There are several kinds of massage that are available, most of which have differing benefits and different purposes. At most massage and wellness centres you will see Swedish Massage available whilst others may concentrate on sports massage, pregnancy massage or even something more exotic such as shiatsu. Often you may not know what type of massage would be best suited to your ailment and this is when speaking to an expert is highly advantageous. Below are some of the most common forms of massage that are generally available. 1. Swedish Massage
As we have already mentioned, perhaps the ‘standard’ massage that people expect to receive is a Swedish Massage. Focused primarily on Western concepts of anatomy and physiology, Swedish massage uses broad strokes that become then become more focused on your ailment. With the aid of lotion or oil, 5 basic strokes are performed – effleurage (long smooth strokes), petrissage (kneading, rolling, and lifting), friction (wringing or small circular movements), tapotement (percussion), and vibration (rocking and shaking movements). 2. Aromatherapy Massage This is very similar to the Swedish massage only scented oils that are believed to have healing properties are used such as lavender for relaxation. Aromatherapy is believed to help with problems such as headaches, insomnia and back pain amongst many others. Before you embark on aromatherapy, you should check that you aren’t allergic to any of the ingredients and inform the practitioner of any concerns or worries. 3. Deep Tissue Massage Most people will have experienced ‘knots’ in their muscles before and this is where Deep Tissue Massage is very useful. Your trained therapist will use a range of strokes and friction to relieve the symptoms. It is far more concentrated than Swedish Massage but if you experience pain you should tell your therapist immediately. This is the perfect massage for those experiencing repetitive strain injury or sports injuries. 4. Pregnancy Massage As the name suggests, this is aimed at pregnant mothers and is tailored very much to individual requirements with the main aim to help with relaxation. It is a safe and drug-free method of helping with lower back pain and swollen ankles. Therapists who offer this type of treatment need to be specially qualified and will usually have a special table that is designed to offer the most comfort and support to the lady. 5. Reflexology
Reflexology focuses on “reflex areas” such as the feet and hands and generally uses techniques such as kneading and rubbing. These areas are then manipulated as they are believed to be connected to other organs in the body. The intention is to stimulate endorphins and balance your nervous system. It has ancient origins but was refined in the 1930’s to become what we are more familiar with today. 6. Sports Massage Sports massage is designed to prevent and treat injuries as well as improve flexibility. Athletes of all abilities will feel the benefits which may also see an improvement in athletic performance. The benefits can also be experienced by non-athletes who are experiencing muscle pain. The focus is on manipulating soft tissue to increase the blood supply and increase the range of motions in the joints. The movements are usually faster and include compression and pressure point therapy.