What is Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy is a form of healing massage, as practised by a licensed massage therapist or other qualified health professional. There are many different traditions or modalities of massage. Massage therapists may practice one or more types of massage when working with their clients or patients.
How Does Massage Therapy Work?
The client typically lies face down on a massage table, although some massages can be performed in a chair. Clients either wear loose clothing or are naked but covered by a sheet. The therapist uses their hands, fingers, elbows, knees or feet to apply pressure to your muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons. This typically results in feelings of release and decreased pain, although some soreness can also occur.
Best Massage Therapist in Minneapolis says “The main impact of massage is that it softens the connective tissue everywhere, helping re-establish flow in the lymph system. When toxins and cell debris leak out of capillaries, the lymph tubes are meant to pick that up. Somebody has to take out the trash! Massage restores that healthy process.”
Types of Massage
There are dozens of different types of massage. Most have similar benefits, however, some techniques may be more appropriate for working with specific health conditions. Massage therapists may be trained in one approach or several.
Swedish massage became increasingly popular in the United States over the 20th century, after being first introduced in the 1850s. Other schools of massage have also become common, including Thai massage, traditional Chinese medicine techniques such as acupressure, and deep tissue massage.
Here is information on six types of massage:
1. Swedish Massage
Swedish massage is what most people probably envision when they think of massage. Swedish massage is full-body and includes a series of techniques in which the therapist uses their palms, fingers, and forearms to apply pressure and motion. The amount of pressure is typically light to medium, although some parts of massage may involve greater pressure. Swedish massage is often used in spas to promote relaxation, but can also be effective for treating back pain.
2. Pregnancy or Prenatal Massage
Some massage therapists are specifically certified to work with pregnant women. They can provide valuable prenatal care, helping a pregnancy to go more smoothly. Massage during pregnancy can help relieve back pain, aches, and strain on the mother’s body, and decrease emotional stress. One study has even shown that the benefits of massage are present during pregnancy and during labour and delivery.
3. Deep Tissue Massage
Another common form of massage, deep tissue massage is a method that works with certain muscles and connective tissue that other massage techniques may not reach. Deep tissue massage uses slow movements and more pressure than most other massage approaches in order to reach deeper layers of muscle and release tension. Deep tissue is often used for pain relief.
4. Thai Massage
Thai massage reflects a variety of influences, including traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic teachings and ancient Thai approaches to healing. Thai massage practitioners use their feet, as well as their hands, to apply pressure and implement massage techniques. Thai massage also includes stretching and moving the client’s body into yoga positions.
5. Sports massage
Sports medicine doctors and other health professionals frequently use massage when working with athletes. Massage can help athletes to perform better, lower risk of injury, and recover more quickly after a workout. Sports massage may include a range of techniques and types of massage.
6. Lymphatic Massage
The lymphatic system helps to eliminate toxins and tissue waste in the body, carrying them in a fluid called lymph. Lymphatic drainage is a type of massage that helps to support the lymphatic system. Typically, lymphatic massage uses light pressure and circular motions on the skin to stimulate the flow of lymph.