Massage is a technique that involves pressing, rubbing, and manipulating the skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. There are many different types of massage, and it is often considered as a type of complementary or alternative medicine. It is commonly being used alongside other treatments for different health conditions as its benefits become more well-known.
The benefits of massage
Several studies of the benefits of massage have found that it can be effective for reducing stress, pain, and tension in the muscles. More research is needed into what the wider benefits are, but there is evidence to suggest that it might also be helpful for:
Headaches and migraine
Stress-related sleeping problems
Are there any risks involved with massage?
Most people will benefit from a massage, however, getting a massage might not be appropriate for you if:
- You have a bleeding disorder or you take blood-thinning medication
- You have burns or other skin wounds
- You have a fracture or severe osteoporosis
People who have cancer, or pregnant women, should discuss massage therapy with their doctor.
What to expect during a massage
Before your massage, your therapist will ask about any health conditions you may have. They will then leave the room so you can get undressed. You will only need to undress to the point where you feel comfortable, and you will be asked to lie on the massage table and cover yourself with a towel or sheet that is provided.
A massage session can last up to 90 minutes, depending on the type of massage you have. Don’t be afraid to tell your therapist if you prefer less or more pressure. Sometimes, if you have a knot that needs working out, it can feel uncomfortable, but if anything feels too uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to say so.
The different types of massage
There are many different types of massage you can get but let’s look at a few of the most common types that clients love;
Swedish massage is one of the most well-known types of massage and it forms the basis of other types of massage that you’re probably familiar with, including deep tissue massage and aromatherapy massage.
If you are new to massage, or you don’t get one that often, a Swedish massage is a good place to start.
What to expect
When you have a Swedish massage, the therapist will use oil and perform different types of massage strokes to warm up the muscle tissues, release any tension and work out any knots. The therapist will usually start working on your arms, move to the front of your legs, then the back of your legs, and finish with your back.
Swedish massage should generally be very relaxing, but remember to tell your therapist if you would prefer lighter or stronger pressure.
Hot stone massage
Hot stone massage is a special massage, where the therapist places smooth, heated stones on the body. The heat is very relaxing and it also helps to warm up the tissues so the therapist can give you a deeper massage.
What to expect
The stones will have been heated before you arrive. You will usually lie on the massage table face down, then the therapist will start working on your back. The therapist will warm up the tissues with a Swedish massage, then they will massage you while holding a heated stone. As the original stone cools down, it is replaced with another. Larger stones are used on bigger muscle groups, while smaller stones are used on smaller muscle groups.
The therapist might also place some heated stones on certain points along your spine, in the palms of your hand, on your stomach, or even between your toes, which is believed to improve the flow of energy in your body.
Always tell the therapist if the stones feel too warm or the pressure is too much.
When to avoid a hot stone massage
A hot stone massage is not appropriate for you if you are pregnant, you have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or if you are on blood thinning medication.
Indian head massage
An Indian head massage is a relaxing treatment that uses acupressure massage on the head, face, neck, and shoulders. This type of massage has been practised in India since ancient times, and it’s geared towards encouraging balance and healing throughout your entire body.
As well as this, the massage can relieve aches, pains, and tension in your neck, back and shoulders, relieve stress and help you sleep better.
What to expect
The massage can be quite firm but you’ll feel so relaxed afterwards.
The day you get an Indian head massage is not the day to have your best hair do. You will most likely have oils massaged into your scalp so your hair might look like an oil slick! Just plan to do nothing but relax afterwards.
Tell your therapist if:
You are, or you think you might be, pregnant
You have any medical conditions, or you are on medication
You have any skin allergies
Why not train with us?
Who doesn’t love a massage? Why not join one of our massage courses and make your clients feel like they’re walking on air? A relaxed client is a happy client!
All our courses are taught in small groups which makes for a relaxing learning environment where you’ll get all of the attention you need. Steph, our academy director and trainer, has over 20 years’ experience in the industry so when you book a course with us, you’ll be perfectly prepared to be the most successful therapist that you can be.
For more information on any of our courses, call Steph on 07825337342