Therapeutic massage provides a number of health and wellness related benefits. Massage is a safe, non-invasive method of therapy and healing with no harmful side effects. With so many types of massage, how do you know which one is right for you? We’ve listed some of the most common modalities of massage therapy to help you better select the best option for your specific needs.
Swedish Massage is the most basic type of massage. It involves long, gliding strokes and kneading of the muscle tissue; it is most often given for relaxation and stress relief. Swedish massage can lower blood pressure, enhance sleep quality, reduce minor pain & inflammation, decrease joint stiffness, & improve circulation.
Deep Tissue Massage aims to relieve tension and pain in the deeper layers of the muscles and fascia (or connective tissue). This type of massage is effective in releasing chronic stress due to misalignment, repetitive motion or past injuries, and it can release toxins from the body. Deep tissue massage is recommended for those suffering from consistent pain, are involved in heavy physical activity (like athletes), do a job that requires repetitive motion or patients who have sustained a physical injury.
Myofascial Release aims to treat pain and restriction of motion as well as rebalance the body. This is done using techniques to stretch the fascia and release the constrictions between the fascia, muscles and bones. Myofascial Release can relax contracted muscles, increase venous and lymphatic flow and stimulate the stretch reflex.
Sports Massage is a type of Swedish and Deep Tissue massage for athletes. The focus of this type of massage is increasing blood and lymphatic flow, eliminating pain and increasing range of motion. Sports Massage is divided in 4 types: pre-event, post-event, restorative and rehabilitative.
Prenatal Massage is usually a Swedish massage and aims to provide relaxation, pain relief and increased circulation and mobility. Modifications are made to ensure comfort for mom and baby. Prenatal massage can provide much needed relief and sense of well-being.
Trigger Point Therapy is a specific massage technique that aims to eliminate Trigger Points (hyperirritable spots of muscle contraction that are a common cause of pain. This pain is also often referred to other areas in the body). Specific static compression is applied to the trigger points until there is a release and the muscle relaxes.
While there are many types of massage, not every type is beneficial for every person. Be sure to communicate with your massage therapist about any questions or concerns so she/he can recommend the appropriate massage and you can get the most out of your therapy session.