The practice of massage therapy to ease the pain points of the body has been used for centuries. Through the years, various techniques, movement, and pressure styles have evolved to cater to what bodies need the most. The most common include pressing, rubbing, and manipulating muscle tissues all over the forearms, elbows, feet, hands, and even fingers.
According to the American Massage Therapy Association, at least 25% of American adults seek relief from massage as well as to promote overall wellness. The saying that different strokes for different folks have never been truer in this context as various styles are designed to address different points of the body and relieve multiple chronic pain conditions – from long and smooth to short and percussive strokes.
More people are choosing massage as a means to relax and gain the health benefits of this type of therapy, most of which are focused on releasing tension from overused muscles and ease strained nerve tissues. To that end, here are the best types of massage for pain relief:
Type #1: Swedish Massage
This is a gentle, full-body massage that is beneficial for people who are new to massage, sensitive to touch, and have much tension that they want to release without putting the body under much pressure.
This is also ideal for those who like to visit wellness spas for a quick pick-me-up, and the way this method softly unties muscle knots promotes full-body relaxation. Keep in mind that you will have to remove your clothes in this type of massage, except underwear, though the massage therapist will cover a sheet and only expose the parts of the body they will work on.
It combines kneading, long, flowing strokes, deep, circular motions, vibrations, and tapping, and passive joint movement techniques to fully help heal the strain from your overused muscles. In total, the whole session will last between 60 to 90 minutes.
Type #2: Deep Tissue Massage
This type of massage digs deep into particular stiff, pain points of the body by using slow, deliberate strokes while hard pressure on focused areas to reach deep layers on the muscles, tendons, and other tissues. The motions used are less rhythmic, though it is highly therapeutic for relieving chronic pain conditions regarding muscle injuries and back sprains. Keep in mind that this may not be suitable for everybody as the pressure may be painful for some, which can add tension to your body.
Type #3: Trigger Point Massage
Similar to the style of deep tissue massage, trigger point massage caters to some tight areas within the muscle tissue that causes either a sharp or dull pain that influences other parts of the body. For example, a trigger point in the back may cause pain in the neck, which can then spread and cause pain in the head. In that regard, trigger point massage is designed to relieve the source of the pain through cycles of isolated, broad strokes, deeper pressure, and release. In the process, the therapist will go over different parts of the body to identify the primary source and gauge the intensity of the pain. In that sense, this type of massage aims to alleviate tight areas in the muscles and ultimately reduce the overall pain in a single session. This is especially helpful for those who seek relief after struggling with aches from muscle injuries.
Type #4: Myofascial Release
This is one of the most relaxing and relieving types of massage therapy, though it is also one of the most overlooked and least popular as not many people are aware of this technique. This method involves applying pressure on the myofascial release connective tissues to eliminate pain and promote easy-flowing mobility for your skeletal muscles. It is also ideal for improving blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulating stretch reflexes in the muscles.
Type #5: Craniosacral Therapy
This is an alternative treatment that is highly used by osteopaths, chiropractors, and massage therapists to relieve aching joints along with the skull, different parts of the pelvis, and spine. It uses light touch and fluid motions to encourage better circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid, which relieves pain and specific dysfunctions around the area. This is ideal for reducing pain from fibromyalgia, other full-body pain conditions, and mitigating migraines and chronic fatigue.
If you’re looking for body pain relief, get in touch with us today for a free consultation!