Popular Types of Massage
Given the colourful history of massage, it’s not surprising that there are so many different types of massage available; from Swedish to Thai, almost every culture has enjoyed the benefits of massage and perfected their own form. Here are some of the most popular forms of massage.
1. Swedish Massage
The Swedish massage – otherwise known as the Classic Massage – is the most common type of massage. Areas of the body that are typically massaged include the back, the neck, the legs, and the arms. Swedish styles involve gently stroking and kneading the muscles to promote relaxation.
2. Hot Stone Massage
As the name suggests, hot stone massage is a type of massage in which warm stones are placed on their body to promote muscle relaxation. The stones are typically placed on the back, and pressure may also be applied to the area by the massage therapist whilst the stones do their magic. The heat given off by the stones can be soothing and can help to alleviate back pain as well as promote relaxation.
3. Sports Massage
Sports Massage is a particular type of massage developed specifically for individuals who regularly participate in strenuous physical activity, such as athletes. Sports massage dates back to Ancient Greek times when Olympians would have their legs massaged after participating in races and events. The aim of Sports Massage is to apply pressure to the affected muscles to help alleviate pain and treat injury. Stretching is a commonly used technique wherein the muscles in the legs and arms are stretched. Sports massage can be painful but is often recommended.
4. Back massage
Almost all styles of massage can be tailored to the back, neck and shoulders, but back massage is itself one of the most popular types of massage. Back massage can promote wellbeing, a reduction in stress levels, and reduce tension, as well as help to combat pain in the shoulders and upper and lower back by reducing muscle knots and encouraging the muscles to relax. Companies such as Backmassager.co.uk create a wide range of back massager products to give you this experience at home whenever you want.
5. Thai massage
Thai massage is based on the concept of life of energy; it was developed in line with Thai cultural beliefs to help align the energy of the body and thereby promote well-being. Specific points of the body are targeted, with pressure applied to each area to promote energy balance within the body. As well as involving stroking the muscles, the recipient of the massage is also stretched into various movements by the therapist to promote stretching, flexibility and relaxation.
Acupressure is a form of massage that is similar in theory to acupuncture in that it involves putting pressure on the various acupuncture points in the body to help alleviate tension and stress. Like acupuncture, acupressure is regarded as a type of alternative therapy, and evidence has shown that it can help patients suffering from some medical conditions to better manage pain and reduce anxiety. Unlike acupuncture, though, there are no needles involved, and the results are achieved simply by exerting pressure on the key areas of the body.