Massage refers to the application of pressure, vibration and tension on the body to promote relaxation, enhance its function or facilitate healing. They are commonly practiced by athletic trainers, physical therapists and massage therapists, and they are applied in a number of medical and recreational environments. It comes in many forms and highlights different body parts in the technique application. To give you a brief overview on what you can look forward to when booking your own treatment, here are some of the most popular type of massages today.
a. Acupressure. This form of physical manipulation was first practiced by the Chinese, and was derived in another alternative medical treatment they observe, which is the acupuncture. It is the intention of acupressure to relieve stress and minimize illness by applying pressure on key points on the skin. The muscular tension will then improve blood circulation and stimulate the body’s natural curative abilities, so that healing may be hastened. It has been attributed to relieve sinus problems, neck pain, arthritis, menstrual cramps, constipation and headaches, among other things.
b. Ayurvedic massage. It is part of the Hindu traditional medicine that incorporates bodywork, meditation, herbal remedies and yoga. Abyangha, as it is otherwise known, involves the use of large amounts of oil (a choice of sesame, sunflower, mustard, almond and coconut) that’s been pre-medicated, and applying it on the body, with two or more therapists working in sync on manipulating it, so that the body is rejuvenated and unwanted toxins are flushed. It differs from other types of massages on the fact that it does not apply deep pressure.
c. Shiatsu. Originally from Japan, this type of bodywork uses applied pressure in certain chi areas connected to the central and autonomic systems in order to achieve the expected results. What makes it unique from other types is the fact that it also employs stretching, brushing, rolling, grasping, and vibrating. One of the major goals of Shiatsu is to distribute energy.
d. Swedish. The Swedish is a series of long, flowing strokes – the effleurage, petrissage, tapotement, vibration and friction – to improve mobility, reduce pain, and relieve joint stiffness. What it does is warm up and work the muscles to release tensions and adhesions. On top of that, it has been known to help enhance circulation too. Now, one may readily assume that this technique was derived from traditional Swedish treatment. The truth is, it was actually developed by a Dutch therapist, and outside England, it is actually known as the “classic massage”.
e. Thai. Despite the name, this technique actually originated from India, which should explain its close resemblance to Abyangha. Similarly, it also combines pressure with yoga positions and stretching to achieve desired results. And aside from the fact that it does not utilize oil, it is also the only one of the massages that’s typically done on the floor. The practitioner usually uses her own body to fixate that of the client, even using the feet to apply deep-tissue kneading. Fingers, toes, ears, backs are expected to be pulled rhythmically in a span of two hours.