The term Swedish massage refers to a collection of techniques designed primarily to relax muscles by applying pressure and working in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart. It tends to be a lighter pressure than other modalities and can relax muscles, increase circulation, remove metabolic waste products, help the recipient obtain a feeling of connectedness, a better awareness of their body and the way they use and position it.
Massage also stimulates the skin and nervous system while at the same time relaxing the nerves themselves. As it can help reduce emotional and physical stress it is often recommended as part of a regular program for stress management. It also has specific clinical uses in a medical or remedial therapy.
Deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy that focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. It is especially helpful for chronically tense and contracted areas such as stiff necks, low back tightness, and sore shoulders. Some of the same strokes are used as classic massage therapy but the movement is slower and the pressure is deeper and concentrated on areas of tension and pain. When there is chronic muscle tension or injury, there are usually adhesions (bands of painful, rigid tissue) in muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Adhesions can block circulation and cause pain, limited movement, and inflammation. Deep tissue massage works by physically breaking down these adhesions to relieve pain and restore normal movement. To do this, the massage therapist often uses direct deep pressure or friction.
Unlike classic massage therapy, which is used for relaxation, deep tissue massage usually focuses on a specific problem, such as:
- Chronic pain
- Limited mobility
- Recovery from injuries
- Postural problems
- Muscle tension or spasm
Sports massage has many beneficial effects in athletes. Sports massage can be used pre-performance, post-performance, during training or for rehabilitation. Athletes of all levels may benefit from sports massage. If you are looking for a way to improve your athletic performance, then sports massage may be for you.
It is a systematic manipulation of the soft tissues of the body that focuses on muscles relevant to a particular sport. Many different movements and techniques are used to try to help the athlete’s body achieve maximum performance and physical conditioning with a decreased chance of injury or pain.
Shiatsu is a Japanese form of massage, which reduces stress, relieves muscle pain and tension and eases joint stiffness through the application of acupressure and stretching techniques. Like acupuncture, shiatsu is based on the holistic system of traditional Chinese medicine, where illness is thought to result from imbalances in the natural flow of energy, or qi (pronounced “chee”) through the body. Finger and palm pressure to energetic pathways, called meridians to improve the flow of qi.
Thai massage is more energizing and rigorous than more classic forms of massage. Thai massage is also called Thai yoga massage, because the therapist uses his or her hands, knees, legs, and feet to move you into a series of yoga-like stretches. Many people say Thai massage is like doing yoga without any work. Muscle compression, joint mobilization, and acupressure are also used during treatment.
Thai massage is usually done on a padded mat on the floor with client wearing loose shorts and sports bra for women.
Pregnancy massage has been found to reduce stress, decrease swelling in the arms and legs, and relieve aches and pains in muscles and joints. It’s a popular complementary therapy during pregnancy for back pain, when choices for pain relief, such as medication, are often limited. Not only can massage be physically beneficial, but the human touch can be comforting and provide emotional support during pregnancy.