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Not Just For Indulgence: Massage

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Yes, you now have an excuse for to pamper yourself! Massage isn’t just a sinful indulgence to relax and pamper your senses. Massage is good for you body! It promotes blood circulation, lymph drainage, relaxes tired muscles, works out the knots in tense muscles and aids in recovery.

Read on to find out how massages help you and how you can add massage to your list of recovery therapies!

Types of Massage

There are many types of massages out there but they generally fall into 3 general categories:

  • Gentle Massages
    Swedish, Aromatherapy, Sensual and many other type of massages fall into this category. In general, Gentle Massages stroke, smooth and caress the skin without applying too much pressure.
    This produces a gentle, relaxing massage that also helps promote blood circulation, muscle relaxation and lymph drainage.
  • Deep Tissue Massages
    You’ll find Sports and Deep Tissue massages fall into this category. The masseur will exert much more pressure so as to get deep into the muscle tissue and work out knots and tightness from them.
    Deep Tissue massages tend to be uncomfortable to the point of hurting as the masseur will be applying enough pressure to break up tension knots deep in the muscle.
  • Pressure-based Massages
    Shiatsu, Thai and Chinese massages fall into this category. Pressure based massages don’t focus on strokes rather relying on kneading, pushing and pulling the muscle area. Thai massage famously uses no oil and is done with the client wearing loose and comfortable clothing.
    Despite the lack of oil and strokes, Pressure-based massages are often very relaxing and help loosen up tight muscles and joints.

Which type of massage you’re going for depends on how your body feels. If you’re feeling great with no aches and pains you might want to go for some gentle swedish massage to relax your muscles.

If you’re a golfer or involved in a sport which twists and turns your joints alot, you may want to try some Thai massage to unlock all those stiff joints.

If you’re a runner, weight lifter, cyclist, climber or other athlete that uses muscular power a lot then you’ll definitely want to take some deep tissue massage to work out the knots in your muscles.

How To Choose A Good Masseuse

Not all massages are created equal and you can’t tell how good or bad a masseur is from his / her looks alone, you’ll need to experience their hands for yourself.

Some things to look out for:

  • Pressure
    Make sure your masseur uses appropriate pressure for you. This is extremely individual so you’ll want to make sure that they’re pressing hard enough to work deep into your muscles but not so hard that you’ll get bruised up.
  • Stroke Technique
    Take note of how smooth their strokes are, the strokes should be quick or abrumpt but rather smooth and flowing.
  • Experience
    An experienced masseur will be able to tell which parts of your body needs work the most and will spend more time on it. They’ll be able to tell by how tense or knotted your muscles are in that part of the body. If your masseur can’t tell, don’t be shy and speak up!

When To Go For A Massage

  1. If you’re body is feeling tense, tight or cramped.
    If you’re feeling all tight or achy, it’s a good time to go get those muscles worked out. The kneading, pulling and stretching will sort out the tension in your body.
  2. If you’re an active sports person.
    If you’re actively involved in sports, say more than 4 times a week and high intensities, try to get a massage every other week. You’ll find it does wonders for your recovery and performance.

When NOT To Go For A Massage

  1. When you’re ill.
    If you’re down with the cold or a fever, a massage may sound nice but resist the urge to go get one! Your body is already hard at work fighting off infection, rebuilding damaged tissue and generally working to get you healthy again. Let your body do it’s work.
  2. If you’ve bruising, cuts or wounds on your body.
    Massage isn’t good if you’re wounded. Since there’s pressure, pulling and stretching involved it will aggravate the wound. Make sure you’re all healed first (including bruises!) before you add massage to your list of recovery therapies.
  3. If you’re diabetic
    Since massage involves pressure, be careful of going for massages if you’re diabetic. Too much pressure can cause bruising which would be dangerous for diabetics.

 

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