An overview of massage
Massage can be used for more than simply removing tension, through the benefits to relaxation are considerable (reduced stress, for one.) All types of massage involve using the hands/feet/elbows/etc to manipulate the muscles of the body.
Like Martial Arts, there are a number of styles of massage. These styles vary with the form of manipulations, use of pressure points, goals of the massage, exact form of the manipulation, and various other factors.
Some of the many side benefits to a good massage are: improved feeling of well-being, improved immune system, improved healing (eg: sports injuries,) and so on. Plus it just feels darn good.
Some types of massage are intended to work and relax tight/sore muscles, others go for deeper healing functions.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to replace any medical treatment. It is offered here as a service. Use this information at your own risk. No guarantee is made towards validity. This is my personal belief on how these types of massages work on me.
Some Massage Styles
Here is a list of types of some of the various massage types/styles and their benefits.
- Acupressure: This is a traditional form of Chinese medice that is based on the same principles as acupuncture. Pressure is applied to points along the body which removes blocks in the meridian system. Often helpful for improving the immune system and well-being.
- Alexander Technique: teaches other ways of moving. This really isn’t a massage – but is often listed into the same section of various healing directories. This work teaches one how to sit, stand and walk in a way that works with the bodies muscles. It is often recommended after other types of body work to help keep the changes. It also helps dancers, singers, and athletes to perform their best.
- Balinese Massage Therapy: Having originated on the exotic island of Bali, the Balinese massage therapy is one of a number of ancient traditional massage techniques of Indonesia which had been carried down from one generation to another as a method of curing a wide variety of complaints.
- Chi Nei Tsang: removes blockages in abdominal area. This is internal organ massage. It feels weird at first but is very healing for digestive ailments. Also good for improving the immune system. (Information on Chi Nei Tsang)
- Cranio-Sacral massage: CST is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system – comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.Using a soft touch generally no greater than 5 grams, or about the weight of a nickel, practitioners release restrictions in the craniosacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system.By complementing the body’s natural healing processes, CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and is effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction
- Deep Tissue massage: loosens muscles. This is very nice work. I’m not as fond of it as other massages as it often hurts — but I know some very strong advocates, including my wife.
- Feldenkrais: helps with sports injuries, snoring, general tension and often gets people out of comas. It is a clothes on massage that teaches the body alternative ways to move.
- Hot Stone Massage: The Hot Stone massage is a therapeutic massage technique in which a heated stone is held by the massage therapist who uses it to apply the customary and traditional Swedish massage strokes…
- Indian Head Massage: Its origins stem from an Indian remedial and grooming practice which had been and continues to be part of the Indian daily ritual for over 4,000 years. The ancient Indians believed that…
- Jin Shin Jyutsu: helps reduce tension, stress and other problems. It is fairly similar to acupressure.
- Korean Martial Therapy: No, this doesn’t refer to the head massage received by a high roundhouse kick. The Korean Martial Therapy has been recognized for its effectiveness in keeping warriors in their topmost form before and after combat…
- Reflexology: adjusts meridian energy. This is a very relaxing massage you can do on yourself. It helps remove blockages through the feet and often feels wonderful. I’ve had it done through the feet or hands.
- Reiki: adjusts energy in the body. This is really energy work. As the person channels energy through your body, be certain that you are in-tune with the person doing this work.
- Rolfing: adjusts the muscles sheaths to be their full extension. This type of massage enabled my spine to be fully straight — I grew 2 inches by removing the curve in my back. It also enabled my niece to not need back surgery. It is uncomfortable at best. Some practitioners are very painful, try to find one that is tolerable.
- Rosen Method: focuses on the emotional body. I found this more effect for releasing emotional trauma than traditional therapy.
- Swedish massage: focuses on relaxation. I find it doesn’t last as long as Feldenkrais or Trager. It is the most common type of massage and is very enjoyable.
- Sports Massage: the Sports Massage is a specialty massage technique that was created and developed with athletes in mind. As such, the Sports Massage prepares the bodies of professional and amateur sportspersons…
- Trager Approach: helps with joint movement. This massage works on loosening all your joints. It is very relaxing and enjoyable
- Energy Healing Schools: Holistic Junction is your source for Holistic Practitioners; Alternative Healing, Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Healing Arts Schools; Natural Healthcare; Insightful Literature and so much more…
More Articles on Massage Forms
Acupressure is a form of massage and healing developed by the Chinese perhaps 5,000 years ago.
- Massage Therapy Schools
Consider enrolling in a massage therapy school if you are one who is interested in learning natural healing
- Shiatsu Massage
Shiatsu is a form of Japanese massage or bodywork that originated in Japan. Literally translated shiatsu means finger pressure.
- Zen Shiatsu Massage
All types of shiatsu stimulate blood circulation directly, like western style massage such as Swedish. In doing so, both of these systems help release poorly flowing blood in the skin and muscles…
- Give a Full Body Massage as a Gift
Here’s a gift idea for that “hard to buy for” person – a full body massage at the local spa.
- Massage Videos
This area of the site has a series of videos covering a variety of types of massage.
- Massage Chairs
Don’t have the time or interest to visit your massage therapist? Try a massage chair for an anytime massage.
If possible, rest or take a walk after a massage to allow some time to adjust to your new relaxed state. I find this helps me get the most out of a massage.
Here are some useful questions you may want to ask before going to a massage:
- Is this type of bodywork done fully clothed?
- How much does it cost?
- How long are appointments?
- Are you willing to do this work at my house?
- Do you have a waiting room?
- Is this a non-sexual type of massage?
- Is this a gentle massage?
- What is your cancellation policy?
- Do you use scented oil? What type of oil do you use? (Note: some massage such as Feldenkrais do NOT use oil.)
- Different types of oils can really affect a massage. If you have sensitivities to smells, be sure to ask for unscented oils or oils that agree with you. Some oils have herbs (lavendar is very common for relaxation). Others are said to have healing properties such as Emu oil. Depending on what works on you, you may request specific types of oils or bring your own.
Here are some tips for during the massage:
- If the massage is too light or too hard, ask to have the pressure changed. Some massages are only light (Rosen, Feldenkrais, etc.) but asking is appropriate.
- If you are uncomfortable (need heat turned up, less blankets, light moved), say something.
- Tell the practitioner where you hurt. This way the massage can focus on where you need it most.
- Spending time during the massage being grateful can help one make huge changes.
- Often breathing deeply can help you get the most out of a massage. Breathe into every cell of your body.
- Combining either aromatherapy or flower essences can enable even more change if so desired.
Here are some tips for after the massage:
- Drink lots of water. This helps the body release toxins that you were able to release during the massage.
- Plan to take the first 20 minutes after a massage lightly. For example, go on a short walk or sit quietly. This allows the massage to settle into the body.
- After many massages, a nice warm bath is very refreshing. (Note: after pranic healing this is NOT recommended.)
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Massage Books and Websites
Here is a good list of useful massage, and related subject, books. (In association with Amazon.com for quick, reliable service – and discount prices!)
- Touch for Health : A Practical Guide to Natural Health Using Acupressure Touch and Massage to Improve Postural Balance and Reduce Physical and Mental by John F. Thie, Keith Marks (Photographer)
One of my favorite massage books. Great meridian charts. Excellent, detailed instructions. Can be used on others too.
- 5-Minute Massage : Quick & Simple Exercises to Reduce Tension & Stress by Robert The
Simple acupressure massages you can do on yourself. Easy & effective.
- Body Reflexology : Healing at Your Fingertips by Mildred Carter, Tammy Weber (Contributor)
Great book for doing massage on yourself or a loved one. I find this type of massage quite healing.
- Your Hands Can Heal You: Pranic Healing Energy Remedies to Boost Vitality and Speed Recovery from Common Health Problems
This book includes many simple excercises that can greatly increase your health. It has an “energetic” type massage of sweeping energy that gives one a huge boost in vitality.
- Awareness Through Movement : Health Exercises for Personal Growth by Moshe Feldenkrais
I’ve found Feldenkrais exercises to be extremely effective.
Massage for Friends and Family:
- Baby Massage : A Practical Guide to Massage and Movement for Babies and Infants by Peter Walker
A great way to share affection with your baby.
- The Touch of Healing : Energizing the Body, Mind, and Spirit With Jin Shin Jyutsu by Alice Burmeister, Tom Monte (Contributor), Mary Burmeister
Gentle touching similar to acupressure is used to release tension that accumulates and is at the root of dysfunction, disease, and imbalance. Use on yourself or others.
- Massage Book by George Downing
A very nice Swedish massage book. This gentle massage is very relaxing. Great for couples.
Massage Practitioner Books:
- The Power of Reiki : An Ancient Hands-On Healing Technique by Tanmaya Honervogt
Reiki is very powerful massage. Here is an excellent book explaining the basics of Reiki.
- Gray’s Anatomy : Anatomy, Descriptive, and Surgical by Henry Gray, T.Pickering Pick, Robert Howden (Editor)
Learn basic anatomy — where muscles are what they are used for and much more. Very dense.
Massage Products & Websites:
- Massage and Energy Medicine by Zorena – Personal Recommendation: Zorena is an excellent massage therapist in Los Angeles, California. She does rejunative massage, pranic healing and Feng Shui. She is very caring, kind, and healing. I found my self very relaxed, calm and energized after her massage. (She also does energy work via phone.) Phone #: 310-479-5551
- Bodywork For Men – Free site with worldwide links to male bodyworkers and masseurs.
- The Complete Guide to the Alexander Technique – This Web Site provides a systematic guide to all Alexander Technique information and resources – both on and off the Internet.
- Massage Therapy Schools Directory– NaturalHealers.com provides a guide to education and careers in massage therapy.
- Reiki Healing Glastonbury Uk Home Page – Reiki healing Glastonbury is about healing self, healing others, heal the world
- Massage School Directory – Search by state for a massage school near you or anywhere in the U.S. Decide which schools may be right for you, and easily request more information from them.