What Kind of Massage is Best for Me?

October 01, 2015

What Kind of Massage is Best for Me?

We all have different needs when it comes to getting a massage, and there are many massage techniques to treat those needs. Before you lean back and let your massage chair do the work, here are some of the most common techniques and why you should use each one.

Swedish Massage

An increasing number of studies show the dangers of dealing with excess stress and anxiety. High levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, can weaken the immune system and increase blood pressure. Massage combats the negative effects of stress by boosting serotonin (a feel-good relaxation hormone that regulates sleep) levels and lowering blood pressure and heart rate.

Go with a Swedish massage when you need a good chill sesh or a solid night's sleep. The slow, rolling movements of Swedish massage works quickly to relax you. Try enjoying your Swedish massage toward the end of the day to maximize sleep results.

Deep Tissue Massage

If you have a desk job that keeps you sitting still for long periods, you probably experience daily muscle tightness. Those who have had past injuries leaving them with significant scar tissue in the muscles may also have tightness. Sitting in one position for 20 minutes causes your muscles to tighten and "mold." A deep tissue massage, however, can effectively relieve severe muscle tension and improve your posture.

A deep tissue or myofascial massage targets the shoulders, hips, ankles, wrists, and mid-back. These areas tend to get tightest from typical overuse or seated inactivity. It also increases your mobility by breaking up adhesions and reducing scar tissue in stiff muscles, thus letting you get back to your normal lifestyle doing the activities you love.

Shiatsu Massage

We already know our muscles can hold painful tension, but what does that do to our nerves? Tight muscles also put pressure on the nerves and blood vessels, causing even more pain.

Shiatsu or trigger point massage therapy applies pressure to points of tension in the joints of your body. This technique sends a message to the area that is radiating pain to release the muscle. Because the Shiatsu method relieves tension by applying pressure to acupuncture points, it is best for those who can endure slight discomfort during the massage. Despite the firmness, however, your muscles will feel relaxed and you typically will not experience soreness afterwards.

Reflexology

Are you suffering from tension headaches? Perhaps you want to improve your digestion? Then consider a reflexology massage. Reflexology is a massage technique that focuses primarily on the feet. It is not, however, simply a foot massage. The underlying theory behind reflexology is that there are "reflex" areas on the feet and hands that correspond to specific organs, glands, and other parts of the body.

For example:

  • Tips of the toes correlate to the head
  • Ball of the foot correlates to the heart and chest
  • Arch of the foot correlates to the liver, pancreas, and kidney
  • Heel correlates to the lower back and intestines

It is believed that the pressure sends signals that balance the nervous system or release chemicals such as endorphins that reduce pain and stress. People often get reflexology massages for conditions like:

  • Stress and stress-related conditions
  • Tension headaches
  • Arthritis
  • Digestive disorders
  • Insomnia
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Sports injuries
  • Menstrual disorders, like premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • Digestive problems, such as constipation
  • Back pain

Regardless of your reason for getting a massage, there is a technique for what you need. If you do have a pre-existing condition or injury, be sure to consult your physician prior to trying any form of massage. Once the doctor gives you the go ahead, remember than many Infinity Massage Chairs include combinations of these techniques so that you can enjoy the perfect massage! Call us today at 603-347-6006 to learn more.

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