A back massage is a popular and basic spa service that focuses on your back. However, many people today are aware of the many health benefits of a back massage, but some do not know that there are different types of it with varying effects on the body.
Because of the full range of options, how to choose a best back massage can be challenging and overwhelming. But, it doesn’t have to be!
That’s why in the next sections, we will broaden your horizons and give you essential facts about back massages so you can make an informed decision the next time you head to the spa!
The Different Types of Back Massage
There are literally hundreds of different types of massage. While almost all of them are for pain and stress relief, some also do very specific things to the body.
Listed below are some of the most popular back massages that you might find offered by your local spa along with a few details. You can use this information in choosing a best back massage depending on your needs on a particular day.
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I’m sure you have already heard of the Swedish massage, which is kind of a signature go-to massage treatment for many people. It involves long strokes over the skin slathered with some oil. It also consists of some kneading, rolling, and even some rhythmic tapping.
Swedish massage can be done to the whole body, or just the back is designed to boost circulation, relieve stress, and soothe sore or tense muscles and joints. It also helps strengthen the immune system and fight headaches.
Hot Stone Massage
If you want something more exciting, try a hot stone massage. In this treatment, your back and body are weighed down and massaged with hot, smooth stones. It involves two elements: kneading and heat treatment, which have combined benefits.
Not only does the massage relax your muscles and body, but the almost-too-hot sensation also allows you to focus on what is being done to you. This helps improve your focus and concentration while improving your ability to “center” yourself. It is excellent for releasing the tension on your shoulders and back too.
Do you feel stubborn knots on your back? Go for a deep tissue massage! This addresses severely knotted and tense muscles due to stress by reaching the body’s deep connective tissues and muscle layers. It uses short yet powerful and pressured strokes.
A deep tissue massage is also suitable for back pain and neck pain or specific conditions such as tennis elbow. It can also treat stiff, chronically painful trouble spots like the shoulders.
True to its name, a sports massage is specially designed for athletes before or after games. It helps warm-up and loosen muscles before an event and also reduce muscle soreness after.
Sports massages use less pressure but more stretching. Many serious athletes swear by sports massages and consider them a significant part of their training, including Olympic gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps who reportedly gets two Massages a day and his teammate Dara Torres who had two standby massage therapists when they competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Sports massage is good for preventing injuries, for muscle recovery and flexibility. It is also recommended for people who work out a lot or are stiff due to repetitive movements due to their job.
There are two kinds of chair massages: the ones done by a massage therapist and the ones done by the chair itself. Both offer immediate stress relief after a long day.
Chair massages are where you sit on a chair facing forward with a therapist massaging your back, neck, and shoulders. Some people prefer this kind of massage because you don’t have to undress or have oil slathered on you. However, these are often done in public places so they are not as relaxing and private.
I’m sure you’ve seen massage chairs in malls, nail parlors, or maybe even in your office. These have vibrating or rolling attachments that provide the pressure and sometimes even heat for relieving muscle tension. But if you are spending money on these, you might want to consider buying the best back massager for your personal use at home!
Shiatsu is another popular massage treatment that roots from traditional Eastern Asian medicine. The term literally means “finger pressure” and the massage involves applying localized pressure on various acupressure points on the body to improve energy flow and restore balance.
Shiatsu is relaxing, refreshing, and soothing, not just for the body but also for the mind. It helps against stress-related health issues and conditions like chronic pain, insomnia, headaches, arthritis, sinus problems, and sciatica.
Thai Massage is a unique type of massage that involves pressing massages, passive stretching, rhythmic compressions, and assisted yoga. This massage can also be done fully clothed or otherwise.
Similar to the Shiatsu massage, Thai massage is said to be energizing, stress-relieving, and helpful in improving flexibility and enhancing your range of motion. It has been shown to help treat migraine symptoms, balance problems, and muscle spasms as well.
While some people find this massage too intense, it is excellent for those who want to have a full, engaging massage experience.
Now that you know what the different massages offer, how to choose a best back massage should be a lot easier. Remember, consider what you are feeling and what you need on a particular day and use that as a basis for choosing a back massage.
Make sure to communicate well with your massage therapist as well about what feels good and what does not. That’s basically it! Good luck, and enjoy your massage!