When looking for a massage therapy treatment guide, it is important to know that there are many different types of massage therapy. Massage therapy also includes touch therapies and other types of bodywork modalities that use pressure to heal and manipulate the bodies skin, muscles and energies. Here are some of the more common types of massage therapy treatments.
- Acupressure is an ancient healing art that uses finger pressure on certain points on the body. This is also the same concept that is used with acupuncture, though acupressure is less invasive. This hands on therapy is usually combined with other forms of massage for a more holistic experience.
- Reflexology uses the manipulation of certain areas on the feet, hands and ears. This therapy based on ancient Chinese medicines uses the belief that different points on the feet, hands and ears coincide with the different areas and organs of the body.
- Shiatsu originated in Japan and also uses acupressure points. Shiatsu therapists use their fingers, palms, elbows and even their knees when massage clients. Shiatsu is believed to help strengthen the body's resistance against disease.
- Swedish is one of the most common forms of massage therapy. This massage therapy uses five basic strokes that are meant to energize the body by vigorously stimulating the circulation. Swedish massage is also used to reduce swelling after surgery.
- Deep tissue massage is only done by people with a deep understanding of anatomy and physiology. Done by the wrong person, this form of massage can be harmful. This type of massage is commonly used for people with chronic muscular pain, like that caused by arthritis or fibromyalgia.
- Thai massage is based on energy lines in the body. Instead of laying on a normal massage table like in most massage treatments, in Thai massage the patient lays on a mat on the floor. This makes it easier for the practitioner to put all of their weight into the massage. The only part of the body that is unclothed are the feet.
- Sports massage enhances athletic performance. It is also used to help athletes recover from sports related injuries faster. This type of massage is done fully clothed, usually right on site of the sport, in the locker room or on the benches if need be.