There are many massage types available, but which type of massage is right for you? By looking at the different massage types available, you can get a better idea of which one you might enjoy. Let's look at some of the most popular forms:
Thai foot massage: Developed from Chinese, Japanese, and Korean versions, Thai foot massage works from the lower legs down, using stroking and stretching techniques to open up the meridians, or "Sen" lines.
Therapists believe that our energy flows along these lines, and by combining foot massage with the use of a small stick to stimulate the reflex points on the feet, you can open up the Sen lines, thus promoting improved health and well-being.
Acupressure massage: Based on a traditional Japanese technique called anma, acupressure massage works to stimulate key energy points in the head, neck, shoulders, spine and lower back. These energy points lie along meridians, energy channels that lie just beneath the skin.
Acupressure massage activates these without the use of needles, and is therefore great if you would like the benefits of acupuncture but are concerned about the use of needles.
Lymphatic massage: Developed in the 1930s, lymphatic massage is believed to help the body eliminate toxins that can build up and stagnate, thus boosting your immune system. By unblocking the lymphatic system, this treatment will leave you feeling more energised and less susceptible to illness.
The therapist uses a combination of very light pressure and soft pumping movements in the direction of the lymph nodes - a localised session can take as little as 30 minutes, while a whole body massage can take up to two hours.
Pressure massage: There are various pressure techniques from all over the world, including Shiatsu, Swedish, Thai, Hot Stone, Sports and Lomi Lomi.
Benefits of pressure massage include:
- Stress Relief: We live in a stressful world in which we rarely have the opportunity to release the physical symptoms of stress - high heart rate, raised blood pressure, increased adrenaline flow. Pressure massage is wonderfully relaxing, allowing you to unwind, and helps your natural defence and healing systems to work effectively.
- Improved Circulation: Massage techniques such as these increase blood flow and can help increase lymphatic drainage. This is crucial as your circulatory system is responsible for so many parts of your overall health and well-being. Not only does our blood deliver oxygen to the cells, it also delivers a whole range of essential nutrients and chemicals, and removes toxins.
- Reduced Muscle Tension: Whether your muscles are tight from exercise or from stress, they not only operate less efficiently, they are also more susceptible to injury. Loosening muscles helps you to both feel better, and also perform better.