Massage therapy is an ancient practice that has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. Classic massage is a type of massage that consists of five different hand movements: stroking, kneading, rubbing, hitting and vibrating. These movements are used to directly massage the skin and muscles of the affected area. Effleurage is a technique that involves sweeping movements around the massage area.
This helps to warm up the body and identify any knots that need to be broken. Petrissage is a technique that involves kneading the muscles, allowing the masseuse to reach more specific areas and go deeper into the muscles, focusing on the fascia or connective tissue. Friction is a technique that involves rubbing the hands together to create heat that relaxes the muscles and prepares them for a deeper massage. Finally, vibrations or tremors involve using the palm of the hand to exert pressure with a back and forth movement, which relaxes the muscle and promotes healthy blood flow.
Massage therapy can be beneficial for many different types of people. Pregnant women can benefit from prenatal massage, which helps to reduce pain in different areas of the body caused by swelling and muscle stiffness. Acupuncture is a more direct form of massage therapy that is great for delving deeper into deep fascial layers. Lomilomi massage uses a combination of palms, knuckles, forearms, fingers, elbows, knees, feet and even sticks and stones found on islands.
Active release therapy was developed for elite athletes to return to peak performance as quickly as possible. Ashiatsu massage therapy is derived from Chavutti Thirumal, a deep tissue massage practice that uses the feet and legs. Most people can benefit from medical massage therapies, although the degree of help varies from case to case. For some types of massages, such as deep tissue massages and shiatsu, a good massage chair or a heated massage office chair may be a convenient alternative to going to a massage therapist.
Being aware of what different types of massages can do for you is an important first step in maximizing the benefits you get from them.