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The manipulation of the body's soft tissues, including the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and skin, with varying pressure and movement is known as massage treatment. It is frequently used as a treatment for various medical ailments and is usually administered by a qualified expert known as a massage therapist. Among the well-known advantages of massage therapy are:

* It helps lower stress levels* It eases tension and soreness in the muscles and joints* It tends to strengthen the body's immune system. It can bring about a relaxed state.

These are 13 of the most common types of massage therapy specialities:

1. Swedish massage

This type of full-body massage is usually aimed at people who are new to massages or sensitive to touch. The customer removes most of their clothes and lies on a massage table covered by a sheet. In contrast, the massage therapist occasionally moves the sheet to access various parts of the body. They use multiple techniques, such as deep circular motions, vibrations, tapping, joint movement techniques and long, flowing strokes to relax all muscles and joints. Swedish massages typically last between an hour and 90 minutes.

2. Aromatherapy massage

This massage speciality combines traditional massage techniques and various essential oils. The customer is usually given a soft full-body massage, while essential oils are diluted and applied directly to the skin. Most aromatherapy massages focus on the back, shoulder, and head area.

3. Deep tissue massage

Deep tissue massage is similar to Swedish massage but usually applies more pressure. The massage therapist usually applies deep finger pressure and uses slow strokes to access the deepest layers within your muscles and connective tissues, relieving them from tension. It is highly recommended for people with muscle soreness and chronic muscle pain. Although it has a higher-than-average intensity rate, it shouldn't cause significant soreness or pain.

4. Trigger point massage

This type of massage is recommended for people with specific injuries or conditions. It's based on the idea that various tight areas in the muscle tissues, called trigger points, can produce pain in other body areas. By massaging those points and relaxing the muscle tissue, that pain can be relieved. The massage includes all body parts, with the therapist focusing on specific areas.

5. Hypnotherapy

Certified massage therapists can learn hypnotism and hypnotherapy techniques, becoming hypnotherapists. This therapy combines classic massage techniques with relaxation and meditation techniques, relaxing the client's body and mind. This helps them relieve not only physical tension but also psychological stress.

6. Medical massage

Unlike traditional massage, medical massage focuses on a specific issue, such as a recovering injury, and uses special rehabilitation techniques. The purpose of medical massage isn't to provide muscle and tissue relaxation and pain relief but to help heal a specific medical condition from which the patient is suffering.

7. Acupuncture

This technique is similar to trigger point massage therapy, with the significant difference being the use of needles to access those trigger points. It was first used in ancient China, and it's popular in many parts of the globe, but there currently needs to be scientific evidence that it works as it should. However, its widespread use for pain relief in various parts of the body makes it a viable career choice for an aspiring massage therapist.

8. Shiatsu massage

This Japanese massage technique involves the therapist using their hands, palms and thumbs to massage various body areas using rhythmic or pulsing pressure. Aside from reducing muscle tension, it also has mental health benefits, as it can relieve anxiety, depression and stress and induce a state of calmness and relaxation. It can also relieve headaches.

9. Thai massage

This is a full-body massage that's based on a series of movements that resemble classic yoga stretches. Aside from the therapist using their hands to apply pressure on various parts of the body, they also stretch and twist multiple body parts, relieving them from tension. It improves the client's blood circulation, energy levels and overall flexibility.

10. Reflexology

This technique is a nontraditional form of massage therapy that uses the body's natural reflexes in the client's hands and feet. There are many different ways to perform reflexology. Still, most therapists divide their clients' bodies into ten areas, with five on each side, and then use hand, thumb and finger techniques to apply pressure on specific trigger points. This can cause the pressure to circulate from one zone to another, alleviating pain and tension. Although not scientifically recognised, reflexology is widely used for mild pain relief.

11. Chair massage

As the name suggests, chair massage is a traditional massage performed while the client sits on a chair. Although it doesn't usually provide the same pain relief as conventional full-body massages, chair massages can quickly and conveniently relieve mild pain, promote relaxation and reduce stress. Also, due to its convenience, it can be performed virtually anywhere, including public spaces.

12. Sports massage

This massage technique was created to be used by athletes of varied disciplines and fitness levels to prevent and treat injuries, enhance performance, and improve flexibility. Depending on the sport the client plays and the areas most need a massage, the therapist usually manipulates the body's soft tissues and focuses on specific areas. It is similar to the Swedish massage but generally quicker and more localised.

13. Hot stone massage

This technique implies using warm stones and placing them on specific points on the client's body. The therapist then puts pressure on the rocks and indirectly on the client's muscles and joints. Aside from the traditional benefits of a massage, hot stone massage uses heat, which can speed up muscle relaxation.


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