What is Relaxation Massage?
A relaxation massage is exactly what the name implies: a massage strictly for the purposes of rest and relaxation. This massage technique is not designed for therapeutic effects or for dealing with chronic pain or discomfort. This massage is essentially the same as a gentle Swedish massage that uses smooth, gliding strokes. The primary purpose will be to help you relax, and the massage therapist will probably move at a slower pace and use light pressure.
How to Perform Relaxation Massage?
During a session, the patient will remove most of their clothing and lie on a massage table, usually with some sort of thin sheet draped over the body. Usually a relaxation massage can be modified and tailored to your specific desires. The massage takes place in a quiet, comforting environment, with your choice of any music or candlelight in the background.
The massage consists of the therapist applying gentle to medium pressure of the hands to the body, gently manipulating the tissue to promote relaxation. It is not a deep tissue massage. It is not designed for working the deeper muscles of the body, but just a gentle kneading and rubbing of the outer layers of the body tissue. It will cover a wide range of areas on the body including the back, legs, arms and neck.
Sometimes there is the option of adding some aromatherapy treatment to your massage therapy. High quality aromatherapy oils can heighten the holistic experience of the massage and allow for greater relaxation and restoration of one’s energy balance. Of course, unscented oil is also an option. The oil produces a more slippery surface for the therapist to work on, so there is no pulling of the skin. During the massage, the patient can remain quiet and simply explore their own personal thoughts in their head, or they can chat with the therapist if so desired. The session can be personalized to be exactly how you like it.
Relaxation massage is a smooth, gentle style of massage designed to improve circulation, range of movement, relief minor muscle pain, and promote overall relaxation. Most people don’t take enough time off for themselves anymore.
The Benefits of Relaxation Massage
As with any kind of massage, the benefits of a relaxation massage can last for several days after your treatment. Relaxation massage, like other forms of massage can offer the following benefits:
- Lowering blood pressure
- Improvements to peripheral circulation
- Improvements to skin tone and appearance
- Improvements to gastrointestinal motility (bowel movements will become more regular)
- Some reduction in muscle tension including the relief of muscle tension headaches
- Improvements to any stress-related symptoms
How to Choose a Relaxation Massage Therapist?
Relaxation massage means different things to different people. Therapists who practice Swedish massage, Holistic massage, Stone therapy, or Ayurvedic massage are all likely to offer relaxation massage as part of their range of treatments. Relaxation massage is also what you can expect within a spa setting. The large range of possible interpretations to the word ‘relaxation’ means it is important that you contact any potential therapist first and ask them about the treatment they are offering.
Before you go
Because of the differences in definition of the "relaxation massage", it is a good idea to call beforehand and find out about what you will be getting. There's likely to be some soft music - in spas and treatment rooms, they tend to use a kind of music that is almost impossible to describe. It's featureless yet calming. If you go to a private therapist, you may not get something so easy to ignore. If you have a spiritual dread of Enya or whale song, it might be worth taking along your own music, as these kinds of music tend to be favourites.
Before any massage treatment, avoid large meals or alcohol. Drink plenty of water, which will help your body to flush the toxins out of your body. It's also a good idea to give yourself plenty of time either side of the massage, so that you don't feel rushed. You should always tell your therapist in advance if you are, or think you might be, pregnant/ have any medical conditions or are receiving any treatment or medication/ have recently had an injury or operation/ are allergic to anything, particularly skin allergies/have any broken skin or sores on your scalp as this may affect the kind of oil and treatment you receive.