Massage and Reflexology
Massage therapy is designed to manipulate soft tissue to help releive pain, tension, and stress. The practice is often done for anatomical and physiological purposes by means of kneading. Message therapists know exactly how hard to squeeze and press on the muscles in order to heal injuries and minimize scar tissue development.
There are very few people who don’t like a massage. Truth be told, what most people consider as getting a massage is probably a body rub, which feels good, but isn’t truly massage. Most massage is meant to be more therapeutic while potentially also feeling good, but it’s nice having choices.
There are mainly three types of massage, although there are derivations of them that others might consider as being independent. These three are Swedish, deep tissue, and Shiatsu. The techniques are different for each one, though the ultimate goals are the same.
Swedish massage is the most common form of massage in the United States, though its history really is from Sweden. It consists of different types of pressure applied to the body to produce different results and feelings. Most of the time the therapist will use lotion to help themselves in gliding their hands over the patient’s body so as to reduce friction. An offshoot of this would be aromatherapy, where the therapist would use healing oils.
Deep tissue massage is mainly for when someone is in pain or distress of some kind. It can be the most painful because of the concentration in the area where pain is prevalent. This is actually a distant offshoot of Swedish massage, as well as a companion of sports massage, but is usually performed on people who have had chronic pain for awhile. Instead of trying to release tension, its general purpose is to break down cartilage that might be blocking the flow of fresh blood, which has the healing properties many body areas need.
The third type of massage, the Shiatsu massage, is based on Asian principles, and can remind some people of acupuncture without needles. This uses finger pressure in specific areas that may try to cure other areas, such as pressure points on the foot to work on back pain. This is one of the few types of massage where clients often won’t have to remove clothing to get treatment, although it won’t hurt. It doesn’t involve as much rubbing, which can either make someone feel uncomfortable if they’re expecting a more traditional type of American massage, or make them feel better because they don’t have to worry about modesty.
Which type of massage you choose will depend on what it is you’re looking for. If you’re looking for stress relief, some type of Swedish massage will probably be what you’ll want to try. If you’ve been in pain for a long time, deep tissue massage is what you’ll need. And if you want less pain than deep tissue massage might offer, but still want something to help you relieve pain or distress in some areas, Shiatsu might be for you. And, since there are many offshoots of each of these, you’re sure to find something to your liking.
Meet Our Massage Therapists
Paul West is our senior therapist at our Mesa chiropractic office. Paul has over 20 years of clinical experience in the field of pain management and soft tissue manipulation. He has exceptional knowledge in the following modalities including Acupressure, Myofascial Release, Assisted Stretch, TCM, Deep Tissue and Sports Injuries. He is licensed in Arizona and is nationally certified in both massage and bodywork. Paul’s major focus is massage, pain reduction and functional improvement.
Jennifer is a native of Texas, but has lived in the valley for 3 years now. Currently, she resides in Gilbert, with her cat, Plumey. She has been interested in massage therapy since the age of 10, when her mother was in a severe accident. She attended massage school at AZ School of Massage Therapy. Since graduating, Jennifer has continued studies in specialized courses, one of which is Fibromyalgia Therapy.
What is Reflexology?
Reflexology is commonly referred to as zone therapy, because this massage procedure focuses on applying pressure to one’s feet and hands, in order to stimulate other parts of the body. This form of physical therapy has been described as a natural healing art that is designed around our body’s reflex points. Benefits achieved from reflexology include stress and tension relief through fueling energy through key areas of the body.