How to Benefit From a Great Massage

How to Benefit From a Great Massage
The thought of getting a full body massage will make you want to melt. There are a few people, just a few, that don't like the idea of being massaged. Go figure! I'm not one of those people, I love, love, love a good body massage. The key is in choosing the service. There are so many options on a spa menu that it's easy to get confused. So if you've ever found yourself staring at a spa menu and going ...

"What the hell do I do now?" 

"What do I choose?" 

"I don't know what these different types of massage will do for my skin or my body" ... you're not alone.

Now one thing's for certain. Whatever style you choose, you're going to enjoy the added benefits of how it will improve your skin.

While the motions used in massage are often referred to as therapeutic, plant based oils, many of them with moisturizing, detoxifying and anti-aging properties will actually penetrate more deeply into your skin when used in the massage regimen.

To help you find your way and understand a bit more about massage, I'm going to talk briefly about the different types of massage and what they're good for.

Swedish Massage - The most popular style/type on a given spa menu. It's defined as what you know by it's mix of long, lite, slow and rhythmic strokes and it's often called the classic massage. The therapist begins with your back and ends up with lite strokes that are actually on your scalp.

The Swedish massage is good for general relaxation, stress relief and increased blood flow and circulation. It's often referred to as your one type fits all of massage and it's pretty much good for most body types, most ages and it'll handle most issues that you may be challenged with (sore back, muscle aches, sore feet).

Shiatsu - Shiatsu is a Japanese combination word for "finger" and "pressure". Shiatsu uses kneading, pressing, tapping and stretching techniques, push palm and thumb pressure to work on specific meridians of your body.

Shiatsu is good for balancing the flow of Qi (life force). The life force runs through your body as well as treating a wide range of internal and muscular skeletal issues. Many people who look for the Shiatsu treatment are looking for a treatment that's going to deal with headaches, digestive disorders, fatigue, insomnia, fibromyalgia, stress, anxiety, lower back, neck and joint pain.

Deep Tissue - This type of massage focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue which is done by using warming strokes to increase circulation. Then it's followed by firmer strokes in which the therapist may use their elbow, forearm or heavy finger pressure to work the body.

Deep tissue massage is good for easing chronic pain, blood flow, reducing inflammation and alleviating tension resulting from tight tissue clusters. 

Lymphatic drainage - This massage is designed to encourage the drainage of  the lymph nodes and swelling of tissues. It's a gentle massage that uses slow rhythmic strokes performed in the direction of the lymph flow to help vessels open up and increase circulation.

The person that's performing the lymphatic drainage massage often uses a soft rubbing, tapping and fluttery lite strokes to push any accumulated fluid in the right direction. When you think of lymphatic drainage, you have your lymph nodes that are blocked.

Lymphatic drainage keeps the pores and meridians clear so accumulated waste can be drained and moved through your body. This massage was originally created to help reduce inflammation after surgery. Manual lymph drainage has proved to be successful as a detoxifying treatment as well.

It's also effective for treating headaches, sinusitis and congestion which reduces swelling after periods of immobility ( like traveling).

Tai Massage - This is becoming very popular in the ethnic community as far as massage is concerned. It is a mix of traditional Chinese and Indian style massage, which includes yoga influenced stretching moves.

The tai massage is performed oil free on a padded mat on the floor, in which you're in loose pajama style clothing and the therapist will start at your feet and continue up through your body, focusing on releasing blockage of the energy lines and easing your limbs into assisted yoga postures.

It's often a workout for the therapist as well as you. They might use their feet, legs, forearms as far as stretching is concerned, acupressure as well as rhythmic compression work. 

The tai massage is good for relieving muscle and joint pain, improving your posture, re balancing your body, unblocking energy meridians and stimulating circulation. Once it's done, you often feel deeply relaxed as well as energized. 

Reflexology - Reflexology is based on the idea that there are hundreds of points on your feet that correspond to different parts on your body, including the internal organs and glands.

This is known as body work, which uses firm pressure to the zones on your feet, targeted by using your thumb and your fingers. Reflexology is also used on your hands even though it's more commonly known as a foot treatment. And you will see that it provides a benefit for full body relaxation.

Now you have an idea of the different types of body massage treatments that are offered, schedule an appointment and give it a try. Can’t make a decision, try them all over the course of a year, your body will thank you for it. That’s it for this week. As always …

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This content was written by Juliette Samuel. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Juliette Samuel for details.