There are many different types of massage techniques that can be chosen to employ, and certain benefits for each of these. The massage therapist will choose which techniques will work best with their clients in order to fit their needs. There are specific questions that one can ask a client prior to the session in order to help find the best fit with the particular techniques. *See “Interacting With Clients as a Massage Therapist”
Swedish Massage is a particular type of massage therapy. This type of massage originated in Sweden, and there are many subsets and individualized techniques that fit under this umbrella. “Effleurage” is performed with long, stroking movements, while “Petrissage” is more of a kneading movement and technique. “Percussion” is the use of a cupped hand to perform the technique.
“Friction” massage is rubbing a particularly small area and creating friction at that spot, while oftentimes a deeper technique. This can be helpful to release and reduce scar tissue. This technique in particular is very invigorating and can help promote healing. In general, the other forms of Swedish massage listed above are very relaxing, specifically the effleurage technique. Effleurage is also the most well-known and commonly-performed relaxing technique.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep Tissue Massage is another well-known massage therapy technique. As the name implies, deep tissue massage is performed at a deeper level and can help relieve muscle pain and increase mobility. This is not known as a “relaxing” massage technique. Another subset of deep tissue massage is “Pressure point therapy”. This is very specific pressure to a certain spot for release of that muscle or tissue. This is a non-invasive massage therapy intervention so it is a good option for clients that want to reduce pain without medication or surgical intervention.
Hot Stone Massage
Hot Stone Massage is a specific technique where hot stones are placed on the body to enhance the effects of massage. This technique benefits clients that are seeking to reduce pain and help with circulation and any muscle spasms. The concentrated heat of the hot stone can penetrate deeper to the tissue in that particular area. The improved circulation and decreased muscle spasms are often correlated with decreased pain, relaxed mood, and improvement in the body systems such as the circulatory system.
Sports Massage is a technique used for athletes that want help with a particular spot or muscle on their body. This technique benefits active clients who want to help relieve pain due to muscular strain or a specific injury. It is helpful that the massage therapist knows the areas of the body related to their specific activity or sport. For example, basketball players are often tight in their quadricep muscles, hamstring muscles and calf muscles. This could be from running, jumping and sprinting.
Proper questioning and knowledge can help to identify the particular massage technique that would best fit the clients needs, as there are many techniques to choose from.
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