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10 Most Common Massages

By Sanhati Banerjee

In a tate a tate with Plan Your Wedding, Nandita Suri, Director, Levo Spalon talks about different types of Body Massages with different end results. Ten most common massages are as under

Levo Spalon

Swedish Massage Therapy:
Swedish massage is also known as simply massage therapy. Massage therapists use long smooth strokes, kneading and circular movements on superficial layers of muscle using massage lotion or oil. Swedish massage therapy can be very gentle and relaxing. If you’ve never had massage before, this is a good one to try first.
Aromatherapy Massage
This massage is done with the addition of one or more scented plant oils called essential oils to address specific needs. The massage therapist can select oils that are relaxing, energising, stress-reducing, balancing, etc. One of the most common essential oils used in aromatherapy massage is lavender. Aromatherapy massage is particularly suited to stress-related conditions or conditions with an emotional component.
Hot Stone Massage
Heated, smooth stones are placed on certain points on the body to warm and loosen tight muscles and balance energy centres in the body. The massage therapist may also hold stones and apply gentle pressure with them. The warmth is comforting. Hot stone massage is good for people who have muscle tension but prefer lighter massage.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage targets the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. The massage therapist uses slower strokes or friction techniques across the grain of the muscle. Deep tissue massage is used for chronically tight or painful muscles, repetitive strain, posture problems, or recovery from injury. People often feel sore for one to two days after deep tissue massage.
Shiatsu is a form of Japanese bodywork that uses localised finger pressure in a rhythmic sequence on acupuncture meridians. Each point is held for two-to-eight seconds to improve the flow of energy and help the body regain balance. People are normally pleasantly surprised when they try shiatsu for the first time. It is relaxing yet the pressure is firm, and there is usually no soreness afterwards.
Thai Massage
Like shiatsu, Thai massage aligns the energies of the body using gentle pressure on specific points. Thai massage also includes compressions and stretches. You don’t just lie there --the therapist moves and stretches you into a sequence of postures. It’s like yoga without doing any work. It also reduces stress and improves flexibility and range of motion.
Pregnancy Massage
Also called prenatal massage, pregnancy massage is becoming increasingly popular with expectant mothers. Massage therapists who are certified in pregnancy massage know the proper way to position and support the woman’s body during the massage, and how to modify techniques. Pregnancy massage is used to reduce stress, decrease swelling, relieve aches and pains, and reduce anxiety and depression.
Although reflexology is sometimes called foot massage, it is more than a simple foot massage. Reflexology involves applying pressure to certain points on the foot that correspond to organs and systems in the body. Reflexology is very relaxing, especially for people who stand on their feet all day or just have tired, achy feet.
Sports Massage
Sports massage is specifically designed for people who are involved in physical activities. But you don’t have to be a professional athlete to have one - it’s also used by people who are active and work out often. The focus isn’t on relaxation but on preventing and treating injury and enhancing athletic performance. A combination of techniques are used. The strokes are generally faster than Swedish massage. Facilitated stretching is a common technique.
Back Massage
Some massage clinics and spas offer 30-minutes back massages. If a back massage is not expressly advertised, you can also book a 30-or-40-minutes massage and ask the massage therapist to focus on your back.
We usually tell people about the benefits a massage can give you. Nevertheless, there are instances where getting a massage is not the best treatment a person may need. They are usually called massage contraindications, meaning that a person may have a condition where a massage on a single part of the body or the whole body would not be beneficial to the individual.
Sometimes these contraindications can be so absolute that a massage is not appropriate at all. There may even be other conditions that the massage therapist should know about the negative side effects that the massage could cause but are contraindicated massage techniques even though modified massage applications can have very positive effects.
Some of these major contraindications would be:-
An abnormal body temperature: If the potential client has a risen fever of about 37.5°C, the massage should not be given. Mostly, fevers mean that a person’s body is trying to locate and dispose of an invading organism. The human body will activate its defensive measures so it can isolate and take of the ailment. A massage may halt or hinder this process.
Infectious and acute disease: Clients who have contracted any infectious disease like typhoid, influenza, or any other sort of severe cold should not be administered a massage treatment. A client who receives a massage while they have an acute viral infection will only have their illness become more intense, also the therapist will then be potentially exposed to the virus the person has.
Inflammation: This type of situation is very common. If an individual has some acute inflammation, a massage will only add to the irritation and further the spread of the inflammation. If you have sustained an injury in the past twenty-four hours like an ankle sprain or hurt something in your back, then you should submit yourself to the first aid principle of RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). It is also advisable at this point to make a call to your doctor.
Varicose veins: When the valves of your veins have a breakdown it is due to back pressure causing the veins to stick out and bulge. You can usually see this happen in your legs because of gravity, this occurs when the legs are crossed or are put in other sitting positions that hinder blood circulating to your legs. Standing for a long time will also do this and add to it. Massaging an area where varicose veins are present can cause a blood clot to be set loose in your body’s circulatory system and render the massage contraindicated.
Osteoporosis: This condition in its later stages can cause bones to become extremely brittle which can easily be broken or cracked. Before you start massaging a person afflicted with this condition it is advisable that the client speak with their doctor on this matter to see if this would worsen their condition or not.
Uncontrolled High Blood Pressure: If you happen to have a client who has or has had high blood pressure.
Other contraindications: There are a plethora of different contraindications for getting a massage. The guidelines for this are straightforward enough- you do not want your therapist administering the massage to worsen any medical condition you may have, and you do not want to give anything contagious to your massage therapist. If you happen to be unsure on this issue, consulting you doctor is strongly advised before getting a massage.
Other conditions can include: Fracture, burns, or bleeding; Blood Clots; Opened sores or lesions; Systemic infections; Cancer.

 Picture Courtesy:Levo Spalon

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