What Massage Modality is Best For Me?

With massage clinics, day spas and wellness centers now located in neighborhood strip malls and shopping plazas, most of today’s consumers are well aware of the therapeutic benefits of massage.  What many don’t know however, is which modality is best for their unique needs and physiological condition. To help answer the question, Ms. Paula Curtiss, Founding Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, offers the following table listing today’s most popular massage modalities and the clients most likely to benefit from each;

Name of Modality Description Who Does It Benefit?
Swedish (Circulatory) Massage The most commonly requested massage, a Swedish massage involves lubricating the skin with massage oil and performing a variety of strokes to increase circulation and smooth muscle knots. Great for clients who want to deeply relax, those with high-blood pressure, insomnia, fibromyalgia or scoliosis.  Swedish massage uses medium to light pressure and is terrific for soothing the nervous system diminishing anxiety, stress and pain while boosting happy hormones like Serotonin and Dopamine.
Deep Tissue Massage Deep Tissue is a type of massage therapy that focuses on the deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue using techniques such as Muscle Sculpting and Structural Organization. Its intent is to manipulate “connective tissue” (the collagen web-like network that supports and binds other tissues in the body) to create more space, balance and ease of movement in the body. Great for a variety of clients ranging from the moderately active to the serious, competitive athlete.  It corrects and balances postural issues such as sway back or rounded shoulders and promotes optimal function of the muscles & bones of the body.  Benefits of a deep tissue massage include a dramatic improvement in the client’s posture, flexibility, range of motion, and energy level.  It also diminishes pain and stiffness by relaxing muscle knots and reducing inflammation due to over-stretched muscles.
Sports Massage A therapeutic Sports Massage uses deep, invigorating Massage techniques to enhance the performance of athletes at athletic events or prior to weight training. In a sports massage the therapist focuses on areas of the body that are overused and stressed from repetitive and /or aggressive movements.  Special focus is given to cross-fiber techniques that release old adhesion’s and scar tissue thereby promoting better performance and faster healing. Great for sports enthusiasts and competitors whose work-outs are extreme and often result in muscle strain and/or overuse injuries.  Sports massage targets muscle-tendon junctions and joints.  It promotes flexibility, reduces muscle fatigue, improves endurance, helps prevent injuries, speeds healing and prepares the body and mind for optimal performance.
Thai Massage Thai Massage is an ancient healing system that combines acupressure, Indian Ayurvedic principles, and assisted yoga postures to impact both the physical and energetic systems of the body. It is performed on a floor-mat with the client wearing loose, comfortable clothing. The therapist leads you through a sequence of yoga-like motions and combines rhythmic rocking with progressively deeper stretches to help you deeply relax. In contrast to other massage modalities, Thai massage encourages the recipient to become engaged and mindful of their body’s reaction to each of the poses for optimal results.

 

Great for almost anyone regardless of age or physical condition.  Thai massage works by touching points along the body’s 10 major “sen” (energy) lines to clear energetic blockages.  The benefits of a Thai massage include relief from asthma, migraine headaches, muscle sprains, bruises, and anxiety.  Clients also experience a reduction in physical and emotional tension, improved sleep, reduced stress, improved flexibility, and a greater awareness of their bodies as well as their thoughts and expectations.

 

 

Healing Hands School of Holistic Health has been serving residents through two regional campuses located in Escondido and Laguna Hills for over 28 years.  With more than 50 Holistic Health courses and two Certification Programs to offer, HHSHH is considered a trail-blazer for Holistic Health education in Southern California.  To date, HHSHH has prepared more than 6,000 students for successful and rewarding careers in Massage Therapy and Holistic Health. To find out more about the educational programs or financial aid available at HHSHH please visit us on-line at https://hhs.edu/  or call us at 800.355.6463.