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Massage therapy is nothing new and has been used for thousands of years. In the 20th century, advances in medicine almost completely overshadowed massage therapy. However, it experienced a revival in the late 1970s. This is mainly due to its various benefits and people getting to know more about them. There are several types of massage therapy available. The most common types would be Shiatsu massage, Swedish massage, Deep tissue massage, and Trigger point massage. Each of them has their own techniques. Also, each one of them has different benefits. Most people tend to opt for these when decided to get a massage.
These days’ people are a big fan of massage therapy. The reason is simple. Massage therapy can sometimes cure pain than medicines cannot. As such, everyone wants to have a taste of it. Of course, there are different massage types and prices. The type of massage someone chooses will most likely depend on their condition.
Also, most people have turned towards massage therapy for a simple reason – It feels good. Indeed, massage therapy is something everyone looks forward to. It is the place that they’ll relax and let the massage therapist or masseur do their job. When getting massage therapy, there is usually no worry. With relaxing background music and incense stick perfume, a person can easily relax.
What’s best about massage therapy is that it is accessible for almost all ages. However, for individuals under 18, they do still require their parents’ consent. The point though is that even kids can benefit from it. When you try to balance the benefits, it really works. It is worth the price.
The aim of this guide is to make sure you choose the best massage therapy for yourself. Make sure to read it before making your decision. Now that we’ve introduced massage therapy, let’s dive deep into it.
What is Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy manipulates soft tissues to normalize them. To accomplish a successful massage therapy, several methods can be used. The application of fixed pressure, moving pressure, and even body movements are some of the many. Although primarily done using hands, the use of other body parts such as elbows and forearms is also present.
The goal of the therapist, as well as the therapy, is to stimulate certain parts of the body so that it heals itself. Massage therapy is the human touch. Touch and movement is a combination of art and science. The best technique is chosen by the therapist. Pressure applied to the various area must be just enough. Massage therapy makes people happier and facilitates a longer life. The simple act of touch to stimulate the system will release the body of tension. This is as a result of endorphins released. They promote relaxation.
Massage should be part of your routine. It can be comparable to exercise and diet. The latter makes you healthier and happier. As such, you can form a balance between your mental and physical state. This is especially good for athletes. They deal with strong physical and mental demands every week. A person should get a massage on a regular basis. Once a week is great. However, if you are on a budget once a month is more realistic.
The type of massage you want/need will depend on your condition and type of pain. Some pain will require different techniques while some others. In this age, it is possible to check for the type of massage you might need on the net. As a result, you can then check the price and know how many sessions you can have depending on your budget. However, sometimes the benefits will outweigh the price. So it is up to you in making the best choice.
Like facial massage different body massages need different apparatus. Some massages need massage chair, some need a massage table or massage bed. To get maximum relaxation and output from massage therapy you must ensure proper massage equipment.
25 Different Types of Massage Therapy – Benefits and Approximate Cost
1. Thai Massage
The aim of a Thai massage is to relax a person’s whole body. To accomplish that, the masseur or massage therapist uses stretching technique and gentle pressure points. The oldest Thai Massage dated around 7000 years ago. The massage originates from India. Buddhist monks developed this type of massage. Their techniques are very much different from western techniques. For a Thai massage, the person actively participates in the massage session. It is not like a Shiatsu or Swedish massage where a person lies on a bed and gets a massage.
Thai massage is different from western massage. If you never had one, you can probably figure it out. The only thing you have to do is to picture someone rearranging your body into various yoga postures. Most of the time, the person will lie on the floor (on a floor mat). Once ready, the therapist will have the client’s bodywork through several stretches. To manipulate the client’s body, the therapist will use their feet, knees, legs, and lands. This helps to put the person’s body into various positions.
These should not cause the person any discomfort or pain. However, if they do, then they should let the therapist know.
The cost of a Thai Massage varies per region. Their prices are as follows:
- $40 – $90 USA
- $10 – $20 Thailand
- $50 – $100 EU
- Reduce Stress Levels
A successful Thai massage will relieve the body of emotional and physical tension. Although stress as a base is not necessarily a bad thing. Too much stress can impact someone a lot on a physical and mental level. Chronic stress can lead to depression and other serious illnesses. This is where Thai Massage comes into play. By using stretching techniques and pressure points, it is able to reduce stress levels significantly. Some research showed that Thai massage is more effective than simply resting for decreasing stress in healthy people.
- Increase Energy Levels
Several pieces of research have shown that people’s energy levels increase after a Thai massage. The results showed that Thai massage increases mental and energy stimulation. Thai massage techniques are based on Sen (the notion of energy lines). The Sen corresponds to different body parts. The theory states that muscles that are tight cause energy blockages. Thai massage will thus use various techniques to open the flow of energy.
- Circulation Stimulation
Through body stretches, Thai massage promotes blood circulation. The latter will then promote better heart health and cell growth. Thai massage also improves people’s balance. This is thanks to the improvement in blood circulation. The latter will stimulate the somatosensory system which plays a big role in balance.
- Better Flexibility
With yoga-like stretching, it improves mobility and flexibility. Over time, the stretching will improve the person’s range motion. In addition to that, it reduces joints friction. This aids in improving the fluid circulation between them. Overall, this is great for older people who have chronic joint friction.
2. Swedish Massage
Swedish massage is one of the most known therapies around. It is also the most practiced one which is for a good reason among all types of massage. Swedish massage focuses more on superficial muscles to increase blood circulation. The focus is mostly on muscle relaxation. It is not a deep tissue massage.
The aim is to release muscle tension. It is gentler than other types of massages (deep tissue massage). The purpose of Swedish massage is to loosen tight muscle groups. The latter is usually due to sitting a lot or even exercising. It is also helpful for persons with back, neck and shoulder pain.
The cost of a Swedish massage can range from $60 – $100 per hour.
- Better Immune System
Having a Swedish massage can lower your cortisol level. This reduces stress and allows your system to grow stronger. As a result, you are less like to get any sort of sickness and can spend your free time doing things you like.
- Better Flexibility
Regular stretching combined with a Swedish massage is one of the best ways to prevent the exercise of workout-related injuries. This is also true for people having office jobs. It has been proven than people who have Swedish massage is less likely to be injured.
- Managing Pain
If you suffer from chronic pain (osteoarthritis or sciatica), Swedish massage is one of the most natural ways of managing the pain. You should let your therapist know if the pain areas first. They’ll then target those areas while applying special techniques to reduce muscle tension. This helps improve blood circulation
- Less Stress
Done in a peaceful area, its aim is to increase your relaxation time. The combination of getting the massage and the relaxing environment will lower your cortisol level. The benefits usually include fewer headaches and pain. As a result, it grants you more energy for the day and better sleep for the night.
It is possible for the therapist to address existing injuries. They will then rely on friction and kneading techniques to address the latter. This technique is one of the most relaxing Swedish massage ever. It relaxes every layer of a muscle leaving the person in a deep relaxation coma.
3. Hot Stone Massage
A hot stone massage is a different kind of massage therapy. The aim is to get you to relax enough so that it can ease damaged and tensed muscles throughout the body. The types of stone used are mostly in terms of flat and smooth stones. Each is for a specific part of the body. The stone’s temperature can range up to 140 degrees.
The masseur/therapist can control the stone temperature through a thermostat. The therapist will hold the stones first in order to make sure they are not too hot. If they still feel hot for you, let them know.
$85 – $150 per hour
- Decrease Cancer Symptoms
A published study states how hot stone therapy affected fatigue, anxiety, nausea, and stress with several people with cancer. The study showed that massage does indeed improve cancer symptoms. The researchers believed that human touch played a big role.
- Boost Immunity
Hot stone massage, as well as any other massage, may boost your immune system. These are true for massage for diabetes. According to another study, the massage has a positive impact on the whole immunity. It also helps regulate blood pressure and decrease water retention.
- Reduce Pain (Aches)
Hot stone massage relieves people of several types of conditions. These include auto-immune disorders as well as fibromyalgia. Several studies showed that hot stone massages provide pain relief from such conditions. Moderate massage hot stone techniques also lessen pain and improve flexibility in some people.
- Ease Muscle Spasms & Tension
Your daily life can be a pain is you have tense muscles and spasms. Hot stone massage can reduce tension in the skeletal muscles and reduce inflammation. This helps ease pain and spasms. Hot stone massage will relax the joints and muscles of the whole body.
A lot of people do not sleep that well. This is mainly due to insomnia, stress, tight schedules or a combination of all. The recommended amount of sleep is 7-8 hours. Hot stone massage can improve a person’s sleep cycle if done at the right time. Evening sessions are done at home to promote sleep and can even cure insomnia to some extent. This is ideal for young and old people.
- Reduces Stress
The hot stone massage is a great way to relieve oneself of stress. Several studies have shown it to reduce levels of anxiety and stress. In addition to that, it also improves cardiovascular health. Ideally, someone should have 1-2 hot stone massage per month if they prefer it.
4. Aromatherapy Massage
Aromatherapy is unlike other forms of massage therapy. It is one of the best massages for lower back pain. This therapy uses essential oils thanks to its healing properties. Several fruits, seeds, and flowers provide the essence for the oil. There exist around 400 essential oils. Aromatherapy can relieve stress, refresh your body and boost your energy levels. The amount of relaxation can depend on the aroma you like. This may sometimes be in the form of lavender oil.
There are several ways that suggest how essential oil work on your body. The most well-known is the absorption of the oil into your bloodstream. You require to be completely naked when doing aromatherapy. The therapist will let you have some privacy while you undress. The therapy itself has some powerful effects emotionally and mentally.
$50 – $100 per hour (including clinic massage)
- Body Scent
The scent has a direct effect on your memory, energy level, and endurance. Aromatherapy will leave you with your preferred perfume for several days. This will make sure you smell it when sweating and exercising. As such, you’ll carry your favorite essential oil perfume on your body. This may help boost your memory, and even make you work harder when exercising.
- Faster Recovery
After you’ve showered after your workout, the best thing is to have an aromatherapy massage. This helps your heart rate and blood pressure calm down. Your body will then repair itself faster. If you can’t have an aromatherapy session, then you can keep a bottle of the essential oil with you. Although it won’t be the same, it might help calm your body down.
- Reduce Stress & Anxiety
Regular aromatherapy massage therapy is one of the most valuable relaxation techniques. It reduces stress and anxiety. In addition to that, it is beneficial to the immune system. A study conducted in Japan showed that using almond, lavender oil for aromatherapy massage boosts the immune system.
Aromatherapy massage may ease symptoms of menopause. In several studies done, it has been shown that aromatherapy massage was effective to decrease menopause symptoms. It is much more effective than a normal massage.
5. Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage targets deep muscle layers to treat pain. The targeted layers then have intense pressure applied to them. Sometimes, the therapist will slow down the movement. This helps in soothing the pained area. A deep tissue massage can be pretty intensive. As such, some pain may persist following the treatment. A good therapist will talk to you as they do the massage in order to know how much force to apply. This will make sure you’re still comfortable. A deep tissue massage usually helps to break scar tissue down.
$80 – $120 per hour
- Back Pain
It’s one of the best massages for lower back pain. Some researchers have found that deep tissue massage may aid in easing this pain. Individuals thus have a chance of a higher quality of life. About 100 million Americans suffer from this type of pain. Add diabetes and heart disease to it, the number is not pretty. As such, deep tissue massage may help in easing all of these.
- Posture problems
Postures problems associated with sitting too much in front of pcs, gaming among others can be treated with deep tissue massage. Indeed, the massage targets the deep muscle layers and manages to soothe the pain. Little by little the individual will be able to correct their posture.
6. Shiatsu Massage
The literal translation of shiatsu from Japanese is finger pressure. However, the massage therapist will also use knees, feet, and thumbs. In order to work out stiff muscles, the therapist will use some stretching techniques. Shiatsu massage therapy benefits include reducing stress, self-healing, and better blood circulation. Clients on the receiving end of a shiatsu massage may notice a tender pain. However, if you feel too much pain, you need to let your therapist know. They’ll then adjust the pressure to make you more comfortable. The massage can either be not on a mat or a low massage table.
$60 – $120 per hour
When done on the abdomen, shiatsu massage can relieve constipation. The act of stretching the muscles can make the colon and intestines much more relaxed.
- Muscle Spasm
Massaging the muscles will alleviate tension from them. Shiatsu massage can this work the spasms out.
By increasing the blood flow throughout the body, shiatsu can widen and narrow the blood vessels in the head. This relaxes the body which aids against migraines and headaches.
- Stress and Anxiety
Shiatsu massage will relax you and make you calm. A calm mind and body help reduce tension, depression, anxiety, and stress.
- Tissue Inflammation
Inflammation can be caused by arthritis which attacks the joints. By getting a shiatsu massage on the affected area, it helps improves blood circulation. As a result, it improves joint mobility and reduces pain in the affected area.
- Better Skin
Shiatsu massage will stimulate the capillaries of the skin. The skin will then secrete through sebaceous glands which will keep it smooth and moist. The latter will then have a good looking glow to it. In addition to that, it prevents wrinkling and makes it stronger.
A good shiatsu massage can alleviate menstrual cramps. This is especially true during monthly cycles. In addition to that, it can help in labor. In addition to that, it can also ease morning sickness from pregnancy.
In addition to helping with constipation, shiatsu massage therapy also helps the digestive system. It helps in eliminating waste and allow food to digest easily. In addition to that, it also increases stamina.
7. Sports Massage
Sports massages are mostly for athletes. They are done to promote performance as well as soothe sore muscles and reduce stress. The massage is tailored specifically for the athletes. Since each sport is different, so too is the type of massage the athletes require. There are different types of massages available for athletes. The type of massage an athlete wants depends on what they need. Some massage will help maintain muscles while others will prepare them for a specific event. Sports massage also helps you rehabilitate your muscles and relax. Some massage might also help you increase your flexibility. Others will just focus on your range of motion.
$75 – $100 per hour
- Reduce Injuries
Injuries are one of the worst things for athletes. They are costly to treat and delay their training. In addition to that, it takes a lot of time to recover from them. It can be exhausting and frustrating to deal with pain. As such taking preventions might be wise. Sports massage therapy aids in all that. There are some of the best ways of preventing injuries. Since they promote blood circulation, the muscles are always in good shape. In addition to that, stretching the different body parts increases mobility.
- Muscles Relaxation
Muscles benefit the most when having a sports massage. Many people reported improved mood, reduced anxiety, and pure relaxation. As a result, athletes who have sports massage have an edge over others. Sports massage lowers blood pressure. In addition to that, it reduces recovery time. Anxiety level is decreased and there is a general mood improvement. Since blood circulation is increased, they oxygenate the body much faster. Tissue healing is also accelerated while the stress hormone is stabilized.
8. ART (Active Release Massage Therapy)
This massage therapy was developed by Dr.P.Michael Leahy thirty years ago. It is designed to keep elite athletes in peak shape. The latter is also used to rehabilitate athletes. ART deals with disorders within minor soft tissues. Those are in terms of tendons, ligaments, nerves and some muscle groups. Although it was developed for athletes, it can be used on anyone. The aim is to release scar tissues that are found in deep muscles. This usually occurs when muscles are overused.
$60 – $100 per hour
- Targets specific pained area
- Deals with underlying muscles directly.
- Can be used for anyone
- Release scar tissue
9. MRT (Myofascial Release Massage Therapy)
It is one of the most rudimentary massage types. In some cases, the persons don’t need any assistance to complete the massage. This massage therapy breaks down tight fascia. It is a fibrous layer of tissue that is under the skin and above the muscle. It is what allows the body to hold different positions. As such, when there is tightness in the top muscle layer, it is usually the fascia. There are several instruments that can be used to execute the massage. It can be done with any of them. One of them is the foam roller.
You can also use a body bar, rumble roller, and even a tennis ball. There are 2 types of MRT massage therapy. One is active and the other is passive. Active massage therapy can be done with any of the mentioned tools/instruments. In the case of passive therapy, a therapist needs to be present. This usually includes a tripper point massage. An MRT massage can either be done along with or with a therapist.
$120 – $200 per hour
- Alleviates muscle tightness
- Enlarge the scope of movement
- Better flexibility
10. Prenatal Massage
A prenatal massage will focus on the needs of a mother-to-be. This is usually done as the body does through huge changes. The massage will enhance the joints and muscles which will relieve the mother-to-be from physical and mental fatigue. In addition to that, it improves the general body tone and the blood circulation that provides better sleep cycles. Since this massage is mostly gentle, it eases most of the discomforts that come along with pregnancy. In a way, it helps in terms of emotional support as well as prepare her for labor.
$75 – $110 per hour
- It alleviates stress on the joints.
- It assists in easing common pregnancy discomforts: lower-back pain, headaches, cramps, stiffness and etc.
- Hormones levels are stabilized which reduces anxiety and depression.
- Relaxes the nervous system through the release of endorphins. The mother will feel more at ease and relax.
- Keeps the blood pressure normal, relieving the load on the heart.
- Increases blood flow.
- Prepare the mother for an easier delivery.
11. Medical Massage Therapy
Medical massage therapy adopts different techniques that are already present in other types of massage therapies. Its techniques are all taken from other types of massage. Some of these are deep tissue massage, pressure points and so on. Medical massage is still used heavily. It has its specific uses. The latter is used for decongestive therapy. This helps a lot with breast cancer as well as palliative care.
It deals with the surrounding pain itself. Overall, it is used to treat a lot of ailments. This is in terms of mental and physical. The methods and time for all medical massage will vary depending on the case and the type of pain. A medical massage is ideal for someone suffering from medical issues or pains. It is mostly used to treat stiff joints, depression and even anxiety.
$75 – $100 per hour
Medical Massage Therapy Benefits
- The decrease in blood pressure
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Decreased heart rate
- Better blood circulation which benefits the whole body
- Increase in a good mood
- Better sleep
12. Cupping Massage Therapy
Cupping therapy dates back to 3000 BC. It is often ridiculed since there is no scientific reasoning behind it. Cupping is done for short term relief. It improves mobility and general blood flow around the body. There is a logical way of doing it. First of all, the therapist will look for a sore area on the body. The pressure is applied via a suction cup to the affected area. The area will build pressure as blood flows to the surface.
Depending on the amount of pain and size of the cup, the latter will remain on for a few minutes. In order to increase the flow of blood to the area, a series of additional movements can also be performed. The cup is then removed. Cupping sessions can take anywhere up to one hour. It can also be done on anyone.
$50 – $80 per hour
There are several types of cupping:
This is the most common one. The focus is on creating pressure on a small area just under the skin. The cup is usually latched on soft skin since it is easy to create a seal all around the cup. This increases the pressure overall. The cups usually range from 1-3 inches in diameter.
This type of cupping is done by creating a small incision in which blood is drawn out from. All is then held with the cup. This type of cupping is mostly popular in Islamic Culture.
Instead of plastic cups, fire cupping is done using glass ones. To carry this out, the therapist needs almost pure alcohol, a glass cup, and a fire source. It is done by plunging a cotton ball into the liquid, lighting it up and inserting it into the cup latched on the body. The cup will not move due to rapid cooling and heating. Sometimes cups can be glided across the skin if essential oils are applied. This process may be called moving cupping.
- Treat short term pain
- Deals with muscle tightness
- Deals with specific areas
13. Post-Natal Massage
Post-natal massage is very important and as beneficial as a massage during pregnancy. It is a holistic and effective approach to the many adjustments a mother will have to do. It is much better than just going to the spa. Post-natal massage works great to relax, for pain relief and reducing stress. Unique postnatal massage benefits include better sleep, hormone regulation, and better breastfeeding. More advanced massage will aid restore the body to pre-pregnancy. In addition to that, it assists with C-Section healing.
$75 – $100 per hour
- Stress Reduction and Relaxation
Post-Natal massage increases blood circulation, relaxes muscles, lowers stress hormones and provides stress relief. After nine months of change, the body will welcome a good prenatal massage. Some women will prefer a lighter version of the massage. Others prefer deeper tissue massage techniques. These will reach deeper into their bodies and initiate more complete healing. As mentioned, depression and anxiety will respond well to pre-natal massage therapy.
Most moms will experience hormonal changes due to different adjustments. Pre-natal therapy will provide emotional support along with other benefits. Postnatal depression meanwhile is more serious. It affects around 15% of mothers. Studies have shown that postpartum massage helps treat depression.
- Relief from Pain
Residual aches after pregnancy are normal. Now if you add childcare and breastfeeding, you get back and shoulder pain. Postpartum massage is an effecting way to relax the muscles and relieve pain without any medication. A great therapist can also resolve tingling and numbness sensations.
- Regulate Hormones
A prenatal massage will improve post-natal hormone balance. During and after delivery, progesterone and Estrogen levels are very high. Oxytocin and Prolactin levels are also high to facilitate breastfeeding. Several studies have shown that postpartum massage decreases cortisol levels.
- Reduced Swelling
After pregnancy, body fluids need to find a balance. This is as a result of an increase of 50% of fluids. Postpartum massage facilitates the elimination of waste and fluids excess and increases circulation. The stimulation of the tissues will assist the body to get rid of the water. The massage will also help regulate hormone and this decreases swelling.
- Better Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding can be a challenge for new moms. Post-natal massage therapy will relax the body allowing better circulation and better milk production. Several studies have shown that prolactin levels – a lactation hormone increase with the massage. Postpartum massage therapy will relax and open the shoulders which improves lactation. Several numbers of research also indicated that having a breast massage will relieve it of pain which in turn reduces its sodium level.
- Greater Sleep Quality
Postnatal massage will promote relaxation, ease fatigue and assist with better sleep. Several studies have shown that there is an increase in delta waves in the brain with postnatal massage therapy. It is one of the reasons that people fall asleep during any massage. The key to postpartum recovery is enough sleep. Everything is better once you are mentally and physically rested. Regular postnatal massage will help you in the long run.
14. Craniosacral Massage
The therapist does the massage in soft touches. The latter focuses more on the pelvis and skull area. The aim is to improve the physiological body system which basically protects the spinal cord and the brain. Massaging is light around the sacrum and head to improve fluids circulation around it. Many practitioners recognize it even though it is not as mainstream as the other massages.
$150 – $250 per hour
Chronic pain hinders our daily activities and can render you unproductive. Craniosacral massage eases the pain caused by headaches and migraines. Several studies proved it to be true.
- Reduces Stress
Stress relief and relaxation are easily achieved by any kind of massage. These are usually in terms of Swedish and shiatsu massage benefits. Craniosacral massage therapy regenerates your mood and decreases your cortisol level. This, in turn, reduces your stress level. The scalp massage frees you from any burden, stress, and negativity you have. It is one of the best feelings ever.
- Neck Pain
With craniosacral massage, neck pain is history. A simple massage on the neck area relieves it of tension and will get your daily activities back to normal.
- Stamina and Energy Levels
Everyone knows that a massage is relaxing. By receiving a massage, you’ll improve your blood circulation which delivers oxygen throughout all the cells. This increases your energy level. In addition to that, it also decreases the number of bacteria and toxins in your lymphatic system.
Mental illness is serious. It requires your attention. Some of the feeds off negativities around us – not by choice. In the end, we suffer a lot. Getting a craniosacral massage is a good way to keep a healthy mind. It helps improve your sleep and regenerate the positive energy that shields you from negativities.
- Back Pain
Back pain halts your movements and puts your activities on pending. It is one of the worst pain for someone to experience. A craniosacral massage relieves your entire body from tension and ache. This allows you to resume your daily routine and activities.
Asthma also halts your daily routine if you have it. To improve your central nervous system, a simple improvement in your craniosacral flow helps against asthma. Practitioners discovered it after having many patients.
Your nose passage must always stay relaxed and open. A blocked passage makes you suffer and increase the risk of getting an infection. To keep this passage clear, a craniosacral massage is very helpful. 1 session per week is all you need. This protects you from infections.
15. Trigger Point Massage
Trigger point massage therapy is not pressure point therapy. The former deactivates any trigger point anywhere across the body which causes severe pain. Muscle strains, headaches or even pain is the cause of painful trigger points. They follow the same protocols as other massage therapists do. However, the trigger point goes deeper into the fascial layer. This is to release any tension that may exist around the NMJ. Trigger point massage usually lasts anywhere up to one hour. It is normally painful and intense.
$50 – $100 per hour
- Target specific pain spots
- Focus on instant relief
- Targets deeper muscle layers.
16. Ashiatsu Massage
Ashiatsu massage originates in India in the Kerala region. It has since then made its way to the west. It is a barefoot massage style. The massage therapist holds onto parallel bars/ rope above the client and presses their feet into their back. It requires a lot of patience and essential oils. The massage uses the heel, plantar and even the seamoid. Since the feet offer wide compression, tension, and shear force, they are the best choice for this practice.
$80 – $120 per hour
- Decrease Chronic Pain
It is a deep compression massage. Deep tissue massage is very effective in pain reduction. It manipulates the soft tissue in the deeper layers. By loosening tight muscles, it relieves tension. In addition to that, it flushes out inflammation. In addition to that, adhesions and connective tissues get to loosen up.
- Better Flexibility
The strokes lengthen and broaden muscle fibers. Stretching them in two directions restores flexibility little by little. Ashiatsu is great to stretch the hip-knee band. The tissue runs from the knee to the hip. Stretching it stabilizes the knee.
17. Burmese Massage
It is a combination of Indian, Chinese and Thai massage techniques. One of the aims is to release stress from the body through acupuncture and kneading. It also aims to improve sleep, promote better skin by increasing the blood flow around tight joints and muscles. For the Burmese method, the therapist uses their elbow to apply pressure. They provide gentle knocks on various points.
They also use their hands for tight areas. Its use is solely for people suffering from tight muscles since it is an ancient method. Sessions usually vary from client to client. It is great for people suffering from tight joints and blood flow restrictions.
$20 – $50 per hour
- Increase blood flow
- Improves sleep
- Promotes better sleep quality
18. BMS (BioMechanical Stimulation Massage Therapy)
This massage is not like other types of therapy. The reason is that the therapist/masseur does not use their hands for the massage at all. The therapist attaches the client to a stimulation machine and either lay face up/down or flat on a table. To stimulate tight areas, the machines make use of biomechanical oscillation.
Athletes use it most of the time in order to keep their fitness level. People in medicine, fitness, rehabilitation and competitive sports also use it. Chiropractors also use it even though fitness persons use it more. As such, any adult or child can benefit from it. Sessions can last from 10-15 minutes based on the person’s pain tolerance.
$100 – $150 per hour
- Adults and kids can both use it
- Home or clinic – they can use it
- Great for people with tight muscle layers.
19. Amatsu Massage
This massage therapy is therapeutic. The aim is to work with the fascia and soft tissue so as to release tension. It derives from ancient Japanese techniques and is a mixture of physiology, current anatomy, and movement practices. No harsh message is involved. The therapist attempts to move certain parts of the body through natural movement. This is to realign the muscles and joints. The movements are very light and are doable by anyone. The targeted areas are fascia, soft tissue, tendons, and even ligaments. This is great for sports injuries.
The Amatsu massage looks for five factors to interact to bring more ‘life’ in the body. Those five factors are Environment, Nutrition, Energy, Emotion and Structure. They believe that aligning these makes for a fully functioning body since the factors depend on each other. Since it is non-invasive, people of all ages can benefit from it. A session will normally last up to 1 hour.
$40 – $60 per hour
- Perfect for people suffering from tension and muscle strains
- Invites ‘life’ into the body for spiritual people
20. Lomilomi Massage Therapy
The Lomilomi massage therapy originates from Polynesia to Hawaii. ‘Lomi’ basically means to soothe, rub, and knead. The therapist repeats the name in order to put emphasis on the healing kahuna gift. The massage uses fingers, feet, knees, palms, forearms, knuckles and even stones and sticks. Its uses are as a healing practice and even within the family. It aids in digestion and is also a part of Hawaiian martial arts.
The Lomilomi massage mirrors the traditional Swedish massage. The foundation comes from martial arts. As such, it includes several similar movements. There are also deep tissue techniques and movements to increase the range of movement. Sessions may last up to 90 minutes.
$60 – $120 per hour
- Help people suffering from general pain
- Increases blood circulation
- Improves range of motion
- Targets tight joints
21. Abhyanga Massage
This is a full body massage. The therapists use hot medicated herbal oils depending on the client’s medical condition. In order to stimulate different energy centers, the therapist applies pressure in different fashion onto the pressure points. As a result, the body easily gets rid of toxins while improving the blood flow at the same time.
$30 – 50 per hour
- Strengthen joints, bones, and muscles
- Improves Blood circulation
- Eliminates toxins and impurities
- Higher sleep quality
- Improves stamina
22. Pizhichil Massage
This is another type of oil massage therapy. The therapist uses a Kindi (a vessel) to contain the oil. He then positions the Kindi a few inches from the body of the client. The medicated oil used depends on the client’s health and condition. The mixture of oil and massage heats the skin and body to cause perspiration. This relaxes the body and also get rids of toxins in the pores.
$30 – 50 per hour
- Removes arduousness and pain in the joints
- Improves digestion
- Improve paraplegia, monoplegia, and neurological conditions
- Aids in healing injuries and rehabilitation
23. Udvartana Massage
For this massage, they use of herbal powders – an ayurvedic massage powder. The powder is heavy and moist. The heats the body and masseur applies it using their bare hands. It aids in removing toxins along with other benefits.
$30 – 50 per hour
- Improves blood circulation and removes toxins
- Helps in weight loss
- Exfoliates the skin
- Improves muscle tone
- Improves mobility
24. Garshana Massage
This is a special type of massage. It does not require any sort of essential oil or lubricant. The therapist or masseur/masseuse performs it with raw silk gloves. The latter stimulates the body in various ways.
$20 – 50 per hour
- Eliminates toxins by stimulating the lymphatic system
- Breaks down fat cells faster
- Exfoliates the skin making clean and glow
25. Shirodhara Massage
This massage purpose is to stimulate the head nerves. The therapist uses medicated or herbal oil to stimulate the scalp. The massage can take anywhere from thirty minutes to one hour. It does have several benefits.
$35 – 60 per hour
- Helps with mental fatigue
- Enhances focus
- Relieves from migraines and headaches
Which Massage is Right for You?
Choosing the right massage depends on several criteria. Some massage therapy will work better on you than others. It all depends on your condition and reason. Once you know what you want, you can then easily choose a type.
If you suffer from headaches or even minor illnesses like flu, then a reflexology massage therapy can help. These focus on reflexology points on the feet. The points correspond to various organs. By stimulating those points, you can get rid of those minor sicknesses.
For relaxation, it is better to have a Swedish or hot stone massage therapy. These get rid of stress.
For chronic muscle tensions, a deep tissue massage is advisable. Although similar to Swedish massage, it has a stronger pressure application.
For injuries and muscle pain, the best choice is Myofascial massage therapy. It takes care of the pain by focusing on the fascia around the pain area. Sports massage is also another great choice.
The right massage for you depends on the above reasons/criteria. So make sure to know the reason before making your choice.
How to find a Massage Therapist?
To find a massage therapist, you need to know your goals first. In addition to that, you need to know if it is for relaxation or health issues. Some common questions you can ask yourself is whether it is for stress-reducing, improving performing or enhancing your health. Next, you can try getting a referral from a friend. It is one of the easiest and comfortable ways.
Another way is to ask your medical specialist or care provider to refer you. They usually have a list of different massage therapists. Other sources might be professional associations but this depends on what country you live it. In addition to that, you can do a quick check online on various sites. And lastly, you can check fitness/health clubs, massage schools, and spas.
Disadvantages of Massage Therapy
When you think about having a massage, the first thought is that of gentle and caring images. This is due to the amount of advertising it gets each year. The industry is ever booming every year. Massage therapy is not only for relaxing purposes. It is also for anxiety, sore muscles, and depression. However, there are also some disadvantages to massage. They are as follows:
Getting a massage from a personal masseuse or from a medical facility requires a lot of money. The price is high even if you do not benefit from a trained professional. Health insurances do not cover most massage therapies either. Most of the time people pay the full amount from their own pocket. For healing purposes, there is usually more than 1 session. As such, it costs a small fortune for one month.
Some massage therapies are intense and leave you in worse shape the other day. Another issue is that some massage increases your fatigue level after the session.
Some massage requires the client to be naked. Most people aren’t comfortable with it even if they know it beforehand. As such, it causes more stress in the client’s body before the massage. However, this will depend on different types of people.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
How should I prepare for a massage?
Make sure to drink lots of water before your appointment. This helps relax your muscles and oxygenate your blood faster. Then you should be wearing comfortable and loose clothing. Some massage will require you to keep your clothes while others are on a nude body. So make sure you are comfortable in whatever you are wearing. Do not put restrictive clothes. Make sure you are breathing normally so as not to stress yourself out. If you feel nervous, communicate with your therapist. Don’t hold your breath since it will contract your muscles.
What should you not do After a Massage?
Once the massage therapy is over, make sure to get up from the table slowly. After massage therapy, some people can feel a bit dizzy, so don’t rush. If you need a moment, you can request your therapist for a place you can rest before leaving. Next, make sure you don’t exercise. If you decide to work out, you’ll increase the risk of damaging your muscles. It is better to allow yourself 24 hours to recover. The last thing is not to have any alcoholic drink. Not only that, avoid tea, coffee or anything similar for the rest of the day.
Why do you feel high after a massage?
A massage therapy cleans your body of toxins. It does so by shifting them from the muscles and lymph to the bloodstream. Since the body is flushing toxins out, it releases endorphins at the same time which makes you feel a bit high. It usually lasts from 15-30 minutes.
How often should I get a Massage?
For your general wellness, you should go only once or twice per month. For people in already good health, it helps to stay in good shape. The massage will essentially build upon the last one each time. For other chronic conditions such as back pain, neck aches, and migraines, you need to go more frequently. It is better to go twice weekly for the first six weeks. As your condition improves, you can decrease the sessions.
A single session is not enough to resolve all pain. For people in the athletic community, they need to go 2-3 times per week. During the offseason, they can go twice per month though. It helps them reach their peak fitness level and provides protection against injuries. People with a high level of stress must aim for at least once per week.
Is Massage good for Anxiety?
Massage therapy helps the body relax. As a result, it helps the person let go of negative thoughts. In addition to that in improve circulation and get rid of muscle tension. As such, it increases flexibility. Massage therapies can help manage stress. It is one of the best techniques to test stress reaction which is typical in people having anxiety disorders.
The technique is a fight or flight response. This is responsible for negative thoughts and reactions. Massage therapy can help the mind and body not feel stress in various environments. It promotes a relaxing response, lowers the heart rate and reduces tension.
Should I shower before a Massage?
Therapists agree that having a shower before any massage is a good idea. However, you need to make sure that the skin is clean of all perspiration, chlorine and any sort of pollutant before the therapy. The reason is simple. You don’t want it to interfere with the other oils. The shower will also help loosen and relax your muscles. As a result, you’ll receive many more benefits when getting the massage. In addition to that, you feel much more confident when you have a clean body for the massage.
Should I shave before a Massage?
Shaving is for facial hair is doable but you should do it at least 2 hours before the appointment. Do your shaving four hours before for other body parts! The reason is simple. Some products contain chemicals that might irritate newly shaved skin. As a good rule of thumb, it is better to shave 12 hours before any sort of session. This allows the shaven skin to settle down. It also decreases the chance of your body developing an allergic reaction. Lastly, shaving will make you feel much cleaner.
Is it OK to get a Massage while sick?
Although it sounds great to get a warm massage and relieve yourself from tension, it is not really a great idea. Although massage relieves you from tension and boosts your immunity system, it does not fight off viruses. For people who have the flu or cold, any sort of massage can actually make it much worse. Since it increases blood circulation throughout the body, it will release waste in the system faster, making you sicker.
In early symptoms, a massage will increase the latter and make you feel worse than before. The body is already fighting off the illness, you don’t want to add more to it. If you cannot go to work due to an illness, you probably cannot go to a massage parlor as well.
How long do massage effects last?
Massage therapy is great. They help the body relax and the mind gets rid of anxiety and stress. It is sort of a personal moment that lets you realign your spiritual and emotional balance. A great massage can also boost your immunity system. It would be great if the effects of massage therapy could last for a whole year. However, that is simply not possible.
The effects of massage do not have a fixed duration. They depend on several factors. Every person’s body will react differently to a session. Also, the needs of every client will be different. In addition to that, people get back to their usual stressful lifestyles once the massage is over. As such, it’s difficult to know how long the effects will last. As a rule of thumb, you’ll feel sore for a few days and may feel the effect up to a week.
What do you wear for a Massage?
The question about what to wear always pops up since there is no definite answer. Indeed every therapist has different preferences and techniques. To be more comfortable, you should dress the same way you would if you were going elsewhere. Remove your clothes on your own and keep on whatever you feel you must. Women can keep their underwear bottoms however they should remove the bra.
The latter makes it difficult for the therapist to massage the back. For men, it is better to wear loose-fitting bothers. A great idea is to bring a spare pair of shorts. This is great if the area of massage is mostly around the hips. Do not wear any earrings, bracelets, and necklaces when getting on the table. The rings are fine. For long-haired people, a hair-tie is a good idea. Socks are totally fine.
The massage you choose ultimately depends on your preference and condition. It also depends on what you are looking for and the reason you are looking for it. Some people prefer deep tissue massage while other soft tissue. There are also massages designed specifically for sportspersons. Make sure to read the above before making a choice. Your choice will depend on several factors. One of them is the cost of the massage. Then the rest depends on you. Some massage can be one-time while others require various sessions.
Overall, massage therapies are great. Some are not backed by the medical community while others are. For all the massages that exist, you’ll find the one you need.