What is a massage?

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What is massage therapy? 

Massage is a catchall name for a variety of treatments. In general, massage uses different types of physical contact to unwind, restore and recuperate the body. 

What is massage? 

Massage is the stroking, manipulating, warming, rolling and squeezing of skin and muscles. It is used to treat a wide scope of issues and muscular pain, and is quite possibly the most well-known therapy on any spa menu. 

There are various types of massage, each slightly different (in focus and approach). Some treatments focus on calming muscle tightness, others on increasing energy levels and some are just used to help people unwind. 

Benefits of massage: 

  • It unwinds and invigorates drained or tied muscles;
  • Improves blood flow;
  • It invigorates the flow of blood and lymph fluid;
  • It encourages your body to deliver endorphins – your internal ‘happy hormones’; and
  • It improves psychological wellness.

What are the medical advantages of massage? 

In different ways massage can assist with recovery and restoring normal function. Massage can give relief from discomfort - treating persistent tightness, back pain, backache, headaches and even joint pain. 

By improving blood flow, massage can increase the levels of oxygen and positive substances to your tissues whilst at the same time helping to remove unwanted fluid or chemicals. 

Massage in sports

Massage is frequently used in most professional sports now. The benefits of massage in sports performance include supporting recovery after injury, preventing further muscle or tissue harm and improving range of motion. 

What to expect/before you go

Depending on the type of massage you’re having, there are different things to expect. Generally, you should expect to remove clothing to allow your massage therapist to get to the area they are working on. We would recommend wearing baggy/comfortable clothes to a massage, specifically for when you’re going home with the massage oils or creams still on your skin. 

Try to avoid having any large meals or strenuous exercise immediately before or after any massage. It’s good to always keep hydrated anyway, but this can be particularly important after a massage. 

Types of massage

There are a huge amount of different massage treatments available, the main types are:

  • Swedish massage
  • Thai massage
  • Sports/muscular massage
  • Hot stone massage
  • Indian head massage
  • Shiatsu
  • Ayurvedic massage
  • Lymphatic drainage
  • Aromatherapy massage
  • Deep tissue massage 
  • Reflexology 
  • Acupressure 
  • Myofascial release therapy and trigger point massage

Which providers offer massages?

Massage is a fundamental part of training for many health professionals, from Beauty Therapists and Osteopaths to Physiotherapists and Sports Therapists. By using SimplyBreeze, we'll show you any provider around you that can offer a massage.