Massage techniques are as old as recorded history, and maybe even older. People continue to utilize massage because it provides benefits to the body, mind and spirit. While the majority of people will likely never experience a professional massage, those that do are likely to do it again as the benefits they experience are so great.
Anyone can get a massage at any time, but for a lot of people, they have a specific ailment they are trying to improve. Fortunately, massage helps bring relief to many areas of human physiology.
When to Get a Massage
People seek out massage therapy for a wide range of issues. Some people may have physical ailments that benefit from massage, while others may have anxiety or depression, and massage helps boost their mood. Here are some reasons people choose to participate in massage therapy:
- Relieve stress or anxiety
- Reduce tension
- Relieve headaches
- Improve flexibility
- Reduce back pain
- Reduce other pain
- Improve mood
- Improve overall health
While many people may choose exercise to help relieve stress or improve their health, for others massage is what works for them. Massage has many documented benefits, so whether you choose a Thai massage or a Swedish massage, your body will be appreciative.
Thai Massage and Benefits
The Thai massage technique may not be what a person requesting a massage would expect. This is because it requires the person receiving the massage to participate in the process. During a Thai massage, the massage therapist will gently apply pressure onto acupuncture points while also utilizing their own body to help the person receiving the massage with stretches similar to those used in yoga to help the body relax.
Thai massage has been practiced for many centuries, and the goal is to open the body’s energy paths. People who receive this type of massage say it helps reduce stress and gives them more energy. Certain techniques can be utilized to relieve headaches and the act of gentle pressure can improve circulation. The stretching technique utilized helps increase range of motion.
Swedish Massage and Benefits
The Swedish massage is also known as the classical massage. This is the most popular form of massage. The practitioner of a Swedish massage will use pressure to relax the patient’s muscles and may incorporate the use of essential oils or lotions. The masseuse will use five techniques to help the patient relax. These include gliding movements, kneading movements, pounding, vibration and friction.
The Swedish massage was developed in the early part of the 19th century in Sweden. People who receive a Swedish massage say it helps them relax and relieves stress. It also improves the oxygen levels in the blood by promoting good circulation.
Which One to Use
The Thai Massage and Swedish massage provide similar benefits, so which one should you get? Both methods will help lower the heart rate and provide relaxation. The one you choose may just depend on how you’re more comfortable. During a Swedish massage, the patient can fully relax, while during a Thai massage, the person is involved in stretching and twisting, while also changing positions.
What you wear also differs. For a Thai massage, the patient wears comfortable clothes and receives the massage while stretched out on a floor mat. A Swedish massage takes place on a massage table and the patient may be undressed but covered with a sheet. Trying both techniques will help you make an educated decision on which you prefer.
Both types of massages last anywhere from an hour or an hour and a half. Both will improve your range of motion, though the Thai massage will likely have more benefits in this area due to all the physical involvement. Both will relieve stress and anxiety and improve your general mood.
There really is no right or wrong massage technique as long as it doesn’t cause you pain. If you do decide to try massage therapy, always investigate the practitioner you are planning to use. Find out how others have reviewed them, and make sure they have the proper licensing and that it’s up to date. Professionalism and training are important factors in the practice of effective massage techniques. Know the person who is providing you with the service.