Massage therapy has a lot of therapeutic benefits to the body. Through the manipulation of muscles, ligaments, connective tissues, and skin using different strokes and pressure, massage therapy helps with different health conditions. There are people who use this integrative therapy together with their standard treatment, and at present, more medical centres are introducing massage as part of their patient’s recovery plan.
What are the different types of massage?
Massage therapy has been referred to as sacred healing in India, dating back to 3000 BC. It has been passed down to generations to ease pain, heal injuries and other illnesses. As time goes by and the evolution continues, massage therapy has reached China and other countries until it became widely used all over the world to provide wellness. This is the reason why there are many variations of how massage therapy is done. Here are some:
Swedish massage. Individuals who are new to massage and are sensitive to touch can go for a Swedish Massage if they want to relax and ease minor pains. This is ideal for them due to its gentle nature. Massage therapists use long gentle strokes, circular motions, tapping, and some joint movement techniques.
Hot stone massage. This type is ideal for people who have muscle pains and tensions. It can also improve blood flow and alleviate pain due to the heated stones used by the theorists that are placed in different parts of your body.
Aromatherapy massage. If you are looking to alleviate pain, tension, stress and anxiety and boost your mood at the same time, aromatherapy massage is for you. This full-body massage is combined with essential oils being diffused into the air and through the absorption into your skin by diluting it on the carrier oil.
Deep tissue massage. For people with injuries and chronic muscle problems, deep tissue massage is the ideal type to use. The massage therapists apply slow strokes with deep pressure to relieve tensions in the deep layers of the muscles.
Thai massage. This type of massage therapy improves flexibility, circulation, and energy levels. It works your body with movements similar to yoga stretches while the therapist is applying firm pressure to your body.
Shiatsu massage. This type of massage therapy originated in Japan with techniques using pulsing or rhythmic pressure concentrating on areas of your body that need special attention. Shiatsu massage also promotes physical and mental relaxation.
Popular Massage Oils
While there are different kinds of massage therapy, many of them use substances. If you have tried getting a massage, chances are you’ve been asked whether you want lotion or oil. Aside from warming your therapist’s hand, these substances make it easier for their hands to glide through your skin and provide relaxing strokes. Since oils are the most commonly used, here are different kinds of carrier oils and their benefits.
Argan oil contains essential nutrients such as omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E, CoQ10, melatonin and sterols, which plays a big role in being a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Argan oil also helps the skin to be moisturised and wrinkle-free, as well as aid in improving wound healing. This carrier oil is widely used for cosmetics and massage oils.
Olive oil is not just for cooking and healthy eating. It is also widely used in the beauty industry for its many positive effects on the skin. Like argan oil, it is packed with fatty acids and sterols that are responsible for providing a powerful moisturising effect to the skin.
Turmeric oil. This known spice is not just limited to providing flavour in your foods. Turmeric is famous for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that have been used since ancient times. In massage therapy, adding turmeric oil in your carrier oil provides additional uplifting effects that can help with the body’s recovery process and ease topical discomforts. It also benefits the skin by improving its elasticity and firmness.
Other beneficial additives:
CBD oil. Although it is obtained from the Cannabis plant, this oil does not cause psychoactive effects. Many people use CBD oil for pain, inflammation, stress and anxiety. Aside from pain relief and anti-inflammatory effects, CBD oil can also help reduce redness and treat different skin issues. It comes in many forms, including CBD vape oil, CBD oil drops, CBD capsules and CBD massage oils.
Essential oils. Adding essential oils to your massage oil provides relaxing and calming effects. It also serves as aromatherapy as many of these oils are pleasing to the senses. Common essential oils added in massage oils include peppermint oil which is great for addressing migraine; lemongrass oil that can help to relieve stress and anxiety; lavender oil that might help to improve sleep onset, duration and quality; chamomile oil which is best for helping with wound healing and pain relief and ylang-ylang which possess beneficial effects on mood.
Shea butter. This additive in massage oils provides hydration boosting and anti-inflammatory effects to the skin. It is rich in fatty acids and vitamins, which can also reduce inflammation, acne and blemishes.