Some people struggle with chronic pain, others just appreciate taking time out from their busy lives to treat themselves. Whatever the reason, massage therapy can better the lives of those that allow themselves to enjoy it.
Massage therapy is becoming increasingly important in various health and wellness professions. Some consider it a luxury service and others consider it to be a form of treatment.
As a massage therapist, you have the opportunity to treat and potentially improve the well-being of your clients. With a thorough education and training program, you will not only learn the health benefits of massage therapy, but you will learn a number of techniques, all used for a variety of reasons.
Massage therapy can alleviate lower back pain, improve range of motion, ease medication dependence, lessen depression and anxiety, reduce post-surgery swelling, reduce spasms and cramping, release endorphins, relax and soften injured, tired and overused muscles, and relieve migraine pain.
Types of massage therapy techniques include:
With relaxation as it’s primary goal, the Swedish massage is the most well-known type of bodywork. Clients can typically choose a 30-60 minute massage. A Swedish massage can also reduce stress levels, relax overtired and strained muscles and alleviate minor aches and pains.
Shiatsu, a Japanese form of bodywork or physiotherapy, means ‘finger pressure’. A therapist trained to provide the Shiatsu technique provides a rhythmic pressure on precise points of the body, often called acupressure points, believed to be important to the flow of the body’s vital energy.
Another commonly known technique, the deep tissue massage, focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. In comparison to the Swedish massage, a stronger pressure is applied, however some of the same strokes are used. The movement is slower and more concentrated on areas of tension and pain in order to reach the connective tissue surrounding the muscles.
The sports massage was originally developed to prepare athletes and their bodies for optimal performance prior to an athletic event. It was also intended to help athletic function during training and allow for better recovery after a sporting event. However, athletes aren’t the only clients that can benefit from this technique. A sports massage can also help clients with injuries, chronic pain or restricted range of motion.
Massages are used for a variety of reasons, pregnancy and prenatal needs being among them. A pregnancy massage refers to any type of hands-on massage provided during or after pregnancy.
This style of massage, performed by a Myomassologist, combines a variety of different disciplines, bodywork techniques, energy work, alternative medical treatments, nutrition and physical education. Myomassology can be approached differently and treatment is customized for each patient.
Reflexology can be considered an alternative medicine that promotes natural healing within the body using various pressure points. It is believed that these reflex and pressure points correspond to various organs and systems. Pressing them can have beneficial effects.
Acupressure is considered an Asian Bodywork Therapy, with roots in traditional Chinese medicine. Like reflexology, acupressure focuses on various pressure points on the body that connect with vital organs.
Aromatherapy, a complementary therapy that is considered to be a form of alternative medicine, uses plant based materials and essential oils. It is used to treat a variety of issues, including pain relief, mood enhancement and increased cognitive function.