Monday, 1 September 2008

Types of Massage

Different Types of Massage
There are so many different types of massage available today and it seems like a new approach emerges every week. This often makes it very hard for people to choose which massage they would like and which therapist they should see. Many of the styles overlap with similar techniques, benefits and uses but each type also has its speciality. In this post I will briefly discuss the most popular massage techniques to help clarify things a little.

Swedish Massage. This is where all Western massage techniques started. Most therapists will learn Swedish massage techniques during their training. This type of massage can be both relaxing and stimulating depending on the clients needs.

Holistic Massage. Although this type of massage uses Swedish massage techniques, it is a lot lighter and slower and focuses on relaxation. It doesn’t use the tapotement techniques that Swedish massage does.

Deep Tissue Massage. This massage uses more pressure to access the deeper muscles and to help release tension and any knots that have built up in the muscles.

Sports/Remedial Massage. This type of massage is geared towards athletes and people who have injuries. It can help improve sporting performance, prevent and heal injuries. It uses stretching and mobilising techniques as well as the usual massage techniques.

Other special forms of massage. These include Aromatherapy Massage, Hot Stone Massage, Trigger Point Massage, Manual Lymphatic Drainage, and Myofascial Release. These may be used on their own or in conjunction with the massage types listed above.

The massage techniques listed above are Western techniques but there are also numerous Eastern massage techniques such as Thai Massage, Shiatsu, Tui Na, Ayurvedic, and Acupressure Massage.

Some therapists, like myself, have trained in various types of massage and will incorporate bits from each into their treatments and customise every treatment to suit the needs of their client.

When choosing which type of massage you should have, first think of your needs. Are you suffering from tension in your shoulders due to stress or sitting at a computer for long hours? Then try Swedish, Holistic or Deep Tissue Massage. If you are an athlete or do exercise regularly you might like to try Swedish, Deep tissue or Sports Massage. If you just need some relaxation try Swedish, Holistic or another special form of massage such as Aromatherapy or Hot Stone Massage.

It also comes down to personal preference so you might have to try out various types of massage before you find the one that you like and suits your needs the most.

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