Monday, May 30, 2022

Which Type of Massage is Right for You?

Are you feeling stressed, tense or burnt out? Do you have nagging pain or discomfort, perhaps from an injury years ago? For these problems, and others, massage therapy may be the answer. While it’s commonly considered a luxury, a massage is more than just something you’d expect from a trip to the spa—it’s an important treatment that’s been shown to play an important role in reducing stress and improving overall wellbeing. The benefits of massage therapy include:

  • Lowering stress
  • Improving immune function
  • Managing chronic pain
  • Improving emotional health and wellness
  • And more

At Sun Health Wellness, our massage services are offered by licensed and trained massage therapists, who specialize in working with you to ensure your needs are met. Whether you’re looking for total relaxation or targeted pain relief, there’s a massage that’s right for you. We specialize in the following forms of massage therapy.



Best for: Full body-relaxation

Swedish massage therapy is the most common, and most popular, form of massage. In fact, outside of English and Dutch speaking counties, Swedish massage is referred to as “classic massage.” The primary goal of Swedish massage is to relax the entire body. Soft, long kneading strokes and light, rhythmic tapping strokes are applied to the topmost layer of muscles. These techniques, along with movement of the joints, help to relieve muscle tension. A Swedish massage can also help increase the flow of oxygen in the blood. This helps flush lactic and uric acids, as well as other metabolic wastes, out of the body tissue, helping your body recover from stress and injury.

If you’ve never had a massage before, Swedish massage is a great place to start. It’s gentle enough for beginners, while also being an effective way to achieve stress relief and full-body relaxation.


Deep Tissue

Best for: Targeted tension and problem areas deep in muscle tissue

While Swedish massage focuses on the topmost layer of muscles, deep tissue massage targets the deeper layers in order to address underlying pain and tension. Common techniques include stripping and friction. Stripping involves applying deep pressure across the length of muscle fibers, while friction involves applying pressure perpendicularly to the direction of the muscle fibers. Both work to release tension deep in muscles and connective tissue.

It’s not uncommon to experience some discomfort during a deep tissue massage, since the strokes are firm and focus on working deep into the muscle tissue. However, you shouldn’t experience pain. If you’re in pain, your body will tense up, and the massage therapist will be unable to access the muscle tissue they’re trying to reach. Therefore, it’s always important to communicate with your massage therapist about any pain you feel during your deep tissue massage. In most cases, simply changing the technique or shifting position is all it takes to relieve pain or discomfort.



Best for: Encouraging the movement of lymph fluids and treating lymphedema

Lymphatic massage, also called lymphatic drainage massage, helps to restore lymphatic functioning and assist in the reduction of localized swelling.  The lymphatic system functions as a sort of cleaning service for the body—it consists of a network of tiny vessels, larger tubes and nodes that remove cell waste, proteins, fluid, viruses and bacteria from the space between cells. This is accomplished with the help of a clear, colorless fluid called lymph, which contains white blood cells that help rid the body of toxins.

70 percent of lymph vessels are located just under the skin. Gentle pressure from a massage therapist can stimulate these vessels to work more efficiently and move more lymph fluid to the heart. The message therapist will also use rhythmic, circular motions to stimulate the lymphatic system.


Lymphatic massage for lymphedema

Lymphedema is a condition characterized by swelling in the arms and legs. When blockages occur in the lymphatic system, lymph fluid is then unable to drain, causing swelling. Lymphedema is most commonly caused by damage to the lymph nodes or removal of the lymph nodes as part of cancer treatment. Along with exercise, wrapping the affected limb and using compression sleeves or garments, lymphatic massage is recommended as a treatment for lymphedema.


Trigger Point Therapy

Best for: Relieving chronic tension

Trigger point therapy massage involves deep and sustained pressure to areas of muscle tightness, pain or discomfort known as trigger points. Trigger points are tiny contractions, or knots, that arise in the body’s tissue and muscles due to an injury, overexertion or other trauma. Common causes of trigger points include inflammation, car accidents, falls, muscle strain and anxiety. Trigger points can form anywhere in the body, but are usually found in the lower back, neck, jaw, hip and shoulder. Trigger points can also cause pain in areas of the body other than where they’re located. For example, a trigger point in your back can cause pain in your neck.

During a trigger point therapy massage, you’ll actively participate through deep breathing and identifying the location and intensity of the discomfort you’re feeling. The massage therapist will use your verbal feedback to isolate and address specific trigger points accurately.

The deep pressure of trigger point therapy massage induces a process called soft tissue release. This increases blood flow, reduces muscle spasm and helps to break up scar tissue. If you work with a licensed and experienced massage therapist, you can expect a significant decrease in pain after just one trigger point therapy massage session.


Sports Massage

Best for: Preventing injuries and enhancing recovery

Sports massage focuses on the muscles that are used in sports and physical activity. Sports massage can be used before or after an athletic event, as well as for training or rehabilitation. By manipulating soft tissue using a variety of techniques, including Swedish-style massage, kneading, compression, friction, stroking and percussion, sports massage decreases the risk of pain or injury by ensuring that the body is in peak physical condition.

Despite the name, you don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from sports massage. If you do any sort of physical activity, even as simple as walking your dog or occasionally attending a fitness class, your muscles can probably benefit from a little TLC. Sports massage can be used to relieve soreness from a workout or other physical activity, enhance flexibility and improve range of motion, as well as to promote general relaxation.


Customized Therapeutic

Best for: Targeted and customized treatment

As the name suggests, a customized therapeutic massage is 100 percent unique and designed for your specific needs. Endless possible combinations of deep tissue, Swedish, trigger point and sports massage techniques ensure that you can easily create the right massage for you. A customized therapeutic massage is a great choice if you want to try out a variety of massage techniques in a single session.


Find your perfect massage with Sun Health Wellness

Whether you’re interested in massage therapy to reduce stress, relieve pain, increase blood circulation or enhance lymph flow, our team of licensed massage therapists are here to help. Most of our services are covered by insurance plans, but if not, we offer them at a low out-of-pocket cost. We encourage you to learn more about our massage services and contact us with any questions you may have.


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