Chiropractor
6 Different Massage Styles that May Help You

6 Different Massage Styles that May Help You

Which Type of Massage Would Benefit You the Most?

It can be overwhelming to figure out which kind of massage to get. Find out the characteristics of some of the common types to figure out which type would be best for you!

Swedish Massage

This is the most common massage therapy used in America and probably what most people picture when they think of a massage. It is characterized by the gentle long strokes, kneading, and circular motions used to manipulate the superficial layers of the muscles and soft tissue. This is usually done with lotion or oils to reduce friction to the skin.

During a Swedish massage, the motion is always in the direction of natural blood flow returning to the heart. This massage style is beneficial for circulation, reducing muscle toxins, raising oxygen levels in the blood, improving flexibility, and lowering cortisol levels.

Deep Tissue Massage

This massage style uses the same gentle strokes as the Swedish massage, but it is focused on the deeper layers of the muscle and soft tissue, so the pressure is increased quite a bit. This massage releases chronic muscle tension and is said to lower blood pressure, as well. It also reduces stress level hormones while triggering the feel-good hormones, oxytocin and serotonin.

Trigger Point Massage

This massage style releases constricted areas in the muscle tissue through a series of isolated pressure and release. By alleviating the stress in these trigger points (tight areas in the muscle tissue) with passive stretching, compression, and corrective exercises, the therapy can reduce pain so much that it is used by people as a regular form of pain management.

Sports Massage

This type of massage is typically used for athletes and those with a heavy workout routine. While this massage is activity-specific (varies depending on the patient’s sport of choice), any type of sports massage can aid in recovery, enhance pre-event training, promote flexibility, reduce fatigue, improve endurance, decrease muscle soreness, and prevent injuries.

Reflexology

This type of massage therapy is when Swedish massage techniques or sports massage techniques are applied to the feet, calves, and upper legs. This therapy is said to be beneficial for people with specific injuries like plantar fasciitis and ankle injuries. It is also said to help those suffering from arthritis. It is said to relieve pain in these areas and decrease stress and anxiety.

Slight pain or sensitivity can be experienced during reflexology since the feet and calves are tender. For this reason it is important to communicate with the therapist during the massage. It may also help to rest after receiving the massage.

Cranial Sacral Massage

Also known as craniosacral massage therapy, this style of massage is gentle and focuses on the bones in the head, the spinal cord, and the sacrum (the triangular bone at the base of the spine). A scalp massage is also a part of this massage since the scalp tends to be overlooked and holds a lot of tension.

This type of massage releases compression in those areas in order to alleviate stress and pain in the patient. It is also used to restore the natural position of these bones, as they can, at times, get misaligned. Along with pain and stress relief, this therapy can also help those who suffer from migraines. It is also said to improve sleep.

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