Back in the days before aspirin, heating pads and whirlpools, humans treated the sore bodies in the old-fashioned manner which was with massage. In many ways the massage is the most natural of all natural remedies. Touching the body where it hurts the most seems to be a basics instinct, like running from danger or even eating when you're hungry. And experts have said that massage, no matter how humble or low-tech it may seem, can be an extremely powerful healer.
Massage has come a very long way over the centuries. Different massage requires different techniques like the Swedish massage uses a soothing, tapping and kneading strokes to work the whole body, relieving the muscle tension and also loosening sore joints. Swedish massage therapists tend to use five basic strokes, which anyone can learn and use on themselves and others as well. They are effleurage, petrissage where the muscles are lightly grabbed and lifted, friction in which the thumbs and fingertips work in deep circles into the thickest part of muscles, the tapotement which includes chopping, beating, and tapping strokes and finally vibration where the fingers are pressed or flattened firmly on a muscle, then the area is shaken rapidly for a few seconds.
Deep Tissue Massage targets the chronic tension in the muscles that lie far below the surface of the body. There are five layers of muscle on the back, for instance, and while Swedish massage may perhaps help the first couple of layers, it won't do much directly for the muscle underneath it. Deep muscle techniques would usually involve slow strokes, direct pressure or even friction movements that could go across the grain of the muscles. Massage therapists will prefer to use their fingers, thumbs or occasionally the elbows to apply the much needed pressure.
Sports Massage is actually designed to help you train better, whether you're a world champion or even a weekend warrior. The techniques are quite similar to those in the Swedish and deep tissue massage but it is said that sports massage has been adapted to meet the athlete's special needs. Pre-event massage can help warm up the muscles and also improve circulation before competition, but it can also energize or even relax an athlete and help him focus on the main competition. Post-event massage can manage to push the waste products out of the body and also improve recovery.
Neuromuscular Massage is a type of deep tissue massage that is applied to an individual muscle. It is used to increase the blood flow, reduce the pain and finally release the pressure on nerves which are caused by injuries to muscles and other soft tissue as well. Neuromuscular massage also helps release the trigger points. Intense knots of tense muscle can also cause pain to other parts of the body. Relieving a tense trigger point in your back could help ease pain in the shoulder or even reduce the headaches.
Craniosacral Therapy focuses on the skull and the spinal column. Therapists use a very gentle pressure no more than the actual weight of a nickel to massage the bones, membranes and also the fluids that support and bathe the skull and spinal column. The theory is that these manipulations will eventually reduce tension and counteract any physical trauma that person may have experienced to the head over the years. (articledoctor.com)