What type of Massage Therapy is right for you?
Often times our clients are unsure what type of massage they desire. We offer several style of massage, including customized massages at our Fort Collins day spa. We are happy to help answer any questions and guide you in the direction of the style of massage that will be best for your body and your needs. Here are a few common styles of massage.
This is the most common and widely known type of a massage, also referred to as ‘Classic massage’ in some parts of the world. Its primary purpose is to relieve stress, and it is less intense when compared to say, a sports massage. The massage sessions are relatively longer, lasting from anywhere between 30 to 60 minutes. A Swedish massage is performed on most of the major muscle groups. It helps in enhancing blood circulation. Although its main benefits revolve around stress relief, it can also be used for pain relief up to an extent.
The techniques involved in a Swedish massage are effleurage (long, smooth relaxing movements), petrissage (kneading, used to penetrate into muscle fibres), tapotement (a rhythmic tapping with cupped hands), and friction (palms are rubbed against the body to generate heat by friction).
As the name suggests, this type of massage is used for athletes who subject their body to physical strain on a regular basis. It is certainly more intense and vigorous than a Swedish massage and its main aim is to make sure that people can return to their regular sporting activities at their optimal level. They are also useful for preventing and treating injuries. Only people with specific skills can perform a Sports massage, whereas something like a Swedish massage can be performed by most massage therapists.
A sports massage has a number of benefits. It will shorten the recovery time needed from an injury by increasing the blood flow and lymph fluid, thereby helping the body’s natural healing process. It will help in relaxation of muscles, in alleviating muscle pain, and in having a strong mental state.
Deep tissue massage
This massage type is even more straining than a sports massage! It aims to heal a certain part of the body by applying a lot of pressure, allowing it to reach deeper layers of muscle. The massage first begins with applying light pressure to warm up the muscles, followed by specific and more vigorous techniques. The way it works is by breaking down knots of muscle (essentially contracted muscle tissues) which hinder blood circulation and cause pain, which is why one may experience pain during the massage. One should always inform the massage therapist in case of any such pain or discomfort. A Deep Tissue massage may be used to treat issues like lower back pain, tennis elbow, whiplash, and so on.
Warm Stone massage
This one’s a little different, in the sense that the massage therapist will use smooth, comfortably hot stones on one’s body to help ease the tension in the muscles. These stones are usually made out of basalt and are good at retaining heat.
First the therapist begins with a usual Swedish massage, and then massages the client using those heated stones. Large muscle groups are usually massaged with big stones, and smaller muscle groups with smaller ones. These stones may be placed on certain areas on the body such as the back, stomach, or even palms, because they are believed to improve the energy flow in the body. Needless to say, the stones will be replaced if they cool down.
While there are other kinds of massages as well, these are the more popular ones, or frequently used terms. Many massage therapists offer their own style, which may incorporate many styles. The choice of which kind of massage to go for really depends on one’s personal needs. For a person experiencing postural problems, or chronic pain in a specific area of the body, a Deep Tissue massage, focusing on specific points, would work well. On the other hand, someone interested in energy work, we may suggest Reiki or intuitive healing.
At Sanctuary, our massage therapists and practitioners offer a variety of styles and modalities to best fit the clients needs. Feel free to inquire with out team to help you decide what is type of massage is best for you.