The popularity of massage therapy is growing; each year, the number of performed massages increases by 20% from the previous year. What’s more, there are over 250 different massage therapy techniques! It’s crazy!
While the popularity of massage techniques varies year to year, the overall massage benefits are taking hard to ignore.
Forget about the amateur massage taps on the back; the ancient tradition claims to cure it all: stiff joints, anxiety, and even diabetes!
And if you are ready to jump on the old wellness wagon and unwind, let’s have a look at the popular five massage techniques and benefits.
But, let’s look first on what is massage therapy?
What is massage therapy?
Northwestern Health Sciences University explains that massage therapy is “manual manipulation of soft body tissues (muscle, connective tissue, tendons, and ligaments) to enhance a person’s health and well-being. There are dozens of types of massage therapy methods (also called modalities).”
There are two categories in which you can divide the majority of massages based on what are their primary functions:
1.Rehabilitative massage (practiced in clinics, hospitals)
2. Relaxation massage (practiced in spas, resorts, and wellness centers)
The massage therapists regularly use accessories and massage devices such as massage chairs and tables, to improve the quality of their work and adapt each massage to their client’s needs.
While visiting a massage therapist is beneficial, there are many other ways to get your required massage from the comfort of your own home.
You can choose between a wide variety of massage therapy devices, all depending on your needs and preferences. A few are growing quite popular lately. Also, home massage devices are becoming more common. Many companies now started to develop various massage chair, so people can benefit from massage therapy right from home. Johnson wellness massage chair brand is one of the market leaders.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe an actual machine could substitute real human hands, but these machines are quite practical to keep at hand. They can improve your workouts, soothe sore muscles, and even reduce stress!
Massage therapy dates all the way to Ancient China. While we may go for a simple aromatherapy massage at home to achieve relaxation in combination with essential oils, there are, in fact, many more massage therapy benefits than just a romantic knead and stroke on the back.
While there some different therapies, we prepared a list of 5 different massage techniques and their benefits.
This is a type of massage therapy that is used to treat myofascial pain syndrome. The massage soothes the tense and tight trigger points, trying to reduce pain. These points are the centers where the pain usually comes from.
Overall, the point of this therapy is to relax the muscles, break down scar tissue, and improve good posture. It used for low back pain, sports injuries, arthritic conditions, stiff neck, arthritic conditions, and headaches.
The benefits of myofascial massage include reduced facial tension, pain relief and improved mobility.
Trigger Point Therapy
Trigger points are knots, the sensitive spots in soft tissue. Trigger point therapy focuses on these points, providing relief to the painful area.
This type of massage therapy consists of rubbing and pressing on knots. By applying pressure, it can also be painful or uncomfortable. This massage uses different techniques, including dry needling, a popular and effective method.
Overall, this therapy provides users with relief of headaches, joint, and muscle pain, back and neck pain, and sciatica.
Swedish Massage Therapy
The Swedish massage is along with Shiatsu probably one of the most popular massage techniques, and there’s a good reason for that. It’s recommended for beginners, amateurs, and athletes alike.
Swedish massage technique involves using massage oil or lotion. It is a combination of long, soft, kneading, circular motions, and relaxing, light strokes. This technique is both energizing and relaxing.
When it comes to benefits of Swedish massage, this technique is efficient for people who struggle wth sore, stiff muscles. It also helps to boost the recovery from injuries, manage pain, and boost circulation.
Deep Tissue Massage
This type of massage technique is for those who suffer from pain. Deep tissue massage is a more therapeutic technique and can also be slightly painful at times.
This massage technique involves slow but long strokes, very similar to a Swedish massage. It focuses on the deep muscle layers.
The benefits of deep tissue massage involve the healing of scar tissue, removing knots, tension relief, and even the release of toxins from the muscles. Usually, this technique is used to treat chronic pain and to reduce inflammation.
Shiatsu Massage Therapy
As an Ancient Japanese massage technique, Shiatsu is very similar to acupressure. It works to balance the life energy and restore the balance in the body’s channels.
Shiatsu means finger pressure in Japanese. This is applied with fingers, elbows, knees, feet, thumbs, and hands. It stretches limbs, joints, and most importantly, pressure points. Pressure applied to the specific point on the body helps to restore your energy flow.
Overall, shiatsu helps to boost the body’s ability to heal itself and benefits your wellbeing. Shiatsu is a relaxing massage that relieves stress, but it also treats pain and illness. What’s more, it also boosts blood and lymph circulation among others.
Benefits of Massage Therapy
Massage aims to soothe tired muscles, relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and promote relaxation by eliminating stress from the environment.
Apart from that, other massage therapy benefits include:
1.Can help to lower blood pressure
Massage may help to reduce high blood pressure, according to this report:
“massage therapy was a safe, effective, applicable and cost-effective intervention in controlling BP of the pre-hypertension women and it can be used in the healthcare centers and even at home.”
2. Soothes anxiety stress, and depression
For people who suffer from high-stress levels, fatigue, and even anxiety, massage therapy has been shown to lower these feelings.
Some research shows links between depression and chronic pain to changes in cognitive functioning. By using a different kind of massage therapies, it would be possible to improve chronic pain, low energy, and even depression.
3. Improves athletic performance
A sports massage is a common practice for many athletes. It improves the healing process, boosts their overall performance, and prevents injuries or problems (ligament tears).
What’s more, it helps them to promote the circulation and warm up the muscles before a workout.
4. Treats and relieves back pain
Back pain, especially chronic low back pain can be incredibly challenging to suffer on a daily basis. According to this study, massage has been proven to relieve that pain, minimize it, and even eliminate it.
5. Reduces joint pain, helps with fibromyalgia
Massage therapy can be hugely beneficial for those with stiff joints and muscles, as well as those who experience symptoms of fibromyalgia. Myofascial release therapy is especially helpful for those who have fibromyalgia.