A lot of men and women like to get a massage every now and again. But how do you know where to start? There are a wide variety of massages out there to choose from.
If you’re looking to lose some extra pounds, getting a massage sounds appealing doesn’t it?
Come in, lay down, relax, and the weight just falls off. This isn’t exactly how it works, but massages can help the client get in the proper mindset for diet and exercise.
The physical space a massage area or a spa provides for the client can help loosen body tension and mental stress which could be enabling the weight gain that someone has.
This is a time to put self-love and self-care first. These two things are important to include in any weight-loss program. It’s good to learn how to love and care for our body.
To often people will use food as a reward, but getting a massage is a wonderful way to reward yourself when you meet your weight loss goals.
In addition, massages can help the body move better and perform better because the person won’t be in pain or be uncomfortable. Lessening a person’s pain level can help reduce stress levels. Which can help reduce weight gain.
This is a great way to improve lifestyle, without to much work. An improved lifestyle can help lead people to make and maintain better choices like eating healthy food and getting enough exercise.
Now that we can see while massages don’t offer a direct effect on weight loss, they still can be very beneficial.
Let’s look at the different kinds of massages.
This is the standard type offered at spas, wellness centers, and clinics. Some gyms may offer this type of massage too. This massage is when the massage therapist uses lotion or oil, beginning with broad general strokes. After this, the therapist uses specific strokes to target any problem areas.
There are five basic strokes in Swedish therapy: effleurage (long smooth strokes), petrissage (kneading, rolling, and lifting), friction (wringing or small circular movements), tapotement (percussion), and vibration (rocking and shaking movements).
The Swedish massage is deeply relaxing and can be very helpful if recovering from injury.
This type of massage is very similar to a Swedish one, but includes essential oils added to the massage oil.
Essential oils have a pleasant smell and some consider them to have healing properties. There are a lot of different essential oils out there including but not limited to peppermint, sandalwood, lemon, and jasmine.
However, if you want to deepen the relaxed nature of a Swedish massage with an essential oil, your best two choices are lavender and rose. These two oils are known to promote relaxation.
As the name provides, this special technique uses warm stones on specific points of the body.
The therapist also holds the stones while providing a massage. The warmth of the stones can quickly help loosen tighten muscles.
Some places where the stones may be placed are along the spine, chest, stomach, and palms.
Anyone who is experiencing muscle tension and pain, insomnia, anxiety, or stress may benefit from the stones.
If you have a chronic condition that causes pain, talk to your doctor first to see if a hot stone massage is right for you.
A deep tissue massage is a focused technique that focuses on muscle knots and problem areas in the deeper areas of the muscles and connective tissue.
Using slow strokes, the therapist addresses chronic tight or painful muscles, repetitive strain, postural problems, or injuries. A common question with a deep tissue massage is, is it painful? No, it shouldn’t have to be painful to be effective.
If you experience any form of pain or discomfort during a session, tell your therapist right away.
A form of Japanese bodywork this massage technique uses fingers, hands, and elbows in a rhythmic sequence along the body. Each point is held for at least two seconds.
At first this technique might not sound as good as others, but the reasoning behind this technique is to stimulate acupressure points on the body to improve the flow of energy and help regain balance. Unlike a Swedish massage, no lotion or oil is used.
This type of massage is good to help combat stress related health issues or stress itself.
A shiatsu massage may help increase energy, promote recovery from injuries, and stimulate the digestive system.
A lot of people would benefit from a shiatsu massage, but those with conditions like arthritis, insomnia, back and neck pain, sciatica, and even sinus problems can see a greater benefit.
If you’re looking for a massage that will energize you, look no further because the Thai massage does just that.
Using a blend of yoga, passive stretching, and massage movements that press along the body, it’s one-of-a-kind. During a Thai massage the therapist will move and stretch you in a sequence of postures.
Just like a shiatsu massage, a Thai massage aligns the energies within the body. This type of massage is good to reduce stress, increase flexibility, and range of motion. One thing that might make some people feel more comfortable is this massage is done fully clothed.
This massage is wonderful for those looking to reduce muscle spasticity and back pain. In addition, it’s good for those wanting to treat migraines and increase their range of motion.
Also known as a prenatal massage, this form of massage helps provide relief to expecting moms.
It’s a safe way to provide relief to the mom without the use of drugs. It’s mainly used to promote relief for lower back pain and swollen ankles.
The massage therapist will know what areas and techniques to avoid and will know how to support the woman’s body during the massage.
If you’re looking to get a prenatal massage look for a therapist that received specialized training and are certificated.
This technique focuses on the feet and hands. These are the areas where energy is believed to be connected to the organs.
A reflexologist will provide pressure to reflex points which can balance your nervous system and stimulate endorphins.
This can help reduce stress and any discomfort.
A note about massages: Make sure you discuss any allergies like ones to scents or plant oils before your massage.
With a lot of child and adult athletes, it should be no surprise a sports massage is on this list.
A sports massage can help prevent and treat injuries. In addition, this form of massage can help increase flexibility and athletic performance.
Unlike a Swedish massage, the strokes for a sports massage are quicker. In addition, unlike a Swedish massage the therapist can include pressure point therapy, compression, and joint mobilization.
The people who tend to get the most sport massages are serious athletes that train and perform regularly. These include, high-school, college, and professional athletes.
All the above message techniques all have their own benefits. However, for someone looking to lose weight a Swedish massage with at least moderate pressure is best. This technique helps improve circulation, loosens muscles, can target problem areas, and increases a sense of well-being.
Just as with a lot of things communication is key. Discuss goals and problem areas with your certified massage therapist at your appointment.
While having a massage session every now and again is good to keep in your weight loss program, it’s not everything. A good massage can make you feel relaxed, strong, and less stressed. However, by focusing on proper diet and getting enough exercise these are the really important components.
You have read all this and now you’re wondering how often you should get a massage. The answer will vary depending on your needs for your massage.
For athletes, they should get a massage two or three times a week during their peak season.
For those who just want a little TLC or to gain the benefits of massage therapy has, they should aim to get a massage once or twice a month.
If you suffer from chronic conditions such as neck pain or migraines it is recommended to start off with twice weekly massages for the first four to six weeks. Then you can gradually increase the time between sessions as symptoms start to improve.
Finally, if you’re seeking a massage therapist for the sole reason of getting some stress relief will benefit from a massage once a week or once every two weeks depending on severity of stress. This is particularly good for people going through a divorce, loss of a loved one, or work related stress.
No matter your reason for getting a massage there are some excellent benefits besides it may indirectly help weight loss.