Friday, May 22, 2009

Four Common Massage Techniques in the United States

Many people hear great things about getting a massage from friends and family but rarely know what type of massage is right for them. Below I have given descriptions of four very common forms of massage in the United States.

Deep tissue massage focuses on the deeper layers of your muscles and the tissue that connects the muscles. This type of massage is great for people who suffer from stiff necks, low back pain and sore shoulders that are often caused by chronic tension.

When there is constant muscle tension bands of rigid muscle tissue form in the ligaments, muscles and tendons. These rigid bands will block blood circulation which will then lead to pain and inflammation.

By the use of direct pressure by the massage therapist deep tissue massage actually breaks down this rigid muscle tissue. By doing so pain and inflammation is relieved.

Hot stone massage is a variation of what a lot of people would consider classic massage. Heated flat stones are positioned at certain points of the body. The skilled massage practitioner may also hold the heated stones to massage parts of the body.

Hot stone massage is good for people that would be good candidates for deep tissue massage but prefer a lighter softer touch to their massages. It is also a good massage technique for people that often complain of having cold feet.

The heat of the hot stones relaxes and warms the muscles and nervous system. By doing so the massage therapist can perform a deep tissue massage but not have to apply as much pressure.

Swedish massage is the most well known massage technique practiced. Swedish massage is also the foundation for many other massage practices such as sports massage, deep tissue massage and aromatherapy massage.

The goal of Swedish massage is to increase oxygen flow in the blood, release toxins from the muscles which relieves aches and tension and also improve a persons flexibility. The Swedish massage practitioner does this by using 5 different movements as part of the massage; long gliding strokes (Effleurage), tapping (Tapotement), kneading on specific muscles (Petrissage), rubbing (Friction) and shaking (Vibration).

Swedish massage is great for people who suffer with back pain, stress and stress related conditions, headaches, muscle strains and sprains, circulatory issues and post injury rehabilitation.

Aromatherapy massage is a massage technique in which a skilled massage therapist performs classic massage and incorporates the use of concentrated plant oils that are called essential oils within the massage lotion or oil.

The principle behind aromatherapy is that the nostrils are connected to the limbic system. The limbic system controls your emotions and also influences your hormones and nervous system. Various aromas produced from the essential oils will send messages to the limbic system that will influence a persons blood pressure, digestion, immune system, stress level, heart rate and breathing.

Aromatherapy is a good solution for people that suffer from issues that are related to stress. Some common conditions that are addressed with aromatherapy will include headaches, digestive issues, beck pain and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

You can learn more about different massage techniques and practitioners in your area by visiting Best Massage Network.

Griffin Zane is a contributing author to a resource to help people find qualified massage therapists in their area.

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