These are some common forms of natural therapy massage in Australia.
Deep tissue massage focuses on the inner, deeper, layers of muscles and fascia (the protective layer surrounding muscles, bones and joints). It involves long, slow strokes, with the massage therapist applying sustained pressure. Unlike other massage techniques, deep tissue massage does not focus purely on relaxation. While a deep tissue massage can help a patient unwind, it is also used to treat sports injuries, scar tissue build-up, knots, and muscle and chronic pain. A deep tissue massage usually involves the entire body, with extra attention paid to any problem areas.
Therapists performing a lomi lomi massage use a combination of breathing and free-form instinctive techniques to open energy pathways, release tension, and remove blockages. The entire body is massaged with long, rhythmic, and sweeping strokes using the hands and forearms, and different parts of the body are often massaged at the same time. Lomi lomi massage can help lower blood pressure and improve circulation, flexibility and immune response.
Chinese massage refers to two types of therapy – Tui na (pronounced twee-na), much like Western massage, is a push-and-pull method. Zhi ya (pronounced zee yah) uses pinching and pressing, similar to reflexology. In combination, this therapy involves twisting, turning, pinching, pulling and kneading the muscles, and can be used in conjunction with acupuncture. While Chinese massage does relax the muscles and relieve stress, it’s main goal is to heal the body.
Chinese massage is also known as Chinese remedial massage, traditional Chinese massage, Traditional Chinese Medicine massage (TCM massage), Chinese massage therapy, and Oriental massage (though this term is more dated, referring specifically to the Orient of the East, as opposed to the Occident of the West). This can be confusing, but all are essentially the same therapy with small deviations, such as including Chinese herbal medicines alongside TCM massage.
Pregnancy puts a lot of strain on a woman’s shoulders, neck, back and abdominal muscles. Massage for women during pregnancy helps to ease some of this discomfort, and provides a range of other health benefits. Pregnancy massage is typically a gentle massage, and different techniques are used depending on the stage of a woman’s pregnancy. A qualified therapist will understand how to administer a massage that is safe for both mother and baby.
Remedial massage is the application of a range of therapeutic techniques, used to treat muscles that are knotted, tense, stiff, or damaged. The remedial therapist will assess and identify which areas of the body require treatment, and use a range of massage-based techniques to optimise muscle function.
Shiatsu massage is a therapeutic bodywork that originated in Japan. It is a combination of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and contemporary physiological theory. Modern shiatsu combines TCM with other forms of therapy, and aims to amplify the body’s ability to heal itself. Like other massage techniques, shiatsu massage therapists use fingers, thumbs, elbows, and palms to apply pressure to different areas of the body. As with TCM massage, shiatsu follows the principles of Qi (energy) and meridian flow around the body, working with these elements and acupressure points to heal the body. ‘Shiatsu’ translates to ‘finger pressure’, and can have both preventive and remedial effects. Other therapies are commonly used in conjunction with shiatsu, such as acupuncture, dietician work, and herbal remedies.
While not strictly a type of massage, many people seek the expertise of a massage therapist because of back pain. The two best types of lower back massage are deep tissue massage and remedial massage therapy, which use a number of back massage techniques to relieve pain, improve mobility, and promote relaxation.
While you are sure to leave your first appointment feeling more relaxed than when you went in, there are a few things it is useful to know before your first appointment.