Like many people, you’re probably aware of the many benefits of massage and might even have tried one. But do you know your swedish from your deep tissue or sports and when to choose one style over another?
Whether you’re new to massage or are looking to broaden your horizons, you’re sure to find a style that’s right for you. A good massage can relieve stress and pain, and completely reset you. It also benefits your immunity and increases flexibility.
Massage therapists can specialize in over 80 different types of massage, called modalities, which range from everything from the Swedish massage, to deep-tissue massage, to reflexology, to acupressure.
While these means there are a lot of options, this can also be overwhelming. Below take a look at the several options you have so you can better choose from massage therapies and figure out which ones you’d like to see.
Spa-aficionados are more adventurous now and new massage styles merged- some centuries old and others brand new.
View the guides below to the various modalities with greater detail about each and how it may correspond to you.
Reflexology is the practice of stimulating points on the feet that are thought to correspond to specific parts of the body. It is based on a reflexology chart or “zone theory” that maps out the body on the foot. It is not an everyday foot massage. Reflexology involves kneading the soft fleshy ball of the foot, pulling on the toes, tracing around the heel, and pushing deep into the arch. These are just a few of the many small, intense movements you’ll experience.
While some spots may feel more sensitive than others, reflexologists will often say that pain indicates blocks in the energy pathways or weak organs and isn’t due to the pressure of the touch. In addition to manipulating the pressure points on the foot, reflexologists sometimes work on hands or ears to trigger relaxation. Some people say they feel hot or cold sensations.
During a reflexology session, you’re clothed and seated or lying down while the therapist rubs, presses on, and squeezes points on your feet.
The therapist may concentrate on specific areas to alleviate ailments (if you have sinus trouble, she’ll focus on your toes) or work on the whole foot with the aim of strengthening every system in the body.
A Couple’s Massage allows partners to experience massage together in the same area as one therapist works on each person.
Spas increasingly continue to cater to couples, and the couple’s massage is just one treatment they take to heart.
Some spas turn this into a romantic event that can leave guests starry-eyed, setting the treatment in a special room or suite large enough for two, beachside underneath the stars, or in the couple’s guest room at a hotel or resort.
For an extra-special touch, rooms reserved for side-by-side massage treatments may feature cozy spa fixtures such as fireplaces, shower facilities, Jacuzzis, and dual soaking tubs. Some spas offer irresistible amenities like champagne and strawberries as a sumptuous treat.
Many spas offer treatments à deux so spa-goers can share a pampering experience with a significant other, but a couple’s massage isn’t just for romantics. Mother-daughter duos and best friends may also enjoy side-by-side services.
For couples, this form of massage can offer a double dose of benefits. The tandem treatment invites couples to get a bit closer and reconnect. It can enhance intimacy and teach each partner how to take care of the other.
Plus, select spas allow lovebirds to get in sync by offering sessions that teach massage techniques. Pampering and rejuvenating facials, massages, and other treatments can make up a whole spa package for couples.
Massage isn’t just a luxurious treat to pamper yourself. There are many other healthful reasons to get a massage on a regular basis. Stress is the main one.
Since stress translates in different ways for different people, from aches and pains, to muscle tension, to both physical and emotional exhaustion. Massage can actually help your body and mind de-stress, providing relief for some of these ailments.
Attention moms-to-be, we have good news! A prenatal massage can help relieve back pain, improve sleep, and boost mood during your pregnancy. It can also decrease stress, help you relax and reduce labor complications. Prenatal massage is best given while you lie on your side propped up by pillows. Neck and shoulder massage is a safe sitting-up option, as well.
WaySpa helps you find a prenatal massage near you. Be sure to always check with your doctor before booking your appointment! Prenatal and postnatal massage can be just what an expectant or new mother needs before and after labor. When choosing a prenatal massage therapist or a pregnancy spa, clients should ensure that their practitioner has had extensive experience practicing massage on pregnant women.
No two women’s pregnancy pains are identical, so experienced prenatal massage therapists cater to the specific needs of each client. Many therapists have special chairs or tables designed for pregnant clients, specifically tables that are scooped out in the belly. Again, contact your doctor before treatments.
As the default Western massage, Swedish massage is an extremely popular, simple, soothing touch therapy. At most spas, Swedish massage is the most popular treatment, and it’s for good reason. Perfect for first-time spa-goers, Swedish massage will help to release neck knots and sooth nerves. Traditional Swedish massage, or “classical massage,” consists mainly of long strokes over oiled skin.
Some therapists now incorporate advanced techniques that have rehabilitating effects and stretches for improving your range of motion. The technique involves kneading of the outer layers of muscle tissue to reduce stress and sooth sore joints and muscles. Studies show Swedish massage relaxes the nervous system, aids circulation, and helps with detoxification.
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