A guest post on the purposes and style of various massages.

What is better than a relaxing massage after long days at work? (Ahhh, just breathe deeply and imagine for a moment…)

Often we don’t realize that we have fallen into a trap of doing more and more things day by day. At work you have plenty of tasks and deadlines you need to manage. But, no surprise, this results in increased tiredness and low level of effectiveness. You are working more, hoping to get to the point when you will have all work done and have your deserved time off.

When rushing down this path of “things to do” is easy to lose yourself. There will always be something you need to do. It is like the domino effect, when one piece after another falls. And we already established all the problems stress creates in your body, health, and weight.

At a moment you realize that this is an endless cycle and you need to change something…

How about a massage?

Massages are a great form of stress relief and way to bring your mind and body to a better place. There are many types of massages to choose from:

1. Reflexology Massage

This ancient art uses your hands to apply pressure to certain points on the feet. Reflexology is based on the idea that these points have a direct relationship to specific organs. This manipulation can be pulling toes, stroking parts of the feet or pushing deep into the arches. If a certain part of the body is not functioning properly, reflexology massage can unblock the congestion. This congestion can be in the form of deposits that have not been cleared away by our circulatory and lymph systems.

2. Aromatherapy Massage

Aromatherapy applies essential oils to the body in combination with massage to revive, restore and heal the body. It is part of a natural healing tradition that is more than eight thousand years old. Essential oils are worked into the body using techniques that focus on the nervous system and the invisible channels of energy called meridians.

3. Swedish Massage

This is a massage of the soft tissues of the body developed early in the 19th century by Dr. Pehr Henrik Ling. He was Swedish and made a comprehensive study of massage. This massage incorporates several different types of movement. These movements are stroking, kneading, friction and cupping. The movements are always directed toward the heart. Most Western massage is based on Swedish massage. It is extremely popular in Europe.

4. Shiatsu Massage

This massage is Japanese in origin. It is a branch of oriental medicine and works on the principles of Qi and yin/yang. Shiatsu massage is fairly vigorous, can be painful and cause mild bruising. It is performed along the meridians beginning at the head and working down to other parts of the body. Pressure is applied about every inch along each meridian. Shiatsu massage focuses on healing the entire body, which is a more holistic approach.

5. Sport Massage

This very special type of massage is used specifically for athletes before, during, and after athletic events and for rehabilitation. Athletes are able to combat fatigue, achieve flexibility and ease muscle tension. It has also been very effective in preventing injuries during sporting events. The primary purpose of sport massage is to improve athletic performance. The main focus is on soft tissues of muscles that are relevant to a particular sport.

6. Thai Massage

This is a massage developed 2,500 years ago by Buddhist monks in Thailand. It offers spiritual, emotional and physical healing. Thai massage is performed fully clothed on a floor mat. Gentle pressure and stretching along the body energizes and relaxes the body. It increases flexibility, relieves muscle and joint tension. The body’s energy is gently balanced. The massage therapist uses his/her body to move your body into various positions.

7. Deep Tissue Massage

This massage is all about focus, pressure and intensity. It uses some of the same techniques as Swedish massage. This is a very popular form of massage because it helps to release chronic tension in the body. It is very useful for people suffering from chronic conditions of the back, neck and shoulders. Deep tissue massage requires that you drink lots of water to flush lactic acid from the body when the massage is over.

Choose a type of massage from the above list and give it a try. If you have no experience with massages, I would suggest starting with Swedish massage or Deep Tissue massage.

Learn how your body responds to different techniques and this will lead you to understand what types of massage is best for you.

Your body is your temple. If you don’t take care of it, nobody else will either.

Authors bio: Ion Doaga is the owner of Massage Dreams where he writes about the need to care for our body and the benefits of lymphatic drainage massage.