Many hear the word massage and think that all massage is the same. This is not true, as there are actually several different types of massage.
Each type of massage is designed for a particular need. Some massage therapists will specialize in one specific type of massage, while others may use more than one. Regardless, knowing the different types of massage will help you in the future should you choose to have one.
Here is a brief summary and definition of the most popular massage techniques. (All definitions below are from MassageEnvy.com)
- Trigger Point Therapy – A trigger point is a tight area within muscle tissue that causes pain in other parts of the body. Trigger point massage therapy is specifically designed to alleviate the source of the pain through cycles of isolated pressure and release. In this type of massage for trigger point therapy, the recipient actively participates through deep breathing as well as identifying the exact location and intensity of the discomfort.
- Swedish Massage – Most who think of massage are thinking of this type. This is the full body relaxation massage type. The long, gliding strokes of the Swedish massage are meant to release tension and improve circulation in the body. This leads to stress relief and increased circulation.
- Deep Tissue Massage – Toxins and chronic muscle tension and pain require special massage techniques. The deep tissue massage type works well within the deepest layers of muscle and breaks points of tension. The deep massage type also works to flush toxins out of the lymphatic system. Many will not feel the benefits of deep tissue massage until the next day.
- Sports Massage – This massage type is designed specifically for athletes. A variation of the Swedish massage type, a sports massage is for athletes and their specific muscle groups associated with their sport. The repetitive and aggressive movements associated with athletics means particular strokes and musculature focus for the best possible effects. Sports massage is also seen as an integral part of athletic training.
This is not an exhaustive list, but it does give you some idea of the different types of massage. For a more in-depth article on massage therapy, take a look at our article: Sports Massage Therapy for Recovery, Rehab and Better Athletic Performance.
Until next time, stay healthy, keep stretching and God bless.
The Stretch Coach
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