Massage therapy has been practiced for thousands of years and currently there exists over 80 styles, all involving different pressures, movements, and techniques. What was generally considered alternative medicine, massage therapy is now increasingly being offered in conjunction with standard treatment for a wide array of medical conditions and situations. This is because the benefits of massage therapy are vast and vary upon a person’s individual needs. Massage has been known to promote overall wellness, help with certain health conditions, heal injuries and relive symptoms, according to WebMD.com
The key to finding a type of massage to best suit you is discovering your needs and researching a type of massage that can assist you, whether it is stress relief, relaxation, or a health condition that needs to be addressed. With a wide variety of massage types anyone can enjoy the benefits of a massage, from athletes to expectant mothers. A few of the most common types of massages include Swedish massage, deep tissue, sports massage, and shiatsu.
The Swedish massage helps relieve muscle tension, is relaxing yet energizing and can help heal after an injury. Deep tissue massage is just what the name describes; it pays special attention to “trouble spots” on the body that tend to get stiff and/or painful. This type of massage is therapeutic because it helps relieve tension and is also good with muscle injuries, such as back sprain.
Sports massage is common with athletes. This kind of massage focuses on the muscle systems that are most often worked when playing a particular sport. It is known to help with training and throughout sports events when the athletes need to be at their best and recovery quickly. Sports massage can also aid in flexibility, injury prevention, and the healing of strains, according to WebMD.com.
Shiatsu massage uses acupressure points to help release blockages in key areas to aid in the flow of energy throughout the body, also known as “chi.” Shiatsu in Japanese means “finger pressure.” While these types of massage therapies are the most common, others include Thai massage, hot stone massage, and reflexology, to name a few.
According to HuntingtonPost.com, 90% of disease is stress-related, causing massage therapy to continue to be a growing business in the medical field. Huffington Post suggests that just ten minutes of massage can aid with inflammation reduction and recovery. Other benefits massage recipients can expect is improved sleep, a boosted immune system, lowered anxiety, reduction of back pain, becoming more alert, and relief from headaches.
So why not give your body a break after a tough workout? Replenish and rehydrate your system with water, protein and carbs, then schedule an appointment to see a massage therapist on your rest day to enjoy all the benefits this therapy has to offer.