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The rough (or gentle) guide to massage
Your body is aching, your muscles are tight and your neck is stiff from holding up the world on your shoulders. You need a massage. But which one? There are a world of massages out there and masseurs ready to knead your knots in any which way. Here is our guide to the different types of massage.
Can I claim massage therapy through my private health insurance?
Aside from being a superb way to relax and unwind, massage is recognised as a legitimate therapeutic treatment by many medical practitioners and also by many insurance companies. Do you know what types of massage are covered by your medical insurance?
How many types of massage exist?
There are nearly as many different types of massage therapy available as there are reasons to need a massage. Whatever your reason is for wanting – or perhaps needing – a massage, there will be a type of massage to suit you.
What is a deep tissue massage?
Massage is a therapeutic and relaxation technique which involves the manipulation of both the superficial and deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. Massage is a word that derives from many languages, and which means in all of them: to knead, or to touch or handle. The many types of massage technique involve varying degrees and types of pressure and kneading.
Where can I study to be a massage therapist?
Massage is the manipulation of muscle and connective tissue to enhance function of those tissues and promote relaxation, health and well-being. The trained professionals who deliver these services are known as massage therapists or sometimes, colloquially, as masseuses; althought this term is not favoured amongst the professional massage therapist community.
Common massage oils that therapists use and their benefits
There are a vast range of oils used in massage, each containing different properties to benefit particular skin types. In massage, there are two basic types of oil used - these are known as essential oils and carrier oils. The carrier oil makes up most of the massage blend, and generally has little scent of its own. Essential oils are often too strong to be applied undiluted, and are blended with the carrier oil to create a diluted substance which will not irritate the skin. The four most commonly used essential oils in massage are beneficial to your skin due to their alleged healing properties.
Common massage techniques explained
Massages can be a wonderful means of relieving tension, easing muscle aches and pains and improving circulation. There are many different types of massage styles: remedial massage, deep tissue massage, Thai massage, aromatherapy massage, shiatsu massage, Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage, and Swedish massage, just to name a few. Massage has been used for centuries and is commonplace in many different countries. Each massage style has its own specific techniques of manipulating the body, muscles and skin with varying degrees of pressure and intensity.
Should I go to a male or female massage therapist?
Massage therapy is designed to promote deep relaxation, ease muscle tensions, aches and pains and provide stress release. It is important, therefore, that you choose a massage therapist who you will feel most comfortable with so that you can relax and get the most out of the treatment. There are many massage styles available such as remedial massage, deep tissue massage, aromatherapy massage, Thai massage etc. and you will find both male and female massage therapists are common across these disciplines.
Will you have to undress if you get a massage?
Relax, not all massage types require you to disrobe or undress. Massage styles such as Thai massage, chair massage and Shiatsu are performed fully clothed. Both Thai and Shiatsu massage techniques involve stretching, holding and leaning the therapists' body weight into various parts of your body. This can be done while fully clothed, although most people prefer to wear loose fitting clothes that aren't tight or restrictive.
Your first massage therapy visit - what to expect
What to expect on your first massage will depend on a couple of different factors, such as the type of massage therapy you have chosen and where you are having the massage. Massages are available in a variety of places, including beauty salons, day spas, private massage practices, physiotherapists and in your own home with a mobile massage.
How long will a massage session last for and how often should I go?
Massage sessions vary in length from minutes to hours, depending on your needs and the time available. Most locations which offer massage such as a massage therapist, day spa or beauty salon, will have a services menu listing the types of treatments offered, the duration of treatments and their charges. Customarily, massages last for an hour and this includes the time for a short consultation, room setup and some time at the end to dress at your leisure. Try and book your massage appointment for a time when you can arrive relaxed and really enjoy the massage experience. Avoid rushing away afterwards so the relaxation benefits have a chance to sink in.