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Mapping out your ideal massage technique

Updated: Sep 25, 2020

Getting a massage can be one of the most relaxing experiences, but it can also have amazing benefits for your muscles. It can help your body recover and heal faster from injury, illness, and general aches and pains. There are a variety of massage techniques to choose from that can target specific muscular issues, help you achieve a deeper relaxation, or a combination of both.

Here at Awaken Massages and Skin Care we pride ourselves on our massage expertise and being able to help you find what is best for your body. All of our massages are divided into two groups, the Traditionalist and the Adventurer. We offer a variety of techniques that are sure to meet everyone’s needs.

Our traditionalist massages include the more commonly referred to massage techniques like Swedish and Deep Tissue massage. Our Swedish massage incorporates a combination of five different techniques to help you relax and alleviate painful muscles across the body. The five techniques include long sweeping strokes, kneading of the muscles, rhythmic tapping, friction that creates heat to relax the muscles, and vibration. Swedish massage is perfect to help reduce insomnia, anxiety, symptoms of depression and muscle aches.

Deep Tissue Massage is also a quite popular massage technique we use on our clients. This massage is a little less about relaxation and more about working on specific muscle issues. Deep Tissue Massage helps to release adhesions and improve muscle function. While this massage technique uses deeper pressure, there’s no need to worry about a painful massage.

Our other category of massages includes massage techniques with a twist and that’s why we’ve dubbed them the adventurer massages. While they may offer similar benefits to your traditional massage, they each have their own unique methods of helping with relaxation and muscle issues. Our most popular adventurer massages include Cupping, Hot Stones, Gua Sha, Esalen, and Thai. Each of these techniques offer a variety of benefits to meet your unique needs. Check out a brief description of each below.

Cupping therapy has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries to help with illness, injury, and improved circulation. This technique involves placing cups on the skin to create suction that helps with the healing of muscles through improved blood flow. The cups are often put in place for several minutes and can be placed in several different areas across your body including the face. This treatment is not painful and offers a variety of benefits from lowering back pain to helping with allergy and asthma symptoms.

Hot stone therapy requires the use of hot basalt stones that are placed around the body. These hot stones allow the heat to penetrate deep into the muscles and are placed strategically along the spine and between the toes. Your therapist will use massaging oils to rub the stones into muscles and to create a relaxing and therapeutic experience.

Gua Sha therapy involves pressure and scraping of the skin to relieve pain and tension. Once massage oil is applied to your skin, a gua massage tool is used to repeatedly scrape your skin in a downward motion. It’s pronounced “gwahshah” and we promise it’s not painful. This technique is frequently used to relieve tension in the face, jaw, or neck and has been shown to be effective in treating migraines.

Esalen therapy is quite unique and consists of long flowing strokes that are tuned to the client’s breath and energy. This technique can heighten the client’s awareness of bodily experiences allowing them to heal better as they become more aware of how they hold tension in their bodies. It’s highly important for the therapist to be in tune with the client during this gentle massage technique. This massage does include draping which may differ from the traditional style.

Thai massage is not done on a traditional massage table, but instead it takes place on a padded mat on the floor while your therapist uses their entire body to stretch your muscles, while applying acupressure to specific points along your body’s energy lines. Wearing nonrestrictive clothing is ideal as you will be doing a variety of stretches and poses similar to what you may have done or seen in yoga practices.

Still not sure which massage technique is right for you?

Each of the massage techniques listed above have a variety of benefits that target specific goals you have in mind for your massage. You may be looking for something relaxing or need a massage that helps heal your body’s aches and pains. Consider trying a few to see what works best for your body or reach out to one of our massage therapists who can give you a great recommendation for your next massage.

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