Do you ever wonder which type of massage is best for you and your specific needs?Are you suffering from chronic pain? Maybe anxiety or insomnia? Or do you have a sports injury? Finding the right massage technique and therapist for you will be crucial for meeting your health and pain relief goals.
Before your massage, make sure to ask your massage therapist about which techniques are right for you. You may also contact us and receive guidance from our clinical team on which massage is right for your specific condition prior to coming in. Learn more about our massage therapists and their specialties here.
Here is a brief overview of the numerous types of therapeutic massage therapy we offer at The Wellness Hub, right here in the heart of Jacksonville, FL:
Relaxation Massage - Relaxation (also called Swedish Massage) massage is one of the most commonly offered types of massage therapy in the western world. It is called Swedish massage because it was invented at the University of Stockholm in Sweden in the 1700's by a physiologist who also pioneered the practice of physical therapy. A relaxation massage is generally given as a full body massage, which includes the neck, shoulders, back, head, arms, hands, legs and feet. A relaxation massage uses light but firm strokes to induce the release of tension from the muscles and to calm the nervous system. This type of massage stimulates the lymphatic system, which helps to facilitate the removal of toxins from the body...so a relaxation massage is good for whole body health. In a relaxation massage, special focus will be given to areas of concern such as the back, neck or any other area you mention to your therapist. Sometimes relaxation massage will be used to warm up the muscles before moving on to other massage techniques such as deep tissue or neuromuscular massage.
Deep Tissue Massage - Deep Tissue is similar to Relaxation massage, however pressure is applied to the deeper layers of the muscle and fascia (connective tissue) to address chronic or acute pain and tension. It can be used to treat strains and sports injuries, as well as repetitive strain injuries (which can come from working at a computer or being on a phone). Sound familiar??
Neuromuscular Massage/Medical Massage - This is also called Clinical Massage or Trigger Point Massage. This type of massage is very specific for treating chronic pain syndrome or specific orthopedic conditions. Examples of the types of conditions neuromuscular massage can treat are: sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff injuries, thoracic outlet syndrome, frozen shoulder, knee pain, tension headaches, nerve entrapment, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis and more. Neuromuscular massage is good for athletes as well as someone with an orthopedic injury or a repetitive strain injury. Trigger point therapy is employed often in neuromuscular massage, which is specific pressure applied to areas of taut and tense muscle fibers, which can feel like a knot or even a marble. Trigger points tend to "refer" pain to other areas, which means it can cause pain in areas other than just where the trigger point is. It's important to note that neuromuscular massage isn't as relaxing as a traditional massage (like a Swedish or deep tissue) and usually doesn't address the whole body (just the specific areas of pain). Neuromuscular massage is an excellent option for correcting long standing pain patterns. Since this is a medical massage, a treatment plan will likely be recommended, just as if you were going to a chiropractor or physical therapist.
Hot Stone Massage - This type of massage has been used in many ancient healing traditions, first in ancient Indian and Chinese medicine. The modern form of hot stone massage originated in Hawaii and uses warmed, smooth basalt stones to massage the body. The heat penetrates into the muscles to further relax them and improve circulation. It is a comforting, luxurious and deeply relaxing treatment!
Cupping Therapy - Cupping therapy has been used in ancient healing systems throughout the world, but most notably in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In the west it used to be that cupping was something you'd only get when you saw an acupuncturist, but now many massage therapists incorporate this modality into their massage (thank goodness!). Cupping uses plastic, silicone or glass cups to apply negative pressure to the muscle and connective tissue. This has many similar benefits of massage such as relaxation to the muscle and improved circulation, but instead of compressing the tissue like in massage - it decompresses it - which allows for effective pain relief. Cupping can be done as stationary cupping (the cups are left in one place) or sliding or massage cupping (when the cups are glided across the body). Cupping therapy is excellent for treating many different types of pain syndromes, especially low back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain and tension headaches.
Reflexology - Reflexology, like cupping therapy, is a system of massage that also comes from East Asian Medicine and Chinese medicine. It involves the theory that different zones of the feet and hands can impact other parts of the body, including organs and regions of the body such as the neck, shoulders or back. Indeed, there is evidence that pressure on the hands or feet can stimulate the central nervous system, which has an impact on areas of the body away from the hands and feet. This is similar, but not exactly the same, as acupuncture theory. Reflexology is deeply relaxing and while it can help pain in the feet or hands, it can impact so many other areas of your health.
We hope that this has given a good overview of different types of massage therapy available. If you are still wondering what type of massage therapy is best for you or which practitioner would be best for you, please feel free to reach out to our clinical director here or call (904) 834-0740 and we'll be happy to help match you up to the best type of therapy and therapist for you.
Remember, there are a couple of things that make our massage services different from other spas and massage establishments:
By Mandy Rhodes, Holistic Licensed Esthetician at The Wellness Hub and author of Pretty Simple Beauti
1. Body Brushing
What in the world is dry body & face brushing? Also known as dry skin brushing, body & face brushing involves lightly brushing your skin with a dry brush, made from natural hair bristles, to help remove dead skin cells, improve skin tone, and target cellulite.
The technique has been used for hundreds of years and is also thought to help stimulate circulation and kick-start the metabolism.
There are many health benefits associated with body brushing including glowing skin, reduction in water weight, detoxifying your body, and diminishing cellulite. Your skin is your largest organ and plays an important role in helping to remove toxins from the body.
For this reason, it is important that the upper layer of the skin (the epidermis) is regularly cleared of dead skin cells which block pores and cause the skin to become congested.
By brushing the body & face lightly with a dry brush daily you can help your skin to:
This may sound strange and scary to some, but the results can make a huge difference. Face cupping is an ancient technique that uses suction cups to stimulate your skin and muscles. It can be done on your face or body. Note if you have ever had body cupping, face cupping is much gentler and should not leave marks.
The suction promotes increased blood circulation, which may help relieve muscle tension, promote cell repair, and aid in other regeneration.
The suction effect pulls blood into the area of skin underneath the cup. This saturates the surrounding tissue with fresh blood and promotes new blood vessel formation.
Facial cupping has been shown to:
3. Gua Sha
Gua Sha for the face and neck is called the Eastern Botox for a reason. This ancient Chinese therapy uses a tool to rub or scrape the skin’s surface in long strokes. Traditional medicine practitioners have used this method for centuries to boost circulation, increase blood flow, break up scar tissue, help chronic pain and generally improve the health of the entire body. Not to mention it is completely relaxing and feels like a massage for the face.
A few of the benefits you can have from using Gua Sha are:
If you're interested in having Gua Sha incorporated into your facial service, we offer that at The Wellness Hub in Jacksonville, FL - it's called our Natural Sculpting & Resurfacing Facial.
4. Face Yoga
Let’s start with what face yoga is. To put it plainly, face yoga is exercises for your face. Just like exercising keeps your body in shape, face yoga is a series of facial exercises intended to tone the muscles in the face which after time can reduce the signs of aging and improve skin elasticity. You can even slim up your jawline and define your cheekbones.
Facial exercises increase blood circulation in the face, creating a healthier, more vibrant complexion. Face yoga also strengthens the muscles in the face, which can weaken as we age.
This is a no-brainer, but one that we all seem to forget about. The importance of water for our bodies and our skin to stay hydrated.
That beautiful skin you’re in is made up of about 64% water. And without enough fluids in your system, your skin can lose its elasticity. So, all those expensive creams your slathering on every night would be a waste of time and money.
The more elasticity your skin has, the less likely it is to form fine lines and wrinkles. That said, staying hydrated will help keep your skin plump and prevent signs of aging. And of course, drinking a lot of water helps flush toxins from your body which improve your appearance as well.
Staying hydrated will help plump up your skin so that it looks and feels smoother. This is because the outermost layer of the skin has the moisture it needs to flush away toxins and carry nutrients to the skin’s cells. Skin that is well-hydrated also is less sensitive to irritants and germs that can slip through the lipid barrier when the skin lacks moisture.
Skin that is lacking the hydration it needs often becomes itchy, flaky, red, or even inflamed. Dry skin can even exaggerate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles due to shrinkage of skin cells. An easy remedy to all of this is to drink water.
Facials services are so lovely. Imagine going into a deep, deep state of relaxation and then coming out with skin that looks amazing for weeks afterward! At our organic and holistic spa in Jacksonville, Florida we use the best natural products and these steps to give you to best facial of your life!
Here are the steps of a facial and what to expect:
1.) It Starts with a Consultation
At the beginning of your service, your esthetician will talk to you about the condition of your skin and your skincare goals. You will discuss lifestyle factors that could be contributing to skin concerns and you'll also go over the current products you're using on your skin.
Your esthetician will cleanse your skin of any makeup or dirt. Often a double cleanse with two different cleansing products is used to make sure the skin is thoroughly clean.
Your esthetician will look at your skin under a bright lamp (with your eyes covered, for comfort) to analyze your skin. She'll be determining your skin type (normal, combination, oily, dry, etc) and also looking for any skin conditions that might be present (acne, blackheads, whiteheads, aging, sun damage, dehydration, etc). Doing this analysis will help her select the appropriate products for your skin.
Depending on what type of facial you're getting steam might not be included, but often than not, it will be. A facial steamer is a machine that directs a thin vapor of warm steam to your face. This is relaxing and helps softens up any blackheads and whiteheads to be extracted. The steam helps to open your pores to help them be cleansed and also better absorb the masks and serums that will be applied.
Your esthetician will use a product that is appropriate to your skin type that helps to slough off any dead skin cells that may be dulling your complexion. They may use a manual exfoliant like a scrub or a natural plant enzyme or peel, depending on the service you're receiving, as well as your skincare goals. The previous step of steam helps the exfoliant work better.
If necessary, your esthetician may perform extractions. Extractions are the removal of blackheads and whiteheads to relieve congestion in the skin and promote a clearer complexion. This can be a little bit of a sensitive process, and your esthetician will discuss with you beforehand what to expect.
6.) Facial Massage
Your esthetician will perform a facial massage to help bring circulation to the skin as well as promoting lymphatic drainage to tone, lift and smooth the skin. This is a deeply relaxing part of your facial! Techniques such as facial gua sha, facial cupping or facial reflexology may be used during this part of the facial, depending on which service you're receiving.
7.) Facial Treatment Mask
A treatment mask appropriate for your skincare concerns will be applied, such as one that addresses acne or dryness. While the mask is working, your esthetician will massage your neck, shoulders, arms and hands for additional relaxation. A scalp massage can be added on here as well.
8.) Application of Moisturizers, Toners, Serums and Sunscreen
Now that you're thoroughly relaxed, your esthetician will select appropriate products for your skin type and skin concerns and apply them to the skin.
Bonus Step: Recommendation of Homecare and Products
Ask your esthetician which products and skincare routines they recommend to maintain your new skin glow. Facials set you up to have the best skin, but your daily skincare routine and products are going to make the biggest difference over time!
How Often Should I Receive a Facial?
This answer really depends on what your skin goals are. If your skin is normal and in good condition, about 4 times a year (at season change) should be sufficient. If you have more challenging skin, getting a facial once a month for maintenance should be appropriate, however, to correct skin issues your estheticians may recommend a series of treatments once a week before you get the maintenance phase.
What Makes Our Spa Different?
At our wellness spa in Jacksonville, Florid we are committed to using natural and organic skincare products and holistic techniques in our facial services. We care about your health and wellbeing, and that the cost of beauty should never be your health!
The Wellness Hub Center for Integrative Medicine and Holistic Spa in Jacksonville, Florida