You will encounter many different forms of massage depending where around the world you travel. However in this modern age, you can probably find all significant forms of massage within a close proximity.
Introduction: A Brief Look at Massages
Considering the fact that there are over 200 different types of massages, we have decided to fill you in on two very common and often used types of massages that are offered world wide in order to help you decide which of these two is the right one for you. These are the Swedish and Thai massages.
Yes, massages vary so much so that it may be confusing which type of massage to get depending on what you are hoping to find with your local spa or massage therapist. In short, the Swedish massage is a softer massage with classical traits that apply pressure of different intensities while the Thai massage involves more stretching and is dry. But while we are at it, let it be known that there are also other types of massages such as the deep tissue massage, the hot stone massage, the Californian massage, the chair massage and so on and so forth.
However, with the Swedish and the Thai massage, there is this in common, both are meant to give the client a feeling of relaxation, pain relief, as well as the obvious goal of increasing your blood circulation.
The Classic Swedish Massage
The Swedish massage is the more common of the two massages. It is otherwise regarded as the soft massage and also makes for a good experience for customers who are not so sure as to which type of massage to get, particularly for first time clients.
It is done on a massage bed or table and it is preferred that the customer should be undressed during the session. There are also four main parts to a Swedish massage that are meant to help you relax to your full extent and capacity. These are as follows:
- Sweeping Strokes – The sweeping strokes are conducted both at the beginning and at the end of your massage.
- Kneading – This is done by kneading the muscles of your body in order to release the pain as well as to stretch it.
- Friction and deep pressure – This is when the masseuse finds specific spots on your body and uses his or her finger and knuckles in order to reach deeper areas of the body.
- Rhythmic tapping – This happens by pounding your body as well as chopping specific areas.
Again, it is because of these 4 sections of a Swedish massage that makes it a great massage for newbies. Your body is manipulated to release tension and pain, while you relax and experience the instant changes. Another wonderful benefit of the Swedish massage is that this can be experienced by couples which also makes for a wonderful bonding experience.
However, did you know that the Swedish massage is also an underrated massage? It is said that there are no therapeutic benefits and remains only a relaxing experience. However, the critics of the Swedish massage tend to forget that stress is often the catalyst of numerous diseases and the Swedish massage most certainly helps you shake off any stress that you may have. For that, it would be wise to give the Swedish massage the credit it definitely deserves.
The Thai Massage
The Thai massage, otherwise known as “lazy yoga” is a technique that also practices some similarities with the Swedish massage in that it also stimulates pressure points and offers pain relief. But it will also leave you feeling relaxed as well as energized. In addition, the Thai massage also uses a technique that allows the masseuse to block blood flow for up to 30 seconds and then releases it by removing the sustained pressure on your body.
Unlike the Swedish massage, the Thai massage moves your body around a lot more. In the Swedish massage, you are for the most part either laying on your back or on your stomach. With the Thai massage, you will be stretched through a wide range of positions, hence the need for more flexibility. Some of the positions that you might find yourself in may be a tad uncomfortable at first but keep in mind that these are being done in order to release the pain that your body may have been feeling before the massage started.
It may sound intimidating and you might worry that you might not have the flexibility needed to complete the session but remember that there is nothing dangerous or threatening by receiving a Thai massage and if your therapist knows what he or she is doing, you will be left feeling much better when it is all said and done.
Also, a Thai massage typically lasts two hours long, opposed to the one hour Swedish massage, and the main reason for this is because your therapist needs plenty of time in order to take you through the numerous body positions needed in order to tackle all the areas of your body. Remember, a simple stretch is not all that it takes in order to sort out one part of your body, therapists need to locate the parts of your body that need adjustment and must be given the time to fix it.
If experiencing a Thai massage in Asia, you will also notice that there is much more to a Thai massage than mere twisting and turning. As a matter of fact, Thai massages incorporate spiritual and meditative practices in order to receive the full experience. Your masseuse may even vocalize a little prayer before beginning as an introduction to the process about to take place. By doing so, you will be bringing in true health and wellness.
Thai massages sometimes also offer herbs and essential oils during the session in order to assist in the releasing of toxins that your body may have acquired.
This massage is more dynamic and is certainly okay for anyone that doesn’t mind being moved around in positions that you might have never found yourself in. You will not have the relaxing type of Swedish massage wherein you can easily fall asleep for the entire duration of the massage, but it will certainly help you feel better, less tired, and will participate in the treatment of any chronic pain that you may have.
Choosing Between The Swedish Massage and the Thai Massage
Fortunately, there is no right or wrong answer here. One is not simply better than the other. Both massages offer customers a great experience and in the end, it truly depends on you which of the two is better suited for you. Having said that, it is really best for customers to experience both types of massages and to address what you are looking for in a massage.
In short, if you are looking for a place to lay your head and relax and maybe even take a little nap while someone works on your body, then the Swedish massage is for you. But if you need to stretch your body in order to relieve pain in your limbs, then you should go for the Thai massage.
It May Be Best To Go Both Ways
Having considered that there are so many different types of massages, all built, created, designed, and practiced to give people a better overall physical feeling, there really is not a massage that is bad for you.
Conversely, that being said, people should also be aware that they may require more than one type of massage for their needs, simply dependent on what they are hoping to accomplish on that day.