With self-care becoming more important as our lives become more and more stressful, people have been turning to massage therapy more than ever as a way to find peace and relief from their day to day aches and pains. Even if you’ve received massage therapy on a regular basis, you may not realise that there are numerous modalities, or approaches a massage therapist may take to address your needs.
Sometimes it can be confusing – you know you’re stressed and everybody tells you that you need a good massage, but what type of massage should you get? There are so many options and different styles available, how do you know which one will suit you?
That’s where your friendly, qualified and experienced massage therapist comes in – if you’re not sure, just call or drop us an email and we can help you find the perfect technique and style for your needs. If it’s your first massage therapy session we can put you at ease and make sure you know exactly what to expect.
In the meantime, here’s a breakdown of 6 of the most commonly used and requested types of massage and what they can do for you.
1. Swedish Massage
The most common and popular type of massage, this style uses long, relaxing strokes, and soft kneading of the muscles to help you relax and ease some general aches and pains. This is a great introductory massage if you’ve never received massage therapy or bodywork before
It’s sometimes called the ‘relaxation massage’ which is a clue; it’s absolutely great for getting rid of stress and anxiety. The techniques we use are all designed to relax and de-stress.
So what can you expect? Well, we use long, flowing strokes all over your body, combined with kneading, tapping and circular motions. We’ll also use oils or lotions to make the massage smoother, and feel great for you. If you’ve got tight muscles, aches and pains, we can increase the pressure where you need it more. Swedish massage is helpful if you’re experiencing pain from conditions like sciatica and arthritis, and it can also give your circulation a boost as all the techniques are designed to help get blood pumping around your body.
2.Hot Salt Stone Massage
This is a supremely relaxing massage where the therapist uses specially designed warmed pink pink himalayan salt stones to increase its effects. This one is designed for pure relaxation and is an indulgent treatment that’s also great for first-timers. We uses these stones during the massage to help get deeper into any, tight, tense, troublesome areas; the heat from the stones helps loosen the muscles even more.
Pink Himalayan Salt Stones contain 84 minerals, with the 3 most important ones delivering additional benefits:
- Magnesium – Involved in energy creation, protein formation, gene maintenance, muscle movements, and nervous system regulation. It has been shown to fight depression as it plays an important role in brain function and mood. It helps lower elevated blood pressure, fight inflammation by reducing the inflammatory marker CRP and it may help alleviate migraine pain in clients with low magnesium levels
- Calcium – Helps build strong bones and teeth, sends nerve signals and contracts muscles
- Potassium – Assists in regulating blood pressure, normal water balance, muscle contraction, nerve impulses, heart rhythm and in maintaining pH balance
This massage therapy session will leave you feeling calm and relaxed.
3. Deep Tissue Massage
This is more of a remedial massage than a relaxing one; ideal for anyone who does a lot of sport or has very tight muscles. While many people assume Deep Tissue massage equates to deep pressure, this isn’t actually true. Instead, it’s the use of specific techniques and movements that more easily access and affect the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue in order to relieve tension and address underlying muscular issues. While some pinpoint pressure techniques may feel a little more intense, it’s important to note that you should always speak up if the pressure is too much. In fact, it can be counterproductive to the work if you’re tensing up in an effort to fight the discomfort.
4. Myofascial Release
Fascia is a type of connective tissue that forms support throughout the body at every layer including muscles and bones. When it gets tight from daily use and postural distortions, it can start to inhibit normal range of motion and leave you feeling stiff and painful. Myofascial release involves slow, sustained pressure along with stretching to areas where fascial tissue restricts mobility and may cause pain. When the fascial release is achieved, it’s often said to feel as if the tissues melted into one another.
This type of massage therapy uses cups made of glass, silicone, or plastic along with a pump or even fire to create a vacuum pressure that will pull up on the skin and underlying connective tissues and muscle fibers. This negative pressure allows for the same beneficial effects of other styles like Deep Tissue and Myofascial Release, without the pressure pushing into the tissues. If you need deep work but can’t handle deep pressure, this is the perfect style for you. Depending on what your goals are for treatment, we may move the cups around to reduce the risk of marks being left behind, or we may leave the cups stationary for some time to allow a deeper release.
6. Neuromuscular Therapy
A neuromuscular therapist is very knowledgeable in muscle anatomy, connective tissue work, trigger point therapy, and manual therapies. This technique can help beyond standard muscular tension to assist in the rehabilitation of many muscular injuries, nerve compressions, trigger points, and postural imbalances that are causing you pain. Instead of full body treatments, Neuromuscular Therapy sessions tend to be hyper focused on the problem at hand.
There is a deep and fascinating world of massage therapy, and we’ve only looked at the surface here. Clearly no matter what ails you, there is a solution to be found in massage therapy.
What modalities have you tried, and what modalities do you want to try next?