Massage in general, is the continuous application of pressure and vibration to manipulate superficial and deeper layers of muscles and connective tissues which result to their enhancement and promotes relaxation and well-being. With daily stress rates increasing all around, people are continuously searching for more effective ways to distress and enhance their feelings of wellbeing. A good body massage by a massage therapist works wonders for the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing of a person.
Massage styles and techniques differ from spa to spa and each massage therapist has the massage style that is their favourite. There are actually up to 160 different types of massage therapy in existence and they include traditional and modern techniques and a combination of several techniques. However, there are some which have become a recurring favourite amongst massage clients.
1. Swedish massage.
This is the most common massage technique used in both the US and in the occidental world. Also known as the western massage, its modality involves the application of long strokes, compression and friction which result to the invigoration of the body by stimulating the flow of blood. Here the therapist applies circular motion on the superficial layer of inflamed tissues or muscles using massage lotions and oils to reduce friction. The benefits of this massage are the integral relaxation, nourished muscles and detoxification.
2. Hot stone massage.
This technique makes use of hot smooth basalt or other stones to perform the massage. Heated stones are placed at pressure point of the body and the therapist might hold some in his palm to perform the massage. The heat from the stone warms and relaxes the muscles permitting the therapist to perform a deeper massage resulting to a better feeling. The hot stone massage is a very good and efficient massage type and has being proven to be the best even though not the most practiced. This is because it works on the mental, physical and psychological sectors with more efficacy than other massage types. Hot stone massage is one that is of almost equal benefit to the client and the massage therapist as well.
3. Deep tissue massage.
This massage technique focuses on the deeper layers of muscles tissue. Here the aim is to release the chronic patterns of tension in the body. The therapist applies slow strokes and deeper finger pressure on the affected muscle by following or going across the fibers of the muscle, tendons or fascia. The result is the release of tension, removal of toxins from muscles, relaxing and soothing of the muscles. This is good for athletes and for those in sports.
4. Chair massage.
The chair massage is a very convenient massage technique where the client sits, relaxed while the vibrating system of the chair massages the upper body. Thereafter, the massage therapist completes the massage process, focusing on the problem areas of the client.
The four types of massage therapy discussed above are only a drop in the massage therapy pool as there are others like reflexology, cranial and Asian techniques. What massage therapy is used on a client would depend a lot on the problem areas of that client and what corrective measures the massage therapy seeks to apply.
I write for AML Stone Source, the leading hot stone massage kit supplies provider. They carry products such as massage stones, as well as many other accessories for hot and cold stone therapy.
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