What is Massage Therapy?

Massage therapy is a simple and effective way to improve physical and mental health. Sessions typically last from 15 to 90 minutes. There are many different types of therapeutic massage, some of which include:

  • Swedish massage – a classic form of massage that relaxes tense muscles and improves blood circulation. The skin and muscles in affected areas are gently stroked, kneaded, rubbed, tapped, and vibrated.
  • Manipulation – ligaments, tendons, and muscles are massaged, stretched, and moved to improve mobility and to relieve pain. It is often done in combination with physical therapy techniques.
  • Mobilization – focuses on moving the spine, joints, and muscles in the body to improve mobility, relax muscles, and improve posture. Like manipulation, it is done with physical therapy techniques.
  • Connective tissue massage – treats illnesses by relieving tension in connective tissue, which connects organs, muscles, and nerves together.
  • Deep tissue massage – treats the deeper layers of muscle by applying strong pressure to muscles and tendons.
  • Myofascial (trigger point) massage – pressure is specifically applied to pain-triggering points that are oversensitive, tense muscle tissue and adhesions of connective tissue. The idea of trigger points is controversial and myofascial massage may not be consistently effective .
  • Chinese traditional massage – moderate pressure is applied to certain acupoints of the body using rotating movements with fingertips; often done in combination with acupuncture
  • Shiatsu massage – a Japanese form of trigger point massage therapy that uses thumbs to massage acupuncture points.
  • Manual lymphatic drainage – encourages natural drainage of waste products from the lymph nodes.
  • Thai massage – involves stretching and pulling the limbs and applying strong, rhythmical pressure to the body with hands, elbows, knees, or feet. Focuses on manipulating “energy lines” (similar to acupuncture meridians) that run throughout the body to treat illnesses.
  • Ayurvedic massage – a traditional form of Indian medicine that involves gently massaging the body using rhythmical stroking movements and herbal oils.

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