Different types of massages will give you different results
There are many reasons why people enjoy massages. Some people like to treat themselves with a relaxing evening at the spa. Others may be getting a massage for medical or therapeutic reasons, such as back pain or an injury. Some people make appointments on a regular basis in order to maintain their health and wellness. Whatever the reason, massage therapy can make a positive impact on people’s lives.
What are the different kinds of massages that people get? Which ones are most popular? At the Salter School, we train our massage therapy students on a wide range of modalities. We spend extra time on the main massages that most people request. Read on to find out more about these popular options.
Most people have heard of Swedish massage, but they may not know what it means. A Swedish massage is a special technique that is used to relieve tension from the muscles. It features five specialized strokes. The first is effleurage, which is long, gliding strokes. The second is pretrissage, which is kneading strokes. This modality then uses friction to warm the skin, and finally, the therapist will use tapotement (tapping to stimulate circulation) and vibration (shaking or jostling). These five strokes are effective in reaching deep into the muscle tissues and relaxing them.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is another popular modality. Some people confuse “deep tissue” with “deep pressure,” but deep tissue does not involve that much pressure. A deep tissue massage uses gentler strokes to reach the deeper layers of muscles. It begins with gentle strokes that relax the superficial layer of muscles near the surface. As these muscles loosen, the therapist can begin to work into the deeper layer of muscles.
Shiatsu is a massage that has its roots in Japan. Unlike modalities that use long stroking motions, Shiatsu uses pressure points along the body’s meridian lines. Exerting pressure on these points stimulates the flow of energy throughout the body. This modality may also include manipulation of the muscles and joints.
Thai massage is an interesting combination of techniques. It uses techniques similar to acupressure and yoga to provide a full body relaxation. To begin, the massage therapist applies pressure along the meridian line to promote the flow of energy. Then the therapist manually moves the client’s body into poses (similar to yoga poses) that are designed to relax the muscles and help the internal organs.
Hot Stone Therapy
Putting hot stones along your back may at first sound like an unusual idea, but hot stone therapy has become a popular modality. In this modality, special stones are warmed and then placed along a particular area of the body, usually the back. Stones are effective at retaining heat, and for this reason, they are a great way to warm the skin and loosen up nearby muscles. Sometimes the therapist also applies light pressure on the stones.
Reflexology uses pressure points, similar to the way Shiatsu aims to stimulate the flow of energy throughout the body. In particular, reflexology uses pressure points located in the foot. It is believed that applying pressure on these points can carry energy to different zones within the body.
How to become a massage therapist
As more and more people are discovering the benefits of massage, more spas are opening and providing a wide array of options for their clients. Research is supporting the health benefits of massage, and massage therapy is becoming more mainstream.
If you are interested in beginning a new career, you can become a massage therapist in as little as one year. To learn more about the world of massage therapy, view frequently asked questions or find out more about the role of a massage therapist.
If you live in Massachusetts, we invite you to find out more about our training program at the Salter School. Contact us online, or stop by and take a tour of our school. We hope you decide to start your new career with us.