Massage Therapy, Is It For You?
If you have never had a massage, you may be hesitant because you don’t know what to expect or which type of massage therapy to choose. The field of massage therapy is diverse and offers various services that help weary bodies relax and let go of stress. Maybe a full-body massage is necessary to get relief from muscle pain. However, before choosing a massage, it is best to know how the various massages might benefit the body. There are five massage types that are popular with many people today. These five types of massages are Deep Tissue Massage, Trigger Point Massage, Neuromuscular Therapy, Sports Massage, and Swedish massage.
The most common massage technique is the Swedish massage. This style of massage therapy is very popular in the U.S. and other countries. This massage involves long gliding and kneading strokes. Friction and percussion strokes are used along with joint movements to help increase range of motion. If stress reduction or improved circulation is desired, this is the massage for the job. Swedish massage helps the joints and uses both light and heavy pressure, allowing the person receiving the massage to choose the level of pressure according to what feels the most comfortable. This type of massage can also help the aging with different health problems they may experience, such as poor circulation, pain, decreased range of motion, etc. although even a lighter touch is required as the elderly tend to bruise more easily.
DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE
The next most popular types massage is the “Deep” Tissue type. This one is most requested. The Deep Tissue massage incorporates techniques and stroke used in Swedish massage as well as knuckles, fists, and elbow techniques performed with moderate to heavy. This massage can relieve chronic tension in the muscles and connective tissue which can improve range of motion. “Deep” tissue massage does not need to be uncomfortable. Moderate pressure can yield good results for those who may not be able to tolerate the pressure of a more vigorous massage.
TRIGGER POINT MASSAGE
For those who need relief for specific muscle groups where pain may originate, the trigger point massage may be the answer. By applying pressure to certain areas you can gain relief from pain in the back, neck or joints. Trigger point therapy is sometimes referred to as myofascial trigger point therapy or neuromuscular therapy. This type of therapy does not involve physical manipulation of the muscle. It involves treatment of points on the muscle that actually relieve the tension in the muscle. With repeated treatment the muscle can be restored to its normal and supple texture and full length when relaxed.
Sports Massage is a favorite with athletes, whether they are professionals or hobbyists. Those who are trying to improve their level of fitness also benefit from Sports Massages. This massage type usually combines various techniques that address the unique needs of athletes. A sports massage can be general or specific depending upon the athlete’s performance goal. Sports massage can be used pre-performance, post-performance, during training or for rehabilitation. Athletes of all levels may benefit from sports massage. One of the many benefits of sports massage is the elimination of waste in the body due to high levels of exercise.
Neuromuscular Therapy or “NMT” also known as Neuromuscular Massage is known for relieving muscular pain relief and spasms. This massage technique works on the myofascial trigger points where “referred” pain originates. “Referred” pain is that which starts at one place and is felt in another. By using friction massage and targeted compression along with positioning and stretching, the myofascial trigger points in the muscles are released. This also relaxes tendon restrictions, muscular attachments, as well as the fascia that surrounds the muscle.
Different massage types and benefits are not limited to the techniques described. However each of these can offer great benefits. The best way to get the most beneficial massage experience is to give some thought to how you would like to feel after the massage. Some of the outcomes that you might desire from a massage include relaxation, reduced muscle soreness, pain relief, improved sleep, better posture, or maybe just an overall feeling of well-being. Talk to a massage therapist about your unique needs and what symptoms you are experiencing. He or she will be able to recommend the type of massage that will help you get the results you desire.
Prior to making the commitment for any massage, ask for references and talk with people who have used the massage therapist who will be working with you. Talking with a satisfied customer is a way to help you determine exactly what type of massage can work for you and to help you find a massage therapist who is reputable, well-trained and can deliver massage therapy services that will not disappoint you.