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A massage session can have way more benefits than relieving back pain after a hard day at work! However, nowadays, things have been taken to a whole new level, as more and more people are trying massage therapy, a concept with some exceptional benefits. Let’s find out exactly how it works and why it’s actually so good for you!
What is massage therapy?
During a therapy session, a specialist manipulates your muscles, as well as other soft tissues, in order to enhance their function, but also induces relaxation. It’s not a new practice, though, as it has been used in China for more than 3,000 years, a lot of people revealing that it even help them get rid of depression, in a certain extent.
The truth is that a great massage has beneficial effects on our bodies, releasing hormones which create a sense of an emotional connection, thus calming your mind and improve your mood significantly.
How can massage therapy help relieve depression?
Let’s put things straight: if you’re suffering from depression, massage therapy probably won’t help you get rid of it completely. However, it can have a major impact on helping you relieve some of the physical symptoms associated with it.
To be more specific, we’re referring to sluggishness, back pain, joint pain, as well as muscle aches. Besides this, it’s also great against fatigue and other sleep problems.
What does massage therapy involve?
Now that we are aware of its benefits, let’s take some time and see what massage therapy actually involves. After all, it’s far from being just your average back rub.
During the therapy, your therapist will perform various moves, like rubbing, stretching, and applying pressure to the muscles in your body. However, there are various styles of massage, some of them including over-the-clothes touching, while others involve direct contact with the skin. Usually, the latter is made using scented oils, acupuncture needles, warm stones, or even some complex twisting poses.
Currently, these are the styles which can be encountered the most across the United States:
Swedish massage: By far the most common form. The therapist applies smooth and circular actions to your muscles, helping them relax.
Chair massage: Unlike most styles, this one doesn’t require sitting on a massage bed, but on a special chair, then leaning forward into a headrest. It consists of short sessions and you don’t need to remove any clothing.
Deep tissue massage: Preferred among athletes and not only, this type of massage therapy focuses on the muscles that are the closest to your bones, but their connective tissues as well.
Shiatsu: Expect some firm pressure during a therapy session including this massage, as it’s very similar to acupuncture. Compared to other types of massage though, Shiatsu massage implies more pressure, but it doesn’t produce any stiffness shortly after.
Reflexology: The therapist applies pressure to specific areas of your body, believed to correspond with the most important systems and organs in your body.
Aromatherapy: The main ‘attraction’ of this type of massage therapy is that it also implies scented oils, these being great for reducing stress and boosting your energy.
Hot stone massage: Your therapist places warm flat stones on your body, in an attempt to relax your muscles and relieve tension.
Benefits of massage therapy
Obviously, if performed by a professional, massage therapy is safe and provides immediate gratification, helping you feel relaxed and calm. As for its ability to combat depression, combined with a more conventional treatment, like medication or psychotherapy, it can deliver some great results.
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There are more than one hundred unique massage types available. Massages help in relaxation and reduction of stress which can only be performed by trained professionals. Here is a list of the most popular massage types:
Swedish massage Therapy
Among several massage types, this is most prevalent also known as massage therapy or Swedish massage. The massage therapists make use of kneading, smooth strokes and circular movements on muscle layers using massage oil or lotion.
This is one extremely relaxing procedure where the massage therapists use essential oils from different plants that offer various advantages. These oils are balancing, stress-reducing, energizing and relaxing. It helps the person to feel absolute calmness by creating a soothing and charming atmosphere.
Hot Stone Massage
Smooth heated stones are kept on specific parts to warm the muscles and loosen them up. It might also happen that the person offering the massage might apply minute pressure with the stones. This is light massage and perfect for people suffering from muscle tension.
This is a Japanese body work form where finger pressure is enforced on acupuncture meridians in rhythmic sequence. The points are held for 2 to 8 seconds which help in regaining balance and increase energy flow. Most people get surprised as the procedure is extremely relaxing yet involves application of firm pressure.
Apart from these forms there are a number of other types that can benefit people to an extent that is not even imaginable.