It might seem like getting a massage is a luxurious and passive way to relieve pain and stress but it has actually long been an effective part of health care throughout the world. In fact, communities in different parts of the world have developed their own types of massage to address the particular physical and mental stresses common to their lifestyle.
To understand how the different types of massage offered at a Euro-spa destination spa can benefit you, it might first be best to recognize the most common type of massage. This is Swedish massage: a medium-pressure modality that uses three stroke types to warm up the muscles, loosen tension, released deeper tension, increase blood flow, and restore balance. Swedish massage is intended to simply help the body—as a whole—relax.
For more specific tension relief, you can also pursue different types of deep tissue massage; and one of these methods is known as Thai massage. Like deep tissue massage, Thai massage can be painful—particularly for those who are only familiar with the soothing results of Swedish massage—but that range of pain you experience should also coincide with increased levels of stress relief. Thai massage combines deep tissue techniques with rhythmic compression and yoga-type stretches. The stretch increases muscle flexibility and improves circulation to more radically encourage relaxation. If you have a lot of tension, this technique is quite painful at first, but once you start to release this stress, Thai massage starts to become far more pleasurable.
As you might have guessed, “shiatsu” is a Japanese word. Shiatsu massage, then, was so named because “shiatsu” means “finger pressure” and the modality includes massage techniques using the fingers and thumbs as well as the feet and palms. As a matter of fact, the Japanese Ministry of Health has characterized shiatsu massage as “a form of manipulation by thumbs, fingers and palms without the use of instruments, mechanical or otherwise, to apply pressure to the human skin to correct internal malfunctions, promote and maintain health, and treat specific diseases. The techniques used in shiatsu include stretching, holding, and most commonly, leaning body weight into various points along key channels.”
While the term is Japanese (and comes from an older form of body work and manipulation called anma, among others), the modality itself is actually derived from even earlier methods taken from traditional Chinese medicine.