What Is Massage Therapy?

Couple massage
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Massage therapy has been around for thousands of years — and probably as soon as humans discovered it felt good to have someone rub their sore shoulders. It is thought the term 'massage' originates from the Greek word massein, meaning "to knead".

Massage therapists use a variety of gliding, kneading and cross-fiber friction strokes to work the muscle tissue, releasing tension and improving circulation.

You are usually nude during a massage but covered by sheets. Only the part being worked on is exposed and modesty is always protected Massage oil is used to lubricate the skin.

Many people consider massage therapy to be just about pampering, but it has important health benefits. In fact, you get the greatest benefit when massage therapy is part of your regular wellness routine.

Different Types of Massage Therapy

Swedish massage is the most common type of massage therapy and a good choice for first-time spagoers. Other types include deep tissue massage, sports massage, hot stone massage, aromatherapy, lymphatic drainage, trigger point therapy, craniosacral therapy, neuromuscular therapy and myofascial release, watsu, Rolfing, reflexology, Shiatsu, Thai Massage and Ayurvedic massage like abhyanga.

Massage Therapy Costs

A massage therapy session can last from anywhere from 30 minutes for a mini-massage to 90 minutes. Fifty minutes to one hour is most common. The cost of massage varies, depending on geographic location and how luxurious the spa is.

Where to Get Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is the most popular treatment at spas, but you can also get a massage from individually licensed massage therapists who work out of their home or come to your house with a table.

When Not to Get Massage Therapy

Don't get massage therapy if you are feeling ill, have rashes or open wounds, or have just had surgery, chemotherapy or radiation. Pregnant women should check with their doctor before getting massage therapy.

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