collaborative post // With Christmas fast approaching, the temptation is to attend every drink, dinner and other work up until the 24th and then collapse in a heap. Sure, you have the week between Christmas and New Year to recover but wouldn’t you prefer to start the holidays off relaxed and ready to make the most of it?
With that in mind, we have come up with a list of the most indulgent massage therapies currently available. Welcome to our 7 top tips on How to Choose the Perfect Massage for You.
Best For Sporty Types
- Deep Tissue
Deep Tissue massage treats tight muscles and breaks up scar tissue that can form after an injury. The movements are similar to Swedish Massage, but the pressure required is much stronger. The main goal is to increase blood flow to damaged muscles, joints and tendons to help them to heal.
It is not unusual to feel some soreness after a deep tissue massage so if you’re planning on physical exercise the next day, you might prefer:
- Sports Massage
Less invasive than a deep tissue treatment, Sports Massage focuses more on improving the body’s range of motion by easing areas of tension.
Professional athletes tend to opt for a combination of these two treatments post-performance. This allows them to reduce the effects of intense physical exercise whilst still being able to train or perform the next day.
Best For Couples
A Couples Massage can be a fantastic way to reconnect, especially for busy people. Time stands still as you feel your cares being caressed away. After the treatment, you will often be given time to relax together, share a bath or have a glass of wine. A couples massage makes the perfect date night activity.
Why not add some sensuality and try a Tantric Massage for couples? An expert tantric masseuse will guide you on a journey of sensual exploration together. The best bit? You can take the skills you learn home to the bedroom and up your foreplay skills.
Best For Spirituality
Ayurveda Massage deals with the seven energy centres in the body known as Chakra. Each Chakra has a location and colour and is responsible for different emotional responses. Here is a brief overview:
Your masseuse will work each area in turn, or if you are dealing with specific issues, they can focus more on a particular Chakra. The session will typically begin with a meditation or mindfulness exercise.
Ayurveda is a fantastic therapy to try if you’re looking for something new that has benefits beyond the physical.
Best For Traditionalists
Swedish Massage is the most commonly practised massage therapy in the world. It is what most of us imagine when we think of the word. You probably already know Swedish Massage is excellent for releasing muscle tension, improving circulation and calming the mind. Let’s take a look at the basic technique behind it:
- Effleurage – The broad stroking movements
- Petrissage – Kneading/Squeezing of the muscles
- Tapotement – The cliched karate chop. This is also performed with the fingers or cupped hands.
- Friction – Similar to Effleurage but with more pressure to realise deep tension.
Swedish massage is an excellent choice if you desire a very relaxing experience that won’t leave you sore the next day. More pampering than pummelling, it is an indulgent treatment that positively affects both body and mind.
Best For Dealing With Trauma
Sexological Bodywork was developed in the 1980s to help HIV Positive men reconnect with their intimate lives after suffering from the disease. In 2022 the practice has evolved so people worldwide can reconnect with their physical and sexual selves.
A more profound understanding of physical arousal can help release shame, inability to orgasm and erectile dysfunction. The sessions usually involve the following steps:
- A nude Tantric Massage (the practitioner will remain clothed)
- Witnessing (to embrace physical arousal and release shame)
Sexological bodywork can have powerful benefits for sufferers of long-term sexual dysfunction or those that want to increase confidence in their natural selves. Practitioners are professional and empathetic to all body types, issues and attitudes.
Best For Tech Lovers
One of the most significant massage innovations in recent years has been the popularity of massage tech with companies such as Therabody. Percussive therapy devices such as massage guns provide an alternative to sports massage. The benefits include:
- Reduced DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)
- Breaking up of the sheath of tissue around each muscle known as Fascia – This allows your muscles to move and stretch properly.
- Improved mobility
Whilst handheld massage guns are the most popular product. Percussive therapy devices also come in other formats. You can try foam rollers, massage balls and sticks, to name a few.
For the serious weekend warriors amongst you, you can also invest in a pair of recovery boots. These space-age devices compress your leg muscle to aid recovery post-exercise.
You can sit on the sofa watching your favourite shows whilst the boots do the work. Compression boots currently cost more than £600 per pair, though, so it’s a serious investment for an amateur athlete.
Best For Back Pain
Thai massage is excellent for chronic pain sufferers as it requires the client to be more active in the session. Thai massage involves stretching, physical manipulation and massage.
If you’ve not experienced an authentic Thai massage before, think of it as a combination of Swedish Massage, Yoga and a trip to the Osteopath. You’ll love a Thai massage if you like it when the osteo cracks your back. You’ll be stretched, moved, and literally walked all over, and you’ll love it!
So, there you have our seven top tips on choosing the perfect massage. All these therapies have their benefits, so that the choice will depend upon each individual’s situation.
Have you tried any of these massages? Do you have any questions about the therapies discussed? Please get in touch if you have any feedback and would like to see more articles like this