According to Dr Richard Nahas, the practice of kneading and rubbing muscles with the hand is ancient and has survived the rise and fall of civilizations for good reason. Massages have a lot of therapeutic benefits. Let’s check out a few popular therapeutic massages.
- Hot stone massage – Hot stone massages are great for people who have muscle pain and tension and just want to relax. In this massage, the therapist used heated stones along with their hands to improve blood flow, alleviate pain, relieve stress and promote relaxation. Your therapist would place the heated stones on different parts of your body or hold a stone and rub or knead your body with it. Usually, hot stone massage sessions last for 90 minutes.
- Swedish massage – Most people are familiar with full-body Swedish massage. This type of massage is great for releasing tension and muscle knots. A session usually lasts for 60 to 90 minutes, and you lie on the table while being covered by a sheet. You can choose to wear your underwear during the massage. In this massage, the therapist will use tapping, vibration, gentle circular motions, passive joint movement techniques and long flowing strokes towards the heart.
- Deep tissue massage – Think of deep tissue massage as the same as Swedish massage with more pressure and a few more kneading technique variations. It’s great for people who have muscle problems. If you’re suffering from imbalance, chronic muscle pain, soreness, injury or muscle tightness, you’ll benefit immensely from a deep-tissue massage. Therapists use deep finger pressure and slow strokes to stimulate your muscles by reaching the deepest layers of your connective tissues. While it is a more intense version of Swedish massage, you shouldn’t feel any pain during the session.
- Sports massage – If you’re an athlete or just very enthusiastic about sports and repeatedly injure your muscles, you may benefit from a sports massage. Moreover, sports massages are good for people who are prone to injuries. Sports massage can be done on specific parts of the body, or the entire body and the therapist would often alternate soothing strokes with deep pressure during the session. During a 60 to 90-hour session, sports massage will help relieve muscle pain, increase the flexibility of your muscles, reduce tension and may even improve your athletic performance.
- Prenatal massage – Prenatal massages are a safe way for women to get the rejuvenating effects of massage during pregnancy. It can reduce stress, ease muscle tension and reduce body aches significantly. Before you sign up for a prenatal massage, talk to your doctor. Some facilities in the US also deny service during the first trimester due to the risk of miscarriage.
Dr Richard Nahas suggests that you try out at least one of the above-mentioned massages to rejuvenate your muscles and increase blood circulation in your body. They can help relieve muscle pain and make your muscle fibres less tense so that you can be more productive the next week.