What kinds of massage are there?
“Massage” basically means “kneading.” Sometimes the sole aim of massage is to help someone relax and improve their wellbeing. But often the goal is to relieve particular symptoms. These therapeutic massages are designed to relax your muscles, relieve pain, reduce stress, improve your metabolism, as well as influence the nervous system or specific organs. For example, massage may be used to treat problems like musculoskeletal disorders, neurological disorders or rheumatism, as well as symptoms that may be caused by stress, such as headaches and sleep problems. Therapeutic massages can sometimes be painful, particularly when a lot of pressure is applied to the affected area. It is usually the skin, the connective tissue under the skin, or the muscles that are massaged.
The various kinds of massage differ in terms of the hand movements used, the parts of the body that are massaged, the amount of pressure applied, and the instruments and parts of the body that the massage therapist might use. Different massages are also based on different theories about how medical conditions develop and how the body works. In traditional Chinese medicine, for instance, it is thought that massage improves the flow of energy in the body.
It is not easy to keep track of all the different kinds of massage that are available nowadays. There are also lots of massage instruments used, from various oils and small massage balls to electric massage chairs. In the following we describe some of the most common forms of massage and different techniques. This list does not mean that the following kinds of massage all help in the treatment of symptoms and medical conditions.