Medical doctors do not always have to place you on medication to gain relief over stress or pain. Sometimes, all you need is a thorough massage. A massage therapy can significantly boost your health by giving your body the necessary treatment it requires. Whether you are stressed out after a day of work or seeking a quick recovery after injuries. A relaxing massage can help soothe your frayed mind and body.
There are different types of massages. Each one has its own unique techniques and purpose. Generally, a line can be drawn between an oil massage and a regular massage. This article focuses on the differences between the two major classes of massages. Plus, you will learn about the hydration benefits of an oil massage.
What Is A Massage?
A massage is a healing act that involves rubbing, kneading and manipulation of soft tissues, muscles, bones, and ligaments. The massage therapist works on your body using their hands, elbows or a device. Their goal is to untangle muscle knots and tight tissue in your body. By the way, massages are not just a momentary feel-good healing strategy. They have several enduring health benefits. Research has shown that massages can help you maintain physical, mental and emotional well-being. This is especially true if massages constitute the core of your regular wellness routine.
You can get different types of oil massages at a massage center, clinic or spa. Your health condition will determine which is appropriate for you. Here are some types of massages you can get from your massage therapist:
Swedish massage is the most popular type of massage in the United States. It is a full-body massage. Massage therapists apply gentle strokes on your body. They start with general strokes before moving on to specific strokes to address problem areas. Swedish massages are soothing and very gentle in nature.
Swedish massage is both an oil and full-body massage. So, you will need to remove your clothes when you are about to start. Meanwhile, you can decide to have your underwear on. You can then cover your body with a sheet while lying down on a massage table. Your massage therapist pours some oil or lotion on your body as they apply different strokes.
This type of massage is ideal for people that are recovering from injuries. Also, it is a great fit for people that love massages but are sensitive to touch.
Aromatherapy is another type of oil massage. It is a variety of Swedish massage. The massage therapist combines gentle touches and light pressure with scented plant oil. These are also known as essential oils. Plant oil is the most important ingredient needed to administer this massage. Essential oils such as lavender or rose oil is added to the regular massage oil.
Why essential oils? Essential oils have a great scent. They are believed to promote healing and relaxation. Ancient people have used plant oils to cure illnesses and treat injuries. Evidence shows how the ancient Chinese and Indians achieved incredible healing feats using oils from plants and herbs.
Aromatherapy massage is ideal for people that want relief from headaches, back pain, insomnia or digestive disorders. It has also been discovered that the massage can boost moods, reduce the production of stress hormones and relieve muscle tension. You can choose from a wide ranging essential oils. But, your massage therapist will tell you the one that is suitable for you. You can let them know if you have a preference. You also have the option of combining two or more oils.
Aromatherapy is soothing. It promotes calmness and relaxation. It is very effective at reducing stress, tension and pain. There is no exception to people that can use this type of massage. But you have to make sure you are not allergic to any of the plants used in preparing the oil.
There are many types of regular massages. This article only touches on some of them:
Hot Stones Massages
As the name implies, hot stone massages include the placement of warm stones around specific points of the body. The massage therapist holds a warm stone as they massage different joints on the body using Swedish massage techniques.
The warmth emanating from the stones help loosen the knots around the muscles. They set the body free from tight muscles and stiff ligaments. This eases movements in the joints. With hot stone massages, the massage therapist can easily reach the muscle tension and other problem areas. This type of massage aids unhindered blood flow, relieves pain and promotes relaxation. Studies have shown that cold stones could offer the exact healing benefits as hot stones.
Hot stone massages are good for people that are suffering from muscle pains or tension. It’s also ideal for healing injuries as well as for relaxation purpose. Hot stone massage is a great option for you if you seek quick relief from pain and tension. But, it is more expensive than Swedish massage and aromatherapy. Also, there are some exceptions to the people that can have hot stone massages. For example, people with serious medical conditions like high blood pressure, heart diseases and diabetes are discouraged from getting this type of massage.
Deep Tissue Massage
People that are suffering from chronic muscle problems like dislocation, soreness or imbalance have a lot to benefit from deep tissue massage. This type of massage targets the deeper layers of the muscles. Conditions such as repetitive strain, postural defects and complex fracture benefit from it. Do you have any chronic pain or injuries that hinder proper mobility? Deep tissue massage is an ideal treatment for you.
Deep tissue massage is more intense. It uses a combination of slow strokes and deep finger pressure to ease tension from muscle knots. The massage therapist meticulously searches for the problem areas. Then, they apply deep pressure upon discovery. Deep tissue massage is usually recommended for people that feel internal pains. It can also work for those who experience tension in the deepest parts of their body.
Although it uses more force or pressure, deep tissue massage should not cause you soreness during or after the massage. It is not advisable for people with high sensitivity to pressure.
Your healthcare provider will probably recommend a thorough session of this massage for you if you are feeling lethargic or need help to regain balance. Originating from Japan, Shiatsu massage is an effective bodywork. It treats pain, stress and tensions. The primary goal of this type of massage is to stimulate acupressure points in the body. This restores relief to tired and frayed bodies.
Shiatsu massage does not require oil or lotion. It is done on a mat or on the floor. You can decide to have it while you are clothed or not. It all depends on what you are comfortable with. The most important thing is for your massage therapist to have unhindered access to the problem areas.
Shiatsu massage promotes emotional and physical relaxation. It is also effective for relieving back and neck pain. Many reliable studies have pointed to the fact that shiatsu massage is helpful in the treatment of depression and insomnia.
Reflexology is the ideal massage you need to treat pain in reflex areas like your hands or feet. It is also a great option if you seek relaxation or restoration of natural energy level after a hectic day. The massage therapist combines mild touch and intense pressure on the affected parts of the body.
Reflexology is a natural healing and relaxation method. Its application dates back to the era of ancient civilizations. Natural doctors in those days used this technique to treat injured people. Wealthy people of the time hired the service of trained reflexologists for their relaxation needs.
Other types of massages include Thai massage, couple massage, sports massage and prenatal massage.
Massage And Hydration
The possibility of dehydration is high after a massage. It is especially higher after a regular massage where neither oil nor lotion is used. Water and fluid are lost through sweating from the body. Why is this so? Regular massages usually involve lots of bodily activities that can potentially drain water from your body. You would most likely be advised to drink plenty of water after a massage session. This draws attention to the important roles water or moisture plays in the aftereffects of a massage in your body.
Oil massages reduce the possibility of dehydration in massaging
Human bodies depend on water and other forms of fluid to survive. The cells, tissues, and organs in your body need water to function effectively. For example, your body uses water to maintain a normal temperature, remove waste and lubricate joints and muscles. Water plays a significant role in keeping you in good health. That is why you cannot afford to lose excess water to regular massages.
Your massage therapist works the knots of your muscles. During this, fluids get pumped out of the soft tissues and head straight to the kidneys through the circulatory system. This explains the reason why you are likely going to have the urge to urinate immediately after a massage session. The water is lost and needs to be replaced almost immediately. This is why there’s so much emphasis placed on hydration.
When it comes to hydration, oil massages have great advantages over regular massages. The reason is obvious enough. On the one hand, a regular massage like Shiatsu massage does not use oil or lotion. As a result, the possibility of water loss from the body during the massage is very high. Fluid escapes from the body through sweating. This will happen as your massage therapist works on your body. But, an oil massage reduces the possibility of excessive water loss during a massage. The oil or lotion applied to the body helps prevent dehydration. This is because it reduces the amount of sweat that escapes from the body.
Benefits of Hydration to your body
Water helps to perform a variety of bodily functions
Whether you are getting a massage or not, having adequate water in your body empowers it to function effectively. The internal organs in the body rely on water and fluid for their protection. Also, water is needed to moisturize your cells and tissues for a wide array of bodily functions. Dehydration is a high possibility if you don’t drink plenty of water after getting a massage. But the possibility reduces drastically with oil massage like Swedish massage or aromatherapy. These types of massages ensure that only a little fluid is lost during a massage. This is due to the help of oil applied on the body.
Water helps kidney to maintain adequate fluidity
Your kidneys need enough hydration to get rid of the newly liberated wastes from the body. Massage can be a rigorous bodily exercise. Soothing knots means rubbing, kneading and other forms of systematized manipulation of ligaments. During this process, water is lost through the soft tissues. The decrease in the level of water in the body prevents the kidneys from flushing out waste. The kidneys need adequate water to discharge waste that is toxic to your body. The severity of water loss is higher in a regular massage than an oil massage. This is because oil reduces the production of sweat during a massage. This limits the possibility of dehydration.
Popular Body Massage Oils for Healing and Relaxation
Having considered the hydration benefits of oil massages, you may want to look at some body massage oils. Especially ones you can use for relaxation and rejuvenation. They include the following:
You can use olive oil for lighter massages like Swedish massage and aromatherapy. It is generally used in massages that involve repetitive movements and sweeping the body. Olive oil has a moisturizing effect on your skin and it is an excellent way to fight dry skin and dehydration. It is also effective in skin damage repair. The oil also helps in relieving spasms, aches and muscle pains. To cap it all, it improves blood circulation and helps your cells to receive more nutrients and oxygen.
Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids. This makes it pretty stable. It gets absorbed into the skin if you allow it to stay on for some time. Coconut oil doesn’t let moisture escape from your skin during a massage. This limits the possibility of dehydration. It contains saturated fats that prevent skin dryness.
Sweet Almond Oil
Sweet almond oil is very mild and gentle on the skin. It helps in hydrating your skin and relieves itching and rashes. It contains anti-inflammatory properties. So, you don’t have to be afraid of the possibility of being sore after a massage. It can also treat conditions such as dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema. Sweet almond oil promotes muscle relaxation. It also has other mild pain-relieving properties.
Argan oil can significantly improve the elasticity of your skin. It makes your skin firm, thereby eliminating your proneness to early aging. It keeps your skin moisturized and improves its hydration level. Argan increases the water holding capacity of your skin. This helps to prevent dehydration during and after a massage session.
Sesame oil forms an integral part of Taiwanese medical science. It is mainly used to relieve inflammatory pain and soreness in the joints. The oil reduces the effects of having your body exposed to UV rays which are notorious for skin damage. It can also reduce the level of water loss from the body.
Next time you are visiting a massage center or spa, you may consider an oil massage due to the important hydration benefits it offers. But, it is important to consult your massage therapist for a massage that is most appropriate for you.
Table Of Contents
Chapter 2 – What Is A Massage?
Chapter 3 – Oil Massages
Chapter 4 – Regular Massages
Chapter 5 – Massage And Hydration