Massage 101: Different Strokes for Different Folks

Massage is a wonderful way to relieve stress, promote healing of your body and mind, and recover from injury or chronic pain. In practice for centuries, different techniques have been developed in such faraway places as Thailand, Japan, China, Sweden, and Germany. In the last few years, the world -- especially the United States -- has experienced a revival of interest in massage, as people turn to new (or rather ancient) methods for relieving pain, stress, and anxiety.

In addition to promoting good health and relaxation, massage can help you grow closer to a loved one. You may want to try receiving a massage with an intimate partner. While some spas and massage therapy practices will allow mixed genders to receive massage at the same time, in the same room, others may ask that you meet up afterward. Some practitioners will perform massage services outdoors, in a private location, which can be an especially romantic way to experience massage with a partner.

Whether you've received massages before or are totally new to the experience, you'll want to find out about the different types of massage available today. Keep your mind open to new things, and you may find massage to be the solution to your problems -- physical, emotional, or romantic!

Sports MassageSports massage is a general term for different styles of massages used to enhance performance. Generally vigorous, like Swedish massage, and often dealing with deep muscles, sports massage is also used on different parts of the body, such as legs and arms, in addition to the back, neck, and sacrum. Sports massage is most commonly used to help prevent athletic injury, keep the body flexible, and heal the body should injury occur.Sensuality Rating: 0Orthopedic MassageOrthopedic massage helps relieve chronic pain and sports injury conditions, emphasizing the underlying causes and pathology of each condition. Orthopedic massage is the most "medical" form of massage commonly practiced, combining muscle energy, stretching, myofascial release, neuromuscular therapy, frictioning, neuromuscular re-education, structural balancing, and patient home care to produce immediate and generally permanent results. Orthopedic massage is usually performed by a medical professional.Sensuality Rating: 0Deep Tissue MassageDeep tissue massage is a general term for different styles of massage that focus on the body's deeper muscles and connective tissues. The client disrobes, sometimes only the clothes covering the torso, and lays face-down on a massage table. The therapist uses lotion to relieve friction, and applies deep-kneading movements to realign muscles. Rolfing, Trager, Hellerwork, and Feldenkrais are all forms of deep-tissue massage. Deep tissue massage is usually used to correct damage from some kind of injury, such as whiplash or back strain.Sensuality Rating: 1
Swedish MassageSwedish massage is a vigorous style of massage designed to energize the body by stimulating circulation. The client disrobes and lays face-down on a table, under a sheet, with only the area being worked on exposed. The therapist first applies oil to reduce friction, and then uses rolling, kneading, and percussive strokes to manipulate and relax the soft tissues of the body. Swedish massage is used for relaxation and improved circulation.Sensuality Rating: 1ReikiDating back to ancient Tibetan times and brought to the United States in the mid-1900s, Reiki involves hands-on touch and visualization applied to the entire body, which aligns the chakras and brings healing energy to organs and glands. Reiki practitioners, trained to access and serve as a channel for the life energy, use a passive touch that some clients experience as warmth or a tingling sensation. Reiki is a popular new-age style of massage used for relaxation and to heal general ailments.Sensuality Rating: 2ShiatsuShiatsu incorporates the theory of acupuncture, acupressure, and other manual therapy techniques to balance the flow of yin and yang energies within the body. Shiatsu theory proposes that energy, known as "Chi" (or "Ki"), moves through the body along well-defined pathways called meridians. For optimum health, these energies should be balanced. Shiatsu clients are usually clothed and resting on a mat during practice. Shiatsu is wonderful for reducing stress, eliminating fatigue, and alleviating a wide spectrum of symptoms such as back pain, shoulder and neck problems, headaches, constipation, and cramps.Sensuality Rating: 2
Seated MassageAlso know as "chair massage," this form of therapy is performed on a fully clothed client seated in a chair, generally in a corporate or business setting. Therapists use a combination of massage strokes, including Shiatsu, Swedish, and deep tissue massage to alleviate temporarily the symptoms of stress and fatigue. Massages typically last five to 15 minutes and are performed in a dimly lit, cool, quiet place, such as an unused office or empty break room.Sensuality Rating: 3Aromatherapy MassageAromatherapy massage uses essential oils, aromatic essence distilled from a single botanical source, along with long, flowing connective strokes, called "effleurage." Essential oils can be sedative or stimulating; some have an analgesic and antispasmodic effect and most are antibacterial. The client will disrobe and lie face-down on a comfortable padded table and will be covered by a sheet. The environment will be peaceful and relaxing, often candlelit with soft music playing. Aromatherapy massage reduces the level of harmful stress hormones, stimulates the blood circulation, stimulates lymphatic flow, and helps alleviate chronic problems such as hypertension, migraines, digestive problems, and PMS.Sensuality Rating: 4
Stone TherapyNew to Western society, stone therapy, also known as "thermotherapy," combines heat, cold, and pressure, in the form of smooth hot and cold stones. The client disrobes and lies face-down on a board or cot, with a sheet or towel draped over his or her lower half. The practitioner applies the hot and cold stones, in sequence, to the client's back. This form of therapy is deeply relaxing and can promote healing of the body and mind.Sensuality Rating: 4Sensual MassageSensual massage often begins with the same elements of aromatherapy massage, a sensual environment, full nudity, and deep massage strokes, but takes things a step further. Usually given between consensual sexual partners, sensual massage involves stimulation of the genitals and often ends with an orgasmic response. Sensual massage provides all the same benefits as aromatherapy or Swedish massage, with the addition of sexual release.Sensuality Rating: 5MyPleasure is dedicated to improving people's lives by providing them access to the best sexual health information and sensual enhancement products available.
1 2 3 4 5 Next
Source: Relationships & Love

Print Article