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What Type of Massage is Best for Your Health?

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There are many health benefits that can come from receiving a massage. It's a natural way to relax and reduce stress, to relieve tension, to help make oneself tired – and that's only the beginning. When dealing with logistics, massages can also help the body perform; from increasing circulation to helping eliminate toxins, the benefits are ongoing. However, in order to get the absolute most out of your massage, it's important to know what each style has to offer, and what you are able to gain from its services.

By knowing what's ailing you, and what each type of massage has to offer, you can work to create the best treatment plan possible. All by booking one very relaxing appointment at the spa.

The most common types of massages include:

Swedish Massage

Essentially known as the bread and butter of the massage world, the Swedish Massage is great for first-timers. It's a way to ease you into the practice (yes, believe it or not they can become quite painful), while still providing ample benefits. Each session generally begins with massage oil to help prep the skin and reduce friction, and will last anywhere from 15-90 minutes, depending on the type of appointment. The masseuse will then work to relieve the body of "knots" or areas of concentrated muscle tension. Note: most don't know these areas exist unless you receive regular massages, and experienced or not, you're likely to be sore for a day or two after your appointment.

Deep Tissue

Seen as a more thorough version of the above, a deep tissue massage helps reach way down into the muscles. Relieving issues that might be buried under layers of skin, and therefore harder to address. However, it's also likely to be more painful as much more pressure has to be applied in order to see concentrated results. It's often recommended to drink plenty of water after a deep tissue appointment, which will help flush out toxins more quickly. (Vs. letting them settle and cause additional pain.)

Therapeutic Massage

The therapeutic massage is often seen as an anomaly to define within the spa world. Each masseuse has something different to offer, allowing customers to get a unique experience each time they book. Therapeutic massages will obviously provide muscle relaxing techniques, but can also go beyond traditional pressure points. For instance, scented candles or oils, lotions that tingle or increase blood flow, and so on. If you're interested in learning more about therapeutic massages in your area, check out message boards or review websites to get an in-depth look at each provider's results.

Hot Stone Massage

Like its name suggests, the hot stone massage comes with just that, hot stones. Oftentimes a masseuse will use their props across the skin, while also applying pressure through the stone, before leaving in place for ongoing and relaxing heat. This allows multiple treatment points at a single time, without the need for an additional technician. Stone size will also adjust user experience (or request) – ranging anywhere from very large stones, to smaller, more pointed versions.

Chair Massage

A chair massage is ideal for relaxation on the go. Providers can set up shop virtually anywhere, then give mini sessions to multiple customers. Though the chair massage isn't always quiet, nor is it as long as more traditional treatments, it's a way to give sample sessions. And to get a little bit of relaxation, even when a schedule might not allow for a long appointment. It’s also ideal when focusing on the neck and shoulders, and working into the upper back and arms. 

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