Did you know that your body is great at telling you what it needs, you only need to listen. It will even let you know when it needs a massage. Your body will indicate when it is tired, weary and full of tension but it cannot tell you what type of massage would be best.
If you have always opted for a ‘relaxation’ massage then you have probably never ventured past a ‘Swedish’ massage. If this is you, or you are new to massage, then it can be confusing as to which type of massage your body is craving to restore its balance.
Take a look at my ‘complete guide to massage’, where I explain the different types, the benefits of each, and why you should try it. I hope this helps you decide which one is best for you!
The complete guide to massage
This type of massage is all about relaxation. It focuses on relieving the body of any tension. Swedish massage uses long gliding strokes, some kneading and circular motions to release muscle tension throughout the entire body.
Benefits: It can relax muscles, ease any tension that is stored, and boost circulation throughout the body.
Why try it? If you wish to relieve tension in your back, shoulders and body, this is the one for you.
Deep Tissue Massage
This is great for relieving tension in the deeper layers of muscle and fascia. Some of the strokes are the same as Swedish, but it uses more intense kneading techniques.
Benefits: It is great for releasing chronic tension and can even help improve range of motion.
Why try it? You suffer from chronic aches and pains or want more pressure than classic Swedish massage offers. It is ideal for tension spread out over a large area.
Sports and Remedial Massage
This was originally developed with athletes in mind, with an objective of addressing any aches caused by repetitive movements and injuries. This type of massage is known to aid quicker recovery from injury and stress.
Benefits: Recovery times are less. You will develop a better range of motion in your joints, alongside an increase in your performance. There are even more benefits for those who opt for regular sports massages too.
Why try it? If you are a frequent user of the gym, you train for a sport, you have a desk-bound job, or you play sports and you simply wish to keep your body in mint condition then this is the massage for you!
Trigger Point Massage
This is good for any chronic tension, which is found deep within the muscles. It is particularly useful for pain that radiates from a very specific location within the body.
Benefits: Trigger point work will quickly dispel and relieve any pain caused by sciatica, shoulder – rotator cuff issues, plantar fasciitis.
Why try it? If you can handle some tough love, then this is the one to relieve you of the pain of all pains, caused by dysfunctional gaits.
For expecting mothers. As a client you will either recline on your side or the therapist will use a massage table with a hole cut in it that allows you to recline on your stomach.
Benefits: It will help to alleviate any lower back pain due to pregnancy. It can also help with depression and anxiety.
Why try it? If your pregnancy is giving you extreme pain within your lower back, you are suffering low moods or sciatica; this is the one for you.
In essence is a specialised foot massage. During a reflexology session certain reflex points will be stimulated on the feet, in line with the clients presenting problem. The entire reflex points on the foot correlate to other organs and bodily systems.
Benefits: Restores balance throughout the body and to all organ systems. It can help alleviate symptoms of health conditions such as IBS, stress, gout, anxiety and depression, to name a few. Reflexology is well known to relieve any tension and to provide a good night sleep.
Why try it? To help any issues with your health, without having to go down the conventional ‘medicinal’ route.
Every type of massage has its own healing effect. Ultimately the power of touch is amazing at soothing aches, pains and washing all the worry away. Whether you are looking to relieve muscle tension, reduce pain symptoms or to simply de-stress, the above guide to massaging will hopefully help you. Help you it will, to uncover a new world of healing and the much needed relaxation in such a fast paced life.