Massage is a broad term that covers a wide number of massage techniques. The elements they have in common is that it requires hands on manipulation of muscle and skin tissues. The traditional massage is known as Swedish massage it involves a set of movements that include effleurage - a light stroke used to heat up the muscle before deeper strokes such known as petrissage. Petrissage includes rolling the skin and releasing; tapoment a percussion style move designed to bring blood up to the surface of the skin; and friction. The aim of the movement is to relax the client, release tension and increase blood flow and lymphatic drainage. Swedish massage uses oil to lubricate the movements but other techniques such as sports massage target just one area without oils. Thai massage (lazy man’s yoga) pulls the client into yoga positions to release tension while aromatherapy uses oils to stimulate different healing reactions.
WHAT TO EXPECT
You need to undress for Swedish massage and aromatherapy massage. For sports massage and Thai massage you leave clothing on. Depending on the therapist and setting (usually geographical) you remove underwear. If in doubt ask - it will not be the first time a massage therapist has been asked this question. The massage starts with the client laying face up and works from the legs to the head. The client turns over for the second usually longer session. Following the massage the client is left to relax on their own and dress when they chose.
Massage brings relaxation and all the related benefits of relaxation such as reduced blood pressure, stress alleviation and better circulation. Many muscular-skeletal problems such as tight shoulders or back-ache can be remedied, at least in part, by massage.
The use of oil means that it is impractical to carry on a day without showering. Some people find the intimacy difficult, while others dislike the touch and find the pressure too strong or too weak. Massage therapist in spas are often paid only 10%-20% of the overall fee.