5 Unique Massage Types and Their Health Benefits (From the Therapists Themselves)
5th Aug 22
Have you ever had a massage? It’s one of the most popular therapies out there for you to experience.
In fact, a whopping 20% of us U.K folk now prioritise massages, facials, and other wellness treatments, says a recent study from Champney!
For anyone who has not had a massage before. The therapy is practiced through different types of physical contact. Including rubbing, kneading, warming and applying pressure to various areas of the body (skin, muscles, and joints).
Let it be known, massage is not just a nicety. Many studies now back up that it can aid a wide range of physical and emotional health problems.
However, with over 80 massage therapy types on offer, you might be wondering what’s the difference. Well, it’s generally to do with origin and the massage techniques aim and approach. Every massage therapy is unique. One may focus on relaxation, whereby another may centre its efforts on reducing inflammation and pain.
That’s why it’s helpful to find a massage practice that best meets your personal and health needs!
On that note, read on to learn five unique massage types and practices to help discover which best suits you.
1. Thai Yoga Massage
Ever heard of this type of Thai Yoga massage before? We have Sarah Pearson, Complementary Therapist specialising in Massage Therapy from Silver Lining Therapies to shed some light on it.
“Also referred to as ‘Traditional Thai Massage’, Thai Yoga Massage is very different to more popular massage styles. For starters, you will remain dressed, and you lay on a futon mat on the floor.
Rather than using oils and kneading techniques. The therapist will apply palm pressure and thumb press along the Sen lines (the Thai version of meridians). Plus put the body through a series of gentle yoga inspired stretches.
Many of my clients are surprised at how relaxing the treatment is. However, Thai Yoga Massage is so much more than stress-relieving. The Sen line system works on a similar theory to acupuncture. Therefore, has a profound effect on a whole range of issues, including pain and migraine relief, hormonal imbalance, and organ detox. One of its main benefits, however, is increasing flexibility.
Studies have shown regular Thai Yoga Massage improved range of motion in stroke patients. When people tell me they ‘aren’t flexible enough for that!’ my reply is usually ‘That’s the whole point’. I work within your range, and on each treatment, clients find they can stretch a little further. Plus, note they are looser in their everyday movements.
2. Jing Method™ Massage
If you’re as new to this type of massage as we are, don’t worry. We have Rachel Friedli, Jing Method Massage Therapist working with Chronic Pain from Positive Touch to explain.
It effectively gets to the root cause of pain, not just the symptoms you are dealing with right now. It is based on a reduction of pain in 6 weeks or less, by working to increase your mobility, agility, and joint range of motion. Whilst also decreasing daily levels of chronic pain and the anxiety associated with it. Most clients see a huge difference by week three and many can see a change at the end of their first session.
At the first massage treatment, I’d carry out a thorough assessment with you to help pinpoint which muscles to treat. This includes an in-depth health history and orthopaedic functional test. Plus an assessment of how your pain affects you on a day-to-day basis.
I use a fusion of advanced massage and soft tissue techniques from the east and west with tailored after care to put you in the driving seat of your recovery. After care is bespoke to your individual needs and will include simple self-help tools, exercises and stretches. The Jing Method™ is about giving you back the control of your life so you can do what you want to do, pain free.”
3. Shiatsu Massage
“Shiatsu uses fingertips, thumbs, and gentle palming on the acupressure points of your body to work wonders on how you’re feeling! It is the oldest form of massage in the world, a forerunner of acupuncture.
Using 5000-year-old Chinese medicine theory that your energy is blocked bespoke pressure is applied; flowing down your body, your limbs, your neck, and shoulders to release stuck energy known as Chi.
Chi is your life force, and more physically your blood, lymph fluid and the waterways of your body. When you feel you’re tense or stressed your muscles tighten and the pathways within become constricted, stopping your body working properly.
If you feel overwhelmed, anxious, have tension, pain, even IBS, nausea or just feeling ‘unwell’, this can all be due to your Chi being stuck and building up pressure, like a Dam. On the other side the lack of flow is also causing its own issues; you may feel cold, stiff, or have low energy and moods swings.
A fully clothed Shiatsu session relieves you of a lot of the feelings and problems you came in with. Releasing muscle tension allows your mind and body to calmly rebalance; it’s a wonderful sensation!”
4. Himalayan Salt Stone Massage
Ever heard or received hot stone therapy before? Well a Himalayan Salt Stone Massage is quite similar, but involves the absorption of minerals. We’ll let Jackie Netherwood, Holistic Therapist, Meditation Instructor & Mindfulness Practitioner from Dragon Rose Holistic explain more!
“Himalayan Salt Stones contain 84 naturally occurring minerals and elements. They have long been used for health and healing in Eastern traditions, with the West only recently embracing the following health-boosting benefits: –
- Promotes healthy blood sugar
- Helps lower blood pressure
- Supports a healthy respiratory system and sinuses
- Boosts bone health and prevents muscle cramps
- Improves circulation
- Relieves anxiety and addresses insomnia
- Lightly exfoliates the skin
- Emits negative ions when heated, delivering a myriad of health benefits—from higher mental alertness to protection against germs in the air
- Electronic devices such as phones and computers can disrupt the natural energy flow within the body and this massage can help zero out the body’s electromagnetic field
During this gentle but effective massage treatment, the Himalayan Salt stones are warmed to gently massage the whole body. Instead of oils, aromatic body powder is used. The minerals from the stones are absorbed through the skin and the overall effect is a beautiful sense of wellbeing and relaxation.
My clients have described it as “a spiritual hug in massage form”
5. Kinetic Chain Release (KCR)
This is another new massage to us at Wellbeing Umbrella, but we’d love more people to know about it. So, we have Toni Bate, Kinetic Chain Release KCR practitioner, from Toni Bate – Kinetic Chain Release KCR – East Lothian to tell us more.
“My name is Toni and I am a KCR practitioner.
Kinetic Chain Release – KCR [developed by Hugh Gilbert] is a medically and scientifically approved series of gentle joint mobilisations and muscle stretches to realign the physical body bringing it back into balance and health. In doing so, the body can be freed from chronic pain and discomfort simply and effectively; restoring not only physical ailments but also enhancing energy levels and vitality.
KCR is known to alleviate problems such as weak ankles, knee problems, hip, and joint pain. Back, shoulder, neck pain and headaches along with non-physical conditions like insomnia and PTSD, are others. As a KCR practitioner, it is so satisfying to see clients walk out of the treatment room feeling different. Plus, immediately noticing the positive effects.
This is absolutely why I love what I do! KCR is not widely known, and I hope to bring more awareness on the amazing benefits of KCR. Plus, help people understand how important being healthy and pain-free is to our mental and physical wellbeing.
This treatment is suitable for all ages from the young to the not so young. Find a KCR practitioner near you and see for yourself.”
Take Home Message
Did you find a massage that best suits your needs?
Remember massage isn’t just a lovely pamper or nice-to-have. It’s a powerful tool that can help you regain balance and help take control of many health challenges including stress, joint pain, IBS or chronic pain just to list a few. If you need further help to find a massage therapist, check our wellbeing platform full of dedicated wellness practitioners over at Wellbeing Umbrella.
Disclaimer: The information contained on this Site is provided for general educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. Please consult a qualified health care professional to diagnose your health condition and prevent self-diagnosis. We do not dispense medical advice or prescribe or diagnose illness. Read full medical and health disclaimer.