Popular Massage Therapies And Their Health Benefits



A recent study at Cleveland Clinic showed that massage therapy can enhance the physical, mental and social health of individuals diagnosed with chronic but non-cancerous pain without opioids, according to PR Newswire. President of the American Massage Therapy Association, Michaele Colizza said, “Studies on the efficacy of massage continue to show great promise. For this reason, patients diagnosed with chronic pain should consider massage therapy as part of their treatment, as it provides relief and real health value.”

Besides alleviating pain, massage therapy helps you relax, improves heart health, boosts immunity and digestion, and enhances the quality of sleep. There are also many massage methods to choose from. Depending on your needs, you can choose to explore the benefits of erotic massage or aromatherapy massage. Keep reading to learn more about popular massage therapies and their health benefits.


Shiatsu Massage

The Japanese have practiced this type of massage for centuries and it’s ideal for anyone who wants to relieve muscle or joint pain, tension, and stress. Shiatsu massage therapy entails gentle, rhythmic or pulsing movements applied on the body to give patients a sense of tranquility and relaxation. During shiatsu massage therapy sessions, therapists use their palms, full hands, and tips of their fingers to apply pressure. Doing so helps promote physical and emotional relaxation and calmness. Your therapist may also use long strokes or short and quick strokes to ease pain, reduce headaches and muscle tension, and improve sleep quality and mood.


Swedish Massage

Swedish massage is a classic massage therapy used by people worldwide to relieve pain, especially on the lower back. Other health benefits of Swedish massage include reduced shoulder pain, fibromyalgia, premenstrual symptoms, and lower anxiety levels. Typical Swedish massage techniques and strokes include rhythmic tapping, long kneading towards the heart, vibrations, and sliding with firm movements. It’s worth noting that Swedish massage techniques are gentle and applied on the entire body. A session for Swedish massage therapy can last for 30 to 90 minutes, depending on your preferences.


Sports Massage

Athletes typically get a sports massage since they need to relax completely to prevent injury. You can opt for a full body sports massage or pay more attention to specific parts of the body to relieve muscle tension and pain. This type of massage helps increase flexibility and speed up recovery time, boost the supply of oxygen and nutrients in the body, as it improves blood circulation.

Not to mention, it helps your body get rid of by-products of exercise like lactic and carbonic acids produced by muscles during workouts or sporting activities. Compared to shiatsu and Swedish massage therapy, sports massage comprises deep pressure strokes that promote stress relief. There are also different sport massage techniques like petrissage, friction, tapotement, effleurage, and vibration.

Each technique has unique health benefits. For example, effleurage involves strokes of varying pressure, applied consistently with venous and lymph flow. This technique helps relax the body, improves blood circulation, warm body tissues, and soothe pain and sores. Friction massage, on the other hand, comprises strokes applied in linear or circular motions. These strokes help create an inflammatory response in the athlete’s body to separate scars or injured tissues.


Deep Tissue Massage Therapy

As the name suggests, deep tissue massage requires more pressure than shiatsu and Swedish massage. Deep tissue massage is like sport massage, as it targets sore muscles, sport-related injuries, chronic muscle pain, and muscle stiffness. Therapists apply slow strokes combined with deep finger pressure to release tension from the deepest layers of your tissues and muscles.

While deep finger pressure produces the best results, some people feel uneasy and prefer smooth strokes. To ensure clients feel comfortable during deep tissue massage therapy, today’s therapists incorporate tech devices like a theragun. It produces similar effects of deep tissue massage on pressure points without causing discomfort or pain. Like most tech devices, there are different Theragun models designed to meet the unique needs of individuals. Depending on your needs, you can choose a mini, pro, elite, or premium theragun. The key to choosing the right theragun model is understanding their specifications. So make sure to review each model and see how they align with your needs.


Reflexology Massage

Also known as zone massage, reflexology massage therapy is an ideal choice for individuals who don’t want a full body massage. This therapeutic massage technique works based on scientific studies that the entire body is linked to zones on your feet and hands. Because your hands and feet control natural reflexes in the body, applying pressure on them helps improve blood circulation, boost vitality, ease headaches, and relax nerves.

Many people prefer reflexology on the feet because the soles have thousands of nerve endings linked to various body organs. By applying pressure on each point on the feet, the functionality of organs improves significantly. To enjoy the benefits of reflexology massage, therapists recommend sessions that last between 30 minutes to an hour.

Almost every culture in history has practiced massage therapy for healing purposes, and recent studies prove massage is effective for pain relief and improved mental and physical health. There are a variety of massage therapies, with the most popular ones being sports massage, deep tissue massage, shiatsu, Swedish, and reflexology massage. Other options include acupuncture, cupping, aromatherapy, and hot stone massage.


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