Saturday, October 29, 2011

What kind of massage is right for you?

What kind of massage is right for you?

Every kind of massages offers the similar goals: promoting general relaxation, enhanced circulation, improved joint mobilization, relief from stress and muscle tension, and promotion of a general sense of well-being. The only thing that is different is the technique. Each kind of massage is performed using a different technique such as gliding, kneading, rubbing, shaking, stroking and stretching or rocking. Each person has a different life style and likely has different conditions that their muscles and tissues may be in. One type of massage may be beneficial for one person but it might not be the best for you. Here is some information about different kinds of massage from the internet. Source: various from massage websites.

I do not take responsibility for this information.
I only provide Thai massage and foot massage.

Thai Massage
Swedish Massage
Shiatsu Massage
Sports Massage
Tui Na
Trigger Point
Hot Stone Therapy

Thai Massage: The ancient and unique art of Thai massage technique has been handed down over 2,500 years. Wat Pho Thai Traditional Massage School is a famous temple school in Bangkok where traditional massage techniques are taught. Performed on a comfortable floor mat. The client is fully clothed and no oils are required. Thai massage uses point pressure to open energy lines or "sens" in the body as diagramed throughout Asian culture. The energy work is combined with stretching techniques to open the client's body creating a relaxing and simultaneously invigorating experience. The method uses thumbs, hands, palms, fingers, elbows, feet, knees and heels to move, massage and hold the body in yogic and/or therapeutic position.

Swedish Massage: Swedish relaxation massage is probably the most commonly used technique in the Western massage community. Swedish massage refers to a collection of techniques designed primarily 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. The lymph system and veins (which carry blood back to the heart) both rely on muscle action, rather than heart pressure. Oil is usually used. The recipient of a Swedish massage may be completely undressed or remain in underwear.

Aromatherapy: This treatment helps the whole person with the use of essential plant and vegetable oils into the massage session, allowing the oils to do much of the work. The application of essential oils to the human body is an ancient art developed about 5000 years ago by the Egyptians. Everyone can benefit from the combination of essential oils and massage. Each oil has it's own therapeutic property and a selection of oils can be blended for individual requirements. This treatment can be used to treat a wide range of psychological and physiological problems. Incorporate the use of essential plant and vegetable oils into the massage session.

Shiatsu Massage: A Japanese massage system that incorporates finger, thumb and palm pressure along the bodies' energy channels. The intent is to release energy blockages, rebalance and stimulate energy flow. The Shiatsu can be performed on a mat or futon, on a massage table, or while seated. In a session of strictly Shiatsu, the client can remain clothed & no oils or lotions are used.

Reiki: Reiki is a Japanese system of energy healing. It is based on the idea that pain & dis-ease are caused by an imbalance and/or shortage of Life Energy (Chi or Ki) in the physical body. In this technique, the therapist uses & transmits the Life Energy (electro-magnetic field) to facilitate healing. Reiki energy readjusts the electromagnetic fields to normal frequencies, restoring balance. The therapist places both hands gently in specific positions, either on or above the body. This laying-on of hands is designed to relieve pain, restore vitality, heal illnesses & aid spiritual growth.

Ayurvedic: Originating in India, Ayurveda, is an ancient holistic medicine promoting the unity of body, mind and spirit. Ayurvedic massage unblocks invisible points of energy flow, enabling the body to heal itself more effectively. These massages can include through scalp massage and body kneading performed by two therapists simultaneously, generally using special scented oils.

Sports Massage: Sports massage comprises of deep tissue work which incorporates specific techniques focussing on dysfunctional or tight areas. These techniques include stretches or movements that aim to re-align the fibres of overused muscles. Sports massage is beneficial for athletes training at high levels and receiving regular sports massage is vital for the reduction of injuries. It improves an athlete's flexibility and technique, overall enhancing their performance.

Reflexology: An ancient Chinese technique applying pressure to points mainly on the feet but also on the hands and ears which correspond to specific areas of the body.

Accupressure: An ancient Chinese finger point massage designed to release muscle tension and promote healing by applying pressure along vital energy points in order to improve energy flow.

Acupuncture: Acupuncture is internationally recognized and respected as a powerful healing technique. It is part of a complete system of medicine which has been practiced in China for many thousands of years. It consists of inserting very fine needles into the skin at certain points along the meridians (energy channels) in order to correct energy imbalances within the body, which can lead to disease or discomfort.

Tui Na: Its invigorating and re-energising method releases blocked energy and restores a balanced flow throughout the body promoting health and preventing disease. Treatment is given through clothes as the technique does not use oils and may take place seated or lying on a massage table. Various techniques such as squeezing, pulling, grabbing, kneading and stroking have been developed for certain conditions and all aim to relax the muscles, ease chronic pain and promote Qi flow. These soft tissue massage techniques lead on to certain joint manipulations which involve types of arm and leg shakes, extensions and rotations that complement the overall treatment.

Trigger Point: Applies concentrated finger pressure to tender areas in the muscle in order to break the cycle of spasm and pain.

Hot Stone Therapy: The healing power of warmed stones has been recognized by numerous cultures for centuries. The deep heat of the basalt (river rock) stones penetrates the muscles, providing and immediate relaxation response. Mentally, the individual can reach a state of relaxation within minutes of applying the first stones.

5 Kinds of Massages

5 Kinds of Massages 

Massage therapy is an effective procedure that has been in use basically since humans have been around. Just how this remarkable method of protecting and preserving health came about is unknown, but never the less, it is used by millions if not billions world wide as a means of removing fatigue, increasing vision, bettering the skin, improving sleep and most famously curing sore achy muscles all over the body.
A common misconception there is just one kind of massage. This is far from true. Below you will find 5 kinds of massages. Each massage is a little different than the other, and used for slightly different purposes including the stimulating of circulatory flow, eliminating toxins through skin, and lowering tension levels in muscles which helps in relieving muscle pain.

1. Petrissage-Kneading
Used for strengthening, nourishing and relieving muscles, this type of massage consists of rolling and kneading of the muscles. Skin is contacted with the hands and fingers. While deep kneading requires a lot of pressure, light pressure is also applied for superficial kneading.
2. Vibration-Trembling
This massage is used for stimulating blood circulation and the nerves, regulating the bowel, and the toning up and relieving of stress in the muscles. It can be done by fingers and hands, but in order to be most effective needs to be done by a machine operated by someone who is certified.

3. Friction-Rubbing
Friction massages are meant to target the joints. Being done on and around the joints, this massage helps to tone muscle and tendons as well as reduces any redness, swelling, or pain cause from inflammation.
4. Effleurage-Stroking 
 A massage that can be done in many ways, Effleurage massaging is done via a stroke which coverers the entire body. The knuckles, ball of the thumb, tips of the fingers, and the palm of one or both hands can by used in giving this extremely pampering massage. Benefit of this massage include aid in blood circulation while the skin and muscle become soothingly warm and relaxed.

5. Tapotement-Percussion
Possibly the wildest massage, Tapotement massaging is administered by clapping, hacking, tapping, or any other form of beating of the body in a rapid, repetitive manor. Short and swift knocking provided for with Tapotement will sooth nerves and cause the muscles to become strengthened.

Massages are a wonderful way of relieving the stress one will often endure in their life. Besides for feeling amazing, they are very benefiting to one in countless ways. Normally, the individual giving the massage is trained and knows what to look and feel for. This means they will usually throw each type into a session in order for you to receive the highest possible level off relief and relaxation.

Water Jet Massage

Water Jet Massage - Hydrotherapy

Water Jet Massage or Hydrotherapy is water therapy in conjunction with massage to relieve some common health disorders. The effect of water is known to reduce pain, improve circulation and act as a tonic. Water Jet therapy puts to use the benefits of warm water to treat muscle and joint ailments. The flow of warm water eases muscle tension, and relieves pressure on surrounding nerves, joints, and blood vessels.

Water Jet Therapy is rendered in a hot tub, with the help of a powerful system of jets and jet formations. The water mass takes over the vibration generated by the water jet and exerts an effect on the desired body part to provide a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. The jet-driven force of water is known to enhance circulation, digestion and skin tone. Medical Studies indicate that hot tub therapy may be helpful in treating heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, lower back pain, and sleep disorders.

Benefits of Water Jet Massage

The benefits of water therapy stems from the natural reaction of warm blooded bodies. As brief applications of water at different temperatures on the skin usually has an opposite effect. For egs:  cold water acts as a tonic while hot water helps soothe and relax the body.

Here is a compilation of the numerous benefits a Water Jet Massage could provide:
•Water Jet Therapy increases body temperature for an extended period of time, producing cleansing and relaxing effects.
•The heat in a Water Jet Therapy helps dilate blood vessels to increase blood flow to sore or damaged tissue.
•Buoyancy in a hot tub reduces body weight by 90%, relieving pressure on joints and muscles. The buoyancy of the water also creates a sense of weightlessness and invites restful sleep.
•The Jet sprays works like a therapeutic massage, which helps relax muscles and relieve pressure on nerves
•Regular Water Jet Therapy may also help blood sugar control.
•Water Jet Therapy helps weight decrease and the general feeling of well-being.

Types of Water Jet Massage

Listed below are some popular types of Water Jet Massage:

Alternating Temperature Bath
The extremities of the body are treated with jets of cold and hot water alternately to improve blood circulation. There is at least 20 degrees C difference between the temperatures of the water jets.

Hydro-massage A hot bath with the water temperature at 35 degrees C provides a massaging effect. The warm water has a relaxing and healing effect on the muscles and joints.  It is excellent for blood circulation and a general feeling of relaxation and well being.

Underwater Jet Massage
This treatment uses the effect of a hot bath and massage to provide relief and relaxation for the muscles.  A large bath tub with warm water at a temperature of 35 to 37 degrees C is used in conjunction with a massage. The therapist uses strong jet of water which helps gently massage the main muscle groups.

Pregnancy Massage Therapy

Pregnancy Massage Therapy

What is it? 
A woman’s health during pregnancy is a result of the varying changes the body brings about in a pregnant woman. Increased weight, shifting posture, and adjusting hormone levels lead to an overall change on the physical and emotional front for the pregnant woman. Every single pregnant woman goes through her share of discomforting and stressful moments. Pregnancy Massage or Pre-natal massage, as it is popularly known helps relieve fatigue, relieve general body ache and induce sleep in pregnant woman. Prenatal massage is a natural; touch therapy treatment aimed at alleviating these and other pregnancy related symptoms.

What are the benefits of a Prenatal Massage?  
Pregnancy massage or Prenatal massage offers a wide range of benefits, which include the following:
  • Eases backaches, headaches, shoulder and neck aches that may be caused by muscle tension and shifts in posture to accommodate increasing weight.
  • Decreases pain in the pelvic/hip area.
  • Increases circulation.
  • Improves digestion.
  • Reduces fatigue.
  • Improves skin elasticity that can help reduce stretch marks.
  • Helps reduce swelling in such places as hands and lower legs.
  • Can alleviate the stress on weight-bearing joints, like the knees, which are impacted by the extra weight of a growing baby.
  • Promotes relaxation and deep breathing.
  • Helps stabilize hormone levels by lessening anxiety.
What are the different types of massage therapies rendered to pregnant woman? 
Various techniques are blended to give a massage, the most popular techniques include: deep tissue massage, myofascial release, reflexology, Swedish massage, joint mobilization, or connective tissue massage.

When should one avoid a pregnancy massage?
  • All expectant mothers should check with their doctors prior to getting a massage. 
  • Pre-natal massage may not be recommended to expectant mothers having diabetes or high blood pressure.
It is important to share information about your condition and your preferences with your pregnancy massage therapist so that he can a render a massage suitable to your personal needs and preferences.
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Massage for Babies and Children

Massage for Babies and Children

What is it?
A baby massage has been a part and parcel of childcare in almost all cultures and traditions. Giving a massage to your baby is a special time you have with your baby. The element of touch involved in massaging a baby comes with abundant benefits to your loved one and you. Baby massage is a skin-to-skin connection that helps parents and baby bond with each other's body language.

What are the benefits in giving a baby massage? 

There are multiple benefits in giving the little one the right massage. Research shows that massage nurtures babies’ psychological, physiological, and developmental growth. Baby massage is said to foster healthy self-esteem and increases bonding between parents and their babies. Moreover a massage has no side effects and has natural healing properties. Key benefits include:
  • Baby Massage promotes maturity of the nervous system and stimulates all the senses. 
  • Massage opens the baby’s chest, promotes deep and rhythmic breathing and does overall good to the respiratory system.
  • Baby Massage promotes blood flow to the stomach area; it increases peristalsis and promotes digestion and elimination by moving waste products along the digestive tract.
  • Massaging the baby improves blood circulation, supply of oxygen and nutrients to the cells and more effective removal of waste products. 
  • Baby massages and Massage for children promotes muscle suppleness and speeds up healing processes. It is also known to be a good remedy for cold hands and feet.
  • Relief of various problems: like colic, constipation, teething and sleeping problems. Loving touch is extremely important for premature babies and special needs children/babies. 
  • Research also shows that babies who have received extra touch are better organized.
  • Studies show that massage helps motor-impaired infants better communicate their needs to the parents – a process called social cueing.
  • Benefits for parents: massaging your baby increases your self-confidence in the handling and care of your baby and creates a feeling of oneness. Touching your baby increases your own levels of prolactin, which strengthens your parenting instinct.
Some dos and don’ts for baby massage:
  • Choosing the right massage oil is a very important part of the massage. Infant-massage instructors prefer fruit or vegetable oil ("edible oils"), vitamin E enriched and unscented oils. (Look for "cold pressed" on the label, which means the oil has been extracted only by the use of pressure, not by heat or chemical solvents, which change the characteristics of the oil)
  • It is best to avoid oils made from a petroleum base. Popular massage oils for babies and children include: coconut, almond, apricot, safflower, and avocado oils. One must be careful of some oils that run the risk of turning into a skin allergy after an hour of application.
  • For the chest, slide both hands along the rib cage from center to sides and back again, like flattening the pages in a book. 
  • Use long firm strokes. Light, feathery massage irritates infants, as it does most adults.
  • Never massage your baby while he/she is crying. (The only exception for this should be with colic and painful gas). 
  • Any arm movements going in and out from the chest indicate that you should stop the massage.
How to render a massage to the little one?
  • Always begin with massaging the legs. This is the least intrusive way to begin a massage as the legs are touched constantly while changing nappies. Hold the foot with one hand and "milk" the leg from ankle to thigh with the other. Then, hold the thigh with both hands and using a gentle twisting and squeezing motion, move your hands from thigh to foot. Finally, roll the leg between your hands from knee to ankle. 
  • If massaging Babies abdomen while he/she is lying down in front of you, massage from your left to your right i.e.: Babies right to left. It is important that you refrain from placing any pressure on the diaphragm.
  • The arms and hands are done in the same fashion as the legs and the feet.
  • The face has special strokes all its own – whole-handed smoothing; lightly pressing, pushing, and circling with the thumbs; and finally combing from forehead over cheeks with light fingertip strokes. 
  • With the pads of your fingers, lightly rub small circles all over the back. Then gently come with the fingertips from back over buttocks and legs to ankles.
When should a baby massage be avoided? 
It is best to avoid a massage in the following situations:
  • Open or weeping wounds 
  • Infected skin irritations 
  • Fractures or other acute injuries 
  • Bleeding 
  • No massage over an unhealed navel 
  • Burns, including sun burn 
  • Undiagnosed lumps 
  • No abdominal massage if the infant has hiccups or has just been fed.
Expert Help? \
 It is important to be instructed by a Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI) on how to massage your baby, as you have someone who can watch if you do it correctly. The CIMI also teaches the parents coping skills and how to understand a crying baby.
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Legs and Feet Massage

Legs and Feet Massage 

What is it? Our leg muscles perform the extraordinary balancing act and aid our locomotion every single day. The leg muscles are also naturally adept at massaging their own veins, redirecting the spent blood back to the heart against the considerable force of gravity. Tension created in the leg muscles then lead to multiple complications. For egs: Cramps and Varicosity are indications of tiredness in the legs. A bout of severe leg cramp may cause damage to the muscle. Fibres of the muscle may be torn due to the sheer strength of the muscle contraction and must be treated with a legs and foot massage to relieve tension accumulated in the leg muscles. Sports massage and reflexelogy are suggested leg and foot massage techniques for legs and feet care.

How can one benefit from a Legs and Feet Massage?
  • Leg massage can relieve aching after standing too long & help tired muscles recover after exercise. 
  • Bad posture, backache and fatigue can all stem from unnoticed foot problem. Massaging the feet daily can refresh the whole body.
  • Prevent injuries and loss of mobility. 
  • Cure and restore mobility to injured muscle tissue. 
  • Legs and Feet Massage stimulates the lymph system. 
  • Extend the overall life of your physical activity.
What are the different therapies known to render a Legs and Feet Massage? Leg and foot massage techniques include: Sports Massage, Hydrotherapy, Reflexology and Shiatsu are massage therapies that ensure a specific massage of the leg and the feet.

How does one render a Legs and Feet Massage?
Leg and Foot Massage: (As in sports massage)

Step 1: Massage the front of the thigh by:
  • Effleurage (light stroking techniques) 
  • Deep effleurage (deeper stroking movements) 
  • Petrissage (kneading movements) 
  • Sustain pressure along the length of the muscle
  • Circular frictions
Step 2: Massage the knee by:
  • Circular frictions 
  • Frictions to the patella tendon*
    * (The patella tendon connects the kneecap to tibia bone)
Step 3: Massage the front of the lower leg by:
  • Effleurage 
  • Stripping the muscles
  • Cross frictions to the tibialis anterior*
     * (The tibialis anterior muscle is the large muscle that runs down the outside of the shin)
Step 4: And finally, the foot by:
  • Light stroking to top of foot 
  • Spreading the metatarsals 
  • Petrissage to sole of foot 
  • Stripping the plantar fascia *
     *(The plantar fascia is a thick, broad, inelastic band of fibrous tissue that connects the heel bone to the base of the toes.)
When should a leg or foot massage not be performed?
Massage must not be performed during the acute stage of injury - usually 48 hours after injury. This is because if it is still bleeding then heat and massage will increase bleeding, instead of stopping it.

Arms and Hand Massage

Arms and Hand Massage

What is it? 
The hands, wrists, and arms can hold much tension and pain, especially if a person operates a lot with their hands. Keying on the computer keyboard would be a common example. Within a span of five to ten minutes a hand massage can relax a person and relieve pain in the body.

People who experience constriction around the heart often notice peculiar feelings in their arms primarily because the nervous energy to both areas originates from the same nerve ‘root’ in the spine.

There are many acupressure and reflexology points that affect internal organs and different parts of the body. Massaging hands, fingers, and joints can relieve many problems, including poor circulation and arthritis.

The Arms and Hand massage can be done with people of all ages and conditions—children, teens, and adults and with or without lotion.

How can one benefit from an Arms and Hand Massage? 
Apart from the benefits a full body massage entails, a shorter Arms and Hand massage would indeed be a soothing and relaxing experience for those looking for instant solutions.

Arm and hand massage passed the relaxing benefits onto the chest by what is known as the ‘reflex action’. Massaging the hands also help reduce any pressure in the neck and head by nervous and circulatory effects.

How does one render an Arms and Hand Massage?
For the Biceps (the muscles in the front of your upper arms)
  • Use the left hand to grab the right arm just above the elbow so that the thumb points up toward your right shoulder. 
  • Your fingers should wrap around the outside of your arm. With your right arm down at your side, gently press your thumb into the biceps muscle and stroke upward toward your shoulder. Repeat several times. 
  • Next, reach your hand under your arm and place your thumb at the top of the biceps muscle below the shoulder. Your fingers should rest lightly underneath your arm. Press down gently with your thumb and move it from side to side across the tendon. Repeat several times.
Triceps (the muscles at the back of your upper arms)
  • Bend your right arm at a 90-degree angle and rest your right hand on your stomach.
  • Cross your left arm in front of you and cup your left hand over the back of your right arm, just below your shoulder. Press your left hand into your triceps muscle and slowly move it down your arm toward your right elbow. 
  • Straighten your right arm as you go. Your left hand should end up cupping your right elbow, with your right arm straight down at your side. 
  • Bend your right arm back into a 90-degree position and repeat three times, then switch sides and work your left arm.
  • Begin by gently pulling each of your fingers with the thumb and fingers of your opposite hand. 
  • Gently stroke each finger as you go, applying firm but gentle pressure to any sore or tender areas. 
  • To work out your palm, loosely clasp your hands together by intertwining your fingers. 
  • Touch the thumb of your massaging hand to the area just below the opposite thumb and apply direct pressure for several seconds. 
  • Keep moving your massaging thumb around in a spiral, applying short bursts of pressure, until your thumb ends up in the center of your palm. 
  • Finish by stroking your thumb up and down into your palm. Then work the other hand.
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