How Long Should A Massage Be?
Massage is a therapeutic means of relaxing and bettering yourself. If you’ve received a massage of any duration (even just 10 minutes!), you’ve experienced the soothing effect that leaves your body and mind feeling rejuvenated. It’s important to make time for any length massage in your wellness routine. While each massage modality offers a distinct experience, how does the length of a massage impact the benefits you receive?
Take a 60-minute massage versus a 90-minute massage. A 90-minute session offers more time to drift into relaxation and allows the therapist to focus on specific areas of concern and apply a wider array of techniques. While a 60-minute massage provides intense relaxation and targeted muscle work, there may not be enough time to introduce a number of additional (and beneficial) techniques.
In a 90-minute session, your massage therapist might incorporate enhanced techniques that cater to your specific wellness goals, such as stretching or hot/cold therapy. Some therapists may even integrate reflexology, neuromuscular therapy, myofascial release, or biomechanical assessment.
This technique is born from the ancient theory that meridian lines or pathways carry energy throughout the body. Reflexology is an acupressure type of technique used on the hands and feet. The therapist applies pressure to a reflex point, which in turn stimulates the energy of the corresponding organ.
Neuromuscular therapy uses pressure and trigger points to help lessen pain patterns caused by acute and chronic pain syndromes. This technique aims to strike a balance between the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system. Neuromuscular therapy also improves joint and muscle functionality.
Fascia is the densely woven covering of all muscles, bones, and organs, underneath the skin. Think of it as a mesh-like material that holds everything in place. Because the fascia spans the entire body, tension in one part of the body can impact other parts of the body. Myofacial massage techniques manipulate the fascia surrounding muscles to release inflammation, tension, and muscle trauma.
A therapist administering a biomechanical assessment will examine the way your lower limbs work, checking for abnormalities or possible causes of pain in the foot, ankle, knee and back. The therapist will focus on these problem areas once they are defined.
- Swedish Massage – Swedish Massage is the most common and best-known relaxing massage technique. The massage therapist uses oil or lotion and combines long, gliding and kneading strokes over the topmost layers of muscles.
- Deep Tissue Massage – Deep tissue massage is an effective massage technique for releasing chronic muscle tension and increasing circulation. In addition to hands, the therapist may use their elbows, forearms, and even feet to apply pressure.
- Sports Massage – Sports massage is a technique geared toward athletes of every kind, from professionals to the occasional exerciser. In addition to promoting relaxation and pain relief, sports massage can help improve athletic performance, prevent injury, and help the body recover from injuries associated with physical activity.
- Couples Massage – Couples massage is when two people get massages at the same time, usually side by side. It promotes connection and intimacy, and helps a couple relax together.
- Prenatal Massage – Prenatal massage is a safe massage technique for pregnant women that decreases stress and promotes deep relaxation. The therapist uses gentle massage strokes to relax muscles, soothe sore areas, and improve circulation and mobility.
- Chair Massage – Chair massage is a great way to experience the benefits of massage in a shorter period of time. Chair massage focuses on the neck, back, and arms, areas of the body where we often carry stress and have the most tension.
Learn more about these different massage types.
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