It surprises many to learn that the human race actually has a very long history of massage. From ancient, primitive techniques that were little more than rubbing and kneading of sore muscles to the targeted deep tissue techniques of Swedish massage to the esoteric sensuality of Hindu tantric massage, we have developed a myriad of techniques targeted to specific purposes.
Today, massage is most popularly used as a means of relaxation, either in its ordinary form or as erotic massage. Besides this, massage therapy is also used for medical purposes and has been known to have a positive impact on healing times, migraines and even physiological problems like diabetes and blood pressure fluctuation.
Different Massage Schools
There are too many schools of massage for us to be able to explore every one. Here is a list of the some popular and interesting varieties:
- Sports Massage – as the name suggests, athletes and others who engage in vigorous activities use sports massage. It is administered after a session where the muscles have been exerted to improve circulation within them. Better circulation removes waste material from the tissue and allows more oxygen to enter, leading to quicker recovery.
- Pre- and Post-Natal Massage – This is performed on women around the time of childbirth. It employs very advanced techniques that help the mother prepare herself for the birthing experience, and to strengthen her inner muscles after the event. It is usually given as a series of massages instead of just a single session.
- Rolfing (Structural Integration) – The basis of Rolfing is the alignment of the body’s connective tissue to the earth’s gravitational field. Performed as a series of 10 sessions, each 60 to 90 minutes long, it can be painful due to the pressure applied to reach deep tissue. Proponents claim it has significant psychological advantages, too.
Choosing the Right Massage
The right massage for you depends directly on your needs and your physical condition. Contrary to popular perception, many massage therapists are male, and those looking for deep tissue massage may opt for them.
If you are looking simply for relaxation and a bit of fun, you will be spoiled for choice in most cities.