The therapeutic benefits of massage therapy are numerous. Fortunately, people who cannot tolerate a significant amount of pressure on their skin, muscles, and connective tissues can enjoy all the mental and physical advantages of massage without the discomfort. The following gentle massage techniques will appeal to people who prefer little or no pressure.
1. Swedish Massage
Perhaps the gentlest variety of full body massage is the Swedish technique. Characterized by long, flowing strokes, the therapist may also gently knead the muscles to help release muscle knots while allowing the client to fully relax. Those who are new to massage or are more sensitive to touch may wish to opt for a Swedish massage.
2. Hot Stone Massage
Those who wish to add the soothing element of heat to facilitate further relaxation may prefer a hot stone massage. Instead of using hands, the therapist uses heated stones in the Swedish method. The addition of heat further alleviates pain, relieves stress, releases muscle tension, and improves blood flow. The massage therapist can modify the level of pressure and make the stones warmer or cooler for the client’s comfort.
Some people are uncomfortable with the idea of receiving a full body massage. For these people, reflexology may be preferable. A reflexologist applies pressure to only a few trigger points in the body. These trigger points are typically located in the hands, feet, and ears. While most other massage therapy styles require the client to be almost completely undressed, individuals may choose to wear loose-fitting clothes when receiving reflexology therapy. The resources at Motion Care Clinic are helpful and can provide you with more information.
4. Aromatherapy Massage
Most types of massage therapy benefit the mind by virtue of relaxing the body, improving bloodflow, and releasing mood-boosting endorphins into the bloodstream. Aromatherapy utilizes the sense of smell to further benefit the mind. Aromatherapy massage combines gentle pressure with fragrant essential oils. The massage therapist may select the oil varieties prior to beginning the massage, or the client may specify a preference. Scientific studies indicate essential oils may have varying effects on the mind depending on the oil variety. Some oils improve focus while others facilitate relaxation. Still other oils uplift and improve the mood and may even decrease depression.
There is a type of massage therapy for virtually everyone. Individuals who prefer a lighter touch should discuss their preferences with their massage therapist prior to their massage session. Aside from the techniques listed above, most types of massage can be modified to increase or decrease the amount of pressure and level of intensity the recipient experiences.