Mihaly Massage Therapy

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TYPES OF MASSAGE THERAPY

TYPES OF MASSAGE THERAPY

Written by: Akhilesh Dev | Posted: July 5, 2019 at 6:15 am | Total Comments: 1

WHAT IS MASSAGE?

Massage is the manipulation of soft tissues in the body. Massage techniques are commonly applied with hands, fingers, elbows, knees, forearms, feet, or a device.

A person who was professionally trained to give massages was traditionally known as a masseur (male) or a masseuse (female), but those titles are outmoded, and carry some negative connotations. In the United States, the title massage therapist has been recognized as a business norm for those who have been professionally trained to give massages.

 

WHICH TYPEOF MASSAGE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

With so many different varieties, it can be hard to know which kind would be best for your needs. A good massage is truly a treat and offers many health benefits. In fact, there are over 200 different massage techniques and types, all treating different needs and providing various benefits. Here are some of the most popular types of massages and when you might want to choose them.

 

Massages for relaxation and stress relief:
Some massages are more soothing than others, leaving you feeling like you’ve been wrapped in a cloud and the “reset” button pressed on your body.

– Swedish Massage
This is the most common type of massage therapy, and what many people are thinking about when they hear the word “massage” or try to give someone else or themselves a good massage. It is comprised of five basic strokes: effleurage (sliding or gliding), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (rhythmic tapping), friction (cross fiber) and vibration/shaking.

Best for: An intro to massage, stress relief, relaxation, releasing cramped or tense muscles.

– Hot Stone Massage
During hot stone massage, your body is not only weighted down with hot, smooth stones, but the masseuse also uses the stones to massage your body. A hot stone massage is mostly relaxing, but it also is more invigorating than your run-of-the-mill massage, thanks to the almost-too-much heat bringing you back to focus on the moment instead of letting you drift off. The heat helps release the tension in your back and shoulders, mostly, so those muscles can be worked on more effectively.

Best for: “Centering” yourself, releasing very tense muscles, relaxation

– Chair / On Site Massage
You’ve probably seen these strange contraptions at conventions, the mall, nail parlors, the airport and maybe even your office. Chair massages have you sitting face forward in a chair so the therapist can massage mostly your neck, shoulders, and back. The good thing is you don’t have to take off your clothes or have oils slathered all over you. The bad thing is you don’t get a thorough whole-body massage as you do with other methods, and, since this is often done in public places, it can be very distracting and not as relaxing. Depending on the massage therapist, however, a chair massage can really get the tension out of your upper body.

Best for: Quick massages when you’ve been walking all day, stress relief

Massages for treating pain and specific conditions:
When you have knotted muscles, however, or have more specific ailments, more attentive techniques are required.

– Deep Tissue and Trigger Point Massage
As the name suggests, deep tissue massage applies deep pressure onto specific trouble points. It feels very much like someone is torturing you on purpose by pushing into your knotted muscle, and the massage can leave you feeling sore. It’s not just more pressure all over your body, however (which would be true torture), it’s very specific, methodical treatment. Deep tissue massage uses many of the same movements and techniques as lighter styles eg Swedish massage, but the pressure will generally be more intense. This is not the kind of massage to ask for if you expect to feel relaxed during the therapy, and afterwards you might feel sore for a couple of days.
What is acceptable about bruising after a deep tissue massage?

Deep tissue and trigger point massages are very similar. The difference is that deep tissue massage uses various traditional massage techniques to work the tissue, whereas trigger point massage is literally looking to manipulate or press on that one point that relieves tension in an entire area (perhaps not even nearby).

Best for: Treating stiff, painful trouble spots like the shoulder and neck

– Myofascial Release
A soft-tissue therapy that improves somatic function, or the function of the body’s various systems, such as the skeletal, arthodial, and myofascial structures as well as the supporting vascular, lymphatic, and neural elements. “Fascia” is a thin layer of tissue that covers muscles. If tightened or stuck, fascia can prevent muscles from fully relaxing. Myofascial release works against this, allowing the body to reach a greater range of motion, heightened muscular strength, overall relaxation, and improved posture.

Best for: Treating skeletal muscle immobility and stimulating the stretch reflex in muscles

– Cupping Therapy
Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine. One of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, the Edwin Smith Papyrus, describes how the ancient Egyptians used cupping therapy in 1500 B.C. The therapist will place a cup onto the surface of the skin to create a vacuum effect. Sometimes the cups are left in place and other times they are moved along muscle fibres to help relax tight muscles. This increases the blood flow, loosens the fascia or connective tissue, and is thought to stimulate healing. It is similar to the way deep tissue massage can be used to break up scar tissue and reduce pain. The cups are often placed on the back, neck, and shoulders or the site of pain. The cups may be made of Glass, Bamboo, Earthenware or Silicone.

Best for: reduce pain, surgery recovery, improve mobility and ease muscle soreness

Massages for overall health and rejuvenation:
While the massages above should all leave you feeling better, some specific types of massages may be better for an overall energy boost.

– Shiatsu Massage
Shiatsu (literally, “finger pressure”) is an ancient technique from Japan. It combines gentle stretches with finger pressure to work on different pressure points. The idea is to fix imbalances in the flow of energy in your body. Although there’s no concrete evidence of Shiatsu’s use as a healing method, people who have had this massage still report stress and pain relief. Unlike other types of massage, you stay clothed during the treatment.

Best for: Ailments such as headaches, back pain and lack of energy

– Thai Massage
Thai massage works your entire body. It’s one of the most invigorating types of massages, as the therapist rigorously manipulates your body, moving it into yoga-like stretches. (It’s sometimes referred to as “Yoga for the lazy.”) The therapist uses every part of his or her body—hands, knees, legs and feet—to not only stretch you but also apply pressure on your muscles and loosen your joints. This type of massage is both energizing and, at times, relaxing. You can wear loose, comfortable clothing during the massage.

Best for: Improving energy, increased flexibility, overall health and well-being

– Sports Massage
Sports massage is designed specifically for the very physically active (whether you’re a professional athlete or not). It combines Swedish, Shiatsu and other techniques to concentrate on the areas that are related to your sport. Athletes often get sports massages to prepare for peak performance, prevent injury and also treat injury.

Best for: Athletes or workout warriors

– Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Aims to stimulate the body’s lymphatic system by applying light, gentle, repetitive strokes. A healthy lymph system requires that muscle cells are able to contract smoothly in the walls of lymph vessels so that muscles can shepherd lymphatic fluid through the vessels, lymph nodes, and the rest of the body. Founded by Emi Vodder and Estrid Vodder, both Danish doctors. Lymphatic massage isn’t fit for those looking for a more intense, hard-pressured massage.

Best for: detoxification your body of toxins or to reduce oedema and swelling post injury or surgery

– Reflexology
Massage therapy & foot reflexology . According to reflexology, or zone therapy, all of the body’s organs are mapped to the feet. With finger pressure to the feet, hands, or ears, the therapy links pressure points to the body’s various internal systems. By pressing on these reflexes with fingers, one is able to bring about relaxation and balance in the body, and also assist in overall stress reduction and enhancement of well-being. While the use of reflexology has ancient roots, Western medicine and current healthcare techniques have yet to fully understand everything that reflexology has to offer, which is why research continues to be vital in this area.

Best for: stress-related conditions, digestive disorders, arthritis, hormonal imbalances