Whether you’re looking to relax after a long day or just want to feel better overall, massage is a great way to improve your health and well-being.
Massage is a form of bodywork that can be used to treat a variety of health conditions, from tension headaches, muscle soreness, and pain conditions to arthritis.
In this article, we’re going to discuss what massage is, what types of massage there are, and what you can expect from a massage. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- What Is Massage?
- Who Might Benefit From A Massage?
- Who Can Perform A Massage?
- How Should I Prepare For A Massage?
- What Are The Different Types Of Massage?
- Swedish massage:
- Deep tissue massage:
- Sports Massage
- Reflexology Massage
- Shiatsu Massage
- Aromatherapy Massage
- Hot Stone Massage
- What is Thai Massage?
- What is Head And Scalp Massage?
- Nuru Massage
- Tigger Point Massage
- Lava Shell Massage
What Is Massage?
Massage is a form of bodywork that is used to relieve tension and pain in the body with pressure and strokes applied to the soft tissues of the body..
The term ‘massage’ can be traced back 1000s of years, but most famously was used in the book ‘Zend Avesta’ by French Linguist Anquetil Duperron (source: researchgate.net)
It was originally used to treat injuries and pain by rubbing the affected area with oil or hot stones.
Today, massage is used to relieve a variety of health conditions, from tension headaches to arthritis.
Who Might Benefit From A Massage?
Massage is a great way to improve your health and well-being.
Whether you’re looking to relax after a long day or just want to feel better overall, massage is a great way to achieve those goals.
Massage has been shown to be an effective treatment for a wide range of conditions, including tension headaches and back pain.
Massage also has been shown to be an effective treatment for PTSD and chronic pain relief, by increasing levels of serotonin in the body (the body’s natural ‘feel good’ medicine).
When used in combination with other forms of therapy, massage can provide even more relief for patients.
It’s also especially useful for people who suffer from tension headaches, arthritis, and other types of pain.
It can also help if you experience a lot of muscle soreness from working out. In fact, you can check out our guide to muscle soreness and if it should stop you working out.
Who Can Perform A Massage?
Massage is a unique healing art that can be performed by anyone with the proper training.
Therapists who are skilled in massage often work in professional settings such as spas, hospitals, and medical clinics, although these days there are many freelance massage therapists.
Some are even happy to come and perform the treatments in your own home.
If you’re in doubt, always ask your therapist if they are qualified before they start treatment (qualified practitioners won’t be offended by this!).
How Should I Prepare For A Massage?
Although there is no specific preparation that is necessary for a massage, some guidelines can help make the experience more comfortable.
Before your appointment, please be sure to remove all jewelry and wear comfortable clothes that allow you to move freely.
Also, please avoid using any lotions or creams on the day of your appointment – these products could interfere with the massage therapist’s work.
Finally, be sure to relax completely before your massage begins. This will help ensure that you enjoy the experience and receive the most benefit from it.
What Are The Different Types Of Massage?
There are a variety of types of massage therapy, each with its own benefits.
We’ll do our best to run through some of the main types of massage and give you an overview of what they involve.
Probably the most well-known style in the west, Swedish massage is known for its deep pressure and therapeutic strokes.
The technique was developed by Per Henrik Ling in the 18th century. Today, it has become the most common form of massage therapy in the Western world.
Swedish massage is a type of massage that is based on pressure and kneading. Swedish massage is often used to treat tension headaches and other types of headaches.
It’s usually recommended for people who have problems with their back or neck.
They’re also good for people who want an intense experience but don’t want to get too sweaty or smelly!
Best for: If you’re looking for a relaxing experience without any pain involved, a Swedish massage might be what you’re looking for!
Deep tissue massage:
Deep tissue massage is a type of massage that uses pressure and deep massaging techniques to relieve pain and tension in the muscles.
Famous for the incredibly deep pressure used, deep tissue massage is not for the faint-hearted!
It can be quite intense and is often recommended for people who need to work on problem areas.
Best for: If you’re looking for a deep, therapeutic massage that can help with chronic pain or injury, deep tissue massage is the perfect option.
Sports massage is a form of massage that is used to treat injuries and improve performance in athletes.
It is a type of massage that uses pressure and movement to reduce tension and inflammation in the muscles.
Sports massage can help reduce pain, improve range of motion, and increase flexibility.
Unlike other forms of massage, it is not intended to treat any specific condition, but rather focus on the muscles of the body ‘as a whole’.
Best for: Athletes who are looking to improve performance, recovery time, reduce pain, and increase flexibility.
Reflexology massage uses palms, fingers, and sometimes even feet to apply pressure to specific reflex points on the feet and hands.
These specific points are said to correspond to different parts of the body.
This style of massage is often used to relieve stress, tension, and soreness.
You can read more about reflexology massage in our write-up here.
Reflexology massage is believed to improve circulation, relieve stress and tension headaches, and promote better sleep.
Best for: If you’re looking for a massage that is focused on relieving stress and tension, reflexology massage may be the perfect choice for you!
Shiatsu massage is a type of massage that uses finger pressure and strokes on the body to stimulate energy flow and relieve stress.
Invented in Japan over 2,000 years ago, shiatsu is thought to improve circulation, reduce pain and tension headaches, and promote better sleep.
It works by stimulating the flow of energy in the body specifically by working on the body’s energy channels and meridians.
The meridians of the body are thought to be responsible for the body’s physical and emotional health.
By stimulating these meridians, Shiatsu massage can help to improve overall health and well-being.
Usually, Shiatsu is practiced by a therapist on the feet, lower back, neck, and head.
Best for: If you’re looking for a massage that is focused on improving your overall health and well-being, shiatsu may be the perfect choice for you!
Aromatherapy is the use of fragrances and scents to improve relaxation and sleep.
An aromatherapy massage is a type of massage that uses these scents and oils to relax the body alongside traditional massage techniques.
The scents are said to work with the body’s natural oils and energy to stimulate the mind, body, and spirit.
Aromatherapy massage is most commonly used for stress relief, relaxation, and help with sleep. So it’s a popular choice for people that suffer from insomnia.
The sorts of scents used include lavender, chamomile, jasmine, and vanilla. The aromatherapist will choose a scent that corresponds with the person’s mood, physical condition, or any other purpose.
It’s usually performed by a massage therapist using their hands and fingers to work the oil into the skin.
Best for: Anyone who wants a relaxing massage that uses natural scents and oils and needs a good night’s sleep.
Hot Stone Massage
Hot Stone Massage is a type of massage that uses heated stones to apply pressure and friction to the body.
The heat from the stones helps to relax muscles, stimulate circulation, and relieve pain.
The stones are heated and placed around the body, and then used to massage the skin.
It’s a popular type of massage because it can be done in the comfort of your own home.
Hot Stone Massage is good for deep effective massage, as the heat from the stones helps really helps to penetrate the muscle tissue.
Best for: People who want a deep massage that uses pressure and friction and doesn’t require any oils or lotions.
What is Thai Massage?
Thai massage is a form of bodywork that uses pressure and friction to work the body.
It is often done on the floor, and can also involve a lot of stretching of the muscles and ligaments.
The stretching element of Thai Massage focuses on elongating and lengthening the muscles, which helps to reduce tension and pain in the body.
This means it can also help with recovering from sports-related soreness.
Thai massage is good for people of all ages and can be used for a variety of problems such as back pain, neck pain, or fatigue.
It also lasts a lot longer than other types of massage and is good for people who want a deep and thorough massage.
Thai massage is popular because it is believed to help improve the circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid and improve the body’s flexibility.
Best for: People who want a long, relaxing massage that uses pressure and friction.
What is Head And Scalp Massage?
Head and scalp massage is a specific type of massage that focuses on relieving tension in the scalp.
Some people think this type of massage can even help to reduce hair loss, as well as improve circulation, and promote relaxation.
This type of massage originally came from China and is thought to help improve the quality of hair, scalp, and nails.
In Chinese scalp massages, specific points on the head are used, that is said to map to the energy meridians in the body.
Best for: People who have tension in their head, want to relax or have problems with hair loss (maybe…).
Nuru massage is a ‘sensual’ form of massage and the term comes from the Japanese for ‘slippery’.
Nuru was invented in Japan, and is said to be a very, er, ‘relaxing’ form of massage.
It’s claimed that it works by stimulating the body’s energy centers. This is thought to improve overall health and well-being by increasing blood flow, oxygenation, and circulation.
The masseur will use ALL of his or her body whilst covered in oil. Usually, both parties are not clothed for this…
This style of massage is known for its sensual, erotic, and overall intimate experience – so might not be for everyone…
It can be very relaxing and proponents claim it’s the ultimate in relaxation.
Best for: People who are looking for a more sensual and ‘intimate massage’ experience.
Tigger Point Massage
Tigger Point Massage is a unique massage therapy that uses the power of touch to help relieve stress, tension and pain.
It’s focused on dealing with particular problem areas, that will are assessed on a client-by-client basis.
Therapists use their hands and palms to work out knots and kinks in the muscles, relieving tension and stress in the body.
Tigger Point therapy is a great way to get your daily dose of relaxation and get rid of unwanted niggling knots and aches.
Best for: Anyone who wants a massage that focuses on the muscle group, as well as people who have trouble finding relief from traditional massage techniques.
Self-massage is a term that refers to massages you can perform on yourself, no massage therapist needed!
Also, you can do it in the comfort of your own home (or even the office at a pinch)
It can be done on the body directly, or through the use of massage tools such as massage balls, massage guns, oils, and lotions.
Lava Shell Massage
A lava shell massage is very similar to a normal full body relaxing massage, except that instead of using hands and elbows, the massure will hold the heated shells and use that to massage your skin and muscles.
Essential oils will be used alongside the shells, to make sure they can glide smoothly over your body.
So there you have it, our whistle-stop tour of massage!
We know we’ve missed a few off the list, so if you have questions or want to learn more about any of the massage types we’ve talked about, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or shoot us an email.
We would be more than happy to help!