Stress Lowering Massages
Modern lifestyles and packed lives can take their toll on your system, leaving you stressed and feeling wound up. Massage therapy is a relaxing way to relieve that tension and pamper yourself at the same time. But how do you pick from the dozens of options on offer? Are there some that work better than others when it comes to their stress busting power? Here’s a round-up of some stress lowering massages that people dealing with stress have benefited from.
In a Swedish massage the therapist uses firm long strokes in combination with deep circular motions, kneading, tapping and vibration to melt your stress away. Strokes are made in the direction of blood moving towards your heart. Newer studies like one from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine indicate that there are chances that they may even lower stress causing hormones in the body. A head massage to your Swedish massage can enhance the effects.
Deep tissue massage
Depending on the cause of your stress, for instance, if you have experienced some form of injury and need therapeutic massage, a deep tissue massage can help counter muscle damage and ease the stress arising from any pain. Strokes tend to be slow and forceful, designed to get into the deep layers of the muscles as well as surrounding connective tissues.
Like a deep tissue massage, a sports massage is good to relieve stress originating from pain and stiffness related to an injury.
Trigger point massage
Another massage technique applied to treat stress relating to injury is a trigger point massage that focuses on relieving the tightness in your muscle fibres that arise from overuse or an injury. As your muscle tension goes away, so will your stress.
Hot stone massage
Warm stones are placed on your body to provide physical as well as physiological benefits. The heat retained by the special smooth basalt or river stones relaxes the muscles instantly, and can reach deeper layers allowing your therapist to relax stiff muscles or tightness. However, do consult a doctor before taking such a treatment to ease stress, because those with high blood pressure and pregnant women must avoid this treatment.
Aroma oils are blends of fragrant essential oils that have healing and soothing properties. Your massage therapist may recommend something specific or create a unique blend to address the combination of issues that cause your stress, or might use popular oils like lavender, chamomile or geranium, that are known to have a relaxing effect on the mind and body. This kind of massage exploits the connect between the limbic system that manages your emotions, hormones and nervous system, and your nostrils. If you are hoping to not just ease the tension but also refresh and revive your body, rejuvenating oils like peppermint or citrus oils might also be added.
During an acupressure massage, a trained therapist applies concentrated pressure on specific points of the body to reduce stress and pain. An Auricular Acupressure massage employs similar methods using the pressure points on the ear. With hundreds of pressure points, a massage on the ear can help release endorphins or stress relieving hormones and give a feeling of relaxation by targeting the areas believed to be the pressure point for the central nervous system.