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Massage is rubbing the soft tissues of the body, such as the muscles. Therapists usually apply pressure with their hands but sometimes with the forearms, elbows, and feet. There are at least 80 types of massage. Some are gentle. Some are intense.
There are at least 80 different types of massage. Some are gentle, and some are very active and intense.
Swedish massage is very gentle. It is often used to promote relaxation, improve blood flow, and relieve muscle tension. The therapist uses long, gliding strokes and kneading and tapping techniques on the top layer of muscles in the direction of blood flow to the heart. This may also include moving the joints gently to improve range of motion.
Deep tissue massage is more active and intense. It is used to treat long-lasting muscle tension. The therapist applies slow strokes (with the fingers, thumbs, and elbows) using intense pressure to reach deeper layers of the muscles than those reached with a Swedish massage technique.
People use massage to help relax and to relieve pain. It can also relieve muscle tension and may improve blood flow, relieve pressure on nerves, and restore normal joint movement.
When done the right way, massage is considered safe. But it isn't a good idea to get a massage if you:
Many massage therapists are certified. The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork offers this. It ensures that your massage therapist has a certain level of training and uses certain practice guidelines.
Current as of:
May 14, 2023
Author: Healthwise StaffClinical Review Board: All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.
Current as of: May 14, 2023
Clinical Review Board:
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
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