Body Sense

Winter | 2014

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It's been a long, intense week. You have strict deadlines at work, you need to help with your daughter's science project, and your spouse is out of town on a business trip. Frazzled and near your wits' end, a friend suggests you get a massage. She knows a great massage therapist and will even babysit for a couple of hours, so you can give it a try. But you're a newcomer to bodywork, so you may be thinking: "How will I know what kind of massage to get? What if I don't feel comfortable? Do I have to remove my clothing? What if I just can't relax?" These are common questions for those new to massage, but there's no need to worry. Let's begin by outlining the most common types of massage, and the benefits of each, so you can feel more confident choosing the best option for you. By Cindy Williams Which Bodywork Style Suits You? WESTERN MASSAGE STYLES Swedish Massage Dating back to the 1800s, Swedish massage is the most widely known style of Western massage. If in doubt about what massage to choose, Swedish is a great place to start. Massage practitioners use a combination of strokes: friction, gliding, kneading, squeezing, tapotement, vibration, and wringing. The pace may be fast or slow; for example, if deep calming of the mind is desired, a slower pace is used than in a massage where the goal is stimulating circulation. Practitioners generally use light to moderate pressure, but deeper pressure can be used if necessary or if you prefer it. 4 Body Sense Advice for Newcomers

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