Interested in taking massage therapy classes or attending a massage therapy college? How much do you know about these 6 types of massage? This article will shed some light on the different massage techniques including Hot Stone Massage, Sports Massage Therapy, Therapeutic Massage, Pre-Natal Massage, Swedish Massage and Hydrotherapy.
Hot stone massage is the application of smooth, basalt mineral stones which are heated and combined with oil. Hot stone massage is designed to relieve muscle stiffness and fatigue while restoring body energy. The hot stones may be placed along the spine, on the stomach, chest, face, palms or feet. Massage therapists may hold the hot stones as they massage the body using long strokes, circular movements, vibration, tapping and kneading. Cold stones may be used after hot stones to calm any swollen blood vessels and to soothe the skin.
Hot stone massage helps relieve muscle tension and pain by increasing blood flow to the affected area. Hot stone massage can also help reduce spasms and increase flexibility and range of motion. Cold stone therapy helps relieve inflammation. Hot stone massage can help reduce stress and anxiety. Hot stone massage promotes sleep in adults with insomnia. Hot stone massage may boost immunity
Sports Massage Therapy is ideal for the treatment of injuries and preventative treatment dealing with the health of muscle and connective tissue, range of motion, tone, symmetry, balance of muscle and quality of posture.
According to the American Massage Therapy Association, the benefits of sports massage therapy include:
· Reduce muscle tension
· Help athletes monitor muscle tone
· Promote relaxation
· Reduce muscle hypertonicity
· Increase range of motion
· Improve soft tissue function
· Support recovery from the transient immunosuppression state
· Support the recovery of heart rate variability and diastolic blood pressure after high-intensity exercise.
· Decrease muscle stiffness and fatigue after exercise
· Improve exercise performance
· Decrease delayed onset muscle soreness
· Be the most efficient intervention for maintaining maximal performance time in subsequent exercise tests when combined with active recovery from maximal exercise
· Reduce serum creatine kinase post exercise
· Reduce swelling
· Reduce breathing pattern disorders
· Enhance athletic performance
· May help prevent injuries when massage is received regularly
Individuals who participate in exercise and athletic programs who seek enhanced performance, improved conditioning, faster recovery, injury prevention, and assistance in maintaining peek fitness can benefit from massage therapy given by professional massage therapists working within their scope of practice.
Therapeutic Massage is a general term describing any type of massage that helps relieve pain, reduce stress, and work on a specific problem area. There are a few different types of therapeutic massage including:
Deep Tissue Massage – similar to Swedish massage, but with deeper pressure to release chronic muscle tension. The focus on deep tissue massage is on the protective layer surrounding muscles, bones and joints including the muscle tissue, tendons and fascia.
Neuromuscular Massage – specialized form of deep tissue massage where digital pressure and friction are used to release areas of strain in the muscle. Neuromuscular massage is used to treat many different soft tissue problems.
Trigger Point Therapy – a trigger point is a tight area within muscle tissue that causes pain in other parts of the body. Trigger point massage therapy is designed to alleviate the source of pain through cycles of isolated pressure and release.
Massage therapy performed during pregnancy can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, improve labor outcomes and newborn health. Prenatal massage is especially beneficial in the second and third trimesters, when the extra weight in the belly of the mother-to-be puts a strain on the back.
Swedish massage is designed to relax muscles by applying pressure to them against deeper muscles and bones, and rubbing in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart. This increases oxygen flow in the blood while reducing toxins in the muscles.
Swedish massage’s main benefit is an overall relaxation to the body. Some additional benefits include stress relief, relaxation, increased circulation, and pain relief. The movements used in Swedish massage promotes healthy circulation, increase blood flow, and body removal of metabolic waste.
Hydrotherapy involves the use of water for pain relief and treatment. Hydrotherapy takes advantage of the physical properties of water, including temperature and pressure, for therapeutic purposes, to stimulate blood circulation and treat the systems of certain diseases. Hydrotherapy involves a range of methods and techniques, many of which use water as a medium to facilitate thermoregulatory reactions for therapeutic benefit. Some of the specific Hydrotherapies may include:
Underwater Massage – performed by intensive water stream. The intensity of the water stream is applied on the body and the vibrations of water saturates the connective tissue enhancing renewal and flexibility of the skin.
Balneotherapy – treatment of disease by bathing. Involves hot and cold water, massage through moving water, relaxation, or stimulation. Mineral waters at spas are rich in particular minerals, medicinal clays are also widely used. Massage therapy with medicinal clays is known as fangotherapy.
Iodine-Grine Therapy – mineral baths, naturally rich in salt and iodine, used for recovering form illness or medical treatment.
Kneipp Treatments – combines hydrotherapy, herbology and a diet of natural foods. The use of bath oils and many natural herbs are added to water to comfort body and mind.
Scotch Hose Therapy – the use of alternating warm and cold water, through a high velocity scotch hose. Scotch hose therapy speeds up the metabolism through hot and cold pressurized water.
Swiss Shower – standing body massage delivered with high-pressure hoses. The high-pressure hoses fluctuate from hot to cold for several seconds at a time, aiding in circulation and helping relieve the pain of arthritis and rheumatism.
Thalassotherapy – the medical use of seawater as a form of therapy. The properties of seawater are believed to have a beneficial effect upon the pores of the skin.
Ready to learn more about the 6 types of massage therapy taught in the Medical Massage Therapy Program classes at Daymar College? Contact us today to find out how to advance your career as a medical massage therapist.