Ahh... A massage....

Here are some great tips for the perfect massage.

  • Make sure you have warm, clean hands before giving a massage. Make sure your fingernails are trimmed as well to avoid scratching.
  • Place a pillow under the ankles of the person you are massaging to maintain a more relaxing position.
  • Use a massage oil, but not one that is overly sticky. Make sure to not use too much of it either.
Here are some types of massages to try.

Swedish Massage
In the US, this is the most popular type of massage people opt for. Often, it is just called massage therapy. In this system, the therapist uses smooth and long strokes, and circular and kneading movements on the superficial muscle layers, using massage oil or lotion. This massage can be very relaxing and gentle. If you have never experienced being massaged before, this is a good one to try out.

Deep Tissue Massage
In this method, deeper layers of connective tissue and muscle are targeted. The therapist massages across the grain of the muscle, using friction techniques and slower strokes. Deep tissue massage is very beneficial for chronically painful or tight muscles, postural problems, when recovering from injury, or when the body experiences repetitive strain. Being a stronger massaging technique, it may result in a little soreness for a day or two after the massage session.

Aromatherapy Massage
In this type of massage therapy, one or more aromatic oils, also known as essential oils, are used, according to specific needs. The essential oils that are used in the massage are selected because of their energizing, relaxing, balancing, and stress reducing characteristics. The aroma of the oils helps to calm emotions. Lavender and sage are two of the common essential oils used in aromatherapy massage. Usually, a few drops of essential oil is mixed with a base massage oil, which when massaged on the body allows the essential oil to be absorbed by the skin.

Hot Stone Massage
In this, smooth stones that are heated are placed on various points of the body. The warmth of the stones helps to loosen tightened muscles and stimulates centers of energy in the body. The therapist may also apply pressure gently on the stones to enhance the sensation. This massaging technique is beneficial for people who have tense muscles but would prefer a gentler massage.

This is a Japanese massaging technique wherein pressure is applied with the fingers in a rhythmic order on acupuncture points. At each point the pressure is held for 2-8 seconds, which increases the flow of energy, thus helping the body to regain its balance. Usually, when people try out this massage for the first time, they are pleasantly surprised, because, although the pressure applied is quite firm, it is relaxing, plus there is no post-massage soreness.

In this method, pressure is applied on certain points on the foot, which correspond to systems and organs in the body. People who have to stand all day or just have achy, tired feet find this massage technique particularly relaxing.

Thai Massage
Similar to shiatsu, gentle pressure is applied on specific points of the body in order to align the body’s energies. However, additionally, stretches and compressions are also included. Hence, unlike other systems of massage, you don’t merely lie there; the therapist stretches and moves your body in a sequence of postures, much like yoga, except that you don’t have to make the effort of getting into the postures. Apart from reducing stress, it also improves range of movement and flexibility. Compared to other forms of massage, Thai massage is more energizing.

Back Massage
One of the areas of the body that is most adversely affected by modern sedentary lifestyle, which usually involves poor posture, is the back and the nape of the neck. A 30-40-minute back massage can relieve tensions in that area and also ease aches. If a massage clinic does not advertise a back massage specifically, you can book a session just for it.

Pregnancy Massage
Also referred to as prenatal massage, this massage method is growing in popularity with expectant mothers. The therapist has to be qualified in pregnancy massage, and hence knows the correct way to support and position the woman’s body while giving the massage. She is also trained to modify techniques and is customized according to each woman’s needs. Pregnancy massage reduces stress, relieves pains and aches, decreases swelling, and helps to reduce depression and anxiety.

Sports Massage
As is evident from the name, this type of massage is designed specifically for people involved in sports. Apart from professional athletes, it can also be used by those who workout regularly or are physically active. This method focuses more on preventing or treating injury and increasing athletic performance. Here, a combination of various techniques is used, with the massaging strokes being generally quicker than used in Swedish massage. A common technique is facilitated stretches, and it helps in increasing flexibility and loosening muscles.
Article source: www.buzzle.com