Massage is a treatment that is thousands of years old. If you need or feel like a massage, you can choose from 80 types of massages with a wide variety of pressures, movements and techniques. Although you will not find them all in the same aesthetic clinic. A massage involves pressing or manipulating the muscles and other soft tissues with the hands and fingers. Sometimes even with the forearms, elbows or feet.
According to the American Association for Massage Therapy, up to 25 percent of adults received a massage at least once in 2018. There are many people and many reasons to do so. More and more people, especially baby boomers, are recognizing the health benefits of massage.
Giving yourself a massage is not a whim, it’s health
You can choose from many massage styles. Some are to relieve ailments that we can suffer or to heal injuries, help with certain diseases and improve general well-being, also mental and mood.
This article can help you decide which types of massages are the most recommended for you.
What are the best massages?
You may have noticed that there are different styles of massage and that some are more popular than others. On many occasions it depends on fashion and not on your own needs.
There are many types of massage, ranging from those that require long and smooth movements to those that require short movements and greater pressure on the body. Some massage therapists use oils and lotions, others do not.
You can give yourself a massage sporadically, or do it regularly. The latter is what we recommend, since you can prevent and keep your body always in shape. A massage can last from 5 minutes to 2 hours.
Before you can decide on the best massage for you, you need to ask yourself the following question. Do you want a massage to relax or control stress? Or do you need to alleviate the symptoms of an injury or illness?
Before booking a massage, ask what types of massages they have at the beauty center and what their specialization is. The masseur can personalize your massage, according to your age, condition or any special needs or objectives for you, such as reducing massages.
- Lymphatic drainage
The lymphatic system helps remove waste from your body. An active and healthy lymphatic system uses the natural movements of muscle tissue to eliminate everything that is left over from your body. But not always, and especially when we are getting older, it is so active and therefore so effective.
When performing a lymphatic massage, it is important that the massage includes more than just the affected area for it to be effective. The entire lymphatic system of the body, except for the head, the right side of the chest, and the right arm, drains near the left shoulder, so a massage must include all areas to drain properly.
There are two stages of lymphatic massage: cleaning and reabsorption
The purpose of cleansing is to create a vacuum with gentle pressure so that the area is primed to bring in more fluid, creating a rinsing effect.
The second part of the lymphatic massage is reabsorption. To perform this stage of the massage:
Start at the affected part of the body farthest from the center of the body. For example, the tips of your fingers if you have lymphedema in your hand, arm, and shoulder.
Using a smooth, sweeping motion with just enough pressure to displace the surface of the skin, massage from fingertips to hand, hand to elbow, and elbow to shoulder.
Lymphatic leg massage
The goal of lymphatic leg massage is to open up the lymphatic vessels to allow excess fluid to drain into the lymph nodes located in the groin.
There are different techniques that can be used to perform a lymphatic massage on the legs, but they all have the same goal: to release the fluid to rise again through the lymph nodes.
It is characterized above all by the speed of the hands and fingers and how they are used at all times. Using different speeds, slow to relax and drain and fast speeds to stimulate and achieve the lifting effect. However, the kobido® massage should never cause pain. The hands of the masseur apply the treatment delicately, without pain, but no less effective for that.
- Swedish massage
The most common type of massage is the Swedish massage. These are long, smooth strokes. As if they were kneading your body. Light, rhythmic movements with small strokes
is, in the upper layers of the muscles. This is also combined with the movement of the joints. By relieving muscle tension, Swedish therapy can be relaxing and energizing. Highly recommended after you’ve had an injury.
The four most common ways to give a Swedish massage
Effleurage: soft, sliding hands, used to relax soft tissues.
Petrissage: More pressure is applied, kneading the muscles.
Friction: deep circular movements that make the different layers of tissue touch each other, which helps increase blood flow, breaking down scar tissue.
Tapotement: a short, alternating tap made with cupped hands, fingers, or the edge of the hand.
- The deepest massage
Deep tissue massage is best for paying attention to some of the most painful and stiff trouble spots you may have on your body. The massage practitioner uses slow, deliberate movements that focus on the layers where the muscles, tendons, or other tissues are located. Although less rhythmic than other types of massage, deeper tissue massage can be therapeutic: relieving chronic patterns of tension and helping with muscle injuries, such as sprains, and back strains.
- Sports massage
Developed to help with the muscular systems used for a particular sport.
Sports massage uses different techniques to help athletes in training, before, during or after sports. You can use it to help flexibility or prevent injuries. Or, it can help muscle strains, helping to heal a sports injury.
- Shiatsu massage
In Japanese, shiatsu means finger pressure. For shiatsu massage, the therapist uses varied rhythmic pressure on certain more specific points of the body. These points are called acupressure points and are believed to be important for the flow of vital energy in the body, called chi. Proponents say that shiatsu massage can help relieve blockages at these acupressure points.
- Thai massage
During a Thai massage, the masseur uses her body to massage the client, having a wide variety of positions and movements. This type of massage includes compression of the muscles, mobilization of the joints and acupressure.
- Hot stone massage
For this type of massage, the masseur places heated stones on certain areas of the body, such as acupressure points. The stones can be used as massage tools or can be left static. Used in conjunction with other massage techniques, hot stones can be very calming and relaxing as they transfer heat to the interior of the body.
Reflexology is the application of adequate pressure on specific points and areas of the feet, hands or ears. Reflexologists believe that these reflex points correspond to different organs and systems of the body, and that pressing them creates real health benefits for the person.
Reflexology table that traces points on the feet.
For example, reflexology holds that a specific point on the arch of the foot corresponds to the bladder. When a reflexologist uses their thumbs or fingers to apply adequate pressure to this area, it can affect bladder function.
Reflexology maps on the feet
Reflexologists use foot maps to guide their work. The left foot corresponds to the organs on the left side of the body and the right foot to the organs on the right side.
- Massages during pregnancy
During pregnancy, the body goes through big changes. Massage during pregnancy can help with these changes, reducing stress, reducing swelling in the arms and legs, and relieving muscle and joint pain. Massage can be particularly helpful during a time when medications and other medical options may be more limited. Using specially designed massage pillows, the masseuse will help you get into a comfortable position for this type of massage and your stage of pregnancy.
What are the health benefits of massage?
Many types of massage offer benefits beyond simple relaxation. These are just some of the health problems that can be helped by massage. However, consult your doctor if you want to cure any disease through massage.
Back pain. More than one study has shown the effectiveness of massage for back pain. On many occasions, it has been shown that pain that was initially attributed to the bones, due to its type and characteristics, was actually due to contractures in the back. The most common discomfort in the back occurs in the lower back and shoulders.
Headache. Another type of pain, the headache, also responds very effectively to therapies that feature massages. Some studies suggest that massage can reduce the number of migraines a person has and also improve sleep.
osteoarthritis. In the first clinical trial looking at the effectiveness of Swedish massage for knee osteoarthritis, participants who received an hour-long massage once or twice a week had improvements in knee pain, stiffness, and function.
Cancer symptoms. Used as an adjunct to traditional medicine, massage can promote relaxation and reduce cancer symptoms or treatment side effects. It can help reduce pain, swelling, fatigue, nausea or depression, for example, or improve the function of your immune system. However, there are specific areas that a massage therapist should avoid in a cancer patient, as well as times when massage should be avoided altogether. You should always consult your doctor before receiving a massage if you have cancer.
Depression. A study of 17 clinical trials found that massage treatments can help reduce depression. This again shows that massages not only have benefits in your physical state but also in your state of mind.
Body scrub is more than a massage
One of the most popular body treatments is the body scrub. Usually this treatment is more common on the face. But we must not forget the skin of the body, which is equal to or more important than that of the face. Even on some occasions more delicate, needing more attention.
It is not a massage in itself, although it is recommended that it be accompanied by a massage. Thus, in addition to leaving you with a rejuvenated, clean and shiny skin, you can obtain a relaxing experience, both for your muscles and for your mind.
It is sometimes made with sea salt, but can be made with other products, such as coffee beans. The professional rubs a mixture with different or with a single product and with aromatic oils on your skin. This exfoliates the skin and leaves it fresh and smooth.