Video:Common Types of Massagewith Cathy Wong
Have you thought about trying massage but don't know which type to choose? Go inside a real treatment room so can see for yourself the full range of options- from Aromatherapy to Hot Stone to Deep Tissue.See Transcript
Transcript:Common Types of MassageHi, I'm Cathy Wong, your guide to Alternative Medicine on About.com.
Introduction to MassageMassage therapy is the application of pressure to the muscles and soft tissues of the body for relaxation and health.
It addresses a variety of conditions such as stress-related illness, sleep disorders, pain, headaches, high blood pressure, diabetes, post-operative swelling, and depression.
If you want to know what to expect, here's a look at some of the most popular types of massage.
Swedish MassageLicensed and nationally certified Massage Therapist Sue Hare is demonstrating Swedish massage, the most common type of massage.
Swedish massage was developed by a physiologist at the University of Stockholm in 1812.
Massage oil or lotion is used to make long, smooth strokes and for kneading and friction. Swedish massage focuses on the superficial layers of muscle to enhance circulation, remove waste, relieve muscle tension, and ease pain. Most people find it very relaxing.
The massage therapist leaves the room so that you can undress and get under the sheet. Many people keep their underwear on. What you choose to wear or remove is completely up to you and your comfort level. In North America, you're always covered by the sheet, and only the part being massage is uncovered.
Aromatherapy MassageAromatherapy massage is Swedish massage with the addition of concentrated plant oils. Each plant oil has a different healing properly. Some calm. Others energize, cleanse, or rejuvenate. They're selected based on what you need and are mixed in with the massage oil so that the aroma of the oil fills the air around you during the massage.
Hot Stone MassageAnother variation of Swedish massage is the hot stone massage. The massage therapist holds smooth heated stones and uses swedish massage strokes. The stones may be placed at specific points on the back, in the palms of the hand, or between the toes. The heat warms the muscles.
Deep Tissue MassageDeep tissue massage focuses on chronic muscle tension and knots in the deeper layers of muscle. Many of the same strokes as Swedish massage are used, but the movement is slower, and the pressure is deeper and concentrated on areas of tension and pain.
There may be discomfort during deep tissue massage. Let your therapist know where you feel any pain or discomfort. Deep tissue massage is used primarily for chronic muscle pain and rehabilitation after injuries.
Sports MassageSports massage is specifically designed for people who are involved in physical activity. The focus isn't on relaxation but on preventing and treating injury and enhancing performance. A combination of techniques are used. The strokes are generally faster than Swedish massage. Facilitated stretching is a common technique. It helps to loosen muscles and increase flexibility. It
- Promotes relaxation
- Relieves tension in the back, neck, and shoulders
- Reduces swelling in the arms and legs
- Eases stress on hip joints and knees
Other Massage TipsBe sure that your massage therapist has your complete health history, because people with certain conditions should not have massage. If you feel discomfort at any time, let your massage therapist know.
If you're wondering whether to tip, ask the receptionist. A tip is customary at spas but isn't the norm at health clinics and doctor's offices.
Thanks for watching. To learn more about alternative medicine, visit us on the web at Altmedicine.About.com