Massage Therapy is the manipulation of the body’s soft tissues. Massage techniques are commonly applied with hands, fingers, elbows, knees, forearms, feet, or a device. The purpose of massage is generally for the treatment of body stress or pain.
Massage therapy offers incredible benefits ranging from blissful relaxation to pain management. But those who are new to the world of bodywork are often overwhelmed once they see how many different types of massages there are. If you’re wondering which kind is right for you, you’ve come to the right place.
Stress is something that affects us all. You may notice symptoms ebb and flow on a daily basis. Stress is everywhere. And, while some stress may not affect you too much, too much stress can really have an impact on your health and wellness. The best way to combat stress is knowing the symptoms of stress. Most of us are used to stress, that we may not recognize it until it’s too late. Here are a few ways you can tell you’re stressed.
Massage Therapy is the manipulation of the body’s soft tissues. Massage techniques are commonly applied with hands, fingers, elbows, knees, forearms, feet, or a device. The purpose of massage is generally for the treatment of body stress or pain. 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.
In professional settings with massage therapy, clients are treated while lying on a massage table, sitting in a massage chair, or lying on a mat on the floor. In amateur settings, a general purpose surface like a bed or the floor is more common. Aquatic massage and bodywork is performed with recipients submersed or floating in a warm-water therapy pool.
Types and methods
Acupressure is a technique similar in principle to acupuncture. It is based on the concept of life energy which flows through “meridians” in the body. In treatment, physical pressure is applied to acupuncture points with the aim of clearing blockages in those meridians. Pressure may be applied by fingers, palm, elbow, toes or with various devices.
Acupressure may be effective at helping manage nausea and vomiting, for helping lower back pain, tension headaches, stomach ache, among other things, although such studies have been found to have a high likelihood of bias.
Shiatsu, the practitioner uses their feet to deliver treatment. The name comes from the Japanese, ashi for foot and atsu for pressure. This technique typically uses the heel, sesamoid, arch and/or whole plantar surface of foot, and offers large compression, tension and shear forces with less pressure than an elbow, and is ideal for large muscles, such as in thigh, or for long-duration upper trapezius compressions. Other manual therapy techniques using the feet to provide treatment include Keralite, Barefoot
Medical massage is a controversial term in the massage profession. Many use it to describe a specific technique. Others use it to describe a general category of massage and many methods such as deep tissue massage, myofascial release and trigger point therapy as well as osteopathic techniques, many more can be used to work with various medical conditions.
Shiatsu (指圧) (shi meaning finger and atsu meaning pressure) is a type of alternative medicine consisting of the fingers and palm pressure, stretches, and other massage techniques. There is no convincing data available to suggest that shiatsu is an effective treatment for any medical condition.
Sports massage is the use of specific massage therapy techniques in an athletic context to improve recovery time, enhance performance and reduce the risk of injury. This is accomplished using techniques that stimulate the flow of blood and lymph to and from muscles. Sports massage is often delivered before or after physical activity depending on the subject’s needs, preferences and goals.
Known in Thailand as นวดแผนโบราณ meaning “ancient/traditional massage”, traditional Thai massage (Nuad Boran) is generally based on a combination of Indian and Chinese traditions of medicine.
Thai massage – or Nuat Thai – combines both physical and energetic aspects. It is a deep, full-body massage progressing from the feet up, and focusing on sen or energy lines throughout the body, with the aim of clearing blockages in these lines, and thus stimulating the flow of blood and lymph throughout the body.
Thai massage is a popular massage therapy that is used for management of conditions such as musculoskeletal pain and fatigue. Thai massage involves a number of stretching movements that improve body flexibility, joint movement and also improve blood circulation throughout the body. In one study scientists found that Thai massage showed comparable efficacy as the painkiller ibuprofen in reduction of joint pain caused by osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee.
Massage of Chinese Medicine is known as An Mo (按摩, pressing and rubbing) or Qigong Massage,
Tui na (推拿) focuses on pushing, stretching, and kneading muscles, and Zhi Ya (指壓) focuses on pinching and pressing at acupressure points. Technique such as friction and vibration are used as well.
Sometimes confused with pressure point massage, this involves deactivating trigger points that may cause local pain or refer pain and other sensations, such as headaches, in other parts of the body. Manual pressure, vibration, injection, or other treatment is applied to these points to relieve myofascial pain.
Tui na is a Chinese manual therapy technique that includes many different types of strokes, aimed to improve the flow of chi through the meridians.