massage therapy

Massage Therapy Styles And Their Benefits

Massage has a long history and people have been practiced it and benefitted from it for thousands of years. Nowadays, the popularity of massage has been growing and if you need a massage, there are more than 80 different styles of massage therapy are available. Each of them has unique techniques with various movements and pressures. They all use fingers and hands to soften tissues and manipulate muscles by rubbing and pressing. Some of them use elbows, forearms and even feet.

American Massage Therapy Association conducted a survey in 2007, and the result showed almost 25 % of adult Americans had experienced one or more massage in 2006. And the reasons for this widely varied. Increasing number of people are aware of the benefits of massage, particularly among baby boomers. There many different styles of massage for them to choose from in order to recover from injuries, relieve certain health conditions, or simply boost overall wellness.

Here is some information that offers you a guide for choosing what types of massage therapy will be best suited for you.

Which Massage Styles Are Best For You?

You may have been aware of that popularity of particular massage styles have been changing over the years. You might have wondered if the certain massage style was just a hype or genuinely the best massage technique. The most important thing is how do you know whether the latest massage style can really help you?

Styles and techniques used in massage range from short, banging strokes to long, gentle strokes. Some of the therapists use lotions and oils and others use neither. Most of the massage therapists ask their clients to take their clothes off for a massage, still some don’t. A massage can generally take between 5 minutes and 2 hours.
Before you make a decision which massage style you choose, you have to ask some questions to yourself. What is your purpose of getting massage is it for stress relief and relaxation, or symptom relief for particular medical condition? Before making a booking, tell the therapist what you’re after and ask what style is used there. Many of them use various styles. Some therapist can customize your particular massage style, depending on your condition, purpose, age and so on.

Here is a list of some of the most popular styles of massage therapy. The top listed four are particularly popular.

1.Swedish Massage

Swedish massage is most commonly used massage therapy. The therapist uses gentle, long, and kneading strokes, together with light, patting and rhythmic strokes, on top layers part of muscles. The stroke is combined with the joints movements as well. Swedish therapy is energizing and relaxing at the same time as the muscle tension is relieved. It can be beneficial after an injury.

Swedish massage therapist uses basically four types of strokes:

* Effleurage. Smooth, sliding strokes for relaxing soft tissues.
* Petrissage. The skin is gently lifted and squeezed and kneading and rolling strokes are used following effleurage.
* Friction. Circular and deep movements for making tissue layers to rub each other. It boosts the blood flow and helps healing of scar tissues.
* Tapotement. Using fingers, cupped hands or edge of the hands, a brisk and alternating taps are applied.

2.Neuromuscular Therapy Massage

Neuromuscular therapy massage is a type of soft tissue manipulation. It is used to treat primal causes of muscular or nerve related chronic pain. This type of massage therapy is medically-oriented and addresses trigger points, which is tender muscles points, as well as nerve compression, postural problems, poor circulation and primal biomechanical issues which can be caused by injuries from repetitive movement.

3.Deep Tissue Massage Therapy

This type of massage therapy style is used for treating painful and stiff spots. It is not as rhythmic as other styles but it is highly effective for getting rid of chronic tension in the body. It is also extremely helpful for treating a variety of muscle injuries including back sprain. In this style, slow and deliberate strikes are used by the therapist to release stress in tendons, muscles and tissues deep under the skin.

4.Sports Massage Therapy

As the name suggests, this type of massage is used for treating muscle systems that are used in a particular sport. This style of massage is used for in helping athletes before, during and after the sports events. This massage helps in preventing various injuries during sporting events by promoting flexibility. It also helps in faster healing of muscle strains in case of an injury.

5.Chair Massage Therapy

You may have seen people getting chair massages in conferences, music festivals or county fairs. Usually there are also separate chair massage sections in airports. Some of the companies also offer free chair massage sessions as a benefit to the employees. In this massage, a specially designed chair is used to give massage to you and you do not need to take off any clothes to get the massage. The therapist usually massages arms, hands, back, shoulders and neck.

6.Shiatsu Massage Therapy

In this type of massage, pressure is put on certain pressure points in the body by the therapist. The word shiatsu literally means finger pressure in Japanese language. These pressure points are also known as acupressure points and the Japanese believe that these pressure points play an important role in the flow of energy in body. This style of massage is focused on relieving blockages at various pressure points to help energy flow in the body.

7.Thai Massage Therapy

In this style of massage, acupressure, joint mobilization and muscle compression is targeted by the therapist. The most unique thing about this type of massage is that the therapist makes use of his or her own body for moving the client into various positions.

8.Hot Stone Massage Therapy

As the name suggests, in the style of massage a number of warm stones are placed on certain body areas to relieve stress. Some of the therapists use these as massage tools and sometimes these are also left in that place temporarily. This is a very relaxing form of massage as hot stones transfer heat deep into the tissues.


In this style, thumb, hand and a variety of finger techniques are used for stimulating various areas in the feet. These different areas in the feet are related to different parts of the body and it promotes health and well-being.

10.Pregnancy Massage Therapy

A woman’s body goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy. This style of massage is used for helping women in dealing with these changes. It helps in relieving joint pain, muscle strain, leg swelling, and arms swelling. This is also extremely helpful when women cannot take medication to deal with pain due to her pregnancy. The therapist makes use of special massage pillows to help you get into a comfortable position for the therapy.

Various Health Benefits of Massage Therapy

Massage offers much more than simple relaxation or relief from stress. Here are some of the health benefits offered by massage. However, it is recommended to check with your doctor in case you have any specific health condition before using massage.

Helps with Back Pain

Massage therapy has been found to be highly effective for treating back pain and many studies have confirmed the effectiveness of massage. One of the studies concluded that it worked much better for treatment of persistence pain in lower back and it reduced the painkillers need by 36%.

Helpful with Headache

Many studies have concluded that massage therapy is extremely beneficial for treating chronic headaches. It also helps in improving sleep quality.

Help with Osteoarthritis

A clinical trial conducted for studying the effectiveness of Swedish massage for patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis found that patients who received one-hour Swedish massage for one or two times in a week showed improvements in stiffness, pain and function whereas no such changes was shown by the control group.

Helpful with Cancer

For treatment of cancer, massage therapy is used with the traditional Western medicine. It helps in reducing the various side effects of cancer treatment and also helps in reducing cancer symptoms. It helps in reducing the fatigue, swelling, pain as well as depression and helps in improving the immune system function.

Helpful with Anxiety

Many studies have been conducted to study the effect of massage therapy on anxiety and depression. A review of more than 12 of these studies has shown that it has been highly effective. Massage lowers the Cortisol levels in the body by up to 50%. Massage therapy also helps in increasing the level of neurotransmitters that have been found to be helpful in reducing depression.

Spabene for Massage Therapy & Gel nails

Spabene is a true upscale boutique spa and massage therapy practice. Talk to Spabene therapist about your lifestyle and physical health, as a good massage therapist will adapt your massage to suit your body’s needs. All of our massage therapy specialists, nail technicians and aesthetician will offer you with excellent care and services according to your particular needs and wants. Spabene also provide personalized facial treatment to your particular skin type. Leave your stresses and worries behind and let us assist you to restore your sense of inner peace. Call us for more information at 212-362-2867

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