Historically, I’m aware that the majority of my massage appointments have requested a deeper pressure. People want to feel they’ve ‘had a massage’, but recently, I’ve noticed a change. I’m seeing more people through my door asking for a relaxation massage.
Previously, relaxation massages were often considered a bit of a pamper, something done at a spa for an occasional treat. But, post-covid they really seem to be coming into their own.
What is a relaxation massage?
A traditional relaxation massage is one which is lighter in pressure. As an aromatherapist, I’ll also often incorporate aroma to include additional sensory messages to help relax you further. If I find areas of tension, I’ll work them with different techniques to an holistic massage, and I won’t be so focused on creating a change.
What’s the difference?
With a relaxation massage, the massage strokes are ones which tend to be longer and more flowing. If you go for a relaxation massage, you may think your therapist is just doing a bit of a gentle non-descript massage, but actually it’s a bit more technical than that!
For a relaxation massage, the speed of the massage strokes will be much slower and a firm but gentle pressure. This is because the focus of the massage is different to that of one where there is tension in specific areas.
How does it work?
The focus of the massage strokes used will be to apply a pressure and speed to activate c-fibers. Our bodies have numerous different nerve fibres, and different pressures affect different nerves. Tactile c-fibers are found in the same areas as hairy skin, and are designed to respond slowly to messages, interpreting the emotional tone of the touch. Triggering these fibres sends a message to the body that the environment is safe and it no longer has to be on alert. This can then relax your nervous system and help you to experience a sense of relaxation.
So, if you’re finding it hard to switch off, you may find it a good idea to request a relaxation massage at your next appointment (you can always change your mind half way through if its not a right fit!)
Louise is an holistic therapist who owns Therapy Centre, BS14 9HB, a clinic offering a range of holistic and beauty therapies. Louise offers aromatherapy, reflexology, holistic massage, baby massage, reiki and story massage. She is a mum of two boys and when she is not working she enjoys getting outdoors with her family. For further information, visit her website louise-morgan.co.uk