Yesterday, we talked about why massages are so great. Today, I’m going to help you discover which massage is best for you. And really, selfishly for me. I am doing a little digging to discover which one would be the best fit for me :-).
From the brief research that I’ve done, I have discovered there are basically four major kinds of massages. Trigger point therapy/massage, Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue Massage, and Sports Massage. Now, let’s begin our adventure!
Trigger point therapy is basically when there is a tight area in your body that causes pain or irritation to other parts of your body.
For example…I screwed up my knee about a year ago when I was helping some wrestlers understand the finer points of the bottom position. Unfortunately, I am pretty sure I tore my meniscus :-(.
Anyway, because I hurt my left knee and I tried to tough it out, it has made my left lower sciatica (lower back/upper butt) flare up and hurt. In a simplistic form, if I got my knee issue worked on it my lower back issue would have never happened.
Something else I think you need to know, is that trigger point therapy also necessitates that the participant breathe deeply. This means you can’t go and just “check out.” You need to be present during your massage and help the masseuse identify the exact area of the pain and discomfort. It’s also important for the individual who’s getting the massage to communicate the intensity and discomfort that they are under.
Those who promote Trigger Point Therapy say if you receive trigger point therapy regularly over an extended period of time it can help to manage pain and stress from chronic injuries, which kind of sounds like a win for my knee and back.
A deep tissue massage is exactly what it sounds like. In some ways it’s similar to a Swedish massage, but the main focus is working on the deepest layer of muscle, which fyi…can be painful.
Essentially, think of a deep tissue massage like you are going on Safari in Africa. The masseuse is the big game hunter, you are the guide, your body is the terrain. Your job is to guide the masseuse to your big muscle knots. Once those knots are discovered, your masseuse works on them and brings you the trophy of well being. This kind of massage loosens up your muscles and helps them them become free, doing so often relieves the individual from chronic muscle tension.
What’s really interesting about the deep tissue massage to me. Is that it causes your blood pressure to fall after one single 45 to 60 minute session. When I was 305 pounds, I had high blood pressure. And I mean high, at one point it was 175 over 70. The bottom number was fine, but the top number was really high. I had never heard that if you get a deep tissue massage, it could lower your blood pressure. I think that is huge!
Plus, in a study performed in 2010, the journal of clinical psychiatry discovered that deep tissue massages also help reduce stress, reduce the heart rate while also boosting one’s mood and making them relax more by helping the body release more relaxation hormones (oxytocin and serotonin).
The Swedish massage is the most common. This involves light to medium pressure and it help relieve stress, reduces pain, as well as improve mood and promote overall relaxation. It is easy to see why this type of massage is so popular.
What’s really cool about the Swedish massage is that there was a study conducted and it found that volunteers who received a 45-minute Swedish massage lowered their stress hormone cortisol. If you follow me at all, you should know a lot about cortisol already. Essentially, cortisol helps your body deal with stress, which directly relates with how you store fat, get rid of fat etc. In short, cortisol is an extremely important hormone.
In short, being able to manipulate and control cortisol with a massage is pretty awesome.
The sports massages is what I would most likely need. It’s specifically geared for athletes and whatever sport they play. For example, they could work on my knee issue as well as deal with my shoulder…because my right shoulder has been tight and tender ever since college football. Plus, a sports massage could likely help my knee and lower back issue. In short, a sports massage is specific to your needs and focuses on whatever particular area is troubling you. Which sounds absolutely wonderful to me.
I would call this the Just You Massage. Just like when I build custom personal training programs built for just you, the sports massage is built around just you. It can be used as a means for pre-event preparation as well as reduce recovery time between maximum efforts and performances. Regular sport massages can promote flexibility, reduce fatigue, help prevent injuries and as well as prepare your body and mind for peak performance.
This is huge, this is why it would really help my shoulder and knee if I actually did it :-). Another great benefit that you’re really going to be interested in, is that those people who get a sports massage, report that they have less muscle soreness. So, if you workout with me and become sore…I sports massage could just be what you’re looking for :-).
Now go be awesome!
PS – Tomorrow, I am going to introduce you to an awesome massage therapist that I gave all of one-on-one clients 30 minute sessions to for Christmas. Want in on the fun? Sign-up and try out 3 Private Personal Training sessions risk free? Click the link http://winstonsalem.justyoufitness.com/offer.html