Tag Archives: Reflexology

The Common Types of Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is a science of healing that has been existing for several hundreds of years now. This is the typical resort of people who want to be free from their daily stressors. People from all walks of life see this as an ultimate solution to their aching muscles and as an escape from the pressure which their busy lifestyle imposes on them. For sure you have already tried one after the other. In reality, there are more than eighty recognized kinds but this article is about to cover ten of the popularly used types of massage therapy. Read on and find out what they are and what they are comprised of.

The first one is called the Swedish massage. This is a typical find in the United States. It is known to be done in such a relaxing and gentle way. With this kind of massage therapy, the masseur or masseuse makes use of the long strokes that are basically made up of the circular and kneading movements on the muscles by using either oil or lotion for a more relaxing effect.

The next one is termed as Aromatherapy. This is the term used simply because the professional masseur or masseuse uses one or more of the known scented plant oils in the execution of the massage session. You will be asked to choose the oil of course. Among the many plant oils, the lavender is one of the most sought-after because of its recognized effect in the alleviation of stress, both physically and emotionally.

Have you heard of the hot stone massage? Well, this is another kind. With this, smooth stones are heated and then placed on particular points of the body which need to loosen up the tight muscles. The stones also help in balancing the energy centers of the body. If you experience muscle tensions, you may request the professional to apply some gentle pressure.

The deep tissue massage is known to heal the deeper muscle layers and the connective tissues. Slow strokes are used across the muscles. The strategy is also referred to as the friction technique. This kind is employed on people who experience painful or chronically tight muscles, repetitive muscle strain, problems with the posture, and to help those who are recuperating from serious injuries.

Then you also have the Japanese massage therapy that is called Shiatsu. This therapy utilizes the localized finger pressure following some rhythmic sequence as what is done in acupuncture. The points are held for about 2 up to 8 seconds because the massage is meant to enhance the energy flow within the body.

Thai massage actually resembles Shiatsu in such a way that it re-aligns the energy in the body by applying the gentle pressure on some points. Stretches and compressions are done as different postures are followed.

The pregnancy massage is perfect for the expecting women. It is crafted to lessen swelling, aches, stress, depression, and anxiety.

Reflexology or foot massage includes the use of pressure as applied to particular areas on the foot. The practitioners believe that every point on the foot is associated with an organ in the body.

Sports massage is used on the athletes who need to get their physical injuries treated and prevented.

The back massage is of course another popular one. It is applied to relieve the tension in the back as caused by improper posture, lifting of heavy objects, and long sitting.

There you go with the types of massage therapy. Choose one which best applies to you!

Thai Massage Therapy at a Closer Look

Massage is said to be therapeutic. It is the science of healing that involves the human touch, so to speak. For several decades now, people have been making use of this option to treat their physical and emotional dilemmas. A lot of them even attest to how beneficial the massage has been to them. Although on the contrary there are likewise a bunch of individuals who believe and emphatically stress out its danger on those who suffer from serious medical issues, no one is able to deny how relaxing the technique can be. One of the most popular types is the Thai massage therapy.

A Bit of a Background
Thai massage is one of the types that has been practiced for a long time. Its existence can be traced to more than a thousand years now. The therapy itself forms part of the well-known area of Thai medicine. It comprises of manipulation, medicinal treatment, ritual, and diet. It is rooted from the belief that each and every disease is caused by a particular imbalance in the energy system within the body. It is geared at the promotion of balance which hence aids in the complete healing and rejuvenation of an individual.

The Techniques Unraveled
To be able to do the overall process of Thai massage, several techniques need to be applied. The pressure involved is actually gentler as compared to the rest of the types of massage therapy. It works well like the Shiatsu. In this kind of therapy, the pressure is applied on the energy channels and they are being treated using two directions.

One more technique is known as blood stopping. It is done by means of applying the pressure on the arteries in the leg or arm for about a minute. The theory that works behind is that of the importance of cutting out the principal source of the circulation that will lead to a heightened pressure. This will then lead to the slowing down of the heart muscle contractions that will eventually tone down the pressure. As the pressure applied on the artery has been let go, a supply of blood goes into the area so that brings the organ to a more relaxed state. This technique is not recommended for use on someone who has diabetes and other heart related issues.

Passive refers to the kind of stretching employed on the patient but he doesn’t move. Only the therapist does. The stretching is done in several stages and at a slow pace. Other techniques involved are hatha yoga and postures.

The Involvement of Reflexology
Reflexology or that which is otherwise known as foot massage is also a part of Thai massage. Reflexology is based on the belief that the points contained on the feet are useful enough to cure the body because every point is somehow related to a specific organ. When the energies are enhanced, the person will be able to establish a deeper connection to the Earth.

Thai massage therapy employs techniques that are to be performed for a longer duration of time. It can usually last up to three hours. It is important to engage a licensed therapist to ensure that everything is done properly. However, you should consult your doctor prior to taking any of these techniques to further avoid the dangers to your health.


If you are anything like me, you probably prefer staying away from providers of conventional Western medicine as much as possible and I cannot say that I blame you. Although I have full medical coverage for that you never know when you might need it time of my life, I have not seen any of my Blue Cross doctors in well over ten years, and I hope to continue not seeing them for the rest of my life. Please do not miss understand me and think that I am some sort of superhuman creature who never gets ill. I do have my weak moments of pain and sniffles just like everyone else, or at least everyone else who takes good care of him or herself. So, when my body seems to need a boost, I visit one of my two favorite practitioners of alternative medicine; my massage therapist or my chiropractor.

I know that it all sounds very simple and straight forward but it is, in fact, somewhat challenging at times, because I do not always know which one of these wonderful professional to seek out. So, I often first opt to visit my chiropractor for a good therapeutic session of adjusting and aligning my skeletal structure and then, as an extra bonus to me and my one and only body, I also make an appointment with my massage therapist for some hefty digging and rubbing. Between the two of them, I come out feeling like a million bucks although my finances are sadly depleted. I figure that we, my body and I, are worth it.

Now, you might ask and rightfully so, What is the difference between a massage therapy and chiropractic therapy? Well, I will be happy to tell you:

* Chiropractic Therapy.
– For the most part, chiropractic therapy focuses on the hard tissues such as the spine and other joints for adjusting and realignment. Chiropractors have some training in massage techniques but that is never their first and foremost priority.
– Chiropractors are authorized to make medical diagnosis, order x-rays or blood works.
– Chiropractors cannot prescribe conventional medications but they can sell supplements or homeopathic remedies.
– Chiropractors do not need medical referrals to perform their work.

* Massage Therapy.
– Massage therapists perform wonderful work on the soft body tissues such as the muscles, tendons and ligaments but they have not been trained nor are they licensed to adjust the spine or any other joints.
– Massage therapists may not legally make medical diagnosis, order x-rays or any blood work.
– Massage therapists are not permitted to dispense medications of Western medicine but they can and do provide or recommend alternative herbal remedies.
– Massage Therapists do not required referrals from anyone to conduct their massage sessions.

A highly acclaimed national non-profit magazine recently conducted a study in which more than 34,000 participants in the United States were asked to rate which alternative treatments worked best for their two biggest health problems for the past two years and the overwhelming majority voted just as I would have; for deep tissue massage therapy and chiropractic therapy in equal measures for such conditions as back pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, respiratory problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, insomnia and prostate problems.

Of course, as far as alternative medicine is concerned, one should not discount acupuncture and reflexology for they too are beneficial in their own very special ways.


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From the moment we wake up until the moment we fall asleep, we all work with our hands, as they are our anatomical tools with which we perform the day-to-day tasks of living; the simple as well as the complex. Some of us use our hands to a greater extent than others in which case they may become painful, tense and stiff. And since the hands are connected to the arms, chances are that the same hard work which applies to the hands also applies to the arms. As a consequence, the arms may suffer similar pains, tenseness and stiffness. A mere five to ten minute Hand and Arm massage can literally work miracles in relieving all these unpleasant indications. However, a good Hand and Arm massage also brings with it a whole battery of other health benefits.

As a matter of fact, our hands and arms have scores of acupressure and reflexology points which are correlated and linked to a number of vital internal organs (appendix, pancreas, gall bladder, kidneys, stomach, brain, spleen, heart, bladder, colon, intestines, lungs) and to other remote parts of the body (sinuses, thyroid and parathyroid, hips, ovaries, testes, uterus, penis, prostate, spine, solar plexus, thymus, shoulders, knees, neck). A Hand and Arm massage, therefore, does not only result in healing the hands and arms but it also provides curative effects for such cases as poor blood circulation, arthritis, headaches, neck and shoulder pains, backache, digestive and reproductive problems, and so on and on.

Hand and Arm massages are one of the easiest massages to perform on oneself and on others, and they can be safely applied anywhere and to persons of all ages and genders; infants, young children, teens, adults and senior citizens. Furthermore, Hand and Arm massages are harmless to people who are dealing with most health issues, whether they are slight, moderate or severe. Hand and Arm massages provide instant relief from stress, anxiety and nervousness as it relaxes the entire body. However, Hand and Arm massages should never be performed on hands or arms that are affected by any kind of skin disease, infection, inflammation, swelling, bruises, cuts or recently broken bones, torn ligaments, ripped tendons or surgeries. If and when oils or lotions are to be used during the Hand and Arm massage therapy, an earnest verification regarding allergies should be made and any pressure applied must be tailored to the clients tolerance level to pain or discomfort.

A full Hand and Arm massage should ideally begin with the biceps, the muscles in front of the upper arms and those should be pressed and stroked upwards along the biceps from the elbows toward the shoulders and then back and forth across the tendons. When the biceps have had their thorough workout the triceps, the muscles in the back of the upper arms, should be approached with similarly gentle pressing and stroking movement but this time moving downwards from the armpits down to the elbows. Moving on down the arms by kneading the flesh, pressing the muscles and stroke the tendons; the massage therapist should slowly make his or her way toward the hand that is awaiting its turn for a therapeutic workout. The hand portion of the Hand and Arm massage treatment should begin by gently pulling each finger and thumb away from the palm it attach to, while applying firm pressure to any painful or aching areas and then soothing them with moderate rubbing and rolling. The four fingers and the thumb should then be pushed upwards as far as they will go without causing undue discomfort. The thumbs should be used to massage the palms of the hands by applying firm circular motions through the entire palm while intermittently stopping in various areas, particularly those which are sore, to apply steady and direct pressure for a number of seconds. For a soothing effect on the palms and in closing of the Hand and Arm massage therapy session, the thumbs should stroke the surface of the palms in an up and down movements.

A therapeutic Hand and Arm massage can display love, appreciation and devotion more explicitly than any other free gift that anyone can think of. Just ask anyone who has ever been on the receiving or giving end of one.


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