Over the years, massage therapy has become a more common way to assist in treating different injuries while also promoting stress relief and self-care techniques. But did you know that massages aren’t one-size-fits-all? Your goal, whether to relax, relieve pain, increase range of motion, or boost mental health, will inform what type of massage you need. Traditionally, massage therapists delivered these different modalities according to their specialty. However, today, the same benefits can be obtained using home massage equipment. Either way, it’s a good idea to understand the different massage types.
All massage involves the manipulation of muscles and other body tissue, typically to relieve tension and increase blood flow. The various modalities typically fall into two broad categories: relaxation and rehabilitative. Often, people tend to first think of the former when they think of massage. There is overlap and both types can help the client both relax and gain additional benefits. However, massage designed only for relaxation will not adequately address injuries or other special needs.
If you’re trying a massage for the first time, a Swedish massage is a great place to start, as it’s a more basic massage that will ease you into different types in the future. A Swedish massage is great for if you feel lots of tension and are touch-sensitive. If you’re looking to relax during a massage, a Swedish massage is one of the routes you can take.
Hot Stone Massage
A hot stone massage is similar to a Swedish massage. However, instead of a therapist rubbing your body, a hot stone (or a cold stone sometimes) are placed on your body, and a therapist may, occasionally, move the stones around your body. Like a Swedish massage, consider a stone massage if you want to relax during a massage. A stone massage also eases muscle tension, improves blood flow, and promotes pain relief. Similar benefits can be achieved using heat massagers.
Shiatsu massage is a form of Japanese massage that aims to unlock your qi (chee) during the massage. Shiatsu massages are designed to help you feel relaxed, relieve stress, pain, and tension.
A trigger point massage is beneficial if you experience injuries and chronic pain. The human body has trigger points that often send pain signals to different parts of the body. A trigger point massage works on the trigger points to try and decrease the pain signals to the different parts of the body to give you a pain-free life. These points can be manipulated by hand or using various tools or even a chair like ourZeroG 3D massage chair.
Deep Tissue Massage
Some people think of a deep tissue massage as a step up from a Swedish massage. A deep tissue massage will apply more pressure than a Swedish massage and is more intensive, making it a beneficial massage for someone experiencing chronic muscle problems. Even though the massage is more intense, you won’t feel additional pain or soreness. If you do experience pain and soreness, contact your doctor, as it could be because of something else.
A sports massage is going to work for you if you experience repetitive injury to the muscles. Sports massages can also be a preventive measure and can prevent further harm to your muscles. This type of massage can also increase your flexibility and performance, while providing pain relief, anxiety relief, and loosen tense muscles.
Next time you want to treat yourself to a massage, consider the reason you want the massage done. Is it to help relieve some stress you’re feeling in your life? Or is it to prevent an injury while you’re playing a sport? Whatever the reason may be, make sure you’re doing the appropriate massage to promote maximum outcomes for your body.