Swedish Massages are the most popular type of massage in the West. They differ from Asian customs of massaging by following concepts of anatomy and physiology instead of energy or “Chi.” This therapeutic massage may be slow and gentle, or more forceful and bracing – it all depends on your needs.
The movements of this massage warm up your muscles, releasing tension and gradually breaking up muscle knots to relax the entire body. This is accomplished by rubbing the muscles with long gliding strokes in the direction of blood returning to the heart.
A Swedish massage therapy goes beyond relaxation. It is exceptionally beneficial for increasing the level of oxygen in the blood, decreasing muscle toxins, improving circulation and flexibility while easing tension.
Sports Therapy Massages were originally designed to help athletes prepare their bodies for performance, recovery, and function during training. This type is focused on preventative and healing measures from muscle or tendon injuries. You don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from sports therapy massages. This type is perfect for individuals who already suffer from injuries, chronic pain, or restricted range in motion. The preventative part may be coming a bit late, but the healing is still effective as the massage therapist targets the specific injured area.
Prenatal Massages, the pregnancy massage, promotes relaxation, soothes nerves, and relieves back and leg muscles for expecting mothers-to-be. During this exciting time it is important to think of ways to keep mothers healthy as their bodies begin to adjust. It is especially beneficial in the second and third trimesters, when the shift in weight around the belly puts stress on a woman’s back. To promote relaxation, this massage involves deep tissue work including abdominal kneading. The goal is to relieve stress from the joints and nerves and promote circulation, keeping the blood flowing to both the mother and the baby.
Reflexology Massages differ from traditional massages in that this is a treatment based on the idea that areas of the feet, hands, and ears are connected to other areas of the body. For example, a point on the arch of the foot may correspond with liver function and when pressure is applied to the reflex point on the foot, it will improve liver functioning. Reflexologists use “maps” of the hands and feet to determine which body systems correspond with one another. The extremities are broken down to tiny color-coded sections on the map that make it clear which organs, valves, and bones will be affected by applying pressure to certain areas.