Massage Therapy Techniques to Enhance Relaxation



Understanding how to relax is essential to good health and well-being. Moreover, relaxation helps promote energy, passion, and joy in one’s life. If stress is allowed to overtake a person’s life, it can result in weight gain, depression, illness, and a general sense of discontent. Therefore, it is important to learn how to manage one’s stress and relax. Here are some ways to achieve tranquility and relaxation. This article will consider a few different massage therapy techniques used to enhance relaxation.

1. Trigger Point Therapy–This massage technique is specifically designed to alleviate pain triggers via cycles of release and isolated pressure. By definition, a trigger point is an impaired, tight, and/or constricted area within muscle tissue that causes pain in other areas of the body.

2. Deep Tissue Massage–This style of massage concentrates on the deepest layer of muscle tissue to alleviate stress, chronic muscle fatigue, and tension knots. This is an extremely popular form of massage and it is now considered a mainstream treatment option for chronic pain in most medical circles. This massage technique is closely associated with Swedish massage.

3. Lomi Lomi–This technique, which is often called a “Loving Hands massage,” was first practiced by ancient Polynesian healers who followed a traditional philosophy referred to as “Huna.” Huna is an ancient Polynesian philosophy that states every single thing in the universe seeks love and harmony. As a result, Lomi Lomi must be performed by a practitioner with loving hands.


4. Reflexology–This form of massage applies pressure to target spots in the hands and feet referred to as “reflex zones.” By applying pressure to these zones, it ameliorates stress, conditions of the ankles and feet, as well as promotes overall relaxation and a sense of well-being throughout the body.

5. Prenatal/Pregnancy Massage–This refers to specific massage techniques that have been shown to reduce pregnancy-related maladies and discomfort, as well as enhance the physical and emotional well-being of the mother and unborn child. During pregnancy, a woman’s body is pushed to its physiological and emotional extremes. As such, it is important to preserve one’s well-being and reduce all forms of stress during this period. Regular prenatal massage therapy sessions are not only beneficial from a relaxation standpoint, but they are known to alleviate many of the aches and pains associated with pregnancy, such as edema (swelling), back and neck pain, sciatica, and nausea. Moreover, prenatal massage has also been shown to promote enhanced range of motion, improve circulation, skin elasticity, and body tone. Furthermore, this form of therapy not only produces these benefits in the expectant mother but also relaxes and benefits the unborn child, as well.

6. Swedish Massage–This style of massage is very popular throughout the world. It involves light to medium pressure application to target areas in order to improve mood, alleviate stress, reduce pain, and promote relaxation. This massage technique is closely associated with deep tissue massage.


7. Esalen Tissue Work–This form of massage therapy combines the classical techniques used in Swedish massage, along with strokes designed to target muscle tissue and the circulatory system. However, Esalen massage is more dependent on the mind-body connection than it is on technique. Therefore, the effectiveness of this massage technique greatly depends on the bond established between client and therapist, as well as the strength of the client’s mind-body connection to their own self. In theory, the stronger the body-mind bond and client-therapist connection, the more effective the therapy.

8. Geriatric Massage–This style of massage focuses on alleviating anxiety, depression, and stress while maintaining the health, as well as enhancing the overall sense of well-being, in elderly clients. This form of therapy could be administered on an outpatient basis or as part of a care plan at a healthcare and/or senior living facility.

The massage therapies listed above are only a sampling of the various techniques available, but it is a good overview of the different styles of massage used to enhance relaxation. It is important to learn how to manage one’s stress and relax. This article has introduced readers to a few different massage therapy techniques used to enhance relaxation. Understanding how to relax is essential to good health and well-being. There are many ways to achieve tranquility and relaxation. Readers should sample different methods and find what works best for them.

Written and Edited by Leigh Haugh

Health–5 Ways to Unwind in 60 Seconds
WebMD–10 Relaxation Techniques That Zap Stress Fast
Massage Therapy 101–Home
WikiHow–How to Relax
All Article Images Courtesy of WikiMedia Commons – Creative Commons License

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