How to Choose a Massage Therapy
Choosing a massage therapy can be a daunting task. There are, in fact, over 200 registered massage styles and modalities practised today. However, they often have their roots in 7 main techniques.
In an effort to demystify the decision process, here are the definitions of those 7 basic types.
The 7 Most Popular Massage Techniques
When you go to the spa to be pampered, this is likely the massage you will get. Designed to provide relief to tense muscles and normally applied to the full body, it is an excellent way to unwind. Combining a mixture of long strokes (effleurage) and kneading on specific muscles (petrissage), it is best for releasing stress or for general relaxation.
Deep Tissue Massage
This type of massage is a much more penetrating modality as the name suggests. It involves manipulation of the muscles and fascia through the application of firm, slow moving pressure, normally only to specific problem areas. It is not for the faint hearted as it can result in some discomfort. When done correctly it can release long standing issues in the muscles. However, when administered too enthusiastically, it can cause more harm than good.
Soft Tissue Release
This can be a very useful therapy for those recovering from injuries as it is can help release scarring. Specific muscles and fibres are targeted with repeated, rapid stretching, freeing the tissue and encouraging blood flow. Again, this is not a whole body treatment.
Trigger Point Therapy
Used to pinpoint specific problem muscles, trigger point therapy applies deep pressure with great precision to facilitate release and relief of pain and discomfort; effectively, a process of moving the pain from one spot to another. It is a very useful therapy for those who experience chronic pain.
The process of lymphatic massage requires an extremely light touch but it can be very effective in ridding the body of swelling caused by illness or injury. It is also a very good technique for ridding the body of toxins through the natural waste system. It can be applied to the whole body.
Fascia supports all of our muscles and organs. When the fascia is not flexible it can cause immobility, pain and even injury. Myofascial technique uses deep, pinpointed pressure to release the fascia and encourage free movement. It is very skilled and when done effectively can improve flexibility and even posture.
Sports massage is designed for the physically active; from weekend warriors to professionals alike. It is a true hybrid of modalities and aims to speed recovery of tired or even injured muscles, as well as increasing mobility and ability in the whole body to optimise conditioning. A skilled therapist can pinpoint and alleviate specific issues while improving muscle relaxation and general well-being in a single session.
There are many different types of massage therapy, each offering different benefits to the client. Even though the styles and techniques vary, they all complement each other and can be layered and combined by the skilled therapist to provide truly individual treatments. At Total Restore Physiotherapy we do just that; you can book in for a Sports Massage alone, or the Physiotherapist may layer techniques such as Trigger Pointing and Myofascial release to optimise your massage treatment and experience.