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10 Best Types of Massage Therapy

Aug 21, 2008
Massage therapy has been around for hundreds of years. If you need to relief from muscle pain or stress, you can choose from one of the ten best types of massage therapy around.

1. First is Swedish massage therapy. This happens to be the most common type to find in the US because it is very gentle and relaxing. Here, the masseuse will use long strokes, kneading and circular movements on superficial layers of muscle using massage lotion or oil.

2. Next is aromatherapy and the reason why it is called such is because one or more scented plant oils are used during the session. You will just have to select the oil you want to use. In fact, the most popular one is lavender as it is well suited for stress related conditions together with an emotional component.

3. There is also hot stone massage. Here, heated smooth stones are placed on certain parts of the body to help loosen those tight muscles and balance energy centers in the body. At times, the masseuse may also apply gentle pressure especially for those who have muscle tension.

4. Then there is deep tissue massage. This type is designed to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. Here, the masseuse will use slow strokes better known as friction techniques across the grain of the muscle.

The distinctive feature of deep tissue massage is that it is used on those that have chronically tight or painful muscles, repetitive strain, postural problems and recovery from injury. You will often feel sore for the next day or two.

5. Shiatsu is a Japanese form of massage therapy. Here, the masseuse will use localized finger pressure in a rhythmic sequence on acupuncture meridians. Each point is held for 2 to 8 second designed to improve the flow of energy and help the body regain balance. Those who have tried it say that it is relaxing yet firm. The best part is that there is no soreness afterwards.

6. Thai massage is similar to Shiatsu because it aligns the energies of the body using gentle pressure on specific points. Part of the session also includes compressions and stretches as you are moved in a variety of postures just like yoga but in this case, you don't do anything except go with the flow.

7. For women that are expecting, they can opt for pregnancy massage. It is designed to relieve stress, decrease swelling, relieve aches and pins as well as reduce anxiety and depression.

8. Reflexology is also known as foot massage because it involves applying pressure to certain points on the foot. Those who practice this believe that the foot corresponds to certain organs and systems so if you are able to work on that, you have also done it in the whole body.

9. Then there is sports massage that is designed for people involved in sports activities. This type is designed not only for professional athletes since it helps prevent and treat physical injuries.

10. Lastly is back massage which usually lasts 30 minutes. Unlike reflexology that focuses on the feet because it represents special points in the body, this one simply relieves tension in the back caused by lifting heavy objects or driving for long periods of time.

Of course there are other kinds of massage therapy aside from the top ten most popular ones mentioned. Given that these are the only ones available in spas, perhaps you should just stick with the best sellers.
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