Should you choose a therapeutic or relaxation massage?

The beauty of massage therapy is you have many options available, whether you're looking for a therapeutic or relaxation approach. Each apply different techniques, and we'll help you find the right one for your needs.

Should you choose a therapeutic or relaxation massage?

What to look for in a relaxing massage

A relaxation massage is primarily about enjoyment, a way to feel good.

  • Relaxation massages allow you to shed stress, anxiety, tension and fatigue.
  • Giving yourself the gift of well-being can be a delightful experience.
  • To get the most out of your 30- to 90-minute session, schedule an appointment in the morning or towards the end of the day.
  • A massage doesn’t necessarily require oil and can be performed with your clothes on.

What characterizes a relaxation massage

Movements stimulate energy levels and improve both blood and lymph circulation.

  • Motions are broad, gentle and slow. Often the client will fall asleep on the table.
  • As a bonus, getting massaged on a regular basis could help manage depression, relieve asthma, reduce blood pressure and control heart disease.
  • Other relaxing massage types suited for specific needs include: the Amma (in a chair); the Californian; an Ayurvedic massage (which focuses on the seven chakras); reflexology; hydro-massage under a rain shower; and Shiatsu massage.

What to look for in a therapeutic massage

If you need help, healing and relief, this might be your best option.

  • Massage therapists can usually help address the physical problem (muscular, neurological, joints) or psychological issue.
  • This type of massage is generally not a luxury, but a necessity.
  • Clinical research has shown therapeutic massage to be more effective at treating muscle inflammation than anti-inflammatory drug. It not only promotes healing, but it reduces recovery time, especially after exercise, physical exertion or sports activity.
  • Over a period of 45 to 120 minutes, the practitioner works directly on the skin and applies cream, oil or gel.

What characterizes a therapeutic massage

The motions are faster and movements feel invigorating and energizing.

  • Before you get to enjoy all the therapeutic benefits, you may experience post-massage soreness. This is normal and usually means it’s working.
  • To prepare for deep-tissue massage, the practitioner warms up the muscle with gentle manoeuvres. It slowly progresses to kneading and increases in pressure. Pain is normal, but it shouldn’t be severe.
  • Communicate any discomfort to your therapist.

As a bonus, therapeutic massage may also benefit the whole body (kidneys, heart, circulation) as well as balance the digestive and lymphatic systems.

  • Don’t hesitate to consult a practitioner if you need help managing chronic conditions like migraines, hyperactivity and hypertension.
  • Other therapeutic-massage types suited for specific needs include: The Swedish, Shiatsu, sports and Thai massage.

As with any type of treatment, always seek advice from your doctor before you go for massage therapy if you have any concerns about your health.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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