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Five Common Massage Therapies to Choose From

A good massage is a great treat and comes with so many health benefits, but as you might have observed, massage places have several options on their service menus. In fact, there are more than 200 different massage types and techniques, all treating a variety of needs. Below are five of the most popular massages you can select from:

Swedish

This is perhaps most popular massage therapy today. Swedish massage actually merges four unique techniques: percussive tapping (pounding and chopping); friction (application of deep pressure to certain spots using fingertips, thumb and knuckles); petrissage (muscle kneading and rolling); and effleurage (long and sweeping strokes). It is suitable as a prelude to massage and effective against cramped muscles and overall stress relief.

Deep Tissue

True to its name, deep tissue massage puts deep pressure on specific trouble spots. It feels like somebody is torturing you deliberately by pushing against your tense muscle, and the massage may have you feeling sore afterwards. It’s not just the pressure, but a highly methodical and specific treatment that is at work. This is not the type of massage to have if you expect to be relaxed after the therapy; in fact, you could be sore for one or two days. Deep tissue massage is best for treating stiff and painful points such as the shoulder and neck.

Shiatsu

Shiatsu, which literally means, “finger pressure,” is an ancient technique that began in Japan. It banks on gentle stretches combined with finger pressure in order to work different pressure spots. The idea is to restore balance of energy flow energy in the body. Though there’s no clear evidence of Shiatsu’s ability to heal, people who have tried it report relief from pain and stress. In contrast to other massage therapies, it allows you to keep your clothes on while being treated. Lack of energy, headaches and back pain are three conditions shiatsu has been known to help.

Hot Stone

In hot stone massage, your body is not just pressed down with hot, smooth stones, but the therapist also uses the stones themselves in massaging your body. A hot stone massage is mainly relaxing, but it also is more revitalizing than your standard massage, thanks to the heat for keeping you focused on the moment instead of making you sleepy. This therapy helps you “find your center” and allows you to release all that stress and tension in your muscles.

Trigger Point

Similar to deep tissue massage, trigger point massage concentrates on distinct parts of the body, instead of massaging the body completely. Their difference is that deep tissue massage relies on different regular massage techniques to act on the tissue; on the other hand, trigger point massage targets one point to release the tension in the whole area.
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