When you go to book a 60 minute full body massage at your local spa, you don’t think about the dozens of different techniques that are possible. Apart from just relaxing you, these 10 unique massage techniques work physical miracles as well as improving your overall health and well-being.
1. Gua Sha or “Scraping”
In this technique, you scrape the skin with a spoon or similar tool to produce light bruising and redness. It apparently helps health injured areas and stimulates healing, and is said to drastically improve pain. It has been described as feeling like you’re bleeding, even though you’re not, and people say it works wonders. Gotta try everything once, right?
People are often scared of the multitude of skinny needles inserted in your body, but it’s one of the best gifts that you can give your body. And it really doesn’t hurt (just don’t move). This ancient Chinese technique can truly help any issues, whether its gastrointestinal issues, fertility, skin, or menstrual disorders.
3. Deep Tissue
This focused massage really gets in there and works out all the knots. Slow strokes applied with intense pressure helps to remedy chronic pain, posture problems, or sore muscles. It’s also known to help reduce the pain from carpal tunnel syndrome and osteoarthritis.
Shiatsu is a Japanese method in which the masseuse applies localized pressure with their hands (and sometimes elbows) in a rhythmic pattern all across the body. It stimulates acupressure points to promote balance and energy flow, and can help a range of problems.
5. Foot Reflexology
Reflexology, or pressure applied to certain reflex points on the foot which correspond with certain organs and body systems. It can treat anything from depression to PMS, to post-surgery pain. Stimulated nerve endings can release energy and endorphins, so why not get your feet rubbed today?
6. Hot Stone Massage
Using smooth warm stones that are placed on specific points on the body. The heat promotes relaxation and loosens up tight muscles so problem areas can be better reached. They’re usually volcanic rocks which retain heat well.
These bruised results look much scarier than they feel. And they go away within a week, so don’t worry! Cupping is amazing for blood flow, and relaxing the nervous system, as well as migraines, anxiety, and even cellulite. Suction cups are placed on the skin and provide relief through pressure.
8. Craniosacral Therapy
This therapy technique can treat UTIs, insomnia and asthma. It’s based on the century old discovery that cranial bones are related to the body’s CNS and fluids, as well as tissue. This unique massage style involves finger pressure applied to the pelvis, skull, and lower spine to promote natural fluid circulation and tissue.
Ever seen an ad for one of those sumptuous seaweed or mud wraps? That’s basically what this therapy is. It can treat dry skin, improve overall heath and your immune system. It’s even treated fibromyalgia and is popular because minerals and elements present in seawater boost circulation and detoxify the body.
Integrating scents into the massage process is known to profoundly better mood issues, stress, and sleeping problems. The scents come from essential oils which are extracted from plants, and they trigger neurotransmitters and other factors which control behaviour and emotion, aka your mood.