While there are more than fifty different techniques leveraged by therapists, many procedures combine several together. Overall, there are four major categories:
- Swedish: Used to improve circulation while reducing the effect of muscle scarring, this technique is perhaps one of the most well known and the one most commonly used by spas for relaxation. The technique is characterized by heavy pushing and pulling of tissues..
- Sports massage: This category is a combination of techniques that specifically impact athletes, often used in different contexts, to prepare an athlete for an event or to help her calm down afterwards. In each case, techniques would be employed to limber-up muscles, stimulate circulation to enhance the delivery of oxygen throughout the body and to aid in the reduction of wastes.
- Rolfing: This treatment is used in injury prevention, effectively drawing the skin away from the underlying tissue matrix through the application of vigorous rubbing. By loosening the fibres, range of motion is increased.
- Accupressure: Leveraging the chi, a healing energy which many believe exists throughout the body, a therapist targets pressure points which, according to the art, are connected to the functioning of the body’s organs. By manipulating specific points, a therapist can improve the condition and healing ability of entire regions. A similar methodology of Japanese origin is Shiatsu where fingers are used for pressure application instead of hands.
Overall, depending on the situation, massage can be applied that will enhance the functioning of the central nervous system, the circulatory system, and the lymphatic system. Contracted and tight muscles can be loosened and relaxed, along with an athlete’s mind, leading to faster decision-making and improved performance. Stress is a killer, literally, and massage employed before and after events can go a long way to build game confidence and drive real results. Getting monthly maintenance massages are a great tool to help combat stress and prevent injuries in the long term.