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 Post subject: Types of massages
PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:15 pm 
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I've been getting Thai massages lately, mainly because they are cheaper. They run me about $45 an hour. It's much different than Swedish massage, which is the only other kind of massage I've gotten. Thai massage tends to be more painful, but I'm assuming it's beneficial in some way. For example, they beat the crepe out of a muscle in my upper back between my shoulder blade and spine where I hold all my tension. I know once the dull ache from the massage goes away, that the muscle will be less tense (or maybe this isn't true...maybe it's terrible for you, I don't know). They also end up cracking my back and streaching me out.

I guess I'd just like to start a conversation about the various kinds of massage, how they are different, how they benefit in different ways, and maybe talk about what doesn't work or some myths surrounding massage.


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 Post subject: Re: Types of massages
PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:18 pm 
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Oh, excellent, I was thinking of treating myself to my first ever massage for my upcoming birthday. I was thinking about trying a deep tissue one, which is what some friends recommended, but I'll see who else chimes in here on the different kinds and pros and cons.

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 Post subject: Re: Types of massages
PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:51 pm 
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mr torque went for shiatsu massage and it is very slow, heavy massage based on strong sustained pressure on certain points. great for stress relief but also very focused. nothing like the kinds of massage i've gotten (deep tissue and thai) that were more full-body.

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 Post subject: Re: Types of massages
PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:22 pm 
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Can I also please ask those in the know about massage, what percentage is an appropriate tip for the masseuse?

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 Post subject: Re: Types of massages
PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:10 pm 
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seitanicverses wrote:
Can I also please ask those in the know about massage, what percentage is an appropriate tip for the masseuse?


Pretty sure that 15-20% is standard, at least in the US.

Once, I bought a Living Social coupon for a massage at a spa. The therapist asked if I had any special instructions for her. I asked her to avoid my right ankle because it's broken. She proceeded to spend about half an hour "breaking up scar tissue" in my ankle. It was incredibly painful and I had a hard time walking for the rest of the day. I'm so helpful.


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 Post subject: Re: Types of massages
PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:35 pm 
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I am a massage therapist (and incidentally, the word "masseuse" is the French word specifically for a female massage therapist; a male would be "masseur". The gender-neutral term in English is "massage therapist") and I am happy to answer any questions you may have! :)

Yeah, Thai massage is likely to be more painful than Swedish. Swedish massage is really primarily about relaxation. Thai massage is more about stretching your body to its limit. I know some Thai techniques and I will use them if it's most beneficial to the client, but I actually really don't like receiving a Thai massage, personally. Some people really like to stretch their bodies to the limit and feel sore afterwards, and that's cool for someone who likes that...personally I'm just not into that. Everyone is different. I personally prefer the gentler, more subtle techniques like craniosacral massage when I'm the one on the table, and they're a lot more effective than most people would imagine -- but if you really want to feel your muscles getting worked, of course, you want something more physically intense than that. With my clients I'll often use trigger points, which involve pointed pressure on a localized spot where muscle tension is causing pain.

As far as tipping, it depends on whether you go to a spa-type place where the massage therapists are paid by an employer, or to a private practice type place. If your massage therapist is getting paid by an employer, they may only be getting like $15 of that $45 that you pay, so you really want to make sure you give that person a good tip. If it's a situation where the person is self-employed, it's less important that you tip because all the money you pay goes to them. I'm self-employed, so I never expect that clients will tip because I assume it's obvious that I'm asking to be paid the amount that I expect to be paid. If I were working at a spa and getting paid an hourly wage that amounted to only a percentage of the fee for a massage, it would be expected that clients would tip. It's always okay to ask if you're not sure.

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 Post subject: Re: Types of massages
PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:40 pm 
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CQ, you might be able to answer this: Is there any particular benefit to hot stone massage compared to a regular massage? I keep thinking I want one, but I don't know if it's worth the extra money. Also, is Indian head massage the same thing as craniosacral therapy? And what exactly is done?

Sorry - when I first started getting massages, you just got a massage. Now there are about 50 different types of massage, and it's hard to tell just from the descriptions what to expect.

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 Post subject: Re: Types of massages
PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:05 pm 
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I just got my first massage, my boyfriend gave me a Thai massage for Christmas. I went with his mother. I don't know how I feel about it. Obviously I don't have anything to compare it to. It kind of hurt. He gave it to me because I have chronic pain in my shoulders and chest. I haven't noticed any difference in that, although it's not hurting me right now (it wasn't before the massage either). I was really nervous because I have issues with being touched by strangers and I didn't really like the nakedness part. I do a lot of yoga/stretching, so the stretching part of the massage wasn't really anything for me. I don't think I'd go back there, honestly, although the massage therapist was very nice and the location was nice too.

I'm interested in hearing about other types of massage.

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 Post subject: Re: Types of massages
PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:28 pm 
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Hey choirqueer, that's awesome, thanks for the info. Thanks for the tipping input from you guys, too. This is a whole new thing for me.

Do you have any thoughts on deep tissue massages? I might go for a Swedish massage based on what CQ posted as I'm primarily interested in relaxing, but I also exercise regularly and have for many years and I wonder if a deep tissue massage (unless it's the same thing as a Swedish massage) would be more beneficial. If I really like my massage, I might make this a regular thing. Is a deep tissue massage relaxing? I'm not too interested in too much pain or stretching to the limit--I do yoga and am pretty flexible and feel stretching's covered. My friends said deep tissue massages are a bit uncomfortable at times, but not a big deal, so just wondering what others think.

Will I have to get naked with a stranger? I haven't for a long time! I'm okay with it, just wondering and like to be prepared.

Thanks for the input, everyone.

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 Post subject: Re: Types of massages
PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 8:32 pm 
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I'm a Massage Therapist too and the main thing I stress to my massage clients is to really let me know what they're looking for from their massage treatment. I tend to incorporate a lot of Swedish techniques which are great for relaxation and general relief for tension. My specialization is deep tissue therapy with a sports injury focus. The important thing with deep tissue massage is to communicate with your therapist. Everyone knows "no pain, no gain", but this is definitely within reason. I tell people a deep tissue massage should be described as a "good hurt" - like the feeling you get with a good stretch. If it's more uncomfortable that than, ask them to go lighter or you might feel really sore the next day. I tell most of my deep tissue clients that the first treatment is important to talk through and let me know how things feel, so that I can get a sense of how they respond to treatment and their tolerance for different levels of pressure. After the first treatment, they can start to focus more on simply relaxing during their sessions. Most therapists don't mind feedback during a session. I always find it helps me to tailor my treatment specifically to that person so they get the most comfortable and beneficial treatment possible.

As for tipping, I think it's different in Canada. Our regulatory association really emphasizes that RMT's (registered massage therapists) are in a similar field to Chiropractors, Naturopaths, Osteopaths and Physiotherapists. I think people feel that they wouldn't tip those practitioners, so in a lot of cases we don't get tipped either. I do have some clients that tip and it's usually between 10-20% ($5 - $10 for an hour long treatment).

Hope this helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Types of massages
PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 8:41 pm 
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i've gotten some sports massages. i'm into it.


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 Post subject: Re: Types of massages
PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 8:41 pm 
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nooch bunny wrote:
As for tipping, I think it's different in Canada. Our regulatory association really emphasizes that RMT's (registered massage therapists) are in a similar field to Chiropractors, Naturopaths, Osteopaths and Physiotherapists. I think people feel that they wouldn't tip those practitioners, so in a lot of cases we don't get tipped either. I do have some clients that tip and it's usually between 10-20% ($5 - $10 for an hour long treatment).


Thanks for clearing that up! I got my first massage here last October and I was really unsure about whether or not to tip because I paid in cash and the receptionist didn't ask me about gratuity.

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 Post subject: Re: Types of massages
PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 8:51 pm 
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What about this whole "toxins are released" stuff? Myth, correct? Kind of like how people go on juice cleanses when their bodies are taking care of themselves just fine. The only benefit of massage is relaxation, flexibility, and maybe circulation.

There's also myths that sports athletes need massage to remove lactic acid, when in fact, their bodies remove it on their own just fine.


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 Post subject: Re: Types of massages
PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 8:56 pm 
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I unwittingly ended up receiving a "myofascial release" massage not too long ago. It kind of hurt, but kind of in a good way. It was described as having someone else do yoga to you. If it weren't so pricey I would go back. I am looking forward to the day when I have enough money to get massages somewhat regularly. I think they are a really wonderful way to take care of yourself. In the meantime I just do self massage. Free!!


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 Post subject: Re: Types of massages
PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:21 pm 
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I "hate" Swedish massage after having a Thai massage and a sports therapy massage. I usualy prefer chair massages since I just want my neck and shoulders done. Why do a lot of places only do 15 min chair massages?
I learned a long time ago if you like a massage therapist tip them big time and they will hook you up! I always got called for slow day discounts or extra time when they didn't have another appointment.

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 Post subject: Re: Types of massages
PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:30 pm 
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I was in gymnastics for 5 years and quit in my early teens when I broke my ankle, so I got quite a few massages and physical therapy after that because my back was really forked up too. They were sport massages at a chiropractor and extremely helpful and relaxing.

That was about 7 years ago, but I'm always carrying around heavy shiitake and camera equipment now so a back massage sounds goood.

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 Post subject: Re: Types of massages
PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:44 pm 
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I want a massage. I've never had one in my life, even when I worked at a day spa. My back is a gnarled sadness pile.

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 Post subject: Re: Types of massages
PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:20 pm 
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Puma wrote:
I "hate" Swedish massage after having a Thai massage and a sports therapy massage. I usualy prefer chair massages since I just want my neck and shoulders done. Why do a lot of places only do 15 min chair massages?


Due to the positioning of the body in a massage chair, plus the fact that blood pressure and blood sugar both tend to drop during a massage, massage therapists are warned never to allow a person to have more than 30 minutes (ideally no more than 20) in a massage chair, due to the risk of the client passing out. :)

Feel free to ask for a 30 minute head, neck, and shoulder massage on the table instead, though. Many massage therapists will be happy to provide that kind of service.

(For the record, I'm in my second-to-last quarter of massage therapy school. Almost there!)

Kat


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 Post subject: Re: Types of massages
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 7:56 pm 
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As for toxins being released with massage therapy, that is true. When you work the muscles you break down scar tissue and increase circulation which helps to flush out metabolic waste and lactic acid build up in overused muscles. That's why a lot of massage therapists (myself included), highly recommend lots of water after a deep tissue or full body massage to help flush those toxins out faster. If you don't do that, some people can either get a headache or feel a little "off" after a treatment.

It is very true that your body is capable of getting rid of lactic acid on its own after a run or workout, but massage can definitely help to speed up the process.

Myofascial Release or Active Release are very different from traditional massage. It's a specific technique designed to break down scar tissue in overuse or strain injuries. It can hurt a lot depending on the muscles being treated, because it works by tensioning one muscle while forcing another to move past it through it's range of motion. It's temporary pain, but can get some incredible benefits in a shorter period of time. Most myofascial/active release treatments are only 15-20 minutes rather than a full 60 minutes. This is a great treatment for athletes, but it requires specific training that not all massage therapists have.


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 Post subject: Re: Types of massages
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:01 pm 
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I have always loved shiatsu whenever I've tried it. And actually the Thai massage I had in Thailand was very gentle, much more so that Swedish. Interesting to hear that people are hurting from it. The nudity isn't a big issue for me, but once in China I had a "blind" massage. All the practitioners are vision impaired and won't be able to see you (not that regular massage therapists are really checking you out).


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 Post subject: Re: Types of massages
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:47 pm 
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JillW wrote:
I have always loved shiatsu whenever I've tried it. And actually the Thai massage I had in Thailand was very gentle, much more so that Swedish. Interesting to hear that people are hurting from it. The nudity isn't a big issue for me, but once in China I had a "blind" massage. All the practitioners are vision impaired and won't be able to see you (not that regular massage therapists are really checking you out).

I just have to ask-did you just belive they were blind or did you test them?

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 Post subject: Re: Types of massages
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:00 pm 
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nooch bunny wrote:
As for toxins being released with massage therapy, that is true. When you work the muscles you break down scar tissue and increase circulation which helps to flush out metabolic waste and lactic acid build up in overused muscles. That's why a lot of massage therapists (myself included), highly recommend lots of water after a deep tissue or full body massage to help flush those toxins out faster. If you don't do that, some people can either get a headache or feel a little "off" after a treatment.

It is very true that your body is capable of getting rid of lactic acid on its own after a run or workout, but massage can definitely help to speed up the process.


Do you have any sources for this? I'd like to read up on where you get that. Here's from a journal article:

It has been well established that lactic
acid does not cause muscle soreness sensation6,18
and that lactic acid and “toxins” have no influence
on exercise-induced muscle damage.5,6,18,19 Hence
this suggestion can be dismissed outright. In addition,
human studies have demonstrated that massage
has no influence on post-exercise blood lactate
clearance,11,20 while mild exercise can significantly
speed up its removal.20,21 Since, as previously mentioned,
massage has little influence on muscle blood
flow, this finding is not surprising.

http://www.ivis.org/proceedings/AAEP/2000/302.pdf

Here's another source of some myths surrounding massage:

http://www.massagetoday.com/archives/2002/12/08.html


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 Post subject: Re: Types of massages
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:25 am 
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Puma wrote:
JillW wrote:
I have always loved shiatsu whenever I've tried it. And actually the Thai massage I had in Thailand was very gentle, much more so that Swedish. Interesting to hear that people are hurting from it. The nudity isn't a big issue for me, but once in China I had a "blind" massage. All the practitioners are vision impaired and won't be able to see you (not that regular massage therapists are really checking you out).

I just have to ask-did you just belive they were blind or did you test them?


I wouldn't have thought to test. It had a quite legit ring to it; a whole academy devoted to teaching blind folks that skill.


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 Post subject: Re: Types of massages
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:00 am 
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I just like massage because I think it feels so damn good. Mmm massage.

My boyfriend has issues with strangers touching him also.

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 Post subject: Re: Types of massages
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:42 am 
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On Sunday I had my second professional massage after many years; it rocked! I went with Swedish, and requested a medium to firm pressure. It was nice but dang, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want deep tissue because he was working me pretty well. When I made the appointment I said I didn't have a gender preference but when they scheduled me with a male I kind of thought "uh oh". Luckily the therapist made me feel really comfortable and I would totally book him again.

My boss got me a gift card for Christmas and it included (generous) gratutity. The place is called Massage Envy and they have a membership program where your dues entitle you to one masage a month and additional ones are discounted. Totally expected they would try and aggressively sell me a membership but they just asked if I wanted to schedule my next appointment, I said no and that was it. I'm sort of considering it though.

This is completely anecdotal but I didn't drink much water that day and now I'm sick. Release of toxins? Who knows but I'll be drinking more water next time just in case.


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