Understand Your Objectives
First, decide what your objectives are for your massage. Do you want to relieve stress and tension? Do you have chronic pain in your neck and back? Do you want to improve recovery time after physical activity? Or do you simply want to relax?
The Most Common Massage: Swedish Massage
The most common type of massage is the Swedish massage. This massage uses five different strokes to relieve tension and loosen muscles. It is generalized so that is useful for most people. However, there are many different types of massage and something different may be better for your body and your health objectives.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage employs intense pressure to delve deep into muscle tissue and the fascia, which is the tissue that surrounds and connects the muscles. This type of massage is ideal for people suffering from chronic pain or have targeted areas of intense muscle tension. Verywell Health cites Consumer Reports as finding that consumers ranked Deep Tissue Massage as one of the most effective treatments for Osteoarthritis and Fibromyalgia pain. Deep tissue massage requires a significant amount of pressure, but should not be painful. If too much pressure makes you uncomfortable, you may want to consider a different type of massage.
Sports recovery massage targets specific muscles used for a particular sport or activity. This massage is designed to help muscles recover faster from strain. It can also improve flexibility, and ultimately, help prevent injury. When you regularly practice a sport, or train to improve at a particular sport, sports recovery massage can help you achieve your goals with less pain and potential for fewer injuries.
Hot Stone Massage
Hot stone massage uses many strokes that are similar to Swedish massage and incorporates the placement of hot stones on your body, usually the back, arms, or legs. The warm pressure can help relieve muscle tension and adds another element that can induce relaxation. According to Health Line, hot stone massage can increase blood flow, relieve pain, and ease tension.
Specifically for pregnant women, prenatal massage targets the areas that are often strained by pregnancy, such as the lower back and legs. This massage can relieve a lot of stress and pain that can be associated with pregnancy, so that you can relax and enjoy this special season in life. It is safe for women and babies once they enter the second trimester. Due to the sensitive nature of this type of massage, it is important to find a massage therapist that is well trained and licensed in prenatal massage.
Talk With Your Massage Therapist
The best way to find the type of massage that is right for you is to talk with a massage therapist. Be sure to disclose any medical conditions. Share your goals, specific pain that you may have, and any other information that may help your massage therapist determine the right massage for you. Never hesitate to talk with your massage therapist about all of your options so that you can have the best possible massage experience and outcomes.