It may surprise you to know that one in five Americans has had a massage within the last year. That means four out of five are missing out on some amazing relaxation! Whether you received a gift certificate or are thinking about getting a massage for the first time, you should probably know a couple of things before heading to your local massage parlor.
The challenge is real — there are hundreds of different types of massages. If you don’t know the basics, you could get a shiatsu massage when it should be Swedish for the mood that you are in. Check out this quick guide to massages for beginners and first-time guests.
Massages for rejuvenation and integration
Swedish: When you think of a gentle, relaxing, whole body massage that uses long, sweeping strokes and gentle kneading, it’s the Swedish massage method that you have in mind. Swedish is perfect for stress relief and relaxation, and is a great couples’ massage idea.
Hot stone: Hot stone massages offer contrasting treatments — silky soft muscle kneading and relaxation, followed by moments of shock, as the masseur places uncomfortably hot stones on various parts of the body. The intense heat helps release tension, and enables make muscles more pliable. It can be a unique experience.
Massages for health
Shiatsu: The word shiatsu is Japanese for pressure from the fingers. The massage technique aims to release pressure points, and balance the body’s energy flow. It’s one of the few popular massage methods that allow you to remain clothed.
Reflexology: Reflexology targets the hands and the feet, and can be an excellent way to help heal injuries. It can feel wonderful, as well.
Pain relief massages
If you suffer from a specific painful condition, you need more than just stress relief. Instead, you need special pain relief techniques.
Deep tissue: Deep tissue massage helps treat specific painful areas of the body through the skillful application of pressure. It can be hard, forceful therapy. Deep tissue massage can leave you feeling sore, but can actually help you heal sooner. It isn’t right for anyone looking for a pleasant time at the spa, instead it is for those with specific issues to correct.
Trigger point: A trigger point is the epicenter of a tight, painful, muscular area. A trigger-point specialist zeros in on specific painful areas, and uses deep, often painful pressure to help relax them.
Many other kinds of massage target the scalp, the bones and other parts of the body. Some people even prefer hard, challenging treatment approach that supports massages use. Experimenting with different massage types, even if for short periods of time, can be a wonderful way to have a relaxing, pain-relieving, or even rejuvenating experience.
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