There are many different kinds of massage. Some focus on soothing muscle pain. While others focus on increasing energy levels.
Many aim to improve a specific physical condition while others simply to help you relax.
Massage makes you feel good in lots of ways, and can have a positive effect on your whole body - your bones, your muscles, your
heart, your skin, your breathing, digestion, and your mental health.
Massage is the stroking, kneading, warming, rolling and pressing of skin and muscles. The session is the use of the therapists
hands. The strength of the pressure will vary according to what type of massage treatment you are having.
The sequence of techniques usually used in a session of Swedish Massage are:
Effleurage - These are long flowing or gliding strokes, usually toward the heart, tracing the outer contours of the body - meant to
soothe. Palms are used separately or together to glide gently over the skin. This spreads the massage oil, warms up the muscles,
and lets the recipient become accustomed to the therapist's touch.
Petrissage - These are strokes that lift, roll, or knead the tissue much like kneading dough. This brings circulation into the area,
helps unwind taut muscles and fascia, and is deeply relaxing.
Pinpoint pressure - This focuses on points that are painful to the touch, bunched up, knotted, or especially hard. The thumb or
forefinger is used to apply pressure directly to the area - just enough to release the muscle, but not hard enough to hurt. This gives
muscle spasms and tense spots relief by gradually helping them to release chronic holding patterns.
Deep Friction - These are small circular strokes ranging in size from a quarter to a teacup which press just below the surface of the
skin onto the muscles below. Sometimes short (a few inches long) straight lines are used at this level of pressure. This soothes
deeper areas in muscles made tight by exercise and everyday stress.
Skin Rolling - This is often easier without oil. A fold of skin is pinched between the fingers and the fingers are walked forward,
maintaining the roll while moving. This lifts skin away from underlying tissues, aiding in superficial circulation and improving skin
Tapotement (percussion or tapping) - The hands of the therapists are cupped or in a "karate chop" position while the wrists are
loose. The therapist gently and rhythmically taps on the recipient's body. This wakes up the body, brings a tingling feeling, and a
feeling of increased vitality.
Fingertip brushing - This is usually done at the close of a full-body massage session. The therapist uses just the tips of the fingers to
gently graze the surface of the skin with very light pressure. This calms and soothes the nervous system and relaxes extra
stimulated muscles after deeper massage.
Usually the session lasts for an hour and some an hour and half. Whatever it is, make sure you allow yourself time to get ready and
get settled, as well as time to wind down afterwards.
Benefits of Massage Therapy
- It relaxes and refreshes tired or knotted muscles
- It increases blood circulation
- It stimulates deep circulation, both of blood and lymph which helps your body to heal, and generally work more efficiently
- It encourages your body to produce endorphins - the natural chemicals in your body that make you feel happy.
- help the recipient obtain a feeling of connectedness, a better awareness of their body and the way they use and position it,
- relieve pain and discomfort associated with muscle tension, fractures, sprains, sciatica, and stiff joints
- shorten recovery time from muscular strain by flushing the tissue of lactic acid, uric acid and other metabolic wastes
- stretch the ligaments and tendons, keeping them supple
- stimulates the skin and nervous system while at the same time relaxing the nerves themselves
- help reduce emotional and physical stress. It is often recommended as part of a regular program for stress management
Massage therapy can assist in relieve a wide range of issues. It encourages the blood flow through the body. This increases the
amount of oxygen and nutrients that reach our organs and tissues. It also releases out of our body; waste products, toxins, carbon
dioxide and excess water.
It can be used to treat specific physical injuries or difficulties, and to help with rehabilitation after someone has had an injury. It can
also help prevent further muscle or tissue damage. One of its greatest effects of most massages is that it can make you feel much
better about yourself, more relaxed in your own skin, calm and peaceful.
Different types of Massage
A smooth, flowing style that promotes general relaxation, improves circulation and range of movement, and relieves muscular
Combining the therapeutic properties of essential oils with specific Massage techniques to promote health and well-being.
Using thumb and finger pressure on the reflex points of the feet (which correspond to all areas of the body) to assist in achieving
balance within the body.
Oriental Massage Therapies:
Oriental-based systems of finger pressure Massage, such as Acupressure and Shiatsu, that treat points along the acupressure
meridians, aiming to release discomfort and re-balance energy.
Swedish Massage is a system of long strokes, kneading, friction, tapping, percussion, vibration and shaking motions that apply
pressure between muscles and bones, rubbing in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart. Swedish Massage
feels good, is relaxing and invigorating.
Before any massage treatment, avoid large meals or alcohol. It's also a good idea to drink plenty of water, which will help your
body to flush the toxins out of your body.
You should always tell your therapist in advance if you:
are, or think you might be, pregnant
have any medical conditions or are receiving any treatment or medication
have recently had an injury or operation
are allergic to anything, particularly skin allergies
have any broken skin or sores on your scalp
have a fever or infection