What Kind Of Massage Would Be Best For You?

Massage therapy is a great way to relieve stress and feel better physically and mentally. But if you've never had a massage before, you may not really know all of the options that you have. Take a look at these different massage therapies to see which kind would most benefit your situation and lifestyle.

Swedish Massage

If you just want to get a massage for relaxation purposes, then Swedish massage is the way to go. the therapist will use effleurage, which are circular motions with the palm, to warm up your body. He or she may even ask if you would like essential oils for a combined aromatherapy. Once the muscles have warmed up with effleurage, then your therapist will use long, gliding strokes to encourage circulation. If you bruise easily or aren't keen on deep pressure, then Swedish massage may be a good option.

Lymphatic Drainage

Your lymphastic system transports lymph—a fluid of infection-fighting cells—throughout your body's organs. Lymph can also help your body rid itself of metabolic waste. If you suffer from edema, you may have a blockage in your lymph system. A lymphatic drainage massage can help remove these blockages. Lymphatic drainage massages are also great for people with autoimmune diseases or those recovering from surgery (if your doctor says it's okay to do so). These massages boost the immune system and reduce swelling.

Sports Massage

If you are athletic and do repetitious exercises, then sports massage is a great way to recover from delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Although repetitive strain injuries are often associated with occupational injuries, they are quite common in athletes. One example of a repetitive strain injury is tennis elbow, where the forearm muscles connected to the elbow become inflamed and irritated. A massage therapist can work through these areas of strain with trigger point release. He or she will place pressure on areas of fascia that aren't gliding smoothly and release when the fascia relaxes. Keep in mind that some sports massages are categorized as deep tissue massages. This means that your therapist may use more pressure than you'd find in a Swedish massage.

Clinical Massage

A clinical massage can certainly employ other techniques used in Sports massages, Swedish massages, etc. However, these massages are often only focusing on one area of pain and are often used in conjunction with physical therapy. For instance, if you've hard arthroscopic shoulder surgery, your doctor may prescribe some clinical massage sessions to work out any scar tissue you may have. If you have a condition that causes myalgia, your doctor may prescribe massage sessions so that you can better function in day-to-day tasks.

Because clinical masseuses often work hand-in-hand with a doctor's office, one great benefit is that they often accept insurance. Usually there's a cap on just how many massages you can get (e.g., 1 per month), but you can also work with your doctor about increasing the frequency if your insurance covers it and if you have needs after surgery or due to disease.

Contact a local massage therapist in your area to see which kind of massage would be best for you.