The history of massage therapy can be traced back thousands of years, with the earliest written records discovered to date being “The Yellow Emperor’s Classic Book of Internal Medicine”, which was written around the year 2700 BC. The Ancient Egyptians were using massage as a form of medicine as far back as 2500 BC, while India has written records of massage dating back to 1500 BC. The practice of massage was first introduced to the Western world in the early 19th Century by Dr. Per Henril Ling, before being improved upon by Johan Georg Mezger. The result was what we now call the Swedish massage, and it is the most popular massage in the west.
A Swedish massage is generally for people who want to relieve stress and relax, rather than alleviate the pain from some sort of muscle problem. Swedish massages use long strokes, circular motions, and kneading to loosen up the muscles, which can also help improve circulation and blood pressure.
For people who have sustained muscle damage from an injury, a deep tissue massage would be the most appropriate choice. This uses slower strokes that go deeper to target the lower layers of tissue that lie on top of the muscles, and is usually used to improve a person’s range of motion.
Although deep tissue massages are used to treat injuries, sports massages are used specifically to treat and prevent injuries sustained from sports. While a deep tissue massage targets the tissue on top of the muscle, a sports massage targets the soft muscle tissue directly. A qualified sports massage therapist knows how to move and manipulate this tissue in order best heal it, and a poorly executed massage could actually make the situation worse. This is why it is crucial to book sports massages with a qualified specialist.
A trigger point massage is one that focuses on problem areas, such as the neck/shoulder area or the lower back. These areas are quite susceptible to muscle knots, and trigger point massages can offer help to people who suffer frequently with these issues.
Although some people claim that pregnant women who receive massages are at risk of having a miscarriage, there has never actually been any research to support this claim. In fact, pregnancy massages can help mothers-to-be relax and deal with some of the many forms of pain associated with pregnancy, such as lower-back pain, sore ankles, and swollen feet.
Getting a massage is not as straightforward as simply going into a parlour and lying down. As we have seen here, there are various types of massages to deal with a whole range of issues. These are just a few of the most common types, so if you have a problem that you think could benefit from massage, speak with a professional and work out what would work best for you.