After a few hard, long, stressful days you probably feel like you could use a massage. That is probably not a bad idea; after all, the right massage can help you not only to relax tension in the body, but can also help you to ease your mind. Of course, there are many Euro-spa massage modalities out there so you’ll want to know how they are different to determine which one is best for the specific health and wellness needs you have.
The most common and popular type of massage today, Swedish massage uses medium pressure to relieve stress, improve relaxation, and ease tension. The modality combines long sweeping strokes (called effleurage) with muscle kneading and rolling techniques (called petrissage) and friction and rhythmic tapping when necessary to improve circulation, which also helps to release tension.
HOT STONE MASSAGE
In a hot stone massage, the practitioner places heated, slightly weighted stones to work the muscles. The heat can be nearly unbearable to some who are new, but heat, of course, is necessary for releasing tension, especially in the back and shoulders. This modality is also good for “centering” your focus, too.
DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE
This is the application of hard pressure to deep muscle tissue in order to address specific trouble areas. To the inexperienced, this modality can feel more like torture, but once the knots are worked out you can feel not only more relaxed but simultaneously invigorated. It is best for those who are physically active (like athletes) or for those undergoing physical therapy (as a means to break down scar tissue and rebuild muscle).
TRIGGER POINT MASSAGE
Similar to deep tissue massage, trigger point massage focuses on specific areas of the body or muscle groups, working deep layers of muscle instead of shallower layers across the whole body. What makes trigger point different than deep tissue, though, is that it is more designed to address specific trigger points within the deep muscle tissue that is causing pain in the body. For example, a headache might actually be the result of a trigger point in the neck, which can then be worked out with this technique.
Literally meaning “finger pressure”, this ancient Japanese technique combines both gentle stretches with hard finger pressure to work specific pressure points. The overall goal is to repair energy flow imbalances within the body. It is most often used as an alternative treatment for headaches and back pain.