The following discussion of popular techniques of massage will help you determine what type of treatment is best for you. Keep in mind that these represent some of the most popular massage techniques that will usually be found in any day spa or massage clinic, but does not represent all of the possible massage modalities. Many of these techniques can be found in any corner of the world.
Swedish Massage is by far the most popular and widely practiced form of massage that can be found at Day Spas and Massage Clinics all over the United States, Canada, Australia and the UK. Swedish massage is a full body relaxation technique of massage that can be performed with variable pressure. Many Day Spas' will consider a deep tissue massage to be the addition of a firm or deep pressure to a basic Swedish massage routine.
Hot Stone Massage is a specialty massage that uses smooth, heated stones. They are often basalt, a black volcanic rock that absorbs and retains heat well, but they can be other types. The heat is both deeply relaxing and helps tight muscles release.
For those with tight muscles or injury a contrast therapy with the use of cold stone therapy can increase the benefit of stone therapy. Thermal therapy has a powerful effect on the body's physiology. The use of hot basalt stones has a dramatic effect on certain individuals that have specific stress related muscle holding patterns.
These stress related muscle holding patterns tend to be similar from person to person, yet each individuals holding is specific to them. When an individual has a chronic holding pattern that is not releasing with traditional or deep tissue massage. It may be helpful to consider the use of cold marble stone therapy.
Hot Oil Soaks can penetrate and be healing forms of therapy. India's Ayurvedic Medicine system has developed an exceptionally effective and a deliciously soothing system called: abhyanga that involves marinating certain local areas of the body in warm oil. It seems to be one of Ayurveda's best kept secrets.
Around the world from the shores of the South Pacific a native traditional form of massage is growing in extreme popularity. Lomi Lomi is a cultural secret that has taken the touch community by storm. In its various forms coming from the spiritual wellspring of the Hawaiian people know two Lomi Lomi sessions are the same.
Often referred to as Awareness Massage by Hawaiian masters Lomi Lomi simply means massage, yet the energetic connection with source can become lost in translation. This is truly an ancient healing practice that connects both giver and receiver to the energies of the universal wisdom. Lomi Lomi practitioners work intuitively entering the flow of earth's energies creating a peaceful space for all parties involved in the experience.
Aromatherapy is also a very popular massage technique. Aromatherapy encompasses the use of essential oils into the massage therapy session. Various types of essential oils are known to have specific effects on the body's physiology. A massage therapist certified in aromatherapy will guide the client in determining which essential oils will be best for that individual.
Although the scent is a major factor in the use of aromatherapy it is not the only factor. Various essential oils when absorbed through the skin can generate a deep sense of relaxation. It takes years of study to become an advanced aroma-therapists.
Prenatal Massage can be a wonderful addition to the birthing process. This massage modality can generate a deep sense of peace and safety for both the mother and the unborn fetus. Pregnancy massage has become very popular with first time moms and women having their first child later in life. It is essential to find a therapist who is certified as a Pregnancy Massage Therapist to insure that they have developed the skill set necessary to support the client through the various stages of pregnancy. The benefits can include the reduction of fluid retention as well as a deep sense of relaxation.
Reflexology is a wonderful way to unwind and distress after a long work day, week and especially on vacation. This massage technique utilizes strong pressure applied to specific zones along the feet, hands and ears. A majority of spas' may offer this as a foot massage, but if you want to experience the full benefit of this massage technique make sure the massage therapist is a certified reflexologist.
Techniques of massage may include how to treat the sex's for their unique physiologies. Although we often prefer to see ourselves as complete equals, when it comes to anatomy & physiology there are some specific differences between the male and female body. It is important to take these differences into consideration when deciding what type of massage may be best when considering how to massage a male.
Most Men will enjoy a Deep Tissue Massage! A man’s musculature takes a beating, whether he works at a strenuous job, exercises hard or simply is sore from yard work! Every one of their muscles hurt. A tense upper body makes nearly every part of daily life more difficult. Sometimes the only way to cure this problem is by giving him a Deep Tissue Massage. A good massage can unlock tense muscles in the shoulder and back.
That is not to say that women are not working just as hard and develop sore muscles from strenuous activity. In a modern world we all shoulder the weight of yard work and household chores. Raising a family is among the top stressors for both men and women.
Sports Massage is another great option for the male or female athlete and even the weekend warrior. Sports massage is a massage technique that can support active individuals maintain their fitness goals and excel at their individual sport. It can help prevent sports and fitness related injury and recovery from mild muscle strain.
Often a day spa will offer a 30 or 40 minute back massage on their menu of services. Many times a back massage will consist of a deep tissue, Swedish massage to the back. A back specific massage performed at a massage clinic may include the use of other techniques of massage, such as myofascial release, neuromuscular therapy and medical massage.
Massage Therapy for Lower Back Pain. Many health care providers are recognizing massage therapy as a legitimate aid for lower back pain and an effective adjunct to physical therapy lower back treatments. Many referring Physicians say they will encourage their patients to pursue massage therapy in addition to medical treatment. Receiving a low back massage can be restorative and invigorating.
A study on Massage Effect's on Back Pain conducted at the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami in 2001 found that: “Massage lessened lower back pain, depression and anxiety, and improved sleep. The massage therapy group also showed improved range of motion and their serotonin and dopamine levels were higher.” (International Journal of Neuroscience 2001, 106, 131-145.)
It can be a challenge to find a massage therapist that is in synch with your personal preferences and techniques of massage. There is a broad range of rates and fees associated with various massage types and modalities. What makes it a little frustrating is a bigger fee will not guarantee a satisfying massage therapy session.
One of the first questions that is helpful to answer is to ask yourself what type of setting, am I most comfortable in. If you think for a moment about the prospect of receiving a massage would you envision yourself at home, in a medical setting, salon, barbershop, day spa, resort facility, massage chain or individual therapist's office? Answering this basic question can help lead you to a comfortable environment which can greatly facilitate that deep sense of satisfaction at the end of a massage therapy session.
One way to find a therapist who is an educated and experienced practitioner is to take a look at one of the leading professional massage therapy directories in the region where you live for the US check out a few national and state Massage Therapy Directories.
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