Massage therapy isn’t a new concept as it has been around for thousands of years. The only thing that changed over the years is that there are nearly 80 styles of this therapy now, whereas this wasn’t the case in the past.
These different styles are characterized by various pressures, techniques, and movements. The methods all include pressing or rubbing muscles and soft tissues, and sometimes they are done on different areas of the body such as forearms, elbows, or feet.
Massages are often used by adults to alleviate symptoms or to heal from injuries of many health conditions. More recently, parents have been getting massages more often than before, and therapists say that they are right to do so.
Getting a massage is beneficial in so many ways. Furthermore, it seems that every parent needs this type of therapy. It can help with aches, pains, and other problems that parents encounter. Massages can also help with some of the emotional effects of parenting, as well.
Different Types of Massage Therapy
Some of the differences in the types of massages were mentioned before, but other characteristics that are different include whether the strokes are long and smooth or short and rough. Massages can last anywhere from five minutes to two hours, depending on the type of massage.
You would decide on which type of massage you want based on the reason you want the massage. If you are looking for relaxation and stress, you’ll want a different style than if you were relieving symptoms of a health condition or an injury. Simply tell your massage therapist what you are looking for, and they will likely be able to tell you the style you need.
Other things that may help determine which style is best for you is your age, physical condition, and any unusual situations or goals you may have. With that being said, it is essential to know some of the different styles of massages you can choose from.
This is the most common type of massage therapy. The strokes are rhythmic, long, and soft, and the masseuse will knead the muscles. Getting a Swedish massage is intended to be relaxing and energizing, but it can still help with injuries.
Four standard strokes may be used in this type of massage. They include smooth, gliding strokes to relax the soft tissue, and then it is followed up with squeezing, rolling and kneading. After that, there will typically be deep, circular movements to increase blood flow before finally finishing up with short tapping.
Deep Tissue Massage
This type of massage is best for painful or stiff areas of your body. The masseuse will use slow and deliberate strokes on pressure spots for muscles, tendons, and other deep tissue. It can relive reoccurring tension and can help repair and ease any discomfort caused by muscle injuries.
Best for athletes before, during, and after training and sports events, this type of massage is highly recommended. It can help with flexibility, which will help prevent injuries. It can also ease muscle strains, which will speed up healing for athletes.
This is a quick type of massage, typically lasting 15 or 20 minutes. The patient will sit in a chair, fully clothed, and receive a massage of their neck, shoulders, back, arms, or hands.
For this type of massage, the masseuse uses their fingers to apply rhythmic pressure to pressure points on the body. You may have heard these points called acupressure points, and stimulating them can encourage the flow of energy in the body.
Hot Stone Massage
This type requires that warm stones be placed on acupressure points in the body. They are left in place for a while and are soothing and relaxing as they transfer heat into the body.
Changes during pregnancy take a significant toll on your body. These specific massages can help ease many problems you may encounter, including the following:
- reducing stress
- decreasing swelling
- relieving muscle pain
- easing joint pain
This type of massage requires that the patient move their body into numerous positions throughout the session. It compresses muscles and helps with joint mobilization. Sometimes, it also includes acupressure techniques.
A masseuse doing reflexology will use their hand, thumb, and finger to stimulate points on your feet. These points are related to many different parts of your body and can ease many various ailments. It is known to encourage overall health and well-being and dramatically aids with mental health.
Why Every Parent Needs Massage Therapy
1. Improves mental health
Massage therapy can improve your overall mood, and it can lead to an improvement in mental health. It can help with anxiety and depression, alleviating the symptoms, and making them occur less often.
The mental health aid is likely because massages can lessen the cortisol levels in your body, which is a hormone that induces stress. Getting a massage can also increase the dopamine and serotonin levels in your body, which leads to happiness and relaxation.
2. Can prevent and relieve headaches
This is especially true for migraines, although it is valid for all types of headaches. Frequently, these headaches and migraines are induced by stress or lack of sleep, both issues that parents have to deal with each day. The effects of massage therapy for headaches can last for up to three weeks, making them perfect for those who suffer often.
3. Lessens back pain
Parenting is a tough job, and it can cause stress on your body. Many times, this stress leads to back pain. It has been found that massage therapy is more effective for reducing back pain than acupuncture. Those who have tried it have reported that they were able to reduce the number of painkillers they were taking and even the frequency in which they were being made.
4. Can restore body flexibility
After having children, your body may never be the same again. This means that flexibility may be limited compared to what it was like before. Through massage therapy, you may be able to restore some of that flexibility, however.
While you may not realize how important flexibility is, it is essential in a couple of ways. First, you need to be flexible to have the proper range of motion in your limbs. The other reason it is so important is that it encourages your body to produce natural lubrication for your joints.
5. Improves sleep
With parenthood comes a lack of sleep. This is something that everyone knows, but no one knows how to get over it. Even once your child begins sleeping through the night, you may never be able to return to your previous sleep cycles.
Luckily, this problem can be alleviated. Since massage therapy relieves stress and helps you relax, it can help you fall asleep more effectively and promotes healthy sleep cycles.
6. Boosts your immune system
With kids come germs, which means you’ll need your immune system working as best as it can. Massage therapy can help you stay healthier by boosting your immune system and decreasing the likelihood you’ll get sick from all those germs your children are sharing.
Massages even increase the number of natural killer cells. These cells can prevent you from contracting diseases and helps to fight infections off more effectively.
7. Self-care is essential
As a parent, you likely spend all of your time and energy taking care of your kids. They are your priority, and their needs and wants always seem to take precedent over your own. It is so important to think about yourself, however, and make sure to make self-care a priority.
You can’t take care of others if you aren’t taking care of yourself. Even if this means one massage a month, it could make all the difference
Where to Get Massage Therapy
A quick internet search will lead you to massage therapists in your area. From there, you will need to determine which therapists perform the type of massage you are needing. You will want to inquire about experience and certifications, and you may even want to meet the therapist before setting up your first session.
Massage therapy can be life-changing for many people, with parents being at the top of that list. With crazy, busy lives, and both physical and emotional strain being a part of the lifestyle, parents can greatly benefit from getting regular massages.
Before setting up a massage appointment, however, you should have an idea of what you want to achieve during the session. This will help determine the right style of massage you need, which will lead you to the right masseuse or therapist.