Massage therapy has been around for centuries; many cultures have used it to relieve aches and pains long before it became a mainstream practice. Essentially it is the manipulation of soft tissues within the body, to relieve tension, promote self-healing, recover from injury, aid relaxation and promote general wellbeing, however the benefits of massage are numerous.
It is usually performed with just the therapists hands, however deep tissue techniques will use forearms, fists or the elbows of the therapist. In the case of a hot stones massage, smooth flat basalt stones are used.
There are many different types of massage, at Magdalen Health we offer Swedish, Sports and Hot Stones. Swedish massage is the general term for a massage that promotes relaxation and general well-being, it is named as such due to the influence of a Swedish physiologist who developed a set of techniques that formed the basis of modern massage. Swedish massage can be applied to the whole body or just a specific area, a common treatment is back, neck and shoulders. Hot stones massage uses Swedish massage techniques, however the warmth of the stones help the muscles to relax more easily and using the stones can allow for a more effective treatment.
Sports massage however focuses on just one area of concern on the body, as due to the nature of the techniques it’s not realistic to have a full body sports massage. Sports massage uses techniques that work on the deeper layers of muscle tissue to help free up any knots and adhesions that might be restricting movement and preventing the muscles working as efficiently as they should. It can also be used for someone who is recovering from an injury as healing is often more effective with the help of deep tissue massage. Equally though regular sports massage treatments will help to prevent injury and if you are someone who does a lot of exercise, then recovery time between training sessions can be improved as can performance generally.