Massage therapy is very popular nowadays due to the stressful environment we are living in and fast-moving lifestyles. Massage therapy can be effective at relieving tense muscles, aches, and pains. It is also used in sports for sports injuries.
There are several sorts of massage that specialize in different parts of the body or healing approaches. Massage is the practice of rubbing and kneading the body using the hands. During the massage, the massage therapist will apply gentle or strong pressure on the muscles and joints of the body to relieve pain and tension. A massage therapist can be a person trained to massage.
The word massage is most likely to have emerged from the Greek word ‘Massein’, meaning ‘to knead’ or the Arabic word ‘mash’ meaning ‘to press softly’. Massage is the oldest form of physical medicine known to man. It can be traced back to the early Chinese medical manuscripts around 400BC. Hippocrates was known to advocate massage. And he was born in the fifth century and was also known as “the father of medicine”. It was used and written about in Roman times, with history recording Julius Caesar had received massage to help relieve neuralgia!
In the United States, massage therapy became popular for a variety of health purposes in about the mid-1800s. Around the 1930s and 1940s, massage therapy fell out of favor. This was because of scientific and technological advances in medical treatments. Massage therapy interest was revived in the 1970s. Athletes were the ones who mainly used this form of therapy back then.
Read on to find out about the various sorts of massage and which sort could be right for you.
What is massage therapy?
The term massage therapy is used when talking about health and healing practices that involve touch and movement. It is a profession in which the therapist applies some manual techniques. These techniques when applied have the sole intention of trying to positively affect the health and well-being of the client.
Benefits of massage therapy
The benefits of massage therapy cover a large array of health issues, from stress and tension to lowering blood pressure. Everyone who lives the modern lifestyle can enjoy the benefits of massage.
Listed below are the benefits of massage therapy
Individuals that require time to entirely unwind may benefit from massage. Frequent massages have been verified to get appreciable physical improvements, for instance, a rise in serotonin levels in the human brain and reduction in detrimental t-cells. This can also help strengthen your immune system.
Decreased Blood Pressure
Another chief benefit of massage is that it decreases one’s blood pressure. Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated that over time a regime of massage will help to lower a person’s levels of blood pressure. Individuals with hypertension must talk about the benefits of massage treatment with their physicians and verify if this form of treatment can be added to their existing anti-hypertensive therapy.
Other benefits of massage therapy that have been well-documented include overall circulation improvements. What do we mean by improved circulation? You could have reduced circulation if your hands and feet are habitually cold, and if you are weary and achy a lot of the time. The advantage of massage is that it makes blood rich in oxygen flow to the affected areas using effortless massage pressure, thereby improving circulation.
Another benefit of massage is that it helps to remove lactic acid which gathers inside the muscles and it helps the lymphatic system that is responsible for removing toxins from the body. This is particularly helpful after working out to relieve sore muscles.
The benefits of massage therapy are cumulative. Following a sustained course of the massage, the subject will find that their blood pressure levels are reduced, stress hormone levels are decreased, and that depression and nervousness are also decreased. Consequently, general overall fitness levels will almost certainly be improved.
Types of Massage therapy
Massage therapy relieves muscle pain and tension, increases mobility and flexibility, helps clear waste material such as lactic acid that is the cause of stiffness and pain in the muscles and the joints.
There are different types of massage therapy, but the most popular types of massage therapy are listed below.
Swedish massage therapy
The most popular and common type of Massage therapy in the United States. It is also known as simple Massage therapy. The massage is primarily meant for relaxation.
Swedish massage may be a gentle sort of full-body massage that’s ideal for people who:
* are new in massage treatment
* have tons of tension
* are sensitive to the touch
It can help release muscle knots, and it’s also a perfect choice for you once you want to completely relax during a massage.
For this message, you’ll remove your clothes, though you’ll prefer to keep your underwear on. You’ll be covered with a sheet while lying on the massage table. The massage therapist will move the sheet to uncover areas that they’re actively performing on.
The massage therapist will use a mixture of:
* long, flowing strokes within the direction of the guts
* deep circular motions
* vibration and tapping
* passive joint movement techniques
Usually, a Swedish massage will last for 60–90 minutes.
* Choose a Swedish massage for relaxation or managing minor pain.
* This sort of massage is additionally good for people new massage.
An aromatherapy massage is a type of massage therapy wherein one or more plant oils or essential oils that have a pleasant aroma are added to the massage.
The type of oil that is used in Aromatherapy massage depends on the ailment that the individual is suffering from. An Aromatherapy massage is most suited to relieving emotion-related stresses.
An aromatherapy massage is best for folks that want to possess an emotional healing component to their massage. this type of massage can help:
* boost your mood
* reduce stress and anxiety
* reduce symptoms of depression
* relieve muscle tension
* relieve pain
Aromatherapy massages syndicate soft, gentle compression with the use of natural essential oils. Your massage therapist will usually decide which essential oils to use, but you’ll allow them to understand if you have a preference. Essential oils are diluted before being applied to the skin.
During the massage, you’ll tend a full-body massage while inhaling essential oils through a diffuser and absorbing them through your skin. Sometimes an aromatherapy massage will only concentrate on your back, shoulders, and head. You won’t wear any clothing apart from underwear, which is optional.
An Aromatherapy massage is 60–90 minutes.
* Aromatherapy massage treatment accompanies the tender touches of Swedish massage therapy with the topical use of organic essential oils.
* don’t use this type of massage if you’re sensitive to smell or essential oils.
* This sort of massage can also help improve flexibility and sports performance and reduce your risk for injury.
Hot stone massage
Hot stone massage involves the use of hot smooth stones placed on specific parts of the body to loosen and warm tight muscles and balance what is known as balance centers in the body. Gentle pressure may also be applied where the stones are placed during the hot stone massage. The hot stone massage is good for relieving muscle tension.
The hot stone massage is best for people that have muscle pain and tension or who simply want to relax. this sort of therapeutic massage is analogous to a Swedish massage, only the massage therapist uses heated stones in lieu of or addition to their hands. It relieves muscle tension, improves blood flow, and relieves pain using heated stones. Hot stone massage can help:
* relieve muscle tension
* improves blood flow
* relieve pain
* promote relaxation
* Relieve stress
During a hot stone massage, the heated stones are placed in different areas around the entire body. Your therapist can hold a stone while massaging different parts of your body using Swedish massage techniques with gentle pressure. Cold stones are also sometimes used. You don’t wear clothes for decent stone massage unless you’ll feel easier wearing your underwear. you’ll be covered with a sheet. Usually, the massage is 90 minutes long.
Hot stone massage may relieve more muscle tension than a Swedish massage due to the added heat.
Deep tissue massage
Deep tissue massage target the muscles and the connective tissues. Slower strokes and friction methods are applied across the grain of the muscle. Deep tissue massage is used for recovery from injury, postural problems, repetitive strain, painful or tight muscles. Most people feel a kind of soreness after they undergo this form of massage.
Deep tissue massage requires more pressure than Swedish massage. This is a perfect option if you have chronic muscle problems, such as pain, injury, or imbalance. It can help to relieve muscle tension, chronic muscle pain, and anxiety.
Throughout a session of deep tissue massage, your masseuse will use slow movements and deep finger pressure to release tension from the deepest layers of your muscles and connective tissues. you will be naked during this massage or you will be wearing underwear.
The duration of the massage is 60–90 minutes.
While deep tissue may be more intense, you shouldn’t feel pain or soreness.
* Deep tissue massage can be a good option if you have severe muscle tension or chronic pain.
* Avoid this message if you are too sensitive to pressure.
Benefits of deep tissue massage
Deep tissue massage is a massage therapy that is widely used to treat musculoskeletal issues. There are many benefits of deep tissue massage. Some of them are mentioned below:
- Treats Muscle Pain: This massage is very beneficial to treat patients suffering from muscle pain. It helps infuse the blood flow in the muscles that reduces pain and stiffness.
- Increases Flexibility: The massage helps release the knots in the muscles, thereby increasing mobility and flexibility.
- Reduces Stress: The massage helps raise the levels of oxytocin hormone and reduce the cortisol levels in the body. The massage helps reduce the stress hormones and increases calmness in the mind and body.
- Improves Arthritis Symptoms: deep tissue massage is also used to treat symptoms of Arthritis. Pain, stiffness of muscles, and sleeping disorder can be treated through this technique.
- Heals Injuries: Applying pressure on the injured area can reduce the visibility of forming a scar. By applying pressure the scar tissue break down before being visible on the skin. This massage helps prevent the formation of scars.
- Helps with pain during labor: This is also highly effective for pain during labor for women. The massage relaxes the muscles of the body during the pregnancy, which in turn reduces the pain and anxiety of pregnant women.
- Lowers Blood Pressure: deep tissue massage has also been proven to lower the blood pressure of the body. Normal blood pressure is also useful for internal organs.
- Improves Posture: A lesser-known benefit of this massage is that it improves the posture of the body.
- Enhances Sports Activities: deep tissue massage enhances the performance and activities of athletes. It improves blood flow and reduces muscle soreness, which helps athletes in doing better in their activities and performances.
- Helps with Fibromyalgia: Studies have found that patients with fibromyalgia may find relief with massage therapy.
This is a type of massage therapy that is predominantly used in Japan and uses finger pressure in a rhythmic sequence on what is known as acupressure points that are on the body. The pressure is applied gently but firmly and the pressure is held for two to eight seconds.
Shiatsu massage is best for people who want to relax and relieve stress, pain, and tension. This is a Japanese type of massage that:
* promotes emotional and physical calm and relaxation
* helps relieve stress, anxiety, and depression
* may relieve headaches
* reduces muscle tension
Shiatsu massage works throughout the body, but your therapist may specialize in areas of the body that require special attention. During the massage, your therapist will massage specific points on your body with your hands, palms, and thumbs. Pulsing or rhythmic pressure is applied. you will be fully clothed during the massage.
Shiatsu massage usually lasts 60-90 minutes.
* Shiatsu can be a good option if you are trying to find a soothing massage. it will also help relieve a little stress.
* during this massage you will be fully dressed.
This is somewhat similar to Shiatsu and aligns the energies of the body by the use of gentle pressure on specific points. Compressions and stretches are used in the performance of this massage. This form of massage is more energizing than the others and also improves the range of motion and flexibility.
Thai Massage is best for people who need a more active type of massage and need pain and stress relief and relief. It can also help improve:
* energy levels
Thai Massage works on the entire body using a sequence of movements that almost resembles a yogic stretch. Your therapist will use your palms and fingers to push hard on your body. You will even stretch and twist in various positions. during the massage, you will wear loose, comfortable clothing.
Thai Massage lasts 60–90 minutes.
* Thai Massage is more active than other types of massage, so the therapist will stretch your body in addition to the massage.
* This is often a different type of massage where you remain fully clothed.
Pregnancy Massage therapy
Pregnancy Massage is also known as prenatal massage and is now being more and more popular among pregnant women. The massage is customized to the needs of an expectant mother and reduces anxiety, stress, and depression relieves pains and aches and decreases swelling.
Prenatal massage is often a safe way for women to encourage massage during pregnancy. It can help reduce body aches and pains during pregnancy, reduce stress, and relieve muscle tension. you will receive a message at any time during pregnancy. However, many institutions, especially in the US, do not offer massage to women in their trimester due to the risk of miscarriage during this period.
Prenatal massage uses light pressure, much like a Swedish massage. The therapist specializes in areas such as the lower back, hips, and legs. you will be completely or partially undressed for your comfort. During the massage, you will either lie on your side or on a specially designed table with a cutout for your belly. If you experience pain in your calves or other parts of your leg, see your doctor before the massage.
The duration of the massage is 45-60 minutes.
* Prenatal massage can be a good option for pregnant women.
* This type of massage is aimed at light pressure and is pleasant to relax and relieve tension
Reflexology massage is best for folks that are in need of relaxation or restore their natural energy levels. It is also an option if you are not comfortable being touched throughout your body. Reflexology massage uses gentle to firm pressure at different pressure points on the feet, hands, and ears. you will wear loose, comfortable clothing that allows access to your legs.
A reflexology massage lasts 30 to 60 minutes.
* Reflexology focuses on the pressure points on your feet, hands, and ears.
* This is often a great option if you feel uncomfortable being touched by the whole body. you will still be fully dressed during this type of massage.
One of the forms of reflexology massage is trigger point massage.
Trigger point massage is recommended for those with specific areas of tension and pain. If you have a “huge knot” that is causing apparent pain, then the therapist can focus on that area and work to loosen the muscle and break up the tissue.
Trigger point massage concentrate on the source of the pain and the therapist may ask you to breathe deeply during the process. You should feel pain relief on your first treatment.
Lymphatic drainage massage therapy
Lymphatic drainage massage – a method adored by stars for its shaping and forming effects. Lymphatic drainage massage is a beauty technique that worth mastering.
“Lymphatic drainage is a kind of massage that supposedly stimulates the natural drainage of the lymph, which helps to eliminate waste from the body,” says Victor Tsan, MD medical director of the Philadelphia Holistic Clinic, an expert in integrative and holistic medicine. “The goal is to move the fluid out of [the] tissues and into the lymph nodes, where bacteria, viruses, and other harmful microorganisms are destroyed.” The holistic practitioners have been practicing the art of lymphatic drainage massage for decades. When asked about its benefits, Dr. Tsan responded: Base on experts’ opinion, a suitable weekly lymphatic drainage massage session will reinforce the immune system, help decrease the level of cellulite, and recover goo mood.
Benefits of lymphatic massage
Lymphatic massage is an excellent treatment by itself. It also has benefits when used in conjunction with other massage techniques such as Swedish or deep tissue massage. Since lymphatic massage uses only soft, rhythmic movements, this technique can be used on the tenderer’s areas of the body that are inflamed. Listed below are the benefits of lymphatic massage
- Lymphatic massage can help to unblock the lymph system by manually cleansing the lymph system in a clockwise fashion.
- Performing lymphatic massage correctly can stimulate the opening of the initial lymphatic and increase the volume of lymph flow by as much as 20 times.
- Lymphatic massage or lymph drainage massage is a technique used to help increase lymph flow. Increased lymph flow removes harmful substances from the tissues and increases immune function.
- Lymphatic massage can be useful in cases of edema, sports injury, or for people experiencing a sluggish immune system or those suffering from a lack of energy.
Back massage therapy
Back massage is a massage for back pain that usually lasts 30 minutes. Unlike reflexology that focuses on the feet because it represents special points in the body, massage for the back simply relieves tension in the back caused by lifting heavy objects or driving for long periods.
Massage for back pain is primarily focused on the muscles of the back. Back massage is also an ideal massage for neck pain to relieve aches and pains of the back and the neck. Usually, this massage for back pain combined with massage for shoulders.
This sort of massage is typically costlier than a Swedish massage first of all because the therapist should use all the power to be able to knead and worm up all back muscles.
Relaxing massage therapy
Relaxing massage is a type of massage therapy that tends to be slower and more rhythmic than a treatment-oriented therapeutic massage and the primary goal of relaxing massage is to increase the relaxation of the client.
Indian Head massage therapy
Massage for the head is a type of massage therapy that helps relieve the head and neck. The Indian head massage helps relax the thin layer of muscle covering the head helping to alleviate stress and anxiety.
Massage for headaches may help relieve stress and reduce tension. It may also ease migraine or headache pain, lower blood pressure, improve circulation to your head and neck, and promote hair growth. Headache massage is popular and often performed in clinics.
Foot massage therapy
Foot massage is also known as Reflexology is the method that mainly concentrates on massaging certain specific points on the foot. Each point on the foot corresponds to a certain internal organ and massaging that part of the foot affects the corresponding internal organ. Foot massage is particularly good for people who spend most of their time standing.
Hands massage therapy
Hands massage is also a type of massage therapy that is highly pleasurable. Hands massage also helps to maintain the overall health of the hand. Some may consider the practice of hands massage therapy as a new way to improve circulation and encourage your body to self-heal. But hands massages have been used as far back as classic Chinese and ancient Egyptian times.
Sports massage therapy
Sports massage is a form of massage that has been specifically designed for those people who are involved in strenuous physical activity and those who are involved in sports.
Sports massage is more effective in preventing and treating injury and enhancing athletic performance. Sports massage increases flexibility and loosens muscles and can be applied either before or after strenuous physical activity.
How to find a massage therapist
How to find massage therapy near me is one of the most frequently asked questions. To find a massage therapist near me you need to follow the few tips listed below:
- Shop around!
- Expect to go through several massage therapists before you find the one for you.
- Make a phone call to find out more about the therapist
If you don’t already have this information, call and ask about:
- Style or techniques used
- Philosophy of care
- Years in practice
- Specialty areas, experience with particular conditions (diabetes, heart disease, pregnancy)
- Training, advanced certification
- If the therapist belongs to professional organizations, and if so, which ones
You should look for a massage therapist who has at least 500 hours of training from a reputable, accredited school. (You can find out if a school is accredited by contacting the school directly.
You can google for a massage therapist near me or ask for a personal recommendation from people you know. from your physician, and friends. Or you can schedule massages with 2 or 3 different therapists to see which one you prefer. Make sure it’s someone you’re comfortable with so you can fully relax.
Make sure your masseur is properly trained and has current certificates and licenses. You may want to have a short conversation with your therapist prior to the start of the session so that you can communicate your expectations and ask appropriate questions.
Note: There is a lot of well-qualified practitioners in massage therapy in Philadelphia. Follow the tips above to find one near you, and enjoy the benefits of massage therapy.
Massage therapy can be a way to improve your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Experiment with different types of massage and different massage therapists to find the type and provider that works best for you.
Always communicate your expectations and intentions with your masseur and speak up if there is anything you are not comfortable with. Talk to your doctor before doing any massage if you have any health problems or ailments.
Philadelphia Holistic Clinic recognized by expertise.com as the best 2020 massage therapy center in the City of Brotherly Love. Our acupuncturist, yoga instructor, and massage therapist Yelena Galanter is a professional swimmer with a master’s degree in sports medicine and sports injuries management.
Contact our clinic at (267) 284- 3085 to schedule your appointment for massage therapy.
All services including massage in the clinic performed under the supervision of the medical director Victor Tsan, MD