Most people have heard of massage therapy. However, you may not be aware of just how many different types of techniques are used and how they all help with slightly different issues and symptoms. Here are some of the most common types of techniques used in massage therapy and what they are used for.
Swedish massage is the most well-known type of massage and is what most people expect when they book a massage appointment. It is known just as much for its ability to relax patients as it is for relieving muscle tension and general aches and pains.
Swedish massage involves using long, soft, kneading strokes to stimulate the topmost layer of muscles. It is sometimes accompanied by light, rhythmic tapping and gentle manipulation of the joints. You’ll be able to advise your therapist how much pressure you are comfortable with. Each Swedish massage usually lasts between 30 and 90 minutes depending on how many areas of the body are being worked on.
There are many different therapeutic benefits associated with massage therapy, including reduced stress, improved blood circulation, natural pain relief, improved posture and flexibility, less stress, and the ability to sleep better. If you aren’t sure if Swedish massage is right for you, consult with your therapist.
As its name suggests, deep tissue massage is a technique that is designed to target the deeper layers of muscle and surrounding tissues. It is most often recommended to treat issues where it is necessary to penetrate the body more deeply in order to induce a beneficial effect.
Many of the movements seen in deep tissue massage share similarities with those used in Swedish massage. However, the pace of deep tissue massage tends to be slower, and much greater pressure is applied. Your therapist may use their forearms, fingertips, knuckles, and even elbows to leverage the appropriate amount of pressure. Some people find that the level of pressure is uncomfortable, but it is a ‘good’ type of discomfort.
Some of the issues which deep tissue massage can help to treat include chronic muscle pain, whiplash, repetitive strain injuries, sciatica, and sports injuries such as tension in the hamstrings or quads. Your therapist will be able to advise you if deep tissue massage is right for you.
As you’ve probably guessed, sports massage is designed to assist in correcting problems and imbalances in the body that are caused by repetitive and strenuous physical activity. It is proven to release and reduce muscle tension, improve circulation, and encourage the removal of waste products, such as the accumulation of lactic acid that happens during sporting activities. It can even help with mental preparation for your chosen sport.
Exactly what happens during sports massage varies depending on the area of the body you wish to target, and your therapist will be able to explain what to expect from your appointments. Some of the benefits of sports massage include natural pain management, faster recovery following an injury, better flexibility and range of motion, improved energy and sleep, and even the prevention of future injuries.
Trigger point massage is used to address extremely sore areas that develop in muscles that are often referred to as knots or trigger points. These knots are palpable nodules that form within extremely tight bands of muscle tissue and most people will experience at least one at some point during their lifetime. Trigger points usually form as a result of either overloading or overworking a muscle, such as through a repetitive movement. They can be extremely painful.
Trigger point massage is used to release this area of tension and relieve the associated pain. Your therapist will have to apply considerable force through their fingertips to achieve this, and many people find that trigger point massage is quite uncomfortable until they experience the relief that comes once the knot in the muscle is worked loose.
If you would like more information about the different types of techniques used in massage therapy, or to find out which type is right for you, please call Waterbury Chiropractic Wellness in Longmont, Colorado at (303) 485-7117 today.