When it comes to daily aches and pains, nothing is as relieving and relaxing as a good massage. But, regular visits to a therapist or spa can get pricey and sometimes, you just need relief now.You don’t need to be a massage therapist to get a great massage at home. In fact, there are a number of techniques that you or your partner can learn to take your massage skills to the next level. All you need are the right tools and an open mind.From hot stone therapy to Gua Sha, you’ll discover 5 types of massage can help you relieve pain and relax better. The best part is that you can use these techniques for self-massage or with a partner, the choice is yours.
Hot Stone Massage Therapy
The use of stones for healing dates back centuries. In fact, the Chinese have been using hot stones for more than 2,000 years to tone the organs and relieve pain.Hot stone therapy uses smooth basalt rocks that are rich in iron, which helps retain heat. But, not just any stone will do, smooth river rocks are preferred because they glide along the skin better.The stones are heated and placed on points on the body. It is thought that certain points can open up energy centers, unblocking chi and relieving painOne thing is for certain, the heat from the stones does help relax tense muscles. Applying pressure to the stones and stroking them in the direction of the muscle helps intensify the effect.
Gua Sha Massage
Gua Sha is a massage technique that is frequently used in traditional Chinese medicine as a remedy for fatigue as well as illness such as fever and colds.The name, Gua Sha, loosely translates to “scraping wind” because the scraping action of the tool is believed to remove “wind” from the body. In traditional Chinese medicine, wind is associated with aches and pains such as headaches and arthritis.In order to perform a Gua Sha massage, you’ll need a Gua Sha scraping tool and oil. In the past, many kinds of smooth objects were used from bones to soup spoons. Today scraping tools are often made out of jade or needle stone.During a Gua Sha session, pressure is applied to the skin with the scraper and stroked in the direction of the muscle or meridians. Similar to another modality called “cupping”Gua Sha can leave bruises. However, many people find the “scraping” to be quite relaxing as the tones the muscle and releases tension.
Shiatsu massage is a type of Japanese bodywork that focuses on applying finger pressure to points on the body. In this respect, its very similar to another type of massage called acupressure which is based off of acupuncture.The difference between the two is that Shiatsu uses deep pressure and stretching techniques, whereas acupressure does not. Depending on how deep the pressure needs to be, you can even use your elbows, knees and feet to manipulate the points.Shiatsu is a great massage technique to try on yourself or with a partner at home. It literally requires nothing more than your fingers and knowing where to apply pressure.Of course, you don’t have to do all the work yourself, or even learn a new technique. There are plenty shiatsu massage devices that are programmed to hit the right spots while you relax.
Trigger Point Therapy
Trigger point therapy is often confused with Shiatsu, but it’s actually very different. Essentially, a trigger point is just that – a point on the body that triggers pain elsewhere.This can be due to things like poor posture or an injury that causes you to favor one part of you body over another. When that happens, muscles in another area compensate and become tense and fatigued.Most people’s immediate reaction to muscle pain is to rub the area that hurts. However, trigger point therapy focuses on releasing tension from the point that is causing the pain. Trigger points are often located in different areas from the pain and are sometimes on the opposite side of the body.One of the most useful tools for learning trigger point therapy, is a trigger point map or referred pain guide. This will help you located the point to manipulate to relieve the pain in an area.Once the trigger point has been located, you or your partner can apply pressure to deactivate the point and reduce the pain. You aren’t limited to just using finger pressure to get relied, either. There are many techniques and tools used in trigger point therapy to help you deactivate a point.
Essential oils have long been used for healing purposes in many cultures. From Europe to Asia, the Americas and beyond – aromatherapy is an ancient and widespread healing modality.Aromatherapy massage uses essential oils to enhance pain relief and induce relaxation. During an aromatherapy massage, essential oils are mixed with a carrier such as almond oil and massaged into the skin.The benefit of this is twofold, in that the oils are absorbed into the skin and inhaled as well. Oils that are absorbed into the skin can have an immediate effect on discomfort. One example of this is peppermint oil, which gives a cooling, tingly sensation.Aromatherapy massage can help relieve stress, menstrual cramps, muscle pain and other ailments. Of course, it smells great too.You can learn a lot just experimenting with different essential oils during an aromatherapy massage. Just make sure not to put essential oils directly on the skin and always mix with a carrier oil.Know that you know about the different types of massage you can at home, which one will you try first?