There are few things in life that are almost guaranteed to relieve a person of stress immediately. If a list of such things were available, there would certainly be a spot reserved for one of the finer enjoyments of life: receiving a great massage. Stress and tension have a tendency to melt in the hands of a qualified masseur or masseuse.
Fortunately for you, there are many different types of massage available from which to choose. You can experiment with the types that catch your fancy and discover what works best for you when it comes to relieving stress. This article is a small outline of some of the available types of massage awaiting your indulgence.
Acupressure is a form of massage developed by the same Chinese folks who brought the world acupuncture. In fact, the theory behind acupressure is based on the theory behind acupuncture. But you need not believe in the theories of traditional Chinese medicine to enjoy a massage. Acupressure uses the fingers, palms, and elbows to apply pressure to parts of the body believed to have some connection to the ailment in question. The beauty of acupressure is that many of its techniques can be done solo.
Aryuvedic massage is a form of massage that stems from the Indian art of Aryuvedic medicine, a system of holistic treatment. The masseur or masseuse uses hot herbal oils believed to treat certain conditions of the body and mind.
Reflexology is a form of massage that focuses heavily on the feet. The belief is that certain parts of the foot correspond in some metaphysical way to certain parts of the body. Stimulation of parts of the foot is believed to result in stimulation of the corresponding parts of the body. If you have been walking non-stop all week and want to experience a style of massage that centers on your feet, reflexology may be the style for you.
Shiatsu is a form of massage from Japan, based on the same metaphysical beliefs as acupressure (what the Chinese call chi, what the Indians call prana, and what the Japanese call ki is the energy believed to flow through the body along uniform channels). It too uses the hands, particularly the thumbs, to apply
pressure to various parts of the body.
Swedish. massage is a very popular form of massage that uses light touches, kneading, rhythmic tapping, compression, and vibration to relieve the body of pain, stiffness, tension, and the results of stress. This form of massage is what people usually think of when conversations about massage arise.
Thai massage is a form of massage that combines stretches with applied pressure. Depending on the Thai masseur or masseuse, the emphasis may be on either the stretches or the applied pressure.
Often people find that giving a massage to someone else can be as relaxing as receiving a massage themselves. If you are one of these people and are having trouble finding subjects who wish to lie down on your makeshift massage table, consider signing up for a course in massage therapy at your local community college. Doing so will provide you with hands-on instruction for a number of massage techniques (and it does not get any more hands-on than massage!). Furthermore, you will have plenty of willing subjects available, and you may one day even be able to charge for your services. At the very least, your friends and family will no longer be avoiding your massage table as they do now, scared as they are of being the new power tools for your vise-like hands.