Which Massage Techniques Are Best For You?

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Which Massage Techniques Are Best For You?

March 28, 2013

It's frustrating when you are looking forward to a massage and relief from stress, headache, backache or whatever it is that ails you - and the experience isn't what you expected. Therapists use a wide range of techniques from deep tissue/therapeutic massages to relaxation/energy work massages. Understanding the modalities therapists are trained in can help you pick the best therapist for you.

Most therapists use the foundation of swedish massage in their massage sessions. Swedish massage is the most basic and well-known form of massage. This includes long strokes, kneading of the muscles, etc. However, from there a wide range of modalities are incorporated into the massage.

Pressure Used - It is important to ask the therapist how much pressure they use. If you are looking for a massage with deep pressure, then a therapist using light pressure isn't goint to meet your needs.

Trigger Point - Trigger point techniques involve specifically targeting spots in the muscle. The therapist will typically use their thumb or elbow with direct deep pressure held for several seconds. Typically, this can be somewhat uncomfortable or is often referred to as a "good hurt" as the pressure results in the muscle relaxing.

Myofascial Release - This technique addresses the myofascial tissue which is a webbing of tissue wrapped around muscles and organs. This tissue becomes tight. The therapist uses deep pressure with long strokes to stretch the tissue.

Thai Massage - This can be a very relaxing and therapeutic massage. It includes stretches and compression movements. Typically the client will remain clothed and should wear comfortable clothing for movement.

Sports Massage - This massage is focused on the muscles used in a specific sport and may include many of the above techniques.

Relaxation Massage - This massage typically is focused on relaxation, stress reduction, and overall wellness. This massage doesn't typically include therapeutic or deep pressure techniques.

Reiki - Reiki is energy work. Therapist will typically place hands on the body and hold for long periods of time to work with the body's energy.

Cranio Sacral - This technique involves light touch around the spinal column and head.

The next time you are going to schedule your massage, you can ask the therapist which techniques and pressure they use so you can make sure the therapist is a good fit for you.

Bodywork Alternatives provides national chair massage services for companies and events and in home massage services for women and couples.  


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