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An Overview Of The Different Types of Massage

Jun 5, 2008
You may be surprised to discover just how many different forms, types and variations of massage there are.

When you have a session with a professional massage therapist you will not necessarily receive the same massage technique as the next client.

Massage therapists train in different types of massages and use their expertise to determine which massage style will be best for you. Some of the most common massage techniques include:

Swedish Massage - undoubtedly the most common form of massage. Swedish massage is known for its ability to bring the body into a state of relaxation and is often the first massage technique that therapists learn. Swedish Massage does not involve deep tissue or layers but is reserved to the upper most layers of the skin and muscle.

Sports Massage - this massage is used to treat the injuries that are often associated with various athletes due to the sports they participate in. This type of massage is also effective in preventing sports related injuries as well as treating them. One of the best benefits of Sports Massage is found in the fact that muscles and ligaments may be stretched and lengthened during these sessions. This results in enhanced athletic performance.

Deep Tissue Massage - this type of massage is performed more deeply upon the muscle and tissue compared to other types. Due to the nature of this massage, it is very beneficial in treating various types of chronic pain. It is important to realize that due to the amount of friction used in this type of massage, patients may experience a slight degree of discomfort following the treatment.

Reflexology - many people refer to Reflexology as a foot massage, however it is more involved than simply massaging the feet. Reflexology is based upon the Acupressure points that reside in the foot. The belief is that stimulation and massage on these points will connect with various points throughout the body.

Spa Therapies - this type of massage is found in spas and resorts. It may be a combination of other types of massage and combine other elements that are being used in the spa. These may include aromatherapy, deep tissue, reflexology, hydrotherapy, and much more.

Thai Massage- sometimes referred to as Thai Yoga Massage, this form of massage combines many of the stretching poses of yoga with deep, vigorous massage techniques.

Shiatsu - otherwise known as Japanese Massage, Shiatsu uses the same pressure points in Chinese Acupressure and Acupuncture to perform deep tissue bodywork.

Hot Stone Massage - this type of massage uses hot or heated stones that are placed on certain points in the body. The heat from the stones relaxes tight and tense muscles and is believed to bring balance to the body.

Pregnancy or Prenatal Massage- this massage is used to help promote circulation, relaxation, and reduce stress in expectant mothers. It is important that pregnant women use a professional to perform these massages as too much stimulation may have a negative effect on the baby. Pregnant women should also be in specific positions while they are being massaged as well.
About the Author
James Thomas is co-founder of Touch Of Aloha. An organization dedicated to teaching Lomi Lomi , Hot Stone Massage and Spa Therapies .
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