, neroli, rosemary, eucalyptus, pine, or tea tree oil.

 Benefits of aromatherapy massage include;

  • Relief  pain and muscles tension
  • Reduce stress, anxiety, and depression
  • It helps to boost mood and immunity.

4.Deep tissue massage:

Deep tissue massage techniques are suitable for those who have chronic muscle problems like soreness, injury, or imbalance, tight muscles, and anxiety.

 Deep tissue massage helps to relieve some medical conditions like:

  • Upper and lower back pain
  • Limited mobility
  • Repetitive strain injury
  • Osteoarthritis pain
  • Sciatica
  • Tennis elbow
  • Fibromyalgia

5.Sports massage:

The sports massage technique is useful if a person has a repetitive use injury to a muscle, it can also use to help prevent sports injuries, increase flexibility,  performance, and to relieve pain, anxiety, and muscle tension.

A sports massage is a body massage whose main focus is the parts that require the most attention. Deep pressure may be exchanged with soothing strokes.

6.Trigger point massage:

Trigger point massages technique is the best for a person who has injuries, chronic pain, or a specific issue or condition. Sometimes distances of tightness in the muscle tissues, known as trigger points, which cause pain in other parts of the body. 

Benefits of trigger point massage include;

  • Decrease headache 
  • Improve range of motion and flexibility
  • Alleviate pain
  • Improved posture

7.Reflexology:

The reflexology massage technique is a type of traditional Chinese medicine way massage that involves different amounts of pressure to the feet, hands, and ears.

Reflexology is best for relaxing or restoring their natural energy levels. It’s also good if you aren’t comfortable being touched on your entire body.

Benefits of reflexology massage:

  • It helps to reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Reduces pain, lift the mood, and improve well being.
  • It helps to boost immunity to fight cancer and other medical problems. Like clear sinus issues and overcome back pain.

8.Thai massage:

The Thai massage technique is an active form of massage and wanted to reduce and relieve pain and stress and improve flexibility, circulation, and energy levels.

In Thai massage, the entire body using a sequence of movements that are the same as yogic stretching. Your massage therapist uses their hands (palms and fingers) to apply pressure to your body, or be stretched and twisted into various positions.

Benefits of Thai massage:

  • Lower stress levels
  • Boost energy levels
  • Relief headache 
  • Improve circulation
  • Improve range of motion.

9.Prenatal massage:

The prenatal massage technique is one of the safest ways for women to get a massage during pregnancy. It helps to reduce pregnancy body aches, stress, and ease muscle tension. It will last for 45-60 minutes.

Benefits of prenatal massage:

  • Reduce stress hormones in your body 
  • Relax and loosen your muscles
  • It can also increase blood flow
  • To keep your lymphatic system working at peak efficiency
  • Flushing out toxins from your body
  • It also relieves insomnia, joint pain, neck and back pain, leg cramping, and sciatica.
  • Reduce swelling in your extremities 
  • Relieve carpal tunnel pain
  • Alleviate headaches and sinus congestion 
  • Also, overcome depression without the use of medication

10.Chair massage:

The chair massage got approved in California in the 1980s as a quick stress release for people on-the-go.

A chair massage technique is best for those persons who want a quick massage. Its main focal point is neck, shoulders, and back. Chair massage helps to relieve stress and promote relaxation. Light to medium pressure is applied in this massage. And it takes just 10-30 minutes.

 Benefits of chair massage:

  • It helps to manage  stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Relieve muscles tone and pain
  • Improve headache and sleep pattern
  • Also, lower blood pressure and increase immunity
  • Enhance focus, energy, and mental clarity

General FAQs 

Do massage techniques really work?

Yes! Massage techniques work. It just not only gives you relief from pain but also helps to overcome stress, anxiety, release toxins, and better focus energy and psychological clarity.

Is it important to get a massage?

Many studies have shown that a person who gets a massage is much better than a person who doesn’t.

Takeaway:

Massage has been practiced for more than a thousand years, which helps people to feel better physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Massage is also a powerful tool to help take charge of your health and good well being.

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