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8 Massage Therapy Techniques for Holistic Healing

Massage Therapy Techniques
Massage therapy techniques have been considered popular healing methods since the ancient times. These techniques help not only rejuvenating and relaxing the body and mind, but also help increase blood circulation, heal wounds, and detoxify the body.
Parul Solanki
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
One of the oldest holistic healing techniques, massage techniques have been used by man since time immemorial to relax the muscles, ease the aches and pains, and basically rejuvenate the body. From the ancient Greeks and Romans to Indians and the Chinese, all have developed a range of massage techniques that help in relaxation, ease muscle tensions, and provide pain relief.

The word massage is derived from the French word massage or the "friction of kneading". The essential elements of the massage, thus, consists of acting on and manipulating the body with structured, unstructured, stationary, or moving pressure. The major pressure points and targets are the muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, and the joints, which can be pressed, rubbed, and manipulated to soothe the body and eliminate stress. Most masseurs will use their hands, fingers, elbows, knees, forearm, and feet for massaging. From light stroking to deep pressure massage, here is a list of different types of massage therapy.
Different Massage Therapy Techniques
Acupressure
acupresure massage technique
An ancient art of healing, acupressure uses the fingers to press target points on the surface of the skin to stimulate the body's natural self-curative abilities. Similar to the acupuncture theory, this oriental healing technique uses the Taoist philosophy of balancing energy meridians within the body.
This massage therapy is known to not only relax the entire body, but also increase the blood circulation, reduce stress, eliminate muscle pain, headaches, and basically improve overall energy levels. Moreover, it helps the body help eliminate toxins and cure health conditions like fibromyalgia and arthritis.
Aromatherapy
aromatherapy
The massage therapy that uses essential oils derived from herbs, flowers, resin, woods, and roots, aromatherapy was used by ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans to treat the emotional disorders of a person through the olfactory glands. Aromatherapy aids in improving blood circulation, aids relaxation, and helps in healing wounds and burns as well.
For using the aromatherapy massage, the therapist blends a carrier oil like almond or olive oil with some essential oil which is then used for the massage. Along with the smells that remind the person of a time when they felt happy, safe, relaxed, peaceful, or energized, the massages leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.
Deep Tissue Massage
Also known as deep muscle massage, this technique release myofascial restrictions within the body by releasing the chronic knots in the muscle tissues. With the release of the tension in the body, the body's natural harmony is restored. Moreover, the massage technique is known to repair any damaged cells and helps heal minor muscle strains and connective tissue injuries.
Compared to the other relaxation massage therapies, the deep tissue massage is applied with more pressure in order to stimulate the deeper muscles and the surrounding tissues, thus, causing quite a bit of discomfort.
Hot/Cold Stone Therapy
stone therapy
The hot/cold stone therapy uses smooth, heated and cooled stones to relieve body and muscle stiffness and soreness, and to restore vitality to the aching muscles and joints. This massage therapy relies on balancing the body's natural "chakra" by using warm basalt stones and cool sedimentary stones to unlock the energy and increase the blood circulation in the body.
Reflexology
The basic principle of this technique is that the reflexes in the hands and feet, correspond to every part, organ, and gland in the body. So acupressure is applied to the ears, hands, and feet within these same zones. This helps in detoxification, improved circulation, and the ability of the body to heal its injuries and other ailments.
Based on an ancient Oriental massage technique, reflexology was first introduced by Dr. William Fitzgerald in 1913.
Sports Massage
sports massage
Used primarily for athletes, the sports massages were designed so as to improve the flexibility and performance of the players. Moreover, it helps to significantly reduce the number of sports injuries by reducing the muscle tension and inflammation post-event while providing a warm-up massage to loosen muscles before the event.
Swedish Massage
The Swedish massage technique uses five main strokes, and many variations, to achieve its relaxing and healing effects. The calming pressure and firm strokes that are characteristic of this massage technique, help in improving the blood circulation, ease muscle tension, and improve flexibility.
The hacking and tapping helps release the tension in the back, and is accompanied by gliding, kneading, vibrations, and friction. These are usually applied in the direction of the heart so as to help increase blood circulation and the reduce the bodily waste and toxins.
Thai Massage
thai massage
Thai massage or Nuad Bo-rarn as it is known, has been in practice in Thailand for thousands of years. The focus is on increasing the blood circulation and massaging the energy lines or the sen along the body. According to the Thai massage philosophy, it is the blockage of these energy lines that is the major cause of ailments, chronic pain, diseases in the body.
Therapeutic and other massages have for years helped in promoting rehabilitation, providing pain relief, and improving flexibility and mobility. There are more than 250 variations of the massage therapy techniques that are used for treating a range of conditions and provide the ultimate healing for the mind and the body.