- SWEDISH MASSAGE
- THAI TABLE MASSAGE
- HOT STONE MASSAGE
- PRENATAL MASSAGE
- INFANT MASSAGE
What is Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy, also known as Swedish massage, is the most common form of massage therapy in the United States.
Massage therapists use long, smooth strokes, kneading and other movements focused on superficial layers of muscle using massage oil or lotion.
How Does Massage Therapy Work?
Massage therapy improves circulation by bringing oxygen and other nutrients to body tissues.
It relieves muscle tension and pain, increases flexibility and mobility, and helps clear lactic acid and other waste, which reduces pain and stiffness in muscles and joints.
Why Do People Get Massage Therapy?
People get massage therapy for relaxation or for a variety of health conditions:
Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and tendinitis
Stress relief and stress-related conditions
Headaches and migraines
Muscle and related conditions such as spasms, strains and sprains
Repetitive strain injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
Circulatory and respiratory problems
Post-injury and post surgical rehabilitation
Massage therapy relieves stress. It is thought to help the body's stress response by lowering levels of hormones such as cortisol.
Massage therapy also appears to enhance immune function.
What a Typical Massage Therapy Session is Like
A typical massage therapy session is between 40 and 90 minutes. Your massage will begin with a brief consultation and review of symptoms, medical history, and lifestyle.
You will be asked to undress (many people keep their underwear on) while the massage therapist is out of the room, and lie face down under a sheet on a padded massage table.
The massage therapist will knock on the door to make sure you are ready. The massage therapist re-enters the room and will then adjust the face rest and pillows to ensure that you are comfortable and properly positioned. Tell the massage therapist if you are too warm or cold.
The massage therapist uses a light oil or lotion on the skin and begins the massage. A full body massage usually begins on the back and then moves down to the legs. You will then be asked to turn over so you are face up. The massage continues on your arms, legs, neck, and abdomen.
You are underneath the sheet at all times, and in North America, only the part of the body being treated at any one time is uncovered.
After the massage, the massage therapist leaves the room so you can get changed.
Take your time getting up. If you sit or stand too quickly you may feel lightheaded or dizzy.
Will Massage Therapy Hurt?
Massage therapy shouldn't hurt. Occasionally there is mild aching when the massage therapist applies pressure over "knots" and other areas of muscle tension. If the pressure is too strong for you, let the massage therapist know.
How Will I Feel After a Massage?
Most people feel calm and relaxed after a treatment. Occasionally, people experience mild temporary aching for a day.
Massage therapy is not recommended for certain people:
People with infectious skin disease, rash, or open wounds
Immediately after surgery
Immediately after chemotherapy or radiation, unless recommended by your doctor
People prone to blood clots. There is a risk of blood clots being dislodged. If you have heart disease, check with your doctor before having a massage
Pregnant women should check with their doctor first if they are considering getting a massage. Massage in pregnant women should be done by massage therapists who are certified in pregnancy massage.
Massage should not be done directly over bruises, inflamed skin, unhealed wounds, tumors, abdominal hernia, or areas of recent fractures.
Additional Massage Tips
Don't eat a heavy meal before the massage.
If it's your first time at the clinic or spa, arrive at least 10 minutes early to complete the necessary forms. Otherwise, arrive 5 minutes early so you can have a few minutes to rest and relax before starting the massage.
Hot Stone Massage
Hot stone massage is a specialty massage that uses smooth, heated stones. They are often basalt, a black volcanic rock that absorbs and retains heat well, but they can be other types. The heat is both deeply relaxing and helps tight muscles release.
What Happens During a Hot Stone Massage?
* Before you arrive, the massage therapist sanitizes the stones (very important!) and heats them in 120 to 150 degree water.
* During the massage, the therapist warms up the body with traditional Swedish massage, then massages you while holding a heated stone. As the stone cools, the therapist replaces it with another.
* The therapist might also leave heated stones in specific points along your spine, in the palms of your hand, on your belly, or even between your toes to improve the flow of energy in your body.
* If you have inflammation or muscle injury, cold stones are sometimes used.
How Much Does a Hot Stone Massage Cost?
A hot stone massage is more expensive than a basic Swedish massage because it requires more preparation and clean-up and usually runs longer.
What You Need To Know About Hot Stone Massage:
* The therapist uses many stones of various shapes and sizes.
* The heat of the stones helps muscles release more quickly than in traditional massage.
* You should speak up if the stones are too warm or the pressure too intense.