What is massage?
Massage is the action of rubbing and kneading the body’s muscles and joints. It is typically practiced using the hands, fingers, elbows and forearms and is used for the treatment of pain, tight and aching muscles, tension and stress. Many people have massages as a form of relaxation. It can also help to prevent injury.
There are a number of different forms of massage. The following are three popular choices:
Sports massage concentrates on the specific area of the body which has been affected by injury or pain. It is usually performed on athletes and sports people, however, it is also suitable for those who have suffered a sports-like injury through other means. Sports massage therapists will look for such things as swelling, bruising and trigger points whilst checking the muscles, ligaments, joint function and bone alignment. The treatment will usually include the traditional massage techniques including kneading but may also include manipulation, stretching, pulling and crossing over of limbs and compression to pump blood back into the affected muscle groups which will loosen tight muscles and aid recovery.
Swedish massage is a relaxation massage which helps to relax the muscles and release knots and tension in the whole body. The therapist will use a range of massage techniques including kneading, long and slow gliding strokes, circular compression strokes, vibrations strokes to wake up the muscles and chopping strokes where the therapist uses their hands alternately in a chopping motion up and down the body to increase blood flow.
Deep Tissue Massage
This type of massage is similar to a relaxation massage, however, the techniques aim to go deeper into the muscles in order to release knots and tension, enhance circulation, relieve pain in the muscles and joints and increase flexibility and mobility. The therapist will usually concentrate on one or two main areas of the body which need treatment. They will use significantly more force during the treatment and along with their hands, may also use various massage tools to provide maximum pressure.