Every type of massage is a unique experience. While all massage styles are united in their aim to promote relaxation, relieve stress and improve one's overall health and well-being, each of these has its own way and techniques of accomplishing these goals.
And because there are so many styles to choose from, it's hard to know which one is most suitable for you. If it's your first time to get a massage and you have no idea what the terms Swedish or Shiatsu means, or if you've already indulged in a dozen massage sessions but still have not found which style tickles your fancy, here are many types of massages for you know which one is right for you.
Swedish massage - This is one of the most popular types of massage technique in the United States and in other Western countries. This style refers a collection of massage techniques that revolve around long smooth strokes, kneading, circular movements on the layers of muscles with the use of oil or massage lotion. It enables the muscles to relax as the massage therapist applies pressure on the deep muscles and bones. And because it's gentle and comforting, a first time recipient of a massage will probably enjoy a Swedish style.
Shiatsu Massage - Originating from Japan , this style of massage utilizes finger and palm pressures on the body's acupuncture meridians and energy channels to free any obstructions and stimulate the flow of energy, thus helping the body regain balance and improve circulation. In this type, no massage oil and lotion are used. If you're the type who's always stressed out and you don't mind a little pain, this style is highly recommended.
Hot stone massage - Water-treated, heated massage stones are the primary element in a hot stone massage therapy. Because of their innate healing power and ability to penetrate muscles, basalt stones are placed on certain key points in the body called energy centers to promote relaxation, regain the body's balance, and improve circulation, loosen tension in the muscles and release harmful body toxins. Not only for relaxation purposes, this style of massage has also become a popular alternative means of treatment for some health conditions like arthritis, depression, anxiety attacks and insomnia. The hot stone massage is ideal for those who want to relax and at the same time improve some bodily conditions as well as for those who prefer gentle and lighter massage.
Thai massage - This type of bodywork which rooted from Ancient Thailand over 2,500 years ago encompasses point pressures and stretching techniques that seek to open up energy lines or "sens". If you're a yoga lover, Thai massage is perfect for you because unlike most massages, this one does not have you lying or sitting down all throughout the session but constantly moves the body to different yogic and therapeutic positions while massaging your body using the fingers, palms, elbows and feet of the massage therapist. This type of massage is good if you want to improve your flexibility and range of motion.
Reflexology - This one is an Ancient Chinese technique that involves application of pressure on points of the feet, hands and ears that are connected to particular organs and systems of the body. If your work requires you to stand all day, it's a good idea to try reflexology.
Aromatherapy - In this type of massage, the sense of touch is not the only area that experiences satisfaction but so is the sense of smell. Utilizing a wide range of scented oils, each catering to a specific need, aromatherapy does wonders for those who are in need of relaxation, recharging, stress-reduction, and improvement of conditions that are psychological and emotional in nature such as depression and anxiety. This system was developed by Egyptians who discovered that the combination of essential oils and massage can heal and treat stress-related health conditions.
Sports massage - This style includes deep tissue manipulation to release muscular tensions, and stretches to re-align overused muscular fibers. Athletes are the most common clients for this kind of massage. But you don't have to be a professional sportsman to get one. If you live an active lifestyle and you often engage in physically demanding work out, sports massage is ideal for you.
Pregnancy massage - This is a specialized kind of massage that is designed specifically for the delicate needs of an expectant mother. This is a safe massage that can greatly reduce stress and anxiety, decrease swelling and relieve back pains.
People are different from each other. So are massage styles. A style suitable for one person may not be right for another. It's important that you find which style is ideal for you so you get the most out of the massage experience you choose to indulge in.