Massages can be the ultimate soothing therapy after a tired and stressful routine. With every passing day, the world is entering into a much busier and monotonous routine. The baggage with this kind of lifestyle is chronic pain conditions and muscles full of spasm. Even if you are somebody who suffers from no painful conditions, you still need something to rewire and relax. And there can be nothing better than a peaceful and serene massage session.
What we will be talking about today are some of the best relaxing massage techniques as well as some DIY massage techniques so that you are not left dependent on the spa or a massage parlor if you’re craving a massage.
The holistic world has been greatly developed and has come forward with various kinds of massages targeting specific problems. If you are somebody who just wants to get rid of their stress and want a nice relaxing time from a massage session then there are a few massages which could work for you and leave you rejuvenated and refreshed. Let’s start discussing best relaxing massage techniques.
This is considered the ultimate relaxation massage and can clear your body of all built up stress. It is the most common type of massage which therapists use and is in no way directed at correcting painful conditions and injuries. The sole purpose of this type of massage is to make you feel fresh and relaxed. The famous Swedish massage is an amalgam of four different types of soothing movements to steer away from your stress.
Effleurage: This movement is employed at the beginning and at the end of the massage session. Effleurage is performed by making long sweeping strokes on the body and it is only fitting that if the massage started with these harmonious strokes, it should end the similar way too.
Petrissage: Your muscles need gentle compressions to relax and that is provided by petrissage which involves kneading the muscles like dough.
Friction: Nasty knots and tightness in areas of the muscles have to be remedied for a complete and full relaxing experience. Via friction, this goal is accomplished and knots are taken out by applying pressure through knuckles, thumbs or fingertips.
Tapotement: This has become somewhat obsolete nowadays but traditional therapists still use this rhythmic chopping and pounding motions to relieve stress from a tired body.
Hot stone massage
Heat does wonders to the muscles by loosening the tightness and providing gentle and soothing relief to the tired body. The hot stone massage makes use of hot smooth stones to massage your body. The hot stones are glided onto the body like rollerblades focusing the heat at multiple stressful areas. Shoulders and neck benefit especially from a hot stone massage as these are the regions which face a lot of stress on a daily basis.
Medically therapeutic massages
For people suffering from chronic pain conditions like sciatica and tense muscle spasms, there are a variety of massages which can be used to target their specific problem. Medically therapeutic massages work amazingly by eliminating pain and tension and can save you from spending big bucks on painkillers and costly corrective surgeries.
Deep tissue massage
The deep tissue massage is used when the purpose is to reach deep muscle areas for conditions like chronic pain and contracted and stiff areas like the neck and lower back. Performing a deep tissue massage involves using deep, slow strokes full of firm pressure so that the targeted muscle and fascia are relaxed and the pain is relieved.
It is especially useful in cracking notorious scar tissue and crumbles those nasty knots and adhesions which cause a deep-seated pain. This massage technique not only remedies pain by improving circulation but also improves the range of motion of the targeted joint. You may feel a slight discomfort for the very first time you go for a deep tissue massage session, however with frequent sessions it becomes more therapeutic and less burdening.
Deep tissue massage exerts its therapeutic effect by two specific patterns,
Stripping: It involves applying pressure of a gliding variety along the length of the muscle via elbows, forearms, knuckles, and thumbs.
Friction: When the purpose of the deep tissue massage is to realign muscle fibers and to remedy painful adhesions then friction is employed which applies pressure against the grain of the muscle.
Deep tissue massage however beneficial and therapeutic is not advised to people suffering from blood clots as the deep massage may lead to the clots being dislodged causing problems like embolism.
Trigger point massage
Trigger point massage is directed at treating a specific painful area rather than tending to the whole body. It makes use of a periodic cycle of pressure and releases to remedy areas of chronic and disabling pain and spasm.
Trigger points are naturally present in every muscle and can be activated by muscle overuse, trauma, and electrolyte imbalances. These points when activated hold pain and inflammation within and not only cause discomfort in the area of origin but can also cause the pain to be transmitted to the surrounding areas as well. This type of scenario is seen most commonly with chronic injuries and is best managed with trigger point massage.
Regions with trigger points are easy to identify as they appear tense and tight to touch and a pressure applied for around 30-90 seconds followed by a release can help loosen the tight area. The increase in blood flow with trigger point massage causes a rush of nutrients and a washout of fatigue causing toxic substances like lactate proving relief.
Neuromuscular therapy is a variant of trigger point massage which uses relatively soft tissue manipulation in comparison to the classic tense trigger point massage.
Designed specifically for athletes, sports massage is an all-rounder and can help in strengthening sportsmen before an event or can be used for recovery and relief from sports-related injuries.
Sports massage combines Swedish and Shiatsu massage techniques and leads to a much more concentrated and targeted approach.
Given the fast-paced and physically demanding lifestyle of athletes is quite harsh on the body, making use of the sports massage improves blood flow and lymphatic flow for better functioning muscles. The muscles attain greater flexibility by the stretches provided by the sports massage as well as removal of any scar tissue left after a prior injury.
The beneficial effects of sports massage are not just physical but psychological as well. Sports massage leads to significantly reduced anxiety levels and a reduced perception of pain.
This technique delivers a massage which is a combination of gentle stretches and accurately controlled finger pressure. Most therapists and massage specialists believe that shiatsu corrects any anomalies present in the flow of body energy and leads to reduced stress and pain.
The scientific support to the usefulness of shiatsu in relation to the reduction of pain is that shiatsu eases an overly active sympathetic nervous system which in turn leads to a better circulation of blood and lymph and loosening and relaxation of stressful muscle groups.
Thai massages are very interactive and engaging massages as the massage therapist is very intricately involved in every step of the massage. It can be regarded as an admixture of yoga and massage as Thai massages incorporate yoga stretches as well as massaging motions. Pressure applied to the muscles can be delivered by even literally walking on your body sometimes, which sounds bizarre but has generally been regarded as quite useful in relieving pain. Thai massages work great for stiff joints as the stretching involved takes care of any tightness and limitation found in any joint of the body.
The idea behind Rolfing is to align the body’s energy field with the earth’s gravitational field. Rolfing however painful to perform can be quite beneficial in alleviating pain. Typically rolfing is performed in a series of ten sessions out of which the first three are directed at superficial tissues, the next four on deeper tissues and the last one focused on the whole body. Rolfing corrects the body’s posture and along with relieving aches and pains also remedies psychological issues.
Craniosacral therapy makes use of gentle touches on the joints of the head, neck and the lower back to relax and calm the tension in these joints. The pleasant and calm effects created by the use of this massage therapy are attributed to the release of endorphins. There have been some instances where people have reported the development of lightheadedness following a session of craniosacral massage therapy. This type of massage therapy is especially useful to reduce tension and remedy any trauma sustained to the head over the year.
The Feldenkrais technique is used to re-establish connections between the body and the brain and to enhance body movement and mental health. It involves a combination of slow and gentle exercises and massages to improve the range of motion. It is extremely beneficial for people recovering from strokes or neurologically impacted accident patients who have limited mobility.
Trager massage therapy
Also called the psychophysical integration therapy, the Trager approach works best to remedy old injuries, poor posture and a multitude of minor stresses and injuries sustained throughout life. It has passive and active phases of therapy and every phase has its own characteristics.
During the passive phase, your body will be moved in a natural way by the therapist in a ‘going with the flow’ motion. During the active phase, the therapist will guide you through a series of simple specific movements. This method of massage is unique as it involves absolutely no use of oils or lotions. Trager therapy has been found to reduce muscle rigidity seen in Parkinson’s disease. The gentle rocking motions of the Trager therapy have been found to be useful even in Multiple Sclerosis.