Body massage has been in practice for thousands of years back, and a lot of techniques have been developed to cure different kinds of body ache and to provide relaxation to the body system. Some of the styles are briefly explained below;
Swedish massage is a body soothing techniques that originated from Sweden, the massage technique is discovered by a Swedish man called Pehr Henrik Ling, and brought into light by two other Swedish brothers by the name Dr. George Taylor and Dr. Charles in the nineteenth century. Not too surprising it is called Swedish massage.
Swedish massage is the method of soothing the aching muscles by making use of the hands and elbows to apply pressure by continuous tapping, kneading, stroking and rubbing the body parts with pain-relieving oil to cause physical and mental relaxation.
This massaging manner has various benefits among which are pain relief, improved blood circulation, muscle strength improvement, more supply of oxygen to cells, and fast healing of an injury.
Hot stone massage
This a kind of massage in which the therapist places some kind of stones at key points or energy channels of the body and rubbing the body with almond oil to cause relieve in the tight body muscles and brings comfort to the entire body system. This type of massage is different from all other forms of massage in that the therapist has to strategically apply pressure to loosen tight muscle, but in this case, a stone called the basalt stone is placed either warm or cold on the energy path of the body in line with the Indian tradition.
The benefits of this massage include deep relaxation, increase sensitivity, removal of toxins and restores the body to its right condition.
This type of massaging depends solely on the application of special oil at the back or aching part of the body to brings about relaxation and muscle healing. This method does not involve stroking and pressure unlike the Swedish method but performs its role when these special oils are inhaled or absorbed by the skin. The fascinating thing about this technique is that each special oil has their specific impact on the body, for example, Lavender and Germanium oil works best in calming, Rosemary oil give energy to the body, and neroli oil uplifts the body.
This method is said to balance the state of mind and body system by affecting the limbic system, a part in the brain known for its role of manipulating the nervous system.
This method of body massage is said to have originated from the ancient Greeks and Romans, and first used in sports by the Soviet Union team. The whole sports massage procedure is divided into three forms which are Pre-event massage, Post-event massage, and maintenance sports massage.
A Pre-event sports massage prepares an athlete for a sporting event by loosening the muscles, supply adequate blood and nutrients to the muscles, and flexing the muscles. Post-event massage is administered after the sports activities to reduce stress and muscle swelling developed during a sporting session. Meanwhile, maintenance massage is to keep the body fit always, and it is usually done once in a week.
Deep tissue massage
Most of the massage stated above deals mainly with overcoming stress and finding relaxation. However, deep tissue massage helps physically, mentally, and psychologically, treating muscle injury, and dealing with muscle stiffness. Most of the time, the deep tissue massage is often mistaken with the Swedish massage because both make use of the same style of stroking and cause-effect by subjecting pressure to the body parts. However, some slight difference exists between the two, deep tissue massage aims at causing healing by applying deep pressure into the deeper layers of tissue, but Swedish focused on deriving relaxation by making gentle strokes on the superficial layer of the body.
Trigger point massage
Trigger point massage is another form of massage that focuses mainly on dealing with pain and not relaxation. The massage session is administered to set tight muscles to lose, to relieve trigger point pain, enhance body motion and positioning. In the procedure, the therapist first looks out for the aching point and then began to stretch, press, and apply pressure at the site. The procedure might be painful at first as the trigger point is been pressed, but the result is effective and pain-relieving.
Reflexology is a kind of massage that is performed by applying pressure on the feet, palms, and ear to cause relieve in the body system. This message is associated with varieties of belief, some believe that the massage is used by the Chinese to remove blockages known as qi(Chee) built in the body due to stress. This school of thought teaches that by applying pressure at these strategic points energy will be sent to remove the blockages. Others believe that the feet, palms, and ear are connected to some certain organs of the body, thus massaging them will cause healing in the organs.
From the name Shiatsu, one can guess that this type of message must originate from the Asian parts of the world, Japan to be precise. The Shiatsu massage is performed by applying pressure at the body parts by using the finger, thumb, and palms only without making use of any mechanical instrument to cure infections, preserve health, and correct internal malfunctions. The processes of Shiatsu include holding, stretching, pressing the bodyweight of the performer against that of the recipient, and moving from one point to another along the key channels of the body in a rhythmic sequence.
Couple massage is the one performed on couples, each person lying on their belly on separate beds looking into each other’s eye. Although it is called couples massage, it can also be performed on relatives, friends, or co-workers to build more intimacy. Each recipient is attended to by different therapists, and they are also free to choose different massaging techniques base on their needs. The procedure can also be accompanied by aromatherapy, cool music, and candle lighting.
Chair massage is a type of massage you can get within 15 minutes and still have your clothes on because there is no need to apply oil. This massage can be done at any public places such as airports, bars, and restaurants, all you just have to do is to sit on this special chair that holds your head in position and has where you can place your hand to reveal your back. Then the therapist quickly applies the stroking, kneading, and pressure on the back to loosen tight muscles and relieve pain while the cloth is still on. This method should not be mistaken with the massage chair which performs massaging automatically.
Foot massage works on the same principle of reflexology, we can even classify it as one of the branches of reflexology. In a foot massage session, a reflexology practitioner attempts to removes blockages in the body by directly pressing the foot. It is believed that over 7000 nerves in the body and some organs like the Kidney, Liver, Spleen, Spine, and Genitals are connected to the foot, and each of them can be effect by applying pressure at special points on the foot. The procedure enhances long relaxation and good sleep, better circulation of blood and oxygen in the body, and changes in the hormonal system of the body.
Lymphatic drainage massage
This procedure is administered to people with lymphedema, a condition in which fluids are stored up in a part of the body, thus causing swelling in the hands or legs. This condition erupts when the lymph vessels transporting lymph fluids in the body are blocked at a point, or when there is a damaged lymph node. The condition can be alleviated by gently pressing the skin to manipulate the muscles, but the affected area is not massaged. With constant drainage massage, the blockages are removed and the fluids are free to circulate across the body, thus removing harmful toxins from the body.