Types of Therapeutic Massages
There are various massage techniques to choose from. Select the one that suits you best.
When you hear the word “massage” you can imagine lying on a half-light cushion stretcher in a luxurious spa while a therapist gently massaged your aching muscles and rubbed your skin with aromatic oils. Or, you might imagine a sweaty athlete whose bruised muscles are being vigorously hit by a coach in the locker room after a game. Both images are correct. The massages can be relaxing and placid, or sharp and intense, depending on the type of massage being treated.
The term “massage” encompasses multiple healing techniques and philosophies. In general, massage is the manipulation of the skin, muscles and connective tissues of the body, usually with the hands, but mechanical devices can also be used on the body surface. You can look for massages of certified therapists or give yourself a massage in the affected joints and muscles with the right hands or tools.
Often, massage serves to alleviate common symptoms of many types of arthritis: reduce pain and stiffness, reduce anxiety, improve the range of motion of the joints and promote a more restful sleep.
According to Dr. Tiffany Field, a research psychologist at the University of Miami School of Medicine “massage can result in a significant reduction in pain.” Any type of full body massage that includes moderate pressure, including self massage, should help relieve pain and tension, he says.
Field emphasizes that moderate pressure is the key to stimulating subcutaneous pressure receptors that send pain relief signals to the brain and release de-stressing neurochemicals, such as serotonin. “We have seen that light pressure massage is exciting, not relaxing. By making light pressure the heart rate goes up and the blood pressure increases. In contrast, moderate pressure stimulates relaxation, low heart rate, blood pressure decreases, “he explains.
People with arthritis who experience chronic symptoms may consider massage therapy on a regular basis, Field says, even massage daily, to help manage pain and stiffness or to promote better rest that can in turn help relieve the pain of muscles and joints.
Main types of therapeutic body massage in delhi
Massage is an ancient method to relieve the pain and stress that most cultures in the world have experienced. These procedures can involve not only physical manipulation of body tissues, but also relaxation techniques. The massage can make use of heat and cold applications on the skin, or lotions to help slip the hands or the tools on the skin.
The different types of massages are briefly described below. Tell your masseuse that you have arthritis, and point out the affected joints before you start the session. Before undergoing any type of massage, check with your doctor that there is no problem for your arthritis or any other health disorder in your case.
Swedish massage is the most common type, and in which most people think when they hear the word “massage”. This kind of massage lies in extensive and fluid strokes in muscles and tissues, in order to reduce pain and stiffness in joints and muscles to reduce anxiety and improve circulation. There are five basic movements on which it is based: effleurage (sliding or rubbing of the hands through the skin), petrissage (kneading muscle), tapotement (rhythmic pounding with the knuckles or fingers), deep friction (movement along the muscle fibers) and body vibration or shaking. The masseurs adjust the pressure according to the sensitivity of the person and usually use oil or lotion.
Deep tissue massage
This massage consists of the manipulation of the upper and lower layers of muscles and tissues, requiring intense and concentrated pressure on the part of the masseuse. Deep tissue massage is used to reduce the tension or pain of muscles and connective tissue. It could be painful, so it is not appropriate for certain people with arthritis.
Hot stone massage
Many spas offer this option that lies in placing hot smooth stones in the back while lying on your stomach. The comforting heat of the stones is transferred to muscles and tissues, releasing tension and promoting relaxation. Normally, the therapist kneads the muscles by hand in addition to placing the hot stones on the skin. Other modalities are cold stones, which can help sore muscles due to exercise-related injuries or swelling. Some masseurs use both cold and hot stones to contrast or for different healing purposes.
Ayurveda is a Hindu philosophy that combines yoga, meditation, massage and herbs. Ayurvedic massage is also known as abyanga, and is performed throughout the body with the application of aromatic oils chosen for their purportedly spiritual and healing properties.
One of the many techniques native to Eastern countries is this Japanese massage in which muscles and other soft tissues are kneaded. No oils are required. It is based on the idea that the energy that flows in the body can be interrupted or blocked, causing illness and pain. Those who practice anma believe that massaging the muscles and tissues can restore that flow and the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
This massage fuses the massage with the placement of the body in yoga style poses during the session. The technique varies depending on the region of Thailand in which it was formed. Some techniques work more on stretching and flexibility, while others apply pressure to the muscles and joints.
The lomi lomi comes from Hawaii and is made in multiple countries of the Pacific Ocean (Polynesia). It is considered a healing practice that can include diet, prayer, meditation and other healing techniques in addition to the massage of muscles and tissues.
This technique aims to relieve pain through the manipulation of the fascia, connective tissue surrounding muscles, blood vessels and nerves. During the session, the therapist stretches and releases the connective tissues by gently rolling the back, legs and other areas of the body from top to bottom. No oils, lotions or massage tools are used.
Reflexology is an alternative method of Asian healing based on the belief that applying pressure to specific areas of the hands and feet will restore health to other parts of the body. For example, pressing the big toe should cure pain or brain injuries. Its purpose is not only to relieve pain or stimulate healing, but also to reduce stress and anxiety.
The rolfing is similar to the myofascial release and is part of the healing philosophy called structural integration, invented by Ida Rolf, in the middle of the 20th century. This procedure focuses on moving the body in certain positions and manipulating the fascia. The purpose of rolfing is to promote relaxation and combat pain, as well as to improve posture and range of movement.
Self-massage is kneading your own aching joints, pressure points or muscles using your hands, knuckles, elbows or massage tools. These tools can be mechanical to offer heat or vibration, or you can create devices with homemade objects such as tennis balls. Massaging hard-to-reach areas such as the back can be complicated, but one can self-massage feet, knees, calves, hands, neck or arms.
It is a Japanese massage technique widely used in the United States. Shiatsu therapists exert pressure on specific points of the body using the fingers and palms in rhythmic and continuous movements. Like any other oriental healing philosophy and massage, shiatsu is considered to reestablish the flow of the qi, or healing energy, of the body. No oils are needed. Generally, the patient remains fully clothed during the session. Pillows and items are sold that ensure that the same type of shiatsu pressure is applied to various parts of the body, such as the neck.
Trigger point massage
This type of massage is designed to relieve pain in particular areas of the body by using pressure or vibration in myofascial trigger points. A massage of the trigger points that includes injections in them should only be done in a clinical, chiropractic or physiotherapy office. Trigger points are sites in the muscles where knots are sometimes formed, and localized pressure is designed to relax those knots and reduce pain. It has been seen that with the injections of anesthetic agents such as lidocaine, the therapy is very effective for chronic musculoskeletal pain, but other trigger point techniques do not use needles.
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