As a wonderful, natural therapy that can provide remarkable and often instant results, there is truly no arguing the fact that massage therapy can be highly beneficial to an individual’s overall physical and mental health. A trained, skilled, and experienced massage therapist is able to manipulate the skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the body in such a way as to release tension, improve circulation, and increase relaxation, essentially helping the body to perform its natural functions more easily.
While most massages have in common the rubbing or kneading of the individual’s muscles and joints, they can vary quite widely from one to the next. Depending on an individual’s specific needs and desires, massages can consist of different levels of intensity, from very light stroking to very deep pressure, delivered in a variety of techniques. A few of the more common massage techniques include:
- Swedish massage–a gentle massage that incorporates long strokes, kneading, circular movements, vibration, and tapping. This is one of the most popular massage techniques.
- Deep tissue massage–a more forceful massage that incorporates slower, deeper strokes that stimulate the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue.
- Sports massage–a gentle massage that focuses primarily on reducing the tension of muscles so as to better prevent or treat sports-related injuries.
- Trigger point massage–a gentle massage that focuses primarily on the tight muscle fibers that tend to form after extensive use, overuse or even injury.
There are many cases when a standard massage can work wonders for an individual, helping them to experience greater relaxation and all of the many other benefits of massage therapy. However, there are also times when the individual has very specific needs and desires that are not easily met with any single standard massage. This is when a custom massage may be the best fit.
Customized Massage Therapy
In general, massage therapy has proven useful in addressing a great variety of physical and mental issues, including anxiety, digestive disorders, fibromyalgia, headaches, stress-related insomnia, myofascial pain, soft tissue strains or injuries, sports injuries, temporomandibular joint pain, and much, much more. In many cases, individuals who aren’t suffering from any particular physical or mental issue may yet desire to receive a massage. This is because massages are, by nature, very relaxing and can help an individual disconnect from stress and anxiety, achieve better sleep and generally feel more relaxed.
Standard massages are designed to address very specific areas of the body in order to bring about very specific results. With a customized massage, the therapist will consult with the client to learn about exactly what they hope to achieve through a massage therapy session. By understanding what the client is experiencing, the therapist can incorporate the various techniques that will better address and resolve these issues during that session. This can be especially useful when the client has some specific areas that are troubling them and want the massage session to focus primarily on these areas in order to provide them with relief. Some of the things that a customized massage can address include:
- Countering the effects of constant sitting. Constantly sitting–as many individuals do at work and at home–can create postural stress, especially if one is not sitting properly or is not sitting on supportive surfaces. This can result in discomfort in the shoulders and neck or pain and weakness in the low back and gluteal muscles. The right massage techniques can help to resolve these issues, and can even completely counter the effects of constant sitting if done on a regular basis.
- Easing muscle pain. Whatever the source of muscle pain and as long as there isn’t an underlying medical condition, massage can usually help to relax the muscles and improve circulation, which together can help to counteract the pain.
- Soothing anxiety and depression. The comforting touch of a massage therapist’s skilled hands can actually work in many cases to soothe an individual’s anxiety and depression. In fact, a 2005 study that was published in the International Journal of Neuroscience found that women who were diagnosed with breast cancer were less depressed and angry when they received massage therapy three times a week.
- Improving sleep. A good quantity of high-quality sleep is necessary to help an individual’s body heal properly, but many individuals struggle to attain truly restful sleep on a regular basis. Massage can allow for the relaxation that the individual needs in order to fall into a deep, restful sleep.
- Boosting immunity. According to a 2010 study that was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, massage therapy can actually boost the individual’s white blood cell count, thereby boosting their immunity.
- Relieving headaches. Individuals who experience migraines and other types of tension headaches can experience a reduction in both the frequency and severity of headache attacks when they receive regular massage therapy.
To find out more about how a custom massage can benefit you, contact Botanica Spa today.