And you may have wondered whether each was just part of a passing fad or the latest, greatest massage technique?
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What follows is a list of some of the more popular massage therapy styles. The most common type of massage is Swedish massage therapy.
It involves soft, long, kneading strokes, as well as light, rhythmic, tapping strokes, on topmost layers of muscles. By relieving muscle tension, Swedish therapy can be both relaxing and energizing. The four common strokes of Swedish massage are: Neuromuscular therapy is a form of soft tissue manipulation that aims to treat underlying causes of chronic pain involving the muscular and nervous systems.
The massage therapist uses slow, deliberate strokes that focus pressure on layers of muscles, tendons, or other tissues deep under your skin.
Though less rhythmic than other types of massage, deep tissue massage can be quite therapeutic -- relieving chronic patterns of tension and helping with muscle injuries, such as back sprain.
Most massage therapists have clients unclothe for a massage, but some do not.
A massage can last anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 hours.
In Japanese, shiatsu means "finger pressure." For shiatsu massage, the therapist uses varied, rhythmic pressure on certain precise points of the body.
These points are called acupressure points, and they are believed to be important for the flow of the body's vital energy, called chi.
Before you can decide which massage style is best for you, you need to ask yourself a question.