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Everything You Need to Know About Massage Therapy

You might believe that the only thing you can do if you’re anxious and sore is to take some over-the-counter painkillers and get through the day. However, Victoria Bodner, a certified massage therapist, argues that you don’t have to put up with it.

According to Bodner, massage is a fantastic technique for unwinding, relieving pain, reducing muscle tension, and more. Learn more about the advance in the standard massage methods.


What is Massage Therapy?

The practice of massage dates back thousands of years. Today, there are over 80 massage therapy types to choose from with a wide range of pressures, movements, and techniques. All of these entail using hands and fingers to press, rub, or manipulating muscles and other soft tissues. Sometimes even the feet, forearms, or elbows are employed.

A professional massage therapist uses a variety of pressures, movements, and methods during massage treatment to manipulate the muscles and other soft tissues in the body. Massage treatment can relieve stress and tension, treat symptoms, mend injuries, and enhance wellness by slowing down your nervous system.


Types of Massage Therapy

There are several types and sizes of massages. For example, the following services could be available on a massage therapy menu.

  • Swedish Massage

Swedish massage therapy is the most popular kind of massage. It works the highest layers of muscles with gentle, lengthy kneading strokes and light, rhythmic tapping strokes. Additionally, joint mobility is integrated with this. Swedish therapy can be both calming and stimulating by releasing muscle tension. Even after an injury, it might be beneficial.

  • Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage is the greatest type of massage for certain “problem spots” in your body that are unpleasant and tight. The massage therapist applies pressure to layers of muscles, tendons, or other tissues deep beneath your skin using slow, purposeful strokes. Deep tissue massage may be helpful, releasing recurring stress patterns and assisting with muscular problems like back sprains while being less rhythmic than other types of massage.

  • Sports Massage

Sports massage, created to assist with the muscle systems utilized for a particular sport, employs several strategies to aid players in their training—before, during, or after sporting events. For example, you could utilize it to encourage flexibility and aid in injury avoidance. It might also help with muscle strains and speed recovery from sports injuries.

  • Chair Massage

Have you ever envied others receiving chair massages at a conference, music festival, or county fair? Have you ever gone by an airport chair massage area? Or perhaps you’re fortunate enough to work for a company that provides frequent 15- to 20-minute massages as a perk. On-site chair massages are performed while you’re seated on a portable chair that has been expressly developed for the purpose. They typically involve the hand, arm, shoulder, back, and neck massages.

  • Shiatsu Massage

Shiatsu, which translates to “finger pressure” in Japanese, is a massage in which the therapist applies varying, rhythmic pressure to specific areas of the body. These places, known as acupressure sites, are considered crucial for the movement of the body’s life force, or chi. Shiatsu massage, according to supporters, can aid in relieving blockages at specific acupressure points.

  • Thai Massage

The therapist moves the client into various postures during a Thai massage using their own body. Compression of the muscles, joint mobilization, and acupressure are all included in this style of massage.

  • Hot Stone Massage

During this type of massage, warm stones are applied to specific body parts, such as acupressure points. The stones can either be temporarily left in situ or used as massage implements. Hot stones may be quite calming and relaxing when used in conjunction with other massage techniques since they deliver heat deep inside the body.

  • Reflexology

Reflexology stimulates specific parts of the feet using hand, thumb, and finger movements. These regions are thought to correspond to various body sections. So, massage is anticipated to enhance one’s health and wellbeing.

  • Pregnancy Massage

Your body undergoes significant changes while you are pregnant. Pregnancy massage can assist with these changes by lowering tension, reducing arm and leg swelling, and easing muscle and joint pain. In addition, massage may be more beneficial when medication and other medical alternatives may be more constrained. The massage therapist will assist you in finding a suitable position for this kind of treatment using pillows specifically made for that purpose.

pregnant massage therapy

Massage Therapy Techniques

  • Kneading

By applying pressure to various portions of the body with your thumbs or palms, kneading is arguably the most accessible motion for beginners. The purpose of this technique is to move a muscle away from the bone, which helps lessen muscle spasms. Kneading is technically known as Petrisage, a term typically found in massage treatment texts.

  • Effleurage (Light/Deep Stroking)

Another technique frequently employed in salons, parlours, and massage stations are this one. It entails applying slight pressure on the skin with your hands. This technique involves gliding the hands over the body while keeping them flat; oils or creams may be used for added comfort. To maximize the client’s comfort and relaxation, effleurage is frequently applied at the start and finish of a massage. The purpose of this method is to relax the muscles in preparation for other, more severe procedures while also promoting blood flow to specific body regions.

  • Rubbing

As the name implies, the rubbing technique primarily calls for the use of thumbs, which are often moved in a circular pattern while exerting pressure. This technique is used to relieve muscular and joint discomfort as well as to increase blood circulation throughout the body.

When you rub the skin with your thumbs, you treat specific areas of the body, particularly those with stiff muscles or painful joints. To ease stiffness and discomfort in the deeper levels of the muscular tissues, rubbing can be used as a method for a deep tissue massage at a higher pressure.

  • Tapotement or Tapping

As one of the best methods for enhancing blood circulation in the body, a tapping massage is typically applied during sports massages. The back, thighs, and buttocks are the main areas of the body that are tapped during this massage by the massage therapist.

In a tapping massage, the hands can be cupped so that only the tips of the fingers and the edges of the palm touch the skin, or they can be laid side by side and tapped on the skin. You can modify the technique to adopt a specific tapping style based on what seems most comfortable for your client.

  • Vibration or Shaking

Finally, because this technique also uses rhythm, it resembles tapping in certain ways. You are to lightly shake the muscles at a reasonably quick rate to simulate a vibration moving through the indicated area, using your hands across a broad surface area (such as the back, for example) or your fingers (across the face).

Since the primary goal of this technique is to give a calming sensation to the body’s muscles and nerves, it usually doesn’t require a lot of pressure. Many therapists have also advocated using this method to massage over scar tissue and around it.

massage therapy technique

Benefits of Massage Therapy

Although massage therapy may be helpful for anybody, it has been shown to benefit people with several illnesses, including cancer, heart disease, stomach issues, and fibromyalgia. Before your initial session, discuss any medical concerns with your therapist. These are a few advantages of massage therapy.

Reduces Stress and Anxiety

According to a study, the sense of serenity that follows a massage can help lessen tension and anxiety. Your body has two neural systems: the sympathetic nervous system, which controls your “fight or flight” reaction in tense circumstances, and the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for daily activities that promote relaxation. A massage boosts your parasympathetic response, which helps lessen anxiety-inducing feelings.

Increase Immune Function

How can a massage affect the immune system? According to a study, regular massages boost your body’s production of white blood cells, which fight illnesses. In addition, massage therapy helps strengthen the immune system by enhancing the activity of the body’s natural “killer T cells,” which defend against infections.

Boost Mental Health and Wellness

According to research, massage treatment may directly impact the symptoms of stress, anxiety, and sadness (all of which are linked to mental health). Therefore, it is crucial to tackling mental health holistically. Unfortunately, there isn’t a quick fix or magic drug that can make everything magically better. But finding balance, slowing down, and taking care of oneself is a terrific place to start. Regular massage can have a huge impact when included in a holistic approach to health and wellness.

Manage Pain

Pain can reduce a person’s quality of life and make it more difficult for them to recover from an illness or accident. Numerous studies have examined how massage therapy may reduce pain, including severe back pain, neck discomfort, headaches, and knee pain. The findings suggest that alleviation can be transient rather than long-lasting, and in certain circumstances, getting many 60-minute massages a week was more effective than getting fewer or shorter massages.

Enhances Sleep

A massage can lower your levels of the stress hormone cortisol and raise your levels of the mood-stabilizing neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. In addition, studies have demonstrated that massage treatment is helpful for people with menopausal and congestive heart failure-related sleeplessness.

Improve Physical Fitness

Both professional and amateur athletes can profit from massage therapy since it can ease muscle tension, enhance exercise performance, and reduce injury risk. Stretching and loosening shortened muscles through massage restores range of motion. Additionally, it can energize frail, limp muscles. When used in concert, this capacity to “rebalance” the muscles can dramatically enhance posture, promote more effective movement, and stop or lessen existing or potential postural ailments.

The Bottomline

Getting a massage could make you feel better physically, intellectually, and emotionally. Find the ideal type and provider for you by experimenting with various massage styles and massage therapists. Always be clear with your massage therapist about your goals and expectations, and don’t be afraid to voice any concerns. If you have any health issues or illnesses, consult your doctor before obtaining any kind of massage.

If you’re looking for a way to improve your mental and physical health, massage therapy may be the perfect solution. It’s an affordable, convenient way to get massage benefits without leaving your home. Our team of certified therapists is here to help you achieve your wellness goals. Fountain Wellness offers registered massage therapy which suits your needs. Contact us today!