There are few better ways to forget about the stresses of everyday life and escape from it all than a good old fashioned massage. The problem is, with so much choice, selecting the right massage therapy for your mood can be pretty stressful too! Keep reading for some helpful information on the most popular massage techniques, and when to use them, so you can decide which therapy suits you best.
Thai Massage The Thai massage is possibly the most popular choice of therapy in Asia due to its healing qualities. It is usually performed a fully-clothed patient, who will lie on a mat or the floor. Unlike many other massage therapies, it is not typically relaxing! The therapist will constantly adjust the patient’s position and stretch him or her into a variety of poses and positions while also applying pressing movements across the body. The Thai massage has a highly invigorating effect, giving the patient a boost of energy in the short term, and reducing body stress and pain for a few days at least. It can also have longer term benefits, such as improved flexibility and balance, much like yoga.
Swedish Oil Massage The Swedish oil massage is a classic choice, and an increasingly popular one in Asia. The Swedish massage, which is performed using either oil or lotion for ultimate comfort, is probably the most popular therapy for those seeking complete relaxation. The idea is to begin with broad, full strokes that eventually cover the entire body, before focusing on particular areas with closer strokes. It is designed to give the patient full-body muscle relaxation, but is an effective remedy to relieve pain and reduce bodily stress.
Shiatsu Massage The shiatsu massage is a Japanese technique centred on providing intense pressure on particular areas of concern in order to improve the flow of energy around the body. Pressure is usually applied by the therapist’s finger tips, but they may even use their elbow. Typically the shiatsu massage is performed on a fully-clothed patient lying on a mat or the floor. The massage should improve energy and aid recovery from injuries.
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Stone Massage A stone massage is performed using smooth, warm stones (often basalt stones, which retain heat) which are placed on certain areas around the patient’s body. The therapist will apply pressure using the stones to perform the massage, which encourage the flow of blood and relieve tension, to relax the muscles and body.
Sports Massage A sports massage is designed to aid recovery and prevent injuries to athletes. Similar to the Thai massage, it is not exactly relaxing, with the therapists strokes applied much more quickly, and with a lot of pressure. The idea is to increase blood flow, improve motion and flexibility, and to reduce muscle pain.
Aromatherapy Massage An aromatherapy massage is much like a Swedish massage, only it introduces scented plant oils which boast healing qualities and create an even more relaxing atmosphere. Aromatherapy is designed to heal and relax the body, and it can even treat headaches or insomnia.
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