With so many different types of massage available, you might wonder which is the right one for you. Perhaps you’re just looking to try something new, or else you might have an injury or health condition that can be alleviated through working with the right masseuse.
What’s for sure, though, is that the various types can have a different overall effect, so it’s always worth thinking about which is going to suit you best.
Swedish massage therapy is regularly used in spas, gyms and wellness centres everywhere. Especially useful if recovering from an injury, it mainly involves five different strokes: a long, smooth stroke know as effleurage; a kneading technique known as petrissage; small, circular movements that create friction; a tapping, percussive effect known as tapotement; and a rocking movement to create shaking or vibration. And in effect, this world famous technique provides comprehensive muscle relaxation throughout the body, making it popular far beyond its country of origin.
Perhaps more intense than its Swedish counterpart, the deep tissue approach concentrates on knots in the muscles and connective tissues. Here, the therapist uses slow, deliberate strokes to target tight or painful areas, problems with posture or even osteoarthritis.
It’s also extremely useful for anyone in chronic pain, or who has some form of repetitive strain injury. And while it’s a somewhat rigorous type of treatment, it shouldn’t be in any way uncomfortable for the recipient. Quite the opposite, in fact. A good deep tissue massage brings real and lasting relief, and is available pretty much everywhere.
This technique is designed not only to treat injuries, but to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Improving flexibility, it allows athletes at any level to properly prepare or recover from any type of competition or training.
It isn’t, however, exclusively for athletes, and can help anyone with muscle pain or restricted motion. The general idea is for the masseuse to target the particular muscle groups most under stress during a particular type of sport or physical activity. Utilising strokes that are generally faster than, say, the Swedish technique, the therapist increases blood flow and flexibility, and might also use compression and joint mobilisation to ensure the maximum desired effect.
In short, it’s a great way for anyone and everyone to stay limber, alert and active.
Whatever type of massage you opt for, make sure you find a qualified practitioner in your area with good reviews. That way you have the most chance of getting the best possible service.