April 16, 2012

Choosing the Best Massage Therapy for You

By Bernie Schmidt

The term Massage Therapy covers many varieties of massage approaches. Here's a brief intro to the key types.

Swedish Massage Therapy is the commonest version of massagetreatment in North America. Massage specialists use long smooth strokes and circular movements on top layers of muscle using massage lotion or oil. Swedish massage is generally gentle and relaxing.

Aromatherapy Massage combines massage with 1 or 2 scented oils called essential oils. The massage therapist can select oils that are calming, energizing stress-reducing and so on. One of the most common oils used is lavender. Aromatherapy massage is especially appropriate to stress-related conditions or situations with an emotional component.

Hot Stone Massage uses heated smooth stones that are placed on key nodes on the body to warm and loosen tight muscles and balance the body's energy centres. The therapist might also hold stones and apply mild pressure with them. Hot stone massage is good for people who have muscle strain but like lighter massage.

Deep Tissue Massage targets the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissues. Thru the use of slower strokes across the grain of the muscle, deep tissue massage is utilised for chronically tight or painful muscles, repetitive strain, postural problems or recovery from injuries.

Shiatsu is a form of Japanese body work that uses local finger pressure in a rhythmic sequence on acupuncture meridians. Each point is held for for 2 to 8 seconds to raise the movement of energy and help the body regain balance. Though the pressure is firm, Shiatsu is relaxing and there's usually no soreness afterwards.

Reflexology involves putting pressure on certain points on the foot that correspond to organs and systems in the body. Reflexology is relaxing especially for those that stand on their feet all day or merely have exhausted sore feet.

Pregnancy Massage or pre-natal massage is favored by expectant mothers. Massage therapists will change techniques to support the woman's body in the massage. Pregnancy massage is used to lower stress, reduce swelling, relieve discomforts and reduce anxiety and depression.

Sports Massage is particularly designed for people that are engaged in higher degrees of activity. The focus isn't on relaxation but on stopping and treating injury and augmenting sports performance. A combination of methods are employed. The massage strokes are frequently faster than Swedish massage. Facilitated stretching is a common method, helping to loosen muscles and increase flexibleness.

After your massage treatment, and dependent on the type of massage you have had, lactic acid will have been freed from your muscles and is now circulating in your body. Drinking water will help flush out the acid. Frequently an Epson Salts-based bath may be suggested as well to help the body in clearing out the lactic acid.

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