Massage has been used for centuries in various cultures to manage stress, release toxins, and promote overall health and well being. Often today, massage is seen primarily as one piece of the puzzle in much needed stress reduction methods. However, massage can also be utilized for medicinal and relational purposes as well. It is often done on adults, but can also be effective for children and even for some pets. The key to getting the most effective massage is in understanding the different techniques of massage and determining which one is right for you.
Swedish massage has been around for centuries, and is a highly effective technique of massage that uses a variety of strokes to achieve a reduction in stress and a release of toxins from the body. The techniques of Swedish massage generally work through the top two layers of muscle in the back, allowing for a session that is both highly relaxing as well as invigorating. This is a good massage to use for relieving sporadic muscle tension and sore joints that can result. It is done with a combination of techniques of massage that include stroking, gentle lifting of muscles, tapping, vibrating and working thumbs and forefinger in circular motions around the muscles.
Deep Tissue Massage
The techniques of this massage tend to focus on the inner layers of muscle, and are particularly beneficial for chronic muscle tension and pain. Deep tissue massage involves slow strokes, firm and direct pressure, and working against the grain of the muscle. Strokes can be applied with fingertips or even elbows to get the desired results. This type of massage is not as relaxing as the Swedish massage is to receive, but the benefits can be felt a day or two after a session and are far-reaching and effective.
The techniques in this massage are similar to those used in both Swedish and deep tissue massages, but the focus is on the special needs of an athlete. This type of massage can be effective for both the professional athlete as well as the weekender. Sports massage can incorporate pre-event massage that works on warming up the muscles as well as reducing stress that comes before a competition. Post-event massage helps to speed recovery after an intense physical workout, and eliminate the wastes from the body. This technique of massage can be greatly enhanced by drinking plenty of water after workouts or competition.
With so many techniques of massage available today, it is easy to find one that every individual will find beneficial. Massage is a great way to reduce tension, enhance relaxation and promote health and well being.