We all know that massages feel amazing, but you may not know that they are also very, very good for your overall health. There are many different types of massages, from traditional Swedish to deep-tissue. Below you’ll learn more about the many benefits that massage can offer, as well as the various options available.
Health Benefits of Massage Therapy
Many already know that a massage can help you feel relaxed and reduce anxiety, stress, and worry. Getting a massage can also help to relieve muscle pain and tightness, increase circulation, improve immunity, and reduce blood pressure. Of course all of these benefits from massage also lead to an improved mood and decreased feelings of depression.
Massage may also be helpful for:
- Digestive disorders
- Insomnia related to stress
- Sports injuries
- Soft tissue strains or injuries
- Temporomandibular joint pain
- Myofascial pain syndrome
Types of Massage
Particular massage therapies can be utilized for specific results. For example, the right massage can actually improve muscle tone or improve the function of your organs. The right massage may also help address frequent headaches and pain from fibromyalgia or arthritis.
1. Swedish Massage
This is your typical massage that most people have in mind when they think of massage therapy. A Swedish massage generally consists of a full-body massage with gentle pressure. It is characterized by long strokes, kneading, and circular movements. If you’ve never tried massage therapy before, this is a great option to start out with.
2. Deep-Tissue Massage
As is implied by the name, this massage focuses on the muscles and on penetrating deep within them to break up tension in the muscles. This form of therapy utilizes slower, deeper, and more purposeful movements, often with firm pressure.
3. Trigger Point Massage
By focusing on various trigger points in the body, this form of therapy helps to release tight muscle fibers due to overuse or injury.
4. Sports Massage
This option is great for athletes and is focused on helping muscles recover and rejuvenate. It is similar to a Swedish massage in terms of pressure and technique, but tends to be more focused on particular areas of muscle frequently used by the athlete.
Although each of these types of massage usually imply a particular strategy and pressure level, don’t be afraid to speak up to your massage therapist and request a different pressure level or approach. With all of the various options, you can combine a few techniques or mix up the pressure level for your body to get the most benefit out of massage therapy.
Whichever route you choose to go, be sure that you seek out a trained, licensed professional who will consider all of your health concerns (if any) and provide you with the right therapy.