What Types of Massage Therapy Are There?

When you think of massage therapy, what comes to mind? Perhaps a nice, relaxing spa day or a romantic couple’s massage. While these are certainly two common reasons for a massage, there are far more therapeutic reasons out there.

In fact, there are several different types of massage therapy out there, each with its own therapeutic purpose. If you’re not familiar with them, don’t fret! Read on to learn all about the different types of massage therapy and how they can help you!

Swedish Massage

If you picture a massage as a super relaxing experience, then you’re probably thinking about a standard Swedish massage. When using this technique, massage therapists apply less pressure on your body than is used in other types of massage therapy. Therapists combine short tapping movements and long strokes with a medium amount of pressure.

Swedish massage is an effective type of therapy for those who have stress-related tension and minor aches and pain. It can also reduce your overall level of stress. While it is relaxing, it is not as effective for people who suffer from more complex pain issues.

Hot Stone Massage

Hot stone massage is an incredibly popular (and relaxing) form of massage therapy. Here, the massage therapist uses heated, smooth basalt stones in addition to their hands in order to carry out the massage.

First, the therapist places hot stones on your the body before using the stones to perform the massage. The heat from the stones increases heat and blood flow to the muscles in your body. As a result, hot stone massage is an effective treatment for muscle injuries and can help reduce muscle stiffness and tension.

Sports Massage

If you’re an athlete, then you know the toll that your sport can take on your body. For those reasons, sports massage targets all of the soft tissue in your body. This includes your skin, muscle, tendons, ligaments, and much more.

The purpose of a sports massage isn’t to relax you, but to make sure that your body is in peak condition in order to perform. It can also help prevent injuries and improve muscle performance. In addition to all of that, sports massage therapy can help you recover from muscle injuries more quickly than you would otherwise.

If you’re a serious athlete, then regular sports massage is a must in addition to a healthy diet.

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage is exactly what it sounds like: a form of massage therapy that targets the deepest layers of muscle in your body. It also focuses on the connective tissue within your body. It is especially effective for people who suffer from knots in their muscles.

Your massage therapist will press their fingers into your muscles using deep pressure, and combine that with deep, firm strokes. The purpose of deep tissue massage is to alleviate the pain from the knots in your muscles, and it is quite effective in achieving this purpose, especially if you schedule massages on a regular basis.

Thai Massage

Thai massage is a combination of massage therapy and gentle stretching that originated in Thailand. Instead of using a traditional massage table, Thai massage therapy has the patient lie on the floor on a mat like they would for yoga.

It is also similar to yoga because the therapist stretches your body in order to adjust the energy in your body. If you experience a Thai massage, then you are likely to leave your session feeling energized and less stressed than when you entered. It is also helpful for people who suffer from balance issues and frequent migraines.

Lymphatic Massage

Lymphatic massage targets your body’s lymph system. The lymph system in your body is responsible for removing waste and toxins from your body, but certain health conditions can cause lymph fluid to build up.

Here, the massage therapist applies light, repetitive strokes in order to drain lymphatic fluid through the vessels and lymph nodes. It is effective for people who want to remove toxins from the body or for those who would like to reduce swelling in the body after an injury or surgery.

Trigger-Point Massage

Trigger-point massage, also known as myofascial release therapy is a form of massage therapy for those who have chronic muscle pain. This pain may be due to repetitive strain on the muscle, which causes the muscles to develop what are known as trigger points. Trigger points are particularly sensitive parts of the myofascial tissues that surround your muscles.

In trigger-point massage, your massage therapist will apply pressure to the different trigger points in your body in order to help reduce muscle pain. It may be a singular point of sustained pressure, or the therapist may massage around the point in order to release the tension in the muscle.

Prenatal Massage

Prenatal massage is a form of massage therapy that is specifically designed to meet the needs of expectant mothers. Your massage therapist will draw on techniques from many different types of massage therapy in order to help you reduce the stress and strain in your body.

Prenatal massages are typically lighter in pressure and are meant to address issues like low back pain and swelling in your legs and feet. Women who are more than four months pregnant are directed to lie on their sides or sit on a chair for the massage in order to reduce discomfort. If you have high blood pressure, speak with your doctor before seeking out prenatal massage to learn if it is right for you.

There Are Many Different Types of Massage Therapy!

There are a plethora of different types of massage therapy out there, each with its own purpose. For many people, getting a massage isn’t a luxury, but a physical need in order to live a pain-free life. Whatever your purpose for choosing to get a massage, get out there, and explore your options in order to reap all of the awesome benefits!

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