Types of Massage

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Just What the Doctor Prescribed

head massageThe healing powers of massage and touch therapy have been recognised since ancient times. While it is not a panacea, massage has proven important health benefits. Among other benefits, it improves blood circulation, which delivers oxygen and nutrients to the cells; stimulates the lymphatic system, which carries away the body's waste products; boosts the mood by increasing the brain’s level of feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin; decreases the levels of stress hormone cortisol, helping to bring down blood pressure; and so on.

There are different types of massage to choose from:

Swedish Massage

This type of massage features long smooth strokes, kneading, and circular movements on superficial layers of muscle. Massage lotion or oil is used. Swedish massage therapy can be very gentle and relaxing and is recommended as a good first option to try for people who have never had a massage.

Hot Stone Massage

To relax tight muscles, heated smooth stones are placed on specific points on the body. The massage therapist may also apply gentle pressure with the stones. If you have muscle tension but prefer lighter massage, hot stone therapy is for you.

Deep Tissue Massage

People with chronically tight or painful muscles, repetitive strain injuries, posture problems, or people recovering from injury are all candidates for deep tissue massage. This massage targets the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, with the therapist using knuckles and elbow's to strip out muscle tissue as far down to the bone as possible.  The pressure can be very intense and you may feel sore for one or two days afterwards.

thai massageShiatsu Massage

This Japanese massage uses finger pressure on acupuncture points, to improve the flow of energy and help the body regain balance. Shaitsu is relaxing, even though the finger pressure is firm.

Thai Massage

Another Far East invention, Thai massage works on the energy flow of the body using gentle pressure on specific points. Thai massage also includes compressions and stretches, with the therapist moving and stretching the client into a sequence of postures that are purported to reduce stress and improve flexibility and range of motion. Thai massage is more energising than most other forms of massage.

Trigger Point Massage

Do you havepainful fibrous nodules in your muscles and connective tissue? If yes, trigger point massage is made to search-and-deactivate them. Typically, the therapist applies static pressure on the trigger points and stretches the area to soften the tight, painful tissue. The client participates through deep breathing and identifying the exact location and intensity of the discomfort. Clients can experience a significant decrease in pain after just one treatment.

sports massageSports Massage

Sports massage is geared toward athletes and people who work out often. Instead of relaxation, the focus is on treating and on preventing injury. The therapist uses a combination of techniques; the strokes are usually faster than in Swedish massage, and facilitated stretching is used extensively to help loosen muscles and increase flexibility.

Aromatherapy Massage

Aromatherapy massage uses one or more scented essential oils, which can be relaxing, energising, stress-reducing, balancing, and so on. Aromatherapy massage is recommended for people who are under stress and emotionally vulnerable.

African Massage

Many South African spas offer treatmentstermed traditional African massage.For example, the African Rungy massage which involves rolling the wooden Rungu implement to reduce muscle tension, or Calabash massage, a variety a soft pressure massage with the dried calabash fruit.


In addition to the full body, there are many kinds of massage limited to specific parts of the body: head, arms and hands, back, neck and shoulder, and so on. One of the most popular is reflexology, avery relaxing foot massage which involves applying pressure to certain points on the feet that correspond to organs and systems in the body.

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