Different Types of Massage and Their Benefits

There are many reasons you should have a massage from time to time. Aside from the fact that it’s an excellent way to rejuvenate and relax, it also helps lower blood pressure. That’s why massage is practiced even in rehabilitation centers and hospitals. Do you know that there is even the so-called sports massage in Providence?

So what are the most popular types of massage?

Swedish Massage

Considered the most popular type of massage, Swedish massage in Providence involves long strokes that usually flow in the direction of the heart. It also consists of circular movements and kneading, always with massage oil or lotion. This type of massage is preferred by those who want to experience the relaxing benefits of massage.

Thai Massage

Originally developed in India, Thai massage became really popular in Thailand. It is an energizing form of massage as it is where the therapist moves and stretches the client into various yoga-like positions. The therapist also pulls the client’s fingers, toes, ears, and so on. It may even involve a therapist walking on the client’s back.

Hot Stone Massage

Swedish massage in Providence often comes with a hot stone massage. In fact, hot stone massage can be combined with any other massage forms. It is where smooth heated stones are placed on the shoulders and back of the client to promote relaxation and increase circulation.


Reflexology is a form of foot massage involving the application of pressure to certain points on the feet. These points are believed by practitioners to be associated with the internal organs. Reflexologists claim that stimulating the pressure points on the feet can promote good health and relaxation.

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage is aimed at muscle groups that are linked to chronic pain as well as posture problems. The therapist applies short strokes and strong pressure. It normally causes clients to feel sore for some days. Nevertheless, the benefits are worth it.


Shiatsue is a Japanese massage that involves the use of thumbs and fingers to put pressure on acupressure points of the body. The goal is to relieve pain and stress. This form of massage can be very relaxing as well and won’t leave the client feeling sore for a couple of days.

Sports Massage

Sports massage in Providence is a very simple massage often used in sport. This massage helps improve blood circulation, stretch muscle tissues and even break down scar tissues. For athletes or physically active individuals, this massage helps them avoid suffering from torn muscles as well.

Interesting Facts About Swedish Massage in Providence

Swedish Massage Definition

‘Swedish massage’ is a term used to refer to the use of various techniques to relax muscles. Basically, this is done by applying pressure to bones and muscles, along with rubbing in the direction of blood flow to the heart. This type of body massage was first developed in the 1700s by Per Henrik Ling, a doctor from Sweden.

Swedish Massage Techniques

There are several massage techniques that are used in Swedish massage. These include shaking motions, effleurage, vibration, percussion, tapping, friction, kneading, and long strokes. In most cases, the sequence of techniques used inSwedish massage in Providence is as follows:

a. Effleurage – gliding strokes using the thumbs, palms and/or fingertips

b. Petrissage – kneading motions using the palms, thumbs and/or fingers

c. Friction – created through circular pressures using the palms of hands, thumbs and/or fingers

d. Vibration – swinging movements that vibrate or shake the body

e. Percussion – vigorous tapping or hacking

f. Passive and Active movements – stretching and bending

Swedish Massage Benefits

More and more people are opting to have Swedish massage in Providenceprimarily because this kind of body massage is invigorating and very relaxing. As a matter of fact, it is a very good way of relieving your muscles and bones of tension. If you haven’t tried having this kind of relaxation yet, the you ought to know what its benefits to the body are.

  • A standard session of Swedish massage in Rhode Island goes on between 30 and 60 minutes, which then aims for the major muscle groups in the body. Often, the session takes place of a comfortable massage table and in an environment that is conducive to relaxation. While having Swedish massage, you will sense that your muscles are feeling more relaxed because of the strokes. And at the end of the session, you will feel a great relief from mental stress.
  • Swedish massage can also be used to deal with a sprained ankle, and is also an effective way to manage chronic pain caused by certain conditions like arthritis. The strokes used in this massage help improve the circulation of the blood as well as the relaxation of the entire body.
  • The strokes used in Swedish massage actually imitate the movements of the circulatory system.
  • Swedish massage in Providence helps promote the healing of scar tissues. This is possible because the strokes are performed like cross-fiber friction, which then targets the kinks of injured muscles. Simply put, these strokes may lead to the elimination of scar tissues and eventually the return of the muscles to their healthy state.

What is Sports Massage and Its Benefits

Sports massage is another type of Swedish massage that helps improve circulation of the blood and lymph fluids.  Contrary to what most people think, sports massage is not exclusively for athletes.  But then most athletes do get sports massage to improve their physical performance, enhance muscular function, and recover after a sports injury.  Sports massage can also be done immediately before a sporting competition to help prevent injuries in the muscles that will exert the most effort during the activity.

Types of Sports Massage Before and After a Competition

The massage therapist performing the massage can focus on trigger points to help break down muscle adhesion and give your muscles a wide range of motion.  Before and after any sporting event, it will benefit you a whole lot to get these types of massage:

A.     Pre-Event Sports Massage

This type of massage is performed on the athlete 15 to 45 minutes before the competition to improve muscular performance.  It is usually directed on muscle groups that will be used the most.  This massage will optimize muscular function, prevent cramps, and also help improve concentration during the event.

B.      Post-Event Sports Massage

This type of sports massage is made within one to two hours after the competition.  After the event, the athlete is sure to feel contraction of the muscles.  Some muscles groups will feel tight due to adhesion.  A massage will help break down adhesion and normalize muscles and body tissues.

C.      Restorative Sports Massage

This kind of sports massage is performed on the athlete during periods of training, allowing him to train harder and prevent any muscle strains and injuries.  The mental wellness brought about by the massage also gives the athlete more focus and relieves his mental and physical stress.

D.     Rehabilitative Sports Massage

This type of massage is given immediately after any sporting competition when the athlete suffers from injuries.  This is directed on the affected muscles to help ease the pain and return the body to health.  The massage also helps the entire body relax because usually it becomes stiff due to chronic muscular pains.

What to Expect During a Sports Massage

Sports massage sound masculine so many people think this involves intense pressure on the muscles.  However, the firmness of the strokes varies depending on the needs of the person and the condition of the muscles.

It is always best to communicate with your therapist so you will get all the benefits of the massage.  The therapist cannot gauge the depth of the massage unless you tell him or her if the massage is too intense or too gentle.  Initial gauging will allow a more relaxing massage that will relieve tension in your muscles and get rid of your mental stress.

The Healing Wonders of Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage is a form of massage therapy that focuses on the deep layers of the muscle.  It comes highly recommended for those who are suffering from sports related injuries because it helps relieve the pain that comes with the injury.  It uses more intense pressure directed on the muscles and connective tissues.

Naturally Rehabilitates Muscle Injuries

The University of Maryland Medical Center came up with a report that deep tissue massage is more effective in alleviating chronic pain than taking medicines because deep tissue massage increases blood flow in the affected area and helps reduce inflammation.  When you have muscle pains, the muscle tissues form tight clusters.  The slow, firm strokes of deep tissue massage help loosen these clusters thereby easing muscle pains.

Improvement of Blood Pressure

Studies conducted by the research team of the University of Maryland Medical Center have shown that deep tissue massage promotes the production of serotonin, a hormone that creates the feeling of happiness.  The firm and penetrating strokes of deep tissue massage can soothe the muscles and ease stress and tension.  According to the study, patients who receive deep tissue massage saw their systolic pressure decrease at an average of 10.4 mm Hg and their diastolic decrease at an average of 5.3 mm Hg.

Relieves Stress

People who are undergoing tough times at home or at work often feel stressed.  This stress does not only affect the person emotionally, but its ill effects also manifest physically.  Those who suffer from tension and stress have headaches, tight muscles and rigid shoulders.

Undergoing deep tissue massage can work on the problem areas in your body.  It relaxes cramped muscles and soothes muscle rigidity.  Migraines that come with stress can also be relieved by slow, firm strokes in the temples and the head.

Your First Deep Tissue Massage

The massage therapist cannot gauge how intense your first deep tissue massage should be.  This is why you should inform the therapist to be firmer or gentler so you can get all the benefits that come with the massage.

Do not think that the harder the massage is, the better you will feel afterwards.  Although applying deep pressure on your muscles can help relieve the pain, too much pressure will cause bruising.  Doctors recommend a regular program of massage to deal with chronic muscle pains and retain muscle tension habits.

An integration of exercise, proper posture and relaxation techniques can help deal with muscle tension.  It is also advisable to drink lots of water after undergoing deep tissue massage to flush out lactic acid from the body.  Not doing so can cause the pain to recur the following day.

The Calming and Relaxing Benefits of Hot Stone Massage

Hot stone massage has been used in ancient times to warm the body and relax the senses.  After the introduction of hot stone massage by Mary Nelson in Arizona, hot stone massage quickly rose to popularity.

Hot stone massage is a variety of the traditional massage, but uses heated river stones.  River stones are smoother than other stones because of the river current.  These stones are about the size of an egg, but only flatter.  They are usually made of basalt which is a type of rock that is so rich in iron it retains heat very well.

The massage therapist starts by immersing the stones in water and heats them until they reach the desired temperature.  They are then placed at specific key points at the back, between the toes, or in the palm of the hand, all depending on the condition of the person getting the massage.

The heated stones may be placed at the energy centers of the body as well, to rebalance the body’s “chi.”

The heat in the stones is suitable for improving blood circulation and calming the nervous and muscular system.

Why Hot Stone Massage?

As compared to Swedish massage and deep tissue massage, hot stone massage is gentler and is best for those people suffering from tension and cold feet.  This type of massage is more comforting and relaxing because the therapist does not apply deep pressure.

It is also great for people suffering from the following conditions:

  • Aches and pains in the back
  • Arthritis
  • Poor blood circulation
  • Stress, anxiety and lack of sleep
  • Depression

Hot Stone Massage Procedure

The massage therapist will start by heating the stones by immersing it in water placed in an electric heater.

Meanwhile, the therapist will apply oil to your body while waiting for the stones to reach the desired temperature.  The oil will allow the stones to glide on your muscles during the massage.

Once the stones reach the ideal temperature, the therapist will begin by placing them in her palms to ensure that it is not too hot to massage directly on the skin.

While you are lying face down, the therapist will start massaging your back, gliding the heated stones in your muscles thereby relieving muscular tension.

Before moving on the next area of the body, the therapist will leave the heated stones at key points on your back for a few minutes.  The warmth of the stones will help improve blood circulation from the back and calm your mind and body.