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The Top Six Massage Techniques

Nishanth Reddy -- Practiced in the Far and Middle East for at least 5,000 years, massage is probably the oldest and simplest existing form of medical care that has been applied for relaxation, fitness, and other health purposes.

Basically, massage therapy is a therapeutic technique that involves manipulation of the soft tissues of the body. It is the calming, therapeutic process of kneading, stroking, and pressing the different areas of the body to alleviate pain, relieve stress and tensions, or relax, stimulate, and tone the body.

As most experts have said, massage, no matter how simple or complex the techniques involved, can really be a great healing system.

A number of massage techniques are available nowadays. The massage is commonly applied in different techniques and in different strokes. The techniques and strokes vary widely from the most delicate touch with the fingertips to the more focused deep tissue work. These techniques may even vary in speed as well as in pressure.

Below is a list of the top rated massage techniques. Read on for one of them might be the right option for you.

Deep Tissue Massage

The deep tissue massage, on the most basic level, is a massage technique that focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue. It involves a number of slow movements, but generally the pressure is more intense as it aims to release the chronic patterns of tension in the body.

The most common target of these movements and deep finger pressure are the contracted areas, either following or going across the muscles of the fiber, fascia, and tendons. Usually, in this kind of massage, the therapists use their thumb, fingers and even elbows to apply the needed pressure.

Swedish Massage

Also included in the line of the top rated massage techniques is the so-called Swedish massage. Basically, this technique involves the use of kneading, tapping, or calming strokes applied to the entire body to loosen sore joints and relieve muscle tension and pain. What makes Swedish massage unique from the other massage techniques is that it involves five major beneficial strokes: effleurage, petrissage, friction, tapotement, and vibration. Although each of these strokes differs according to its movements and target points, all of them were developed to promote an ultimate feeling of being pampered.

There is one particular purpose that the Swedish massage adheres strongly to – to increase the flow of oxygen in the blood and release toxins that are trapped in the muscles. This purpose alone makes the Swedish massage highly effective in shortening recovery time from muscle strain.

Sports Massage

Sports massage, as you may know, is a form of massage that is applied for sports purposes, hence the name. It is the technique of kneading and manipulating the soft tissues in the body to help athletes improve their performance, prevent, and treat sports injuries. It is highly regarded in the field of sports given that participation in athletics has become increasingly popular for all genders and ages, and as performances continue to improve annually, more is expected of and demanded from the athletes. Because of this, athletes look for effective ways to boost their performances, and sports massage is one of the best solutions they've ever discovered.

Heated Stone Massage

Heated stone massage, also known as la stone massage, is widely accepted and practiced in the healthcare and bodywork industry today. Clinics, spas, fitness centers, and other healthcare establishments have, in fact, considered it a very effective alternative to the regular massage therapy.

During the heated stone massage procedure, certain changes occur in body temperature and heart and breathing rates. By indicating such changes, heated stone massage helps determine the flow of the blood and the exchange of blood and oxygen in the body, resulting in a sense of well-being.

Neuromuscular Massage

This form of deep tissue massage is applied to the individual muscles. However, the main purpose of the massage techniques involved here is to increase the blood and lymphatic flow, at the same time reducing the pain and releasing pressure trapped in the nerves. The neuromuscular massage techniques also affect the body's trigger points, helping to relieve headaches and the pain in your shoulder.

Rolfing

Rolfing is one of the most well-known and widely performed massage techniques available. This technique, on the most basic level, involves reeducating the body in terms of proper posture. Yes, posture is given much attention here in the belief that it is instrumental in determining health problems like headaches, backaches, and joint pain. With that focus in mind, Rolfing massage techniques seek to straighten and realign your body by working the myofascia, the connective tissue surrounding your muscles that helps hold your body together.

Nishanth Reddy is an author and publisher of many health related Web sites. For more information on different massage techniques, massage centers, massage oils, and massage equipment, visit: http://www.massage-therapy-guide.com.

© 2006 Nishanth Reddy

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