Let’s get Technical: 5 Different Types of Massage Therapy
By Jul DeGeus
Myofascial massages focus on the fascial system. The fascia is sort of like glue for your body; a head to toe web of tissues that binds your muscles, bones, nerves, veins, etc. together. Massage therapists first determine the area of the fascia system that needs to be massaged through an examination of your body. Next, via pressure and movement, the therapists specifically targets that area with techniques used to release the tension of the fascia. Issues myofascial massages work best for include: back pain, chronic pain, headaches, scoliosis, fibromyalgia and neurological dysfunction.
Deep Tissue Massages
Ever had a “knot” in your back? Deep tissue massages allow massage therapists to focus on specific areas that bother you. Often, the source of the tension is located in the deeper layers of the muscles; hence the name ‘deep tissue.’ Massage therapist apply firm pressure paired with slow motions to loosen the muscles and connective tissues, or fasica. Deep tissue massages benefit those suffering from things like arthritis inflammation, tendinitis or injury related pain.
Shiatsu, which translated means ‘finger pressure,’ is a technique that originated in Japan. The body has a chart of meridians; streams of energy and life force that run throughout the body, supporting its wellness and balance. Massage therapists use the meridians, as well as acupuncture pressure points, to navigate what areas to massage in order to promote the positive flow of energy throughout the body to relieve pain or stress. Shiatsu is recommended if you wish to build up disease defense, mental positivity or pain relief.
If you are pregnant, you want to make sure that when you visit your massage therapist, they are trained in prenatal massage. While the purpose of the massage is the same as a normal massage- relaxation or help to relieve discomfort- the technique used is much different. The body goes through many changes during pregnancy and the therapist studies the changes to ensure you get the most of your massage. Not to mention, there is a special table that allows expectant mothers to lie on their stomach without putting pressure on the fetus.
Sports massages are split into three different treatments; pre-game, post-game and injury. Pre-game sports massages allow therapists to loosen the muscles and promote the flow of blood for the athlete, that way their muscles are not tense at the beginning of their event. Post-game massages relax the stress of player and their muscles, speeding up the time of their recovery. This time, instead of advancing blood flow, the massage encourages the body to cleanse out toxins and waste.
If you’ve ever played spots, you know there is always the risk of an injury; it could be something as minor as a slight sprained ankle or as gruesome as a broken bone. If you did, unfortunately, obtain a sports injury, a sports massage could speed up healing process. It also could ensure the condition in which is heals is the best quality for your body and future activities.