If you are planning on booking massage therapy, either as a relaxing treat that you’ve earned after a long work week, or as a pain-relieving and healing treatment after you’ve suffered an injury, it’s only natural to want to know what to expect. This includes having an idea of the massage techniques you can expect relaxing massage and sports massage therapists to carry out during your experience.
This is why we at Little Jasmine Therapies have created this guide, so you can read about the types of massage you may wish to enjoy, and learn more about the basic massage therapy techniques in the process.
What Different Types of Massage are Available?
It is possible to come across a wide variety of massage therapies whenever you require rest, relaxation, or healing. Today, there are reported to be as many as 80 different types of individual massage therapy, each of which offers its own range of techniques that may or may not be used during your experience. Just some of the basic massage types available from treatment rooms include:
- Aromatherapy Massage
- Chair Massage
- Deep Tissue or Sports Massage
- Facial Massage
- Foot Massage
- Full Body Massage
- Head, Neck, and Shoulder Massage
- Hot Stone Therapy
- Swedish Massage
- Traditional Thai Massage
Common Back Massage Techniques
Most types of massage will dedicate some of the experience to soothing the muscles found in your upper and lower back, as these areas of your body can often hold a lot of tension that will quickly become long-term aches and pains. This can be exacerbated if you spend a great amount of time working at a desk, if you are not lifting heavy objects correctly, or even just as you naturally get older.
Some of the basic techniques therapists will use to alleviate the pains and soothe the aches caused by problems with your back, and often other areas of your body as well, include:
Otherwise known as “stroking”, this is performed by a therapist running their hands rhythmically and continuously over the client’s skin in long, smooth strokes. This is only performed in one direction, which encourages an increase in blood flow, stretches tissues, and allows the client to relax completely.
Also called “kneading”, this involves a therapist lifting, pressing, squeezing, pinching, and rolling the skin to stimulate local circulation. For some muscular disorders, it may also relieve pain.
This technique stretches the fascia (a layer of fibrous tissue in your body), in order to release restrictions which may have been causing tension in your muscles and even your bones.
Trigger Point Therapy
This technique will see a therapist apply pressure to sensitive or tender muscle tissue, relieving pain in the process.
Deep Transverse Frictions
This is a form of connective tissue therapy, which is applied directly by the fingers. Oscillating pressure is then applied in the direction of the tissue fibres. This technique is normally used on tendon or ligament injuries.
This technique is often used as a warm-up for sports massages, as it uses rhythmic compression to soften the tissues before deeper massage therapy is performed.
These techniques are applied in a general manner to create a stretching and broadening effect in large muscle groups, or on specific areas of muscle and connective tissue to encourage healing.
Common Techniques for Swedish Massage Therapy
When undergoing Swedish massage therapy, you may also find the therapist carrying out techniques such as:
- Friction, or “rubbing”
- Vibration, or “shaking”
- Tapotement, or “tapping” or “pounding” (it may also be called percussion)
Baby Massage Techniques
If you have a baby, it is also possible for you to perform a series of massage techniques on them as well. These are all designed to be as gentle on your little one as possible, and should be performed as a form of bonding that can also relax your baby when they’re experiencing stomach pains or teething issues.
Here, we’ve provided a short guide on the techniques and movements you can use when massaging your baby:
Leg Massage and Foot Massage Technique
While holding the baby’s heel in one hand, use your other hand to stroke all the way down the leg. Start at the top of the thigh and move all the way down to the ankle, gently squeezing as you do. Reverse the process after this, moving from the ankle all the way back up the leg. Rub the foot with your thumbs, before switching legs.
This technique can also be used on a baby’s hands and arms.
Head Massage Technique
Begin with your hands on either side of your baby’s head, then softly run your hands down both sides of their body, all the way to their toes. After this, use your fingertips to draw small circles on their head.
Facial Massage Technique
To carry out a facial massage, fold your hands on your baby’s forehead (as though you were praying), then gently push outward from the centre. Then, use your thumb to draw the shape of a smile from one cheek to the other, across the upper lip. Follow this with the same movement on their lower lip.
Chest Massage Technique
Fold your hands on your baby’s chest, before gently pushing out to the sides.
Stomach Massage Technique
Use your fingertips to draw an oval below your baby’s navel, moving clockwise to follow the natural path of digestion. After this, “walk” your fingers diagonally across your baby’s stomach, as though you were forming an X.
Back Massage Technique
Stroke your baby’s back using light side to side movements, before switching to up and down movements.
Massage Techniques During Pregnancy
We understand that alongside the worries you may be experiencing, pregnancy can also often lead to aches and pains in joints and muscles all over your body, from your neck and shoulders, right down to your ankles and feet. This is why you may also decide to book yourself a light pregnancy massage as complementary prenatal care.
These massages combine the techniques of Thai oil and Swedish massage, and if you choose to have your experience in our own treatment rooms in Brighton and Hove, we will be sure to adapt the process to suit your individual needs. Whether you’re currently suffering from neck pain, or aches in your joints as you carry your child, we will be able to bring you the relief you need most.
When considering a prenatal massage therapy, please be sure to consult your doctor before booking an appointment.
Which Massage Techniques Will Work Best?
We believe there is no one “best type” of massage therapy, as each of the different types of massage and their individual techniques offer their own benefits and advantages to your physical and mental wellbeing. The therapy which is right for you will all depend on the problem you find yourself experiencing. For instance, if you are in pain from an injury caused by playing sports, a deep tissue massage or a full sports massage will dig down into the layers of muscle and relieve the tension currently causing them to seize up.
If your current source of tension is stress-related and the worries of the outside world, you may instead wish to opt for a more basic and light massage therapy treatment. Relaxing massage therapies, such as hot stone treatments and head, neck, and shoulder massages, are all designed to reduce emotional stress as well as to release tension in the muscle tissues. You may wish to select one of these therapies if you’re looking to treat yourself after a long week, when work has been hard on you and even harder on your body.
Book a Tranquil and Healing Massage Experience Today
If you’ve been feeling worn down and worried by the stresses and strains of everyday life, or even if you’ve suffered an injury that has yet to fully heal, a massage therapy from Little Jasmine Therapies may be just what you need. We offer a wonderful range of treatments to soothe even the deepest aches and pains, and our techniques are all easily adapted to suit your needs.
We want you to have the best, most relaxing experience possible in our Brighton and Hove treatment rooms, and you may rest assured that each massage will be performed by a fully trained and qualified therapist. You’ll always be in a safe set of hands with our services, and if there is anything you feel that we should know before your scheduled booking, please don’t hesitate to tell us. We are more than prepared to adapt our movements and techniques if this will help you to achieve your most comfortable state.
Speak with us on the phone or send us a message here on our website and we can discuss the different types of massage therapy we have available. Alternatively, if you already know which treatment you’d like to indulge in the most, you’ll be able to go ahead and book your appointment with us right away.