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14 Different Types of Massages and Their Long-Term Benefits

Updated: Feb 21

When was the last time that you got a massage? You might have noticed the different kinds available as soon as the attendant or receptionist handed you a list. But which one do you pick?

There are different kinds of massage in Christchurch available today, and each one serves its own purpose. This blog post outlines the different functions of each so you know which one is right for you and your needs. Keep reading to learn about 14 different types of massages and their long-term benefits.

1. Swedish Massage

Swedish massage therapy is widely performed across the globe, and is a practice that uses a combination of techniques and strokes. It can be performed using vibration therapy, prolonged kneading towards the heart, rhythmic tapping, and then sliding with firm strokes.

The primary goal of this massage is to relieve pain, particularly lower back soreness. It is used to treat osteoarthritis and lowers muscular stiffness, and can llast between 30 and 90 minutes at most.

2. Deep Tissue Massage

This massage focuses on the deeper tissue layers under the skin and involves comparatively more pressure. The method requires making slow but firm strokes on the skin while applying pressure with the fingertips. This will relieve pain by relaxing your deep muscles and connective tissues.

It is often used to treat chronic or severe pain, and is also used to correct the imbalances in our body. The benefit? A session can significantly reduce tension and anxiety. This massage lasts between 60 and 90 minutes, and is perfect for you if you’re after strong and firm pressure applied on your body during a session.

3. Trigger Point Massage

Trigger Point Therapy, as the name suggests, focuses on specific areas of the body, with severe or minor pain. The massage therapist applies pressure on those points, using a number of sliding and pushing techniques. This type of massage helps reduce pain in different areas of the body. But the client is advised to tell the therapist about the trigger points.

Sometimes, a therapist might wish to refer to your MRI (Magnetic Resource Imagining), to work (heal) in tandem with the problem, if any. This is proven to have a significant impact on the neuromuscular joint. The duration of this massage can range anywhere between 10 minutes and an hour.

4. Prenatal Massage

Pregnancy is not an easy experience, especially since it comes with numerous unexpected pains in different parts of the body. The muscles can get stiffened and start to swell.

A prenatal massage is a safer 21st-century approach for pregnant women to get the advantages of massage therapy, without risking the baby’s health. We recommend that mothers-to-be take this massage AFTER the 1st trimester to reduce the chances of any complications.

The process goes like this - the mother-to-be lies on one side of the specially-built massage table, customised for would-be mums. The therapist uses soft pressure, keeping in mind her comfort level. The session will provide moderate relaxation and can last up to 60 minutes of massage time. We strongly recommend that you consult your gynecologist though prior to taking this service.

5. Sports Massage

As much as playing sports can be fun, it can also expose us to certain physical injuries once in a while. In our Christchurch clinic, our sports massages focus on the body's need for complete relaxation (and therefore, muscle-tissue repair). However, during this type of massage, the primary emphasis might be on the specific spots of pain or injury on the body, or it can be a full-body massage as well. To promote maximum stress release, the methods are alternated with various kinds of strokes.

Playing causes stiff muscles and sore joints. The therapist has the ability to apply more pressure to certain locations. It also helps in the improvement of physical flexibility.

6. Hot Stone Massage

As the name suggests, a massage therapist uses mildly heated stones and places them on your body with gentle pressure. This technique combines the techniques of Swedish or traditional massage therapies since the stone is used to provide mild or intense pressure. The idea is to regulate blood circulation in the body as well as reduce tension and anxiety. People, especially sportsmen, often take this massage to provide their bodies with relief. The massage might range from 45 to 60 minutes.

7. Aromatherapy Massage

The main aim of this massage is, mostly, emotional recuperation. It allows the mind to relax and remove the stress that’s been locked up within our bodies. Different essential oils are applied to your body with slow strokes to provide a sense of calmness.

The massage therapist will put scented essential oils and scented candles near their client to let the brain relax and enhance a good mood. The primary goal is to relax and calm the mind with the help of relaxing scents. It's a milder alternative to Swedish or traditional massages.

8. Reflexology Massage

Also known as “Zone therapy”, this massage is based on the biological fact that the entire body is linked to zones on your hands and feet. The hands and feet are in charge of the body's various internal responses. Each point on your hand corresponds to a different part of your body. Those points are massaged or pressed for remedy.

This is a temporary remedy for moderate symptoms, but it does not address severe or persistent problems.

9. Shiatsu Massage

Shiatsu massage is a Japanese massage and focuses on mental and physical recovery. It cannot be counted as intense massage therapy, since it induces careful strokes, provided to improve the dopamine receptors in the brain.

The massage includes soft-touch/movements on the body to promote relaxation and calmness. This type of massage can be given with whole hands, palms, tips of the fingers, and thumb pressure. It entails either longer or slow strokes or short and fast ones, helping in the alleviation of headaches, muscular soreness, tension, and stress in the body.

10. Thai Massage

A Thai massage is a rejuvenating experience where, unlike other massage methods, this treatment focuses on physical stimulation. It revitalises the mind's cognitive capacities and provides energy to the body for better productivity. Different yoga techniques can also be used by different massage therapists to increase the body's energy levels. It will expand your mind and minimise overthinking.

11. Chair Massage

This form of massage works as a quick fix, providing great benefits to the top portion of your body in the shortest amount of time. The therapist massages your shoulders and sides of your neck to relieve stress. Eyes, too, get maximum relief when the back of the neck is softly massaged.

To regulate blood flow through the brain, the cranial or head region is massaged with various oils. This massage relaxes the whole upper body, allowing you to think clearly and without tension.

12. Active Release Therapy

Active Release Therapy was developed to help athletes recover rapidly from injuries involving muscles and soft tissues. This therapy is taken by people who engage in intense activities and undergo physical exertion on a daily basis. These activities result in stiffness that require treatment.

The assessment of torn muscle via the hand treats specific trigger sites. The therapist determines the regions of pain by asking the client to move different portions of the body. This form of therapy may last up to 90 minutes and provides the body with significant pain relief.

13. Myofascial Release Therapy

When our bodies stiffen, it is not often the muscles that are sore, but rather the connective tissues or deep fascia that stiffens. A person may not require help from someone else to press various parts of the body, using balls of different sizes, to break down the fascia that produces the pain.

It is divided into two types: active massage, which focuses on the afflicted painful regions, and passive massage, which focuses on relaxing muscles.

14. Cupping Therapy Massage

This is one of the oldest massages known to man, dating back to ancient Egypt. Cupping is a simple procedure that improves blood flow throughout the body. And this is done by, first, identifying the sore spot. Then the therapist puts a cup on each sore spot, applying vacuum. The cup is left on the skin's surface for 1 or 2 minutes before being withdrawn when blood emerges under the skin's surface.

There are many varieties of cupping, such as dry cupping, fire cupping, and wet cupping.

Have you decided what massage piques your curiosity? Or found one that’s exactly what you need? If you still need further assistance or would like to book a massage in Christchurch, please do get in touch with us today.

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