How Massage can ease your pain?
Last updated date: 24-Feb-2022
14 mins read
What is Massage?
Massage therapy is used both for wellbeing purposes and to control some health conditions, as it requires the manipulation of the body’s soft tissues for both therapeutic reasons and relaxation.
Massage has been practiced for a long time and it is part of both Eastern and Western culture. It is believed that massage is one of the earliest methods which ancient people used to try relieving pain.
Massage is a general term for various similar therapies, but they are quite different. As you will learn in this article, massage is a broad spectrum of therapies whose purpose is to relieve pain and to increase wellbeing.
Massage therapy consists of many techniques and some of them might be specific to some geographical areas. For example, Western societies are used to the Swedish or classical massage, while Eastern societies are used to the Shiatsu or Tuina massage techniques.
There exist other widespread massage therapies, such as sports massage or clinical massage, which are both used to aid in achieving particular goals, releasing muscle spasms, for example.
Massage therapy is believed to be a part of integrative medicine, as it could be done to improve various medical conditions.
Nowadays, the fact that massage is helpful is no longer just a belief. The studies have revealed that massage could:
- Reduce stress;
- Decrease pain and muscle tension;
- Increase the strength of the immune system;
- Improve relaxation.
A massage center is an establishment that offers massage treatments to its customers.
You might also hear about massage and wellness spa centers. This type of establishment is focused on providing a luxurious experience to its clients, which should help increase their relaxation. Being a massage and wellness spa center, the services they provide there usually involve more spa treatments than massages. Thus, in such a center, you might be able to get more treatments that are supposed to induce relaxation, such as body scrubs, or water treatments.
A massager is a person who is specialized in working with the body’s soft tissue (muscle, connective tissue, tendons, or ligaments) to reduce stress and pain.
Any massage therapy needs to be performed by a trained and certified massage therapist, as there are specific moves to be performed, such as applying different degrees of pressure, and specific tools to be used.
The massage equipment
To provide a professional massage, specific and essential equipment is required. Therefore, if you are aiming to become a massage therapist, you need to know that the standard equipment in which you have to invest in. The better your equipment is, the better your customer’s massage experience gets.
Therefore, these are the essential pieces of equipment for a professional massage:
- Massage table (also known as massage beds);
- Massage linens;
- Face cradle or headrest, or massage pillow, as some would refer to it.
- Mats or pads.
To obtain your massage license, you have to undergo some training. First, you need to complete a massage therapy course and pass the licensing exam and, only then, apply for a state license.
Massage vs chiropractor
The massage and chiropractor are two different things, although they could be quite similar.
The massager works with your soft tissue and muscles, while the chiropractor performs some more complex treatments, such as correcting the spinal misalignments.
Types of massage
Whether you need a massage for lower back pain or any other muscle pain, the Swedish Massage is the most common type of full body massage.
The Swedish massage is recommended for those who:
- Are experiencing massage for the first time;
- Are very tensioned;
- Are sensitive when touched.
The Swedish massage is known to release most of the muscle knots and it is also a great choice if you want to enjoy and relax during the whole experience.
Normally, the Swedish massage takes up between 60 and 90 minutes.
Hot stone massage
The hot stone massage is extraordinary for those who experience intense muscle pain and tension. Also, you can fully relax during this type of massage. The moves are pretty similar to those used for the Swedish massage, but during a hot stone massage, the massage therapist uses hot stones instead of his own hands.
The use of hot stones is very helpful in improving the blood flow, decreasing tension, and relieving pain. It also stimulates relaxation.
Throughout the whole hot stone massage session, the therapist gently applies the hot stones to various parts of the body. Cold stones could also be used for this type of massage, sometimes.
This type of massage lasts 90 minutes.
The aromatherapy massage is the most suitable type of massage for those who are eager to get an emotional healing component in their massage.
This type of massage could help you boost your mood; relieve the pain and muscle tension, as well as decrease stress, anxiety, or depression.
The aromatherapy massage consists of applying gentle pressure using essential oils. Normally all of these oils are diluted before being applied to your skin. Each session of aromatherapy massage also includes inhaling the essential oils through a diffuser and absorbing them through the skin.
Normally, the aromatherapy massage concentrates on your back, shoulders and head and it lasts between 60 and 90 minutes.
Deep tissue massage
Deep tissue massage is the hardcore version of the Swedish massage. It consists of applying more pressure than the level of pressure which is applied during the Swedish massage. A deep tissue massage is a great option, in case that you are suffering from chronic muscle problems. It is also very helpful for those who try to relieve muscle pain, tight muscles, or simply want to fight against anxiety.
The massage therapist is supposed to relieve the tension from all the muscle layers and connective tissue. He will do so by using slow strokes and by applying a lot of pressure with his fingers.
Although deep tissue massage might get intense, it is not painful. The deep tissue massage is supposed to last between 60 and 90 minutes.
The sports massage is specific for the patients who are either professional athletes or amateurs in playing sports.
Those who are experiencing a sports massage are usually needed as a result of a muscle injury. Also, those who benefit from this kind of massage are trying to prevent any possible future injuries during playing sports. The sports massage has the ability to increase one’s flexibility and performance and it can also be performed to relieve pain, muscle tension, or even anxiety.
The sports massage can be performed as both full-body or one spot-concentrated massage. The sports massage consists of applying high pressure alternated with soothing strokes. The sports massage should be tailored to your needs.
Each session of sports massage takes between 60 and 90 minutes.
Trigger point massage
Trigger point massage is the kind of massage that is most suitable for those who are suffering from physical injuries or who are experiencing chronic pain or other conditions.
It is believed that the spots of muscle tightness, also referred to as trigger points, could result in pain in other areas of the body. Therefore, massaging these trigger points could help in reducing the pain.
The trigger point massage is supposed to use soft broad and flowing strokes which are mixed with high applied pressure.
Although the trigger point massage is a full body massage, the therapist will concentrate on the most affected areas of the body.
A session of trigger massage lasts between 60 and 90 minutes.
Shiatsu massage is a Japanese type of massage. It helps those who want to feel truly relaxed and fully relieved of stress and pain or tension. It also stimulates a higher level of both emotional and physical calmness.
The Shiatsu massage therapist performs a full body massage, but he focuses on the areas which are truly in need of attention. The massage therapist uses his hands, palms, and thumbs to apply pulsing pressure on certain parts of the body.
A session of Shiatsu massage lasts between 60 and 90 minutes.
The Thai massage is probably one of the most popular types of massages. Everybody knows about it as it is a reference in terms of relaxation.
This type of massage consists of movements that are similar to those of the yogic massage, but the massage therapist will use his hands and fingers to apply pressure on your body. During a Thai massage session, you will find yourself stretching and twisting in several positions.
Other purposes of this type of massage are to increase flexibility, improve blood flow, and boost energy levels.
Any Thai massage session should take up to 60 and 90 minutes.
Chair massage is one very accessible type of massage. It concentrates on the back, shoulders, and neck. It applies light to moderate pressure.
You can find a chair massage in various places, from malls to buses.
A chair massage lasts usually between 10 and 30 minutes.
The massage balls are one effective way of decreasing the tension and tightness of the muscles, which results in relieving the pain and stiffness. Any ball massage can also stimulate blood flow.
If you are looking to try out at home a massage ball, all you will need is an actual ball. You can use a golf ball, lacrosse ball, or tennis ball.
All you need to do is to make yourself comfortable on a chair or sofa and put a ball under the arch of one of your feet. Then, you have to lean gently forward, so your body weight will apply the pressure on the ball.
Slowly, roll the ball forward and backward on the length of your foot. Afterward, you can start rolling from side to side. You should commence with applying a low pressure. You can gradually push harder as you roll it.
This massage ball is supposed to take up to one minute.
Massage for plantar fasciitis
The heel pain could be very intense and bothersome, each time when you wake up from the bed or a chair. If you try to relieve this pain, you should know that there are some massage techniques that could help and which you can try out by yourself, before putting pressure on your feet.
Before trying the massage techniques for plantar fasciitis, you should gently warm up the area by rubbing it. So, you will stimulate the blood flow in the area. You might also want to apply a little bit of moisturizer for your massage.
Here are some very useful massage techniques that should help you relieve the pain of your heels:
- Heel-of-hand massage;
- Thumb pushes;
- Thumb pulls;
- Ball massage;
- Ice massage.
The vibration massage is one of the finest and very gentle massage techniques. It can be performed with both hands or fingers. It is well known that vibrations help the stimulation of the body’s soft tissue. The vibration movements are great for relieving the muscles’ tension and stress, as well as for stimulating the nerves.
How to massage scalp?
If you feel like needing a scalp massage, you should use the fingertips of both your hands to put mild to moderate pressure on it. You have to move your fingers in small circles. Move your hands slowly over the whole surface of the scalp. Try to massage your scalp for at least 5 minutes per session. It would be best if you were doing it a couple of times per day.
Massage and Acupuncture
Another massage therapy that is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine is represented by the acupressure massage. This massage therapy consists of using the massage therapist’s fingers to apply pressure-specific acupressure points all over the body. The purpose of this type of massage is to mobilize the chi, which is considered the point through which the energy flows within each of us. By applying pressure on these specific points, the massage therapist should be able to decongest the energy centers of your body and stimulate the unobstructed energy flow and wellbeing through your body.
Any session of massage therapy that you get could prove itself to be considerably helpful. As you might already know the massage has many benefits, but the most important ones are:
- It stimulates the blood flow;
- It decreases the levels of stress;
- It decreases the headaches or any migraine;
- It increases relaxation;
- It improves the quality of sleep’
- It improves the flexibility of the joints.
Here are some common therapeutic applications for massages:
Massage for Constipation
Even the slightest massage could improve your health status and the levels of relaxation throughout the body.
As anybody knows well that each full-body massage is relieving stress and pain, reducing the tension of the muscles, you should also get informed that massages improve digestion.
Therefore, getting a full body massage could also help with your constipation.
Also, if you are not visiting any nearby massage centers, you could try the perineal self-acupressure. Some studies have revealed that the perineal self-acupressure in combination with the normal treatment for constipation is truly effective. The study has highlighted that the normal treatment was more effective if perineal self-acupressure was performed simultaneously. The patients who have participated in the study have presented improvements regarding their constipation-related quality of life, their well-being, and their health overall.
Massage for Headache
Of course, you can get a massage if you suffer from migraines and you might also relieve the uncomfortable pain. It is believed that the body has some extra sensitive points, which are able to enhance the relief.
Reflexology is a discipline that aims to highlight the interconnections between distinct organs and parts of the body. So, reflexology reveals how you should be massaging a different part of the body, to relieve the pain from another. In this case, if you want to lose the migraine, you might need to massage your palm.
Those who practice reflexology, a discipline that is part of Chinese medicine, are certain that pushing these pressure points in specific ways could considerably:
- Ease the intensity of the pain;
- Improve the health;
- Produce an equilibrium within the body.
Massage for Pregnancy
Any massage during pregnancy could prove to be a great choice, as it could easily improve the wellbeing, relaxation, and quality of sleep for pregnant women.
Although important, massage during pregnancy must be performed only by a specialist, as some specific techniques could lead to premature labor. Not all massage therapists are certified to perform prenatal massage, as this type of massage requires an advanced level of massage education and certification.
Before seeking a massage therapist certified for prenatal massage, you should discuss the idea with your doctor, to protect your baby and yourself.
Massage oil for Baby
It is truly recommended to massage the babies since their early days. The baby massage represents very gentle and rhythmic stroking of the baby’s body using your hands. During this massage, you can softly rub the baby’s ankles, wrists, or even fingers.
It is best that during a baby massage, you apply some oil, to protect the baby’s skin. You must know, though, that not every oil can do it. So, the oils that you should use during a baby massage are:
- Cold-pressed oil;
- Mineral oils;
- Petroleum-based ointments;
- Vegetable oils.
Also, you should avoid the following types of oils:
- Mustard oil;
- Olive oil;
- Peanut oil;
- Sunflower oil.
Nearby massage centers could also have a spa. This means that you get more than just a massage. You could opt for hydrotherapy, manicures and pedicures, body wraps, aromatherapy, or acupuncture.
Usually, they also offer meditation, yoga or Pilates, as well. Just imagine how relaxed you can become if you go to have both a massage and facial spa. For example, a facial spa is based on four steps, such as cleansing, exfoliating, massaging the face, neck. The procedure is finalized by applying a special mask to your skin.
At a SPA center, you could also get a yoga massage. This type of massage is always performed with the help of a specially-trained massage therapist, who guides you among the yoga poses and stretches.
This kind of massage is performed while lying on a floor mat. The focus starts on the feet and it always ends with the face and head. This way, the energy can move towards the head and increase the blood flow.
Massages near me
If you need a massage and you do not feel like going too far to get it, you should check on your search engine for “massage therapy near me” or “massage near me now” to find the closest massage centers near to you.
The good thing about searching online for a nearby massage place is that you get to see a ranking of the closest ones. So, you can deliberately choose the best one.
Usually, if you are based in the United States of America and you search online for “massage center near to me” you are very likely to end up at one of the largest chains of massage centers, like Massage Envy, Massage Heights, or Massage Elements.
Massage intake form
Every client that asks for a massage should complete the massage intake form. This form is necessary, so the massage therapist knows which are the sensibilities and risks for each of his patients. Also, this intake form is used to highlight the preferences of the patients.
The fact each customer signs the massage intake form exonerates the massage provider from multiple risks.
Massage and Bodywork
The massage and bodywork are different. While massage defines the therapies that are performed to deal with the soft tissue by rubbing the skin, bodywork is a general term that outlines all the methods used to deal with the muscles, such as acupuncture or stretching and others.
The prices for massage differ from one type of massage to another. In the United States of America, the average price for a massage is 100 USD per session. The average massage prices per hour range between 40 USD and 145 USD.
The prices for low-end massages vary between 65 USD and 75 USD, while the high-end massages prices range between 145 USD and 185 USD.
Whether you had a bad day at the office or you have a lot of tension in your muscles, you suffered an injury or you are feeling depressed or anxious, a massage could be the best way to get back on track.
The massages are supposed to help the blood flow, to improve the health and the quality of your life overall. You will find yourself feeling a lot better after each session of massage.
So, what are you waiting for? Go and get yourself a massage!