Massage is one of the most natural methods of healing and stress relief. While many people choose to reduce stress with prescription medications, many others visit a day spa weekly in order to relax after a hard week at work. Additionally, massage can also be very healing. Many athletes undergo massage treatment for sore muscles, twisted ankles, and torn ligaments.
All day spas offer massage treatment. However, not all offer a wide variety of massage types. This article explains the different massage techniques available at different spas:
A Swedish massage is meant to relieve muscle tension and loosen sore joints. It is performed over the entire body. There are five major strokes used in Swedish massage. The first is effleurage, or stroking. The second is petrissage. This is a grabbing and lifting of the muscles. The third is friction. This is where the massage therapist massages the thickest parts of muscles by working their fingers and thumbs in a circular motion. The fourth is tapotement, or tapping and chopping strokes. The final major stroke used in Swedish massage is vibration. This is where the massage therapist flattens their fingers on a muscle and then shakes rapidly in order to create a vibration.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is a massage technique that targets the parts of muscle that lie far below the surface. All muscles in the human body have many layers, and the lower levels cannot be reached by normal massage techniques. Deep tissue massage therapists use their fingers, thumbs, and, occasionally, elbows to reach the deepest layers of muscle. Deep tissue massage generally involves quite a bit of pressure and friction.
Neuromuscular massage is a form of deep tissue massage that is used to increase the blood flow in individual muscles, release pressure on nerves, and reduce pain. Neuromuscular massage therapists search for knots in muscle that can cause pain not only in that individual muscle but also in other unrelated parts of the body.
A sports massage is not only used to relieve pain -- it is commonly used to prepare muscles prior to activity. Using techniques comparable to that of a Swedish massage, a sports massage can prepare muscles for activity and heighten an athlete's energy. After activity, a sports massage can cool muscles and prevent injury.
Rolfing is a massage technique designed to restore a person's posture. Rolfing massage therapists use their hands and elbows to massage the connective tissue that surrounds muscles. The end result is a noticeable improvement in posture.
Hellerwork is a massage technique that expands on the posture improvement offered through Rolfing. In addition to improving posture, Hellerwork uses techniques that educate a person's body on breaking bad posture habits. Many claim that persons who have undergone the eleven-week Helenwork session have even noticed an extension of their height.
Lomi Lomi is the most common stress-relieving massage technique. Lomi Lomi massage therapists use large, broad strokes, often with hands, forearms, and elbows. Often, Lomi Lomi massage therapists say a prayer before beginning the massage that addresses the type of healing the patient is hoping for.
Thai massage is different European massage techniques in that it focuses on circulation and pressure points. Thai massage promotes internal health and muscle flexibility through peripheral stimulation. Thai massage therapists use their hands, elbows, knees and feet.
A Shiatsu massage consists of a finger-pressure technique that utilizes acupuncture points. Shiatsu massage is performed with the client in a reclined position. The massage therapist then applies varying degrees of pressure with their fingers, thumbs, palms, elbows or knees. Shiatsu treatment relaxes the body while stimulating blood circulation and lymphatic flow.
The massage techniques listed above are the most common forms of massage offered at day spas. However, there are many other massage techniques, and many go by alternate names. To determine what massage technique is best for your needs, discuss what you're looking for in your massage treatment with your spa of choice.