Massage has become a popular treatment for both men and women as a result of it's many health benefits. There are 4 common types of traditional massage which can be used to treat specific areas of concern;
What are the most common types of massage?
Massage is a general term for pressing, rubbing and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Movements used range from light stroking to deep pressure.
Deep massage. This massage technique uses slower, more-forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, commonly to help with muscle damage from injuries.
Swedish massage. This is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping to help relax and energize you.
Sports massage. This is similar to Swedish massage, but it's focussed towards those involved in sport activities to help prevent or treat existing or old injuries.
Trigger point massage. This massage focuses on areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse.
How can massage benefit me?
Massage was once considered a luxury pampering treatment only carried out at health spas or gyms. However, recent studies have shown the benefits of massage, particularly as an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension. As a result there are various places now offering massage, however always make sure your therapist is fully trained.
There have been many studies carried out which show how massage can help alleviate the symptoms of;
Insomnia related to stress
Soft tissue injuries
What are the risks of massage?
The benefits of massage far outweigh the risks, but it is always advisable to speak to your massage therapist if you have any of the following conditions, as massage may not be suitable for you;
If you have any open wounds or burns
If you are taking blood-thinning medication
Deep vein thrombosis
Recent fractures or osteoporosis
If you are pregnant
If you have been diagnosed with cancer
What will happen during my massage session?
Your therapist will ask you to fill in a consultation form and discuss any areas which you would like to concentrate on. She will also ask you what type of pressure you prefer.
Depending on preference, your massage therapist may use oil or lotion to reduce friction on your skin. Tell your massage therapist if you might be allergic to any ingredients.
Depending on the type of massage you have chosen you will be asked to lie on a massage table or sit in a chair. Your therapist will explain what clothing to remove and ask you to cover yourself with a towel or sheet.
How long will my massage session last?
A massage session may last from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the type of massage you have chosen. You should feel calm and relaxed during and after your massage. If the massage feels uncomfortable at any point, tell your therapist so that she can adjust the pressure used.
A final thought about massage;
Massage isn't just a pampering treatment, it is a recognised therapy to help with your overall health and wellbeing. Regular massage can help alleviate stress and help reduce anxiety as well as treat joint and muscle aches and pains. At ERA we recommend weekly massage for sports injuries and monthly treatments for wellbeing.