Who can say no to a massage, right? We all crave a good massage to help relax muscles or knead out the knots from a long, stressful day.
But did you know that focused massage therapy has a ton of other benefits to offer? Spoiler alert: relaxing sore muscles is just the beginning.
History & Benefits of Full Body Massage
Full body massage has been around for thousands of years, evolving into a perfect science of its own. Using hands-on pressure, licensed massage therapists rub the soft tissue in the arms, legs, hands, feet, back, neck and shoulders, applying deliberate force (at different degrees) to specific pressure points.
Depending on the type of massage therapy, the therapist will apply gentle or strong pressure to the muscles and joints of the body to alleviate tension, pain or afflictions, and help you sleep more soundly.
Modern techniques can be traced all the way back to the 1700’s Swedish massage, based in physiology. The benefits of massage therapy are many and varied — from optimizing general health to improving physical function, muscular, nervous, and blood circulation.
Most Popular Types of Massage Therapy
There are many types of massages, from different countries, cultures, and schools of technique. These are a few of the most common you’ll find on a treatment menu:
The Swedish Massage
The Swedish massage helps you to fully relax by releasing muscle knots. It’s ideal for people who are new to massage therapy, are primarily looking for relaxation above other benefits, or are sensitive to touch. This kind of massage utilizes different techniques like kneading, circular motions, and long, flowing strokes in the direction of the heart.
The Hot Stone Massage
The Hot Stone massage is exactly what it sounds like — heated stones are placed strategically on various pressure points on the body. This is best for people who have problems with blood flow, pain, muscle tension, and stress. It alleviates more muscle tension than a Swedish massage due to the benefit of the heated stones.
The Trigger Point Massage
This kind of massage therapy is ideal if you have an injury or chronic soreness. When specific areas in the body become tight and knotted, they can cause pain in other areas (therefore appropriately named “trigger points”).
Focused massage techniques on trigger points can reduce the pain. The therapist will focus on these points using broad movements, combining strong, deep pressure with more gentle, relaxing flowing strokes.
The Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is ideal for people suffering from chronic pain. As the most intensive of the popularized massage therapy techniques, deep tissue massage uses more pressure than a Swedish massage.
The therapist will typically use slow, deliberate strokes and deep finger pressure (or sometimes even their elbows for extra intensity) to alleviate deep tension in your muscles and connective tissue.
If you’re overly sensitive to pressure, you might want to avoid this kind of massage therapy.
As always, it’s best to discuss your specific needs with a licensed massage therapist to see which form of treatment is best for you!
The Takeaway: Muscles Need #Selfcare Too
Massage therapy is a great way to better yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. In today’s fast-paced world with various environmental stressors and a lack of work-life balance, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to self-care.
In short, finding the best type of massage therapy to suit your needs and preferences is worth the research!
Regardless of what you choose, it’s always important to identify what you want from a massage and communicate that clearly with the massage therapist before getting started.
Find a specialist near you who offers massage therapy today!
At Evolus, our goal as a performance beauty company is to use scientific advances to create FDA-approved products that hold their own just as well in unfiltered reality as they do on social media. Learn more about our specialists and the other treatments they offer at evolus.com!