The origins of  hot stone massage was found with native americans to treat aching muscles. It is a specialty massage where the therapist uses smooth, heated stones, either as an extension of their own hands or by placing them on the body while they massage other parts of body. The heat can be both deeply relaxing and help warm up tight muscles so the therapist can work more deeply and quickly.

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Cupping is a form of traditional chinese medicine that is believed to be around 3000 years old. This form of healing cup therapy is non-invasive in nature and works on the chinese principle that ailments are caused when the body’s internal energy “qi” or “chi” or the life force of the body is disrupted because of some ailment or injury. Cupping therapy takes its name from the cups that the practitioner uses to create vacuums over the affected points of the body.

Chinese believe there are five meridian lines on the back of the person and these meridians are the paths through which life energy moves through the body. As long as this energy flow is smooth, the person is healthy, but many disruptions can cause disorders. Cupping therapy works to restore this equilibrium and thus heal the patient and provide pain management.

There are two techniques of performing silicone cupping therapy

1. Fixed Cupping- Small silicone cups create a vacuum and provide an adequate amount of suction that causes  blood vessels directly below the skin to dilate. The therapy cup is typically left in place for 5 to 10 minutes at a time, and the therapist may choose to use several cups at different points in several different meridians at a time.

2. Gliding cupping- Once the vacuum is created, the cups can also be moved across the oiled skin in a procedure called gliding or moving cupping. In this form of healing, sufficient oil is applied to the skin before creating suction and once the vacuum is created the cup is gently moved over the skin so as to provide a form of inverse massage therapy. 

Let us check benefits of Cupping therapy-

As we discussed in a previous blog about cupping therapy, let us now see the significance and importance of cupping therapy.

Cupping therapy acts as the reverse of massage treatments, because placing the therapy cups against the skin creates suction on the skin. It uses vacuum pressure to pull the skin upwards. The reverse suction pressure that is experienced during the cupping method helps to soften the muscles and lift connective tissue and works by loosening muscles and stimulating blood flow to a particular region to increase blood circulation and drain excess fluids and toxins. In short, it encourages the body healing process.

Ailments in which cupping therapy is beneficial are :

1) Mental conditions such as migraines, anxiety, depression and mental fatigue.

2) Cosmetic benefits though cosmetic treatment that may involve the application of oil before vacuum in a beauty facial

3) In fat loss, it can help remove cellulite and promote weight loss.

4) Detoxify and pain management- It removes toxins from the body while relieving tense and tight muscles and joint pain.

5) It even assists in rheumatism, back and neck pain, fibromyalgia, arthritis and neuromuscular disorders. ( Medical prescription is required for such conditions).

The above are some of the major benefits of cupping therapy and an overview about it.

Swedish massage is the most commonly offered and best known type of massage. It was developed by a swedish physiotherapist, Heri Peter Ling at the university of Stockholm in 1812.

Swedish massage  uses a firm but gentle pressure to improve the circulation, ease muscle aches and tension, improve flexibility  and create relaxation by a variety of techniques specifically designed to relax muscles by applying pressure to them against deeper muscles and bones & rubbing in the direction as the flow of blood returns to the heart.

Let us check now benefits

1) It relaxes muscles

2) Improves circulation without increasing heart load

3) Increase the range of motion over the joints

4) It assists the recipient obtain a feeling of connectedness, a better awareness of their body

5) It relieves the pain and discomfort associated with muscle tension, fractures, sprains, sciatica.

6) It stimulates the skin and nervous system while at the same time relaxing the nerves

7) It helps to reduce physical and mental anxiety.

Swedish massage is one of the most popular massage therapies amongst numerous options. Certified and trained therapist will give you the bliss of this massage. Do let us know if you are taking time to schedule your swedish massage and comment on your experience!

Types of strokes in swedish massage:

In this article we will share some general strokes which are practiced by therapists. 

This will help our readers to understand the overview of strokes / movements in swedish massage

The classical movements of swedish massage are

1) Effleurage- These are long flowing or gliding strokes, usually towards the heart. A stroking movement performed with the whole hand and palm meant to soothe the body. Palms are used separately or together to glide gently over the body and spread the massage oil, warm up the muscles and let the recipient become accustomed to the therapist’s touch.

2) Petrissage (Compression) – These are strokes that lift, roll or knead the tissue much like kneading dough increasing blood circulation into the area, helps unwind taut muscles and fascia and is deeply relaxing. This also includes kneading, knuckling, ironing, skin rolling and wringing. These pressure movements can be used on individual or complete groups.

3) Friction- These are localised movements performed in small circular or criss- cross direction with deep rubbing movement with a lot of pressure by thumb or fingertips. The strokes are to be effected over a small area of 2 inches to 6 inches below the surface of the skin into the deep muscles below. This soothes deeper areas in muscles made tight by exercises and everyday stress.

4) Tapotement- It consists of a series of movements, which strike the body; for example like tapping, hacking, flicking, beating, cupping and pounding.

5) Vibration- 

Vibration in oscillatory movements that shake or vibrate the body. It is a tremendous motion over nerve pathways producing as the name implies a vibrant effect. Vibration is used to relax muscle groups. It can be best achieved by electrical vibrator massage machines.

The above are the 5 important strokes in swedish massage which makes it complete.

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