Massage is the name given to a form of non-medical treatment that is designed to relax revive and heal the body. It does this through a series of manual hands-on movements and manipulations of the soft tissues and muscles in the body. However, massage is a very broad term that encompasses many different types of practice. This is because, over time, massage techniques and styles have been adapted in order to provide specific benefits such as inducing total relaxation, relieving pain, improving mobility or helping the body to heal.
To help you decide which type of massage is most likely to meet your needs, here are some of the most popular types of massage and what they are used for.
By far the most common type of massage, Swedish massage is what most people think of when they visualize what it is to get a massage. The process involves using long, smooth strokes across the body, kneading and circular movements with the aim of reducing stress and relaxing the body entirely. Swedish massage also increases the amount of oxygen in your blood, decreases muscle toxins, improves circulation and eases tension in the muscles.
A deep tissue massage is a lot more intense than a classic, Swedish massage. This is because it is used to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. To do this, your therapist will use firm, slow strokes and create friction across the grain of the muscle. Deep tissue massage has shown to have a number of different benefits including breaking down scar tissue inside the body, increasing joint mobility, relieving chronically tight or painful muscles, improving posture, healing the body after an injury and generally reducing pain.
Sports massage is not that dissimilar to a deep tissue massage in terms of the technique used but is designed specifically for those patients who are regularly involved in physical activities such as sports. This is because not only is sports massage designed to alleviate pain and heal the body, but it also aims to help athletes improve their performance, and crucially, help with the prevention of injuries – something which can see you have to abstain from the activity for days, weeks, months or longer.
Most sports injuries occur as a result of the overuse of certain muscles, which can cause pain, inflammation and mobility issues. However, regular sports massages have been shown to be able to reduce the likelihood of muscles becoming overused and the risk of injuries such as strains, sprains and other soft-tissue damage. If you would like more information or are interested in booking an appointment contact our experienced team at ReAlign Physical Medicine in Chicago, IL by calling 773-665-4400.