Massage Types and Benefits, The complete Guide

Massage Types & Benefits

Your Future Wellbeing – Beneficial Types of Massage for Physical & Emotional Health.

A Guide by The Massage Company

Most Frequently asked Questions about massage.

At The Massage Company, it is what we are renowned for, what makes us great, and why – when you’re considering starting on your massage wellness journey, there are things you should consider.

You may ask yourself what is the purpose of massage, and more importantly, what are the health benefits of good quality, regular massage to you. If you are emotional state is feeling fragile or are in considerable pain because of an injury, you may wonder if massage therapy really is the treatment that could help you? Or you may have a preconceived notion that massage isn’t the right medicine for you. You may believe that massage is just something experienced on a spa retreat. The unanswered question or a barrier to you having never tried a massage historically could be that you are simply unsure what to expect when you book for a massage therapy treatment. Will you feel exposed, embarrassed, what will the massage therapist be thinking as they treat you? Last but certainly not least, the long-term investment and cost could be something that prevents you from making massage a therapy choice you turn to for your wellness. There’s lots of questions, we know we can help to answer…

Primarily, massage is renowned for both its physical benefits to health within the body, and for the mental health benefits it can provide. Physical pain and the effect it can have on our emotional state can be intrinsically linked. When we’re in pain, our mood, tolerance, and energy levels can lower, whilst our irritability, fatigue and anxiety levels can all increase!

Different types of massage target both physical and mental health, but with so many varying types of massage, making the decision of which type of massage to try or what symptoms you want to target first, can make choosing a massage appear to be a minefield! Swedish, Sports, Deep Tissue, could potentially all offer some benefit to you. Pregnancy or Maternity massage appears to be the only type of massage therapy which you can either rule in or out of your choice with some definition!

Where to start your massage choice:

The first thing to identify is how you feel both physically and emotionally and decide what you want to remedy. If you’re in pain, what caused the pain to start? Is the pain muscular, injury induced, or a long-term side-effect of some other health issue?

Is your mental health in a state of fragility? Your stress levels in a constant heightened state, the feeling on anxiousness, simmering just beneath the surface all of the time. Nausea, knots and a feeling that your blood pressure is escalating through the roof at the drop of a hat? Whether it be Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), work, family or lifestyle strains which are impacting your emotional wellbeing, massage can help.

When you book a massage therapy treatment, you should expect to have a professional massage therapist or specialist carry out your treatment. They should have in-depth knowledge of the massage treatment type they will be offering you. The environment should be hygienic, well presented, and warm. Your massage therapist will discuss with you, what they are going to do, where they are going to work on your body and your modesty will be protected at all times. You will not ever feel exposed. Massage, by its nature of manipulation of either the soft tissue of the body and its targeted approach to a specific muscle group, tendons, ligaments or connective tissue or by its invigoration of blood and lymph circulatory systems, may not always feel the most relaxing. So don’t believe that massage is only about relaxation, and you’re headed for a snooze on a therapy treatment bed!

Massage therapy should be enjoyed regularly. Ideally every 3-4 weeks, however your massage therapist may want your journey to begin with an increased frequency to start with in your first few weeks of treatment, then plan your treatments to be monthly. We are all individual, so targeting your specific physical or emotional concerns as well as keeping your body performing at its optimum health, will be best discussed and your personal plan confirmed during your massage therapy consultation. Its key to note that regular massage every few weeks can assist with pain management, prevent injury, and keep muscular tension lower. Alongside reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. The more regular the massage, the more optimum your health is, the equation is simple.

Absolutely! Making massage part of your regular routine has a plethora of benefits. They are a change to your lifestyle, that once embraced, you will wonder how you ever lived without them! Increased energy, improved movement, pain management or reduction, an overall improved quality of life. Did you know that massage reaches your Central Nervous System (CNS), – the nerves systems that make up your spinal cord and reach your brain. Regular massage benefits you CNS too! Regular massage maximises the health of the whole of your body.

Massage and the effects it can have on the body are positive for most. However, there are always exceptions to the rule. Side effects from massage therapy can be rare, yet they do exist. Headaches, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue which results in fainting can occur. Physically some may present bruising, feel a soreness in the muscle groups which have been massaged or in some rare cases even bleeding after massage. Alternatively, a heightened state of emotional/mental discomfort may be experienced as the body’s energies realign, until the mental state balances. Follow your massage therapists / specialist’s advice. If they say “don’t go and sit in a sauna in the next 24 hours” please don’t! If they do advise you to drink plenty of water after your treatment “do!”

Massage Techniques Explained.

Typically, the most renowned type of massage in the West, if you have ever been to a spa, salon or enjoyed a massage on the beach, then likely you have experienced a Swedish or Classical type of massage. The Swedish Massage technique combines, long effleurage sweeping strokes, with shorter strokes often more tapping or tapotement based strokes. Hacking, kneading, clapping, or cupping techniques are often used with a classical massage too. The rhythm of a Swedish massage is notable and ideal for those who have never experienced massage before. The flow, pressure and sweeping murmuration’s in a Swedish massage have an almost hypnotic and calming effect. Making it beneficial for short-term pain relief, stress, and tension reduction as well as a sense of relaxation. If you’ve never tried a massage before, then the light to medium pressure used within a Swedish Massage is a great way to begin your massage journey.

Swedish massage, considered to be the root source of other massage techniques and variations of its beginnings can be experienced in many other massage therapy techniques.

It is not designed solely for the athletic elite amongst us, Sports Massage Therapy combines a more rapid style of tissue manipulation, compression techniques, pressure point therapy or Tsubo point pressures, alongside movements of friction, joint manipulation, and mobilisation. This powerful massage technique comes into its own when used on new or reoccurring Sports injuries, repetitive motion injuries where there is a reduction in mobility and range of movement. Post operative surgery can also benefit from this style of massage extensively.

Sports massage therapy could impact all our lives in a positive way. The benefits are brought on largely by the fact that sports massage causes an increase in blood circulation. By helping to flush toxins, waste and chemical irritants stored in the muscles, out of the bodies system, and causing an increased surge of oxygen, blood borne nutrients and blood flow. Its “out with old and in with the new” when a sports massage is performed! This circulatory flow can aid muscular repair while reducing muscular tension. Tight or tense muscles can cause irritation to nerve receptors within muscles, which results in the feeling of muscular aches, pain, or feelings of discomfort in most of us, which may also impact our natural range of movement or motion. The everyday aches and pains that never seem to dissipate, could be rectified with regular massage therapy.

Yes, athletes benefit and most of the time have sports massage therapy, not only as a tool to aid in their recovery of sports injuries faster, or to correct imbalances in their performance and help in the reduction of muscular pain, but as a preventative treatment too. By targeting specific muscle groups, their stiffness or inactivity, regular and repetitive sports massage can enhance both muscle and exercise performance. It’s this targeted approach which can also be utilised to treat a specific injury while promoting a more rapid healing response from the body. With the increase in circulation, increased nutrient and oxygen levels, the body’s response time to healing can become more rapid. The associated increase in lymph movement throughout the body helps to reduce excess swelling, increases nutritional content supplied as well as whisking away waste. The result? An improvement and targeted approach to injury recovery, pain management and improved scar tissue. As well as a significant reduction in the risk of re-injury.

So whether you’re aiming for the next Olympics, a regular gym user or you’ve just vacated hospital and are on the road to recovery, sports massage could be you go-to massage choice. If an active career, lifestyle, or injury are taking their toll on your physical health, and in turn your mental wellbeing, then booking yourself in for a Sports Massage should be on your “to-do” list!

Frequently referred to both negatively and incorrectly as a Swedish Massage with a deeper pressure – wrong! Deep Tissue Massage is shrouded in a belief that “this is the one!” that causes pain, had you jumping off the treatment couch or was particularly painful and never to be repeated! – wrong again!

Deep Tissue massage isn’t just a deeper, harder, more painful Swedish massage treatment, Deep Tissue Massage has entirely it’s own entity. Deep Tissue Techniques bring a multitude of benefits to knotted areas of the body – the area’s which needs a firm and targeted pressure to engage with the deeper layers of muscle and fascia which surrounds your muscles (known as the connective tissue).

Firm, slow, rhythmic strokes with intensity, followed by friction movements, feel as if they have the heart of the painful muscle within their grip, stripping the muscle right along its axis. This is precisely the action that “stripping” does. With a firm pressure which glides along the total length of the muscular fibres and movements of friction to target adhesions and work on the grain of the muscle. Deep Tissue therapy helps to break down adhesions and realign tissue fibres for a revived, healthy muscle.

Now this may not be your “go-to” choice of massage unless you’re suffering from chronic back pain, Fibromyalgia, the aftermath of whiplash, plantar fasciitis or other intense pain induced issue to name a few. Deep Tissue Massage is renowned and research shows that this massage therapy technique is most effective and efficient for the relief of chronic pain conditions. More so than medication, medical treatments and that fact that its cost effective, has longevity as well as the multitude of additional benefits Deep Tissue massage can bring such as lowering blood pressure and heart rate, aiding stress relief and reducing arthritic symptoms. Make Deep Tissue Massage a technique to be revisited and revered!

Pregnancy massage techniques tend to be a whirlpool of best practice. No one technique is right or wrong when it comes to pregnancy massage. Likely deeper tissue techniques may be avoided, and the alternative lighter, more sweeping massage strokes associated with Swedish Massage are used to create a genteel massage. However during labour and delivery, deep tissue massage has reportedly been used to help women control pain during birth. The increase in the feel-good hormones massage brings, such as a spike in cortisol can help new to be mums minimise pre and post-natal depression, feelings of anxiety as well as back, leg and overall pain, whilst it can also help with a better nights sleep. Research even suggests that women who receive regular massage prior, during and post pregnancy, discovered that their labours were for a shorter period of time, than women who had not received any massage.

Pressure point massage techniques are both utilised and avoided during pregnancy massage. Via your bespoke consultation, your experienced massage therapist will cover all aspects of how you feel, where or what feels painful, areas to be covered by the massage, and those you feel would be best avoided. Pregnancy can cause leg cramps, lower back pain, the sensation of a more sluggish system, sciatic symptoms, swelling to name just a few inconveniences! Massage may assist in eliminating these symptoms.

Insomnia during pregnancy or extreme fatigue is common, as your body grows a new being, regular massage can help you to fall asleep more quickly and for longer as it stimulates serotonin production, which triggers melatonin, helping you head to bed for some well-deserved R&R. On the flip side, if fatigue is a constant during your pregnancy, then massage can help with mental clarity, giving you a renewed energy to face the everyday.

Pregnancy can be stressful, new anxieties, worries and unchartered territory can leave your mental state and emotional wellbeing on the wrong side of right! Massage makes you feel good – fact! The benefits regular massage can bring to both you and your baby are extensive.

30 Reasons To Make Time for Regular Massage and Join The Massage Revolution!

  • Relieve Stress
  • Manage Lower Back Pain
  • Reduce Muscular Tension
  • Lower Blood Pressure and Heart Rate
  • Decrease Rheumatic pain such as Arthritis.
  • Promote Relaxation
  • Break up Scar Tissue and Improve Range of Motion
  • Help Chronic Neck Pain
  • Relieve Post-operative Pain.
  • Help Fibromyalgia Pain
  • Sleep Better
  • Enhance Exercise Performance
  • Improve Cardiovascular Health
  • Relieve Tension Headaches
  • Increase Motion Range
  • Improve Balance
  • Reduce Osteoarthritic Pain
  • Decrease Symptoms of Repetitive Strain Injury
  • Ease Symptoms of Depression
  • Assist Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Decrease Stress in Cancer Patients
  • Aid Joint Replacement Pain – Post Operative
  • Decrease Migraine Frequency
  • Aid Pregnancy and Labour
  • Reduce Chemotherapy-related Nausea.
  • Improve Quality of Life in Hospice Care
  • Reduce Anxiety
  • Improve Mental Clarity & Wellbeing
  • Aid Sleep Quality and Quantity
  • Reduce Sports Injury Recovery Time

At The Massage Company, our mission is simple, we want to bring massage to the mainstream as we believe everyone should be able to experience great-quality, regular massage. The benefits of The Massage Company (besides the massage!) is that we are a franchise business. With eight centres currently open across the country, and many more in the foreseeable future, it means you can book a massage close to home, when you’re away on a Vay-cay, or a business trip! Massages made at any of our centres are transferrable to another centre too, and if you want to gift your massage to someone else in need, you can do that too.

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