What is Massage?
Massage is a form of treatment, of which its main purpose is to relax the muscles and heal the body. This can range from neck pain and lower back pain, to a massage of any of the peripheral muscles in the lower or upper limbs. Massage is a hands on treatment which involve a variety of movement and manipulation techniques of muscles and soft tissue, each of these techniques will have its own benefits in helping to heal the body faster, and improve a persons overall health and wellbeing.
A few techniques include:
Effleurage – A lighter technique usually with a broad contact on the skin with the palm of the hand which aims to warm up the muscles to a point where deeper techniques can be used. This technique is also the most relaxing and will help aid the muscles to become suppler and easier to work on.
Petrissage – This massage technique involves the movement of slightly deeper lying muscles as well as surface muscles, it will usually involve kneading and wringing movements using the palm of the hand as well as picking up and rolling movement with the thumbs and fingers.
Tapotement – This a less commonly used technique within sports massage and more within Swedish massage. It involves the rhythmic percussive striking of the skin and muscles usually with the finger tips, edge of the hand or the cupper palm.
Transverse Friction – This is a very deep technique used to work out knots and deeper lying issues using the thumbs or knuckles, which involves applying a force to a knot and oscillating across the flow of the muscle in an attempt to relax the muscle to its original state. This massage technique along with Trigger Point Therapy will be used in the mid section of the massage when the muscles are at their warmest and most relaxed.
Trigger Point Therapy – A very common technique in the world of sports massage therapy. It involves applying a similar force as the frictions down onto a knot or trigger point but this time without the oscillation and instead is replaced with a hold of 15-30 seconds before being flushed out towards the nearest Lymph Node. Sometimes the trigger point technique is used with a movement of a limb to aid in the speed of the recovery, but this will depend on its location.
Myofascial Release – A technique used in massage to help the muscle to skin relationship. This will enable the rest of the massage to flow easier with the oils and will allow a smoother transition between the different techniques.