Massage and reflexology offer different benefits for a client. They have been practiced for thousands of years through many different cultures to provide remedies to ailments of the body. Let’s dive into more details to understand what massage and reflexology are all about and how the two are distinct from each other.
Massage manipulates the body’s soft tissue, which mostly involves pressing and rubbing with hands and fingers. Sometimes, even forearms, elbows, or feet are used. There are various types of massages practiced depending on how one would benefit most from them.
Deep tissue massage
Deep tissue massage aims to relieve tension in the deep layers of the muscle tissue. It uses a rigorous and intense kneading technique that is ideal for releasing chronic tension. It may also help in improving the range of motion.
Hot stone massage
A massage therapist places heated basalt stones on the back to help melt tight areas instead of solely relying on their hands. Along with other massage techniques, hot stones can be quite soothing and relaxing as they transmit heat deep into the body.
Swedish massage is the most popular type of massage. Therapists use a sequence of long gliding strokes, kneads, and circular rhythmic motions that ease shallow tension in the muscles. It helps relax the muscles and ease superficial tension while also boosting circulation through the body.
Specifically designed for athletes, sports massage is a variation of a Swedish massage. It addresses aches caused by repetitive motion. One might use it to promote flexibility and prevent injuries which aids healing after a sports injury.
Reflexology is a type of foot massage where pressure is applied to the feet and hands. The thumb and finger techniques are used to stimulate specific areas of the feet believed to bring relaxation and healing to the corresponding area of the body. A reflexologist uses foot charts to navigate as they apply pressure to specific areas.
According to several studies, reflexology may reduce pain and psychological symptoms, such as stress and anxiety. It also enhances relaxation and sleep.
The techniques used for reflexology are distinctly different from massage. In reflexology, the technique uses the thumbs and fingers to apply small muscle movements. In massage therapy, the method consists of large muscle movements done by the hands and elbows. Massage works with the body’s structure, while reflexology intends to improve gland organ and systems functions. Massage offers the benefit of muscle relaxation and an all-over increase in circulation, and reduced muscle tension. At the same time, reflexology stimulates the nervous systems and energy systems, bringing the body to total relaxation or improving the function of the internal organs and glands naturally.
Massage and reflexology require therapists that are properly trained with verified and up-to-date licenses. A recommendation from a doctor or a reliable friend will help you find a qualified therapist.