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7 Types of Massage and Their Health Benefits

There are several types of massages which each focus on the general purpose of relaxation and muscle and joint pain relief through the application of pressure on various points of the body. Each different type of massage focuses on different areas and can help relieve tension and work to benefit different conditions. The Trinacria Health Therapy Wollongong Massage offers various types of massage and services to clients.

1. Swedish Massage

One of the most common types of massages, the Swedish massage focuses on applying gentle pressure on the full-body using the hands and palms. With this type of massage, the massage therapist rubs muscles using long gliding strokes in the direction of blood flow to the heart. Some techniques used include kneading, vibration, tapping, bending, and stretching - mostly in a circular motion. These massages require the client to remove their clothes and be covered in a sheet and usually last between 60 to 90 minutes. This type of massage is excellent for relieving muscle tension and providing deep relaxation. Swedish massages also can increase the oxygen level in the blood, decrease muscle toxins, and improve circulation and flexibility.

2. Hot Stone Massage

Using very similar techniques as the Swedish massage, the hot stone massage adds the use of hot stones (often basalt river rocks) to promote even deeper relaxation. The hot stones are applied to different points over the body. Sometimes cold stones are also used in addition to or instead of the hot stones. The warmth of the stones helps to soothe, easing muscle tension, improving blood flow and relieving pain areas. The localized heat and weight of these stones allows for deeper muscle relaxation and in turn, for deeper pressure to be applied to tight areas. This type of massage is especially beneficial for promoting relaxation and is particularly used to treat anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

3. Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy also uses similar techniques of the Swedish massage, with its gentle application of pressure to the full body. However, it combines this soft pressure with the use of essential oils. The massage therapist usually chooses which oils to use, but the client may be able to give a preference. This type of massage is particularly beneficial for people who are in need of emotional healing as well as physical healing. During this full-body massage, the client is able to inhale the scents of the oils through a diffuser and absorb them into their skin. This is another excellent option which can help improve mood, provide stress and anxiety relief, reduce symptoms of depression, and relieve muscle tension and pain. Various types of essential oils may be used for this massage. Different essential oils serve different purposes. For example, lavender is known to calm and relax, while rosemary is known to energize. Overall, this kind of massage works to benefit both the mind and the body at the same time and has been proven to be very beneficial in creating an overall sense of relaxation.

4. Deep Tissue Massage

The deep tissue massage is a slightly more intensified version of the Swedish massage, as it applies a deeper pressure in order to relieve muscle and connective tissue tension. Using deep finger pressure and slow strokes, it has been known to be highly beneficial for chronic muscle problems that may stem from an illness, as well as soreness or imbalances. This massage usually focuses on a very specific issue or problem. Some of the conditions which the deep tissue massage benefits include injury rehabilitation, low back pain, osteoarthritis, chronic muscle pain, fibromyalgia and carpal tunnel syndrome. In fact, it has been very highly ranked for treating fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis pain in particular. Deep tissue massages usually last about 60 to 90 minutes. Although slightly higher in intensity, they should not cause pain or soreness.

5. Reflexology

Reflexology uses a slightly different approach, applying gentle to firm pressure on different pressure points of the body - usually in the hands, feet, and ears. Through applying pressure to these reflex areas, it can help remove energy blockages and promote health in particular body areas. With this type of massage, the person wears loose and comfortable clothing with access to the legs. Reflexology is used to help balance the nervous system and stimulate the release of endorphins in order to reduce overall pain and stress. Many people rely on this type of massage to relieve stress, tension headaches and migraines, digestive disorders, arthritis, insomnia, and sports injuries. This is also commonly used in post-operative care. Reflexology is an excellent way to help people relax and restore overall energy levels.

6. Thai Massage

The Thai massage is ideal if you are looking to have a more active massage. This type of massage is often nicknamed the "lazy person's yoga" as much of it resembles yogic stretching. It works on the entire body through a sequence of movements and motions. It focuses on the use of the palms and fingers to put firm pressure on the body, and works on stretching and twisting the body into different positions. Working to improve flexibility, circulation, and energy levels, this focuses on a different approach than the more relaxing Swedish massage. The Thai massage specifically works to correct energy blockages, deficiencies, and imbalances. This kind of massage is known to have numerous benefits such as relieving tension headaches, joint stiffness, increasing flexibility and improving circulation.

7. Shiatsu Massage

This Japanese massage combines traditional Chinese medicine practices with Western therapies to provide relaxation, stress, tension and pain relief. The massage therapist uses their palms, hands, and thumbs on certain points of the body. They also rely on applying pulsing and rhythmic pressure. The Shiatsu massage focuses on promoting emotional and physical calming and relaxation. It is a full-body massage where the client is fully clothed. This massage works to correct body imbalances and improve the overall energy flow. It also can regulate the auto nervous system activity and stimulate the body systems including the circulatory, lymphatic and hormonal systems. Other benefits of this massage include fixing poor posture, sprains, relieving arthritis pain, reducing blood pressure, and increasing endorphins.

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