Massage therapy is actually an ancient practice, one with roots in many different cultures and traditions. Many health care professionals and researchers have explored how massage can improve one’s well-being and new techniques have arisen as result. In fact, there are more than two hundred types of massage! Here are a few of the most common, along with their particular benefits.
This technique is the most common in the West. It’s a soothing massage that’s intended to be soothing and relaxing. It uses a combination of (mostly gentle) movements, including effleurage, petrissage, friction, and tapotement. Effleurage are long, sweeping movements with the palm and fingers. Petrissage refers to kneading and rolling the muscles to relax them. Friction is the application of deep pressure to a single spot using the fingers, knuckles, or thumbs.
Hot stone massage
Hot stone massages, while still relaxing, are also a bit more invigorating than Swedish massages. They involve having your body weighted down with smooth, round stones that have been heated. The massage therapist will also use the stones as a massage tool. While the movements are gentle, you don’t drift away in a cloud of contentment as you would with a Swedish massage. That’s because the stones are very, very hot. Not hot enough to burn you, but hot enough to keep your attention. The heat, however, can be the perfect therapy for very tense muscles, and can relieve aches and pains as a result.
Deep tissue massage
Deep tissue massage is not relaxing—in fact, it can be painful during the process, and can result in soreness afterward. However, it’s a great treatment for select groups: athletes, who strain muscles more than most people; those who have exceptionally dense muscles; and those who are in physical therapy and require deep tissue massage as a treatment for scarring within the muscle.
In deep tissue massage, the massage therapist uses her knuckles and elbows to press as deeply into the muscle—to the bone—as she can, and then works the muscle until it releases tension.
Shiatsu is a type of massage that originated in Japan. It’s an ancient technique. The word “shiatsu” means “finger pressure.” Gentle pressure is applied to different points of the body, and this is combined with slow, easy stretching. Traditionally, shiatsu’s effectiveness was attributed to the technique’s ability to fix energy flow imbalances in an individual’s body. Today, however, health care professionals and massage therapists laud shiatsu for its ability to offer pain relief and relaxation. Researchers believe that shiatsu may be effective because it soothes the sympathetic nervous system. This in turn leads to improvement in circulation, more relaxed muscles, and reduced stress—all of which can be factors in pain relief.
Sometimes Thai massage is referred to as “lazy yoga.” Why? Because the massage therapist involves your entire body, manipulating it into various positions to stretch muscles and loosen stiff joints. The therapist uses various parts of their body—hands, knees, and even feet—to apply pressure to certain points. Thai massage is best for increasing your flexibility, and as an invigorating, rejuvenating experience.
Sports massage varies somewhat according to the therapist’s training. It is a combination of other, more traditional massage techniques, including shiatsu massage and Swedish massage. Typically, sports massage is preferred by athletes as a way to prepare for events. It can also be used in the hopes of preventing an injury from overexerting tense muscles or stiff joints, and some forms of sports massage can even be used to treat injury.
Which type of massage is right for you?
While each type of massage has its own benefits, at truMedic, we’ve opted to specialize in massage products inspired by shiatsu massage. There are several reasons for this, but the most important is simply the fact that shiatsu massage offers the most benefits with the least risk.
Sports massage and deep tissue massage require the involvement of a specialized practitioner, as does hot stone massage. Also, certain types of massage are less helpful for a broad range of people.
At truMedic, we want to give you the power to enjoy the healing and pain management benefits of massage in your own home, which is why we’ve chosen shiatsu for our InstaShiatsu™ massage system.
Shiatsu’s gentle movements combined with its proven pain management benefits have made it the ideal choice for our customers. Many different types of people, experiencing many different conditions, can find safe relief through shiatsu massage. Our InstaShiatsu™ lets you receive the benefits of shiatsu massage, accompanied by soothing heat, using a wireless, rechargeable system, whenever you want. You don’t have to find a massage therapist you like, set up appointments, or pay for massages weekly or monthly, when you have an InstaShiatsu™.