Typically, massage practitioners use either oil or talcum powder to allow their hands to slip over a person’s skin. Sometimes, a sheet or thin piece of cloth might be used for the same effect.
Different types of massage may include:
- myotherapy – involves the assessment and treatment of soft tissue pain, injury and dysfunction affecting movement and mobility. Myotherapy is applied to restore and maintain the health and function of the soft tissue structure (muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia) of the human body
- remedial – is the objective assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of the signs, symptoms and causes of biomechanical dysfunction or injury, using specific mobilisation techniques, in order to restore normal health and function
- therapeutic – also known as ‘Western’ or ‘Swedish’ massage. One of the most popular forms of massage in Australia, this technique is designed to promote relaxation and improve blood circulation
- lymphatic drainage – a gentle whole body treatment which relaxes the nervous system and aids the body’s immune system
- aromatherapy – essential oils made from selected flowers and plants are added to the massage oil for their particular therapeutic properties. For example, the scent of sandalwood is thought to reduce nervous tension
- baby massage – can help to treat constipation, colic and sleeping problems. Studies have found that regular massage helps premature babies to gain weight at a faster rate
- reflexology – based on the principle that certain parts of the body reflect the whole. Reflex points, which relate to all parts of the body, can be found in the feet, hands, face and ears. These points respond to pressure, stimulating the body’s own natural healing process
- shiatsu – an oriental massage technique that aims to improve energy flow by working certain points on the body. The underlying principles of shiatsu massage are similar to those of acupuncture
- sports – this is an application of massage, not a particular massage technique. The type of technique or treatment applied is dependent on the nature of the stage of training or competition, sports injury or condition and the assessment of the remedial massage therapist. Sport massage is a blend of techniques that aim to enhance performance and help overworked muscles to recover quickly.