Types of Massages and Their Benefits
Massages are used to relieve stress, muscle tension and pain, and soreness. Massage styles can consist of long, smooth strokes to short, percussive strokes. The benefits of massages include improving circulation, increasing energy and alertness, lowering heart rate, and blood pressure. Massage therapists can use oil, lotions, aroma, stones, and their hands to provide a fulfilling sense of joy. The time length of massages can last anywhere from five minutes to two hours.
Before getting a massage, understanding the purpose has to be addressed. It can be as simple as relieving stress or addressing a medical condition, but whatever the reason is, deciding beforehand can help the therapist understand what is needed.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massages are most beneficial because more pressure is applied to the body. Commonly used to treat fibromyalgia, sciatica, sports injuries, plantar fasciitis, high blood pressure, and tennis elbow, it allows for the deepest muscles and connective tissues to reap the benefit. It treats everything from chronic pain to muscle tension. Deep tissue massages help to promote healing by increasing blood flow and reduces inflammation.
Using the fingers and palms to knead and manipulate the tissues, deep tissue massages focus on the inner layers of the muscles helping with stiffness, muscle, and tendon injuries. Deep tissue massages are ideal for those who are heavy with physical activity and those who have experienced injury or chronic pain. The process of deep muscle massages can last 60 – 90 minutes.
Hot Stone Massage
Used to relieve muscle tension, for stress and anxiety reduction, sleep promotion, reduce autoimmune diseases, decrease cancer symptoms, and boost immunity, hot stone massage uses smooth, flat stones heated between 130- and 145-degrees F that are placed on the stomach, chest, face, spine, palm, feet, and toes.
The stones are a volcanic type of rock that helps retain heat. Hot stone massages can best be used for those that want to relax and experience muscle pain and tension. This form of massage helps ease muscle tension, improve blood flow, alleviate pain, promote relaxation, and relieve stress. Hot stone massages are usually 90 minutes long.
Thai Oil Massage
Dating back to 2,500 – 7,000 years, Thai oil massage uses warm oils and deep pressure, rolling, rubbing, gliding, stroking, and stretching movement that uses the palm, thumbs, elbows, and knees. This type of massage helps lower stress, boost energy, relieve headaches, stimulate circulation, and improve range of motion. Thai massages are ideal for athletes prone to fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and injury. By gradually stretching the entire body, this massage allows
the person to relax. Thai massages can be associated with yoga because of how the body is manipulated into various positions. Range of motion improves with the yoga-like stretch reducing stress and improving circulation. Thai massages can last 60 – 90 minutes.
A body scrub is a treatment used to renew the skin by exfoliation of dead skin cells and refreshes appearance increasing confidence. It promotes skin hydration, clears blemishes, and reduces stress. Scrubs may consist of salt and oil – finely granulated sea or mineral salt mixed with oils; sugar scrubs – a mixture of sugar with oils or creams; loofah – the use of loofahs and body scrub to rid the body of dead skin cells; herbal – a mixture of herbal oils with exfoliating scrubs such as lavender, rosemary, or aloe vera.
This scrub is based on skin type; and fruit – the use of crushed seeds mixed with fruit oils such as lemon, lime, and grapefruit peel oils, oatmeal, and other edible products, to nourish and soothe the skin. Body scrubs help to rejuvenate the skin. It helps to improve the circulation of blood and lymph to the skin surface, helps to fight cellulite, and improves skin tone. This form of massage can last at least 30 minutes and can be done at home.
Specific Benefits of Each Type of Massage
The benefits of massages are as simple as reducing anxiety and stress to the treatment of fibromyalgia. Those with chronic low back pain may find deep tissue massage more beneficial than those looking to relieve stress. At the same time, those who are looking to alleviate stress may go for a spa treatment for a body scrub. While no massage is better than the other, it all depends on what the individual wants and the aliment they are facing.
Deep tissue massages help with the pain that is associated with musculoskeletal conditions. This is more effective to use for individuals with conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic pain, and sports-related injury. Focusing on deep muscle tissue and connective tissue, deep tissue massages help decrease the pain and tension.
Hot stone massage relieves muscle tension and pain by increasing blood flow to affected areas. It can also reduce muscle spasms while improving flexibility and range of motion. Hot stone massages help improve autoimmune diseases such as fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis by providing a moderate-pressured massage.
Everyone experiences stress, and it is not a terrible thing as stress can be overwhelming, leading to severe illnesses such as depression and cardiovascular disease. The stretching techniques of Thai massage help reduce stress markers. Thai uses massage techniques based on the notion of energy lines called Sip Sen, which are energy channels within the body. The blockages of Sip Sen can reduce the flow of life energy; this can cause stiffness, pain, and illness.
Body scrubs are a way to help refresh the natural look of the skin by exfoliating dead skin cells from the body by using salts, sugar, loofah, herbal, fruits, oils, and creams to nourish and
moisturize the skin. Out of all the massages, body scrubs can be recreated to do at home as a routine pampering body care.
Overall, massages have benefits that are suitable for everyone. Deciding which is better depends on what is the purpose of the massage. Although there are benefits to having massages, people with blood clots or clotting disorders, receiving cancer treatments, taking certain types of medication open wounds, recently had surgery less than six weeks, fractures or broken bones, sensitive skin, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and coronary artery disease should consult their doctor before receiving a massage.