Types Of Massage For Stress Relief

Earth Day Yoga

There are many different types of massage available to help with stress relief but finding the one that suits you is often a voyage of discovery rather than an exact science.

We all experience things differently and this is true also of a stress relief massage. Where one person may like a more traditional method another may find that they benefit more from something a little more adventurous.

If at all possible massage should be part of your normal life and not seen as just an occasional treat. The overall general well being and relaxed muscle tension can bring a longer lasting relaxation over time.

The different types of massage all have their own particular beneficial effects within the body at the point of touch such as:

  • Better blood and lymphatic circulation
  • Aiding digestion
  • Stimulating the immune system
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Easing muscle tension and possible muscle spasms and reducing aches and pains
  • Producing a deep physical and mental relaxation

Some of the types of massage

Swedish massage

This is one of the most common forms of massage and the process involves a masseur using either plain carrier oils or aromatherapy oils on your body to ease the strokes along your muscles.

There are different strokes used in this massage, such as:

  • Gliding (effleurage)
  • Kneading (petrissage)
  • Rubbing (friction)
  • Tapping (tapotement)

These different strokes are designed to increase the circulation which helps to flush out waste products in the tissues and muscles.

Shiatsu

Shiatsu is a Japanese form of massage which is designed to stimulate areas of your body known as tsubos – energy lines. Stimulating these areas unblocks the energy lines and restores the flow, which in turn encourages good health.

The massage involves the practitioner to apply pressure to various points along these energy lines using their fingers, palms, elbows and knees.

Thai messages also deal with these energy lines in the body, or Sen lines, as they call them. They focus on variable rhythmic pressures along these lines, and also incorporate stretching of the entire body. Sometimes they will even pull fingers, toes, and crack knuckles. Depending on how authentic of a Thai massage is, the receiver may even be bent into various yoga positions including the Cobra Postion, or bhujangasana. However, a truly authentic Thai massage may be hard to find outside of Thailand itself. With a typical Thai massage lasting up to 2 hours, it may just be reason enough to book a Bangkok hotel.

Reflexology

This type of massage is for use on the hands and feet only and is similar to Shiatsu in that pressure is applied using the fingers to various points which are said to be connected to other areas of the body.

For instance one part of the foot would be connected to the heart, another to the liver. Pressing these points helps to relieve stress in these areas of your body which may be affecting your overall health.

Many people find this type of massage very relaxing, but only if unlike me they don’t mind having their feet touched.

Rolfing

This is a form of very deep massage and can be quite painful at first. The muscles and tissues are massage very hard to help better re-alignment.

Some people who have experience Rolfing have said that through the process of the deep tissue massage that emotions buried deep have also been released.

This can be very liberating and a stress reducer if you have feelings which you have carried around with you unresolved for a long time.

There are other types of massage which are more alternative than those mentioned here and have more to do with spirituality than actual physical massage. But if they are something which you feel you would enjoy then go for it. As I said earlier we all experience things differently and benefit in different ways.

› Types of Massage

Outside of the US? Find stress relief products in the UK and Canada.