Massage therapy for relaxation
Therapeutic massage involves the manipulation of the soft tissue of the body to bring about positive effects in physical and emotional health and wellbeing, such as relaxation, improved circulation or relief to muscular aches and pains. Essentially in massage therapy, the aim is to help the body heal itself. This can be achieved through the use of a range of techniques and methods such as friction, effleurage, kneading or percussion.
Relaxation and stress relief through massage therapy
Feeling stressed out? Want a way to pamper yourself and unwind? Here is a selection of massage therapies that aid relaxation and improve overall wellbeing:
An aromatherapy massage involves using essential oils. Essential oils have a particular ability to affect mood and alleviate pain. During an aromatherapy massage, oils are mixed with a carrier oil. Up to five oils are usually combined in the mixture and these are often chosen based on the intention of the massage. For instance, during a relaxing aromatherapy massage, oils such as lavender are used due to its calming properties and ability to balance the emotions. Aromatherapy is used in a range of different massage therapies as scent is believed to have the power to transform our emotions, heal our bodies and enhance to our natural health and wellbeing.
Swedish massage therapy
Swedish massage therapy is known for its relaxing and stimulating effects. It is also beneficial for emotional and physical health as well as stress relief by soothing the nervous system and relieving tension. Swedish massage therapy involves using techniques such as long strokes, kneading, friction, tapping, percussion, vibration and shaking motions. Swedish massage uses these techniques to increase the flow of oxygen to the blood and release toxins.
A stone massage is great for stress relief, relaxation and easing tension. As the name suggests, stone massage therapy uses flat basalt rocks placed on specific points on the back as well as in the palms of the hand and between the toes to relax the muscles. When heated, the stones improve circulation and calm the nervous system whereas cold stone therapy acts to stimulate lymphatic flow and cleanse the blood. Stone massage therapy is an effective way to achieve relaxation as well as other the benefits associated with stronger massage styles, but without the deep pressure and movements.
Indian head massage
Indian head massage has been practised in India for thousands of years. This massage therapy involves working with firm and gentle rhythm for easing stress and the build up of tension. Oil is not used in this massage therapy and it can be undertaken fully clothed.
This style is a Hawaiian massage therapy in which the practitioner uses their hands, forearms, elbows, fingers, feet, knees, and even sticks and stones to massage their patient. The intention of this massage therapy is to ease stress and tension and thus restore and stimulate the natural flow of energy. This massage therapy promotes detoxification and waste removal, stimulates the immune, lymphatic, circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems and releases muscle tension.