Shiatsu (literally, "finger pressure") is an ancient technique from Japan. It combines gentle stretches with finger pressure to work on different pressure points. The idea is to fix imbalances in the flow of energy in your body. Although there's no concrete evidence of Shiatsu's use as a healing method, people who have had this massage still report stress and pain relief. About.com's Alternative Medicine site says:
Most of our clients are interested in deep tissue massage, and that makes sense because it is a great way to manage pain. Deep tissue massage—as well as the other therapeutic massage methods—can give you a lot of relief from chronic pain. Many of our clients come in for frozen shoulder treatment and neck pain—two side effects of working on computers all day.
“Many athletes and weekend warriors put themselves under a great deal of mental stress in preparation for a competition,” says Pietrunti. “For many amateur athletes, this is exacerbated by other day-to-day stressors from their jobs, families and life. Sometimes, just setting aside an hour to relax and unwind can be a huge step towards better performance and quality of life.”
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Reduced stress. Swedish massages are meant to maximize relaxation—you’ll be on a massage table, in a peaceful environment, with a professional spending an extended time (between 60 – 120 minutes) giving you a massage. The combination of the hands-on attention and the environment should relax you, lowering the level of the stress hormone cortisol in your body. Lowering your stress level offers a surprising number of additional benefits, including reducing or eliminating tension headaches, giving you more energy, and allowing you to get a better night’s sleep.
As you can probably tell, understanding sports massage is never as simple as learning one technique or type of modality ... or just "working deep." A sports massage therapist who understands the three key principles of sports massage should be able to apply the appropriate treatment at the appropriate time. Every sports massage therapist should ask himself or herself the following questions before beginning a session:
Dating back to as early as 2,500 BC, this deeply relaxing pressure point massage is based on the premise that each organ in the body corresponds to a specific point on the foot. Using specific thumb and finger pressure techniques causes physiological changes to take place in the body. The body’s own healing potential is stimulated, with all energy flows restored to their natural pathways.
Each massage session at Elements Massage™ is meant to achieve the same objectives, be therapeutic and relaxing. When a client requests a Swedish massage at an Elements Massage studio, they also have the benefit of requesting aspects of other modalities as well, such as deep tissue massage or hot stone massage. Rather than keep each massage session limited to one particular modality, Elements Massage studios customize each massage to the client’s needs and blend modalities to ensure a truly personalized session.