Just as the list of massage properties is almost endless, so is the different forms of massage.
The strength, direction, and application of pressure varies according to the method involved. No one form of treatment supersedes another. Indeed many aromatherapists and massage practitioners will use a combination of methods within each treatment.
These are some of the most popular methods used both as a form of treatment in their own right and incorporated into aromatherapy treatments.
Swedish massage, otherwise known as the “Ling System” was developed by Per Henrik in the early nineteenth century. He split up some of the ancient massage movement into specific techniques, analyzed them, and explained why they were used.
This is one of the most basic forms of massage from which many others subsequently developed. It is a fairly superficial, but none the less valuable method practiced today by many beauty therapists.
It consists of an “all over” body massage, designed to assist blood circulation, lymphatic drainage, and myofascial release to manipulate the soft tissues. The effect is a pleasantly relaxing massage experience for the recipient.
This is a more specialized form of massage treatment used for a muscular problem or injury.
Deep tissue work is applied to stimulate circulation, release muscle spasm, soften previously injured tissue. The technique can cause discomfort to the recipient as the muscle tension is addressed and released. This type of treatment is used to address specific issues and is not used to induce relaxation.
Shiatsu massage is a very ancient form of massage, originating in the far east. It involves the application of pressure using the fingers, thumbs, elbows, knees and sometimes even the feet.
The technique works on the principle that we have a natural energy system and flow within our bodies. When the flow becomes upset or blocked in some way, disease within our body can ensue. The flow of this energy is said to move along invisible lines or meridians.
A point which is blocked is usually sensitive or painful and there is often a small indentation to be found where a point is located.
Shiatsu pressure applied along specific meridian lines can restore the points where the flow is blocked. Regular Shiatsu treatment therefore offers powerful preventative treatment.
There are approximately 600 shiatsu points throughout the human body. Note : Acupressure is a very similar technique which uses finger pressure only to balance the internal energy flow.