Massage therapy involves the manual manipulation of muscles, connective tissues, tendons and ligaments to enhance a person's health and well being. Many people get a massage to relax, reduce stress, and relieve muscle soreness.
To achieve the purpose of your visit, massage therapists apply a variety of techniques. Every therapist uses a different touch, but all therapists use their hands and fingers during the massage. They will occasionally use their forearms and elbows to administer a deep tissue massage.
The type of massage you get should be dictated by your goal. While some massage therapists can offer many types of massages, some states may require certification to peform specific types of massages because the massage has a specific purpose. Below are some of the more common types of massages.
Swedish. The most common method of massage today, this massage aims to relax your muscles. The therapist applies pressure to your muscles and rubs in the same direction as your blood flows. The therapist stimulates the blood in the area by using their hands, fingers, forearms or elbows to knead, stroke, vibrate and tap the area.
Trigger Point. This type of massage pinpoints areas that tend to radiate pain beyond the pain site. The therapist applies pressure to the area where the pain is strong, from a few seconds to a few minutes.
Deep Tissue. The therapist massages the area with deep pressure to melt knots and tension from stress and discomfort.
Shiatsu. This massage originated in Japan. The therapist uses his or her thumbs, fingers and palms on the main acupressure points.
Watsu – This massage is administered in a pool and is a variation of a shiatsu massage and uses acupressure and meridian stretching techniques.