A natural treatment that’s used for increasing relaxation and relieving muscle pain and tension is massage therapy. It is second nature to people to rub an area of the body that’s either hurt or injured. This is why massage is regarded as one of the oldest kind of therapies all over the world. The best part is that it’s not necessary to spend years in school in order to learn how to massage the body. As a matter of fact, there are some simple techniques and methods that can be easily practiced at home. Some popular home massage techniques are:
Five basic stroke techniques are included in the Swedish massage that includes friction, effleurage, tapotement, petrissage and vibration. Stroking the muscles for relieving tension and loosening them is defined as effleurage. The base of the palms should be used for applying firm yet gentle pressure for stroking the muscles up and down. Effleurage should be applied on the upper and lower back, shoulders and even the buttocks. Gentle grabbing of the muscles, lifting and then releasing them are part of petrissage. Fingers should be placed together and the middle finger and thumb should be used for lifting the skin gently and then releasing it. Petrissage should be used on all areas of the body including the back, arms, shoulders and legs.
The thumb and fingertips are used in the friction technique for rubbing the thickest area of the muscles. The thumbs and fingers should be pushed firmly into the muscles and the deep layers of the muscles should be stimulated by using small, circular motions. Using the hands for making tapping, beating and chopping strokes along the muscles is called tapotement. Fingers should be placed together and the hand should be kept vertical in a way that the side of your body and your pinky finger is flat against the body. The hand should be moved up and down like a karate chop in different directions. Certain muscles are tapped with the fingers while others are smacked or beaten lightly. The fingers have to be pressed on a specific muscle and then shaken for a few seconds in vibration.
Deep Tissue Massage
This massage is best for targeting chronic tension. While the top layers of the muscles are targeted by Swedish massage, this one focuses on the deepest layers. Direct pressure should be applied on the muscles and the knuckles should be used for pushing deeply yet gently into the skin. The knuckles can be slid up and down the body for applying pressure. Elbows can be used if more pressure is needed. Fingertips and thumbs can be used for less pressure. The grain of the muscle should be used for applying pressure to ensure that the therapy is most effective.
Popularly used for relaxation, scalp massages can also relieve pain and headaches caused by sinus pressure. The head can be stroked in gentle, circular motions and one should focus on the forehead, hairline, neck, and scalp and around the ears. For extra smooth motions, oil can also be used.