A massage is an ancient form of therapy that’s used all over the world.
It involves stimulating your muscles to help ease tension and break down trigger points.
The main aim is to reduce pain and improve circulation while making your muscles more supple as well.
A good massage will reduce your stress levels, ease aches and pains, and help you to relax.
Why Should You Go For A Massage?
If you suffer from muscle pain due to a chronic condition or injury, then a massage can provide you with relief from it. Not only that, but they’re useful for people without pain as well. This is because a massage can help you feel very relaxed, which is why it’s a common form of treatment for people suffering from stress. So, whether you’re in pain or just want to remove tension from your body, a massage will benefit you.
The Types Of Massage Available
Different massage therapists will offer different massages depending on your needs. Below, you’ll find the most popular:
- Body-part specific massage: a massage that targets a particular area of your body. A foot massage or back massage are two of the most common, but some athletes have leg massages as well.
- Facial massage: you will have your face lightly massaged using gentle strokes, with the aim to release tension and stimulate blood flow. It’s helpful when treating things like wrinkles or other skin conditions.
- Hot Rock massage: the therapist will use hot rocks all over your body to improve circulation and warm up your muscles. They smooth over your skin with these rocks, often applying pressure to any of your problem areas. Wonderful for pure relaxation!
- Deep tissue massage: an aggressive massage that applies deep pressure to your muscle tissue. The aim is to break through the fascia and tissue to unclog any trigger points and tight muscles. Commonly used to recover from injuries or attack chronic pain. Handheld massagers are great for this type of treatment.
- Sports massage: another vigorous technique that involves a lot of pressure and plenty of movement as well. The therapist will move your body parts through different ranges of motion while applying pressure to the muscles. It helps release tight spots and makes your muscles feel much looser.
- Swedish massage: often referred to as a traditional massage, this type will involve light pressure and smooth movements. It’s typically used to help treat minor muscle pains but is very popular as a relaxation massage as well.
What To Expect From A Massage
Most massages start the same in that you’re taken to a private room and asked to get changed and lie under a towel on the massage table. The therapist will re-enter, and they’ll apply oil to whatever parts of your body are being massaged. Unless you’ve ordered a specific massage – like a foot or back massage – they may ask if you have any specific areas that you want more focus on that others.
They’ll proceed to carry out the massage, sometimes calling upon tools to help soothe your muscles and increase circulation. Depending on the massage you’ve chosen, they can last anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours. And don’t worry about a cold table – most spas will have a massage table heating pad to keep you comfortable.
The Benefits Of Massages
A massage presents so many benefits that can help so many different types of people:
- Pain relief for sore or damaged muscles
- Improved muscle flexibility
- Stress relief and relaxation
- Helps get rid of and prevent wrinkles – facial massages only
- Improves your posture by eliminating tight muscles
- Increases oxygen content in your blood by boosting circulation
- Reduces inflammation in your body
Are There Any Massage Products I Can Use At Home?
Understandably, some of you may want regular massages, but can’t afford to pay for them. So, you’ll be happy to know some home massage products will provide a similar effect.
Firstly, you can purchase massage chairs where you can sit back and enjoy a massage of varying intensity. These are usually great for anyone that wants a back massage every day, but they can be quite expensive. If your neck and shoulders are the main area needing relief, the best neck massagers can target those areas for much less money.
Foam rollers – or other devices such as accupressure mats, spiky massage balls or lacrosse balls – are the most affordable home massage devices. You just place them on your sore spots and apply pressure by rolling on top of them. It helps provide you with a self-massage that reduces tension and loosens up your muscles.
It’s also possible to get foam rollers, balls, or other devices that vibrate. The vibrations help melt away stress and get even deeper into your muscle tissue. Foot bath massagers combine vibration and rollers with heated water to give foot pain relief. And foot massager machines (see our review of the best foot massagers) can relieve sciatica and other pains.
A new type of massage device available for home use is the head massager. The best electric head massagers stimulate your scalp, and even offer music and other soothing effects.
Massage is not the only way to treat pain in the home. Many people are finding relief from electrical stimulation via a TENS unit. See our review of the best TENS unit for more information. Heating pads and mats are another way that many seek to relieve muscle and sciatica pain. Read our review of the best infrared heating pads for particulars.
So, it’s evident that massages are highly beneficial and can help improve your health & well-being. If possible, try one out for yourself, and get your hands on some home massage products to ease stress and tension whenever you like.