Massage is a general term for pressing, rubbing, and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Massage may range from light stroking to deep pressure. There are many different types of massage, including these common types:
- Swedish massage: This is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration, and tapping to help relax and energize you.
- Deep massage: This massage technique uses slower, more forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, commonly to help with muscle damage from injuries.
- Sports massage: This is similar to Swedish massage, but it’s geared toward people involved in sports activities to help prevent or treat injuries.
- Trigger point massage: This massage focuses on areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse.
Massage is generally considered part of complementary and integrative medicine. It’s increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations. Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension.