An Overview of Full Body Massage
When researching various types of massage therapy, it is important to notice that certain methods focus on just one part of the body, such as the head or back, whilst other techniques focus on the whole body. By having a full body massage, the potential for redistribution of tension from untreated areas is eliminated and beneficial effects are therefore likely to be longer-lasting.
Relaxation and relief from tension and stress are often experienced following a full body massage. Blood circulation is increased and drainage from the lymphatic system is improved. Generally speaking, Western techniques tend to encourage relief from joint stiffness and muscular tension whereas Eastern methods tend to focus on the release of blockages and improving the flow of energy around the body.
A full body massage usually takes place in a warm room and soft music is often played to aid the relaxation process. On average, treatment sessions tend to last for one hour. It is also important to allow time for relaxation both before and after the treatment for maximum benefits. Hot tubs and saunas can assist in this relaxation process. Clients are required to undress to their level of comfort, lie on a specially designed table and cover themselves with a towel. The practitioner will then enter the room and begin working on the client, only uncovering parts of the body as they are worked on. This serves two purposes: the client will remain warm and their modesty will be protected.
Typically, the back, arms, legs, feet, hands, neck and shoulders are targeted during a full body massage. To prevent friction occurring lotions or oils, perhaps in combination with essential oils, may be used during a full body massage. Oils also have the added benefit of hydrating the skin. A variety of different techniques including kneading, stretching, wringing, rocking movements and application of pressure to pressure points may be used depending on the method of massage chosen. Most methods tend to focus on moving blood back towards the heart.
Many practitioners choose to use a form of Swedish massage which is where flowing strokes are used to relax the muscles before increased pressure is applied to areas showing signs of muscular tension. Other methods such as Thai massage or hot stone massage may be used. However, any qualified practitioner should be able to offer advice on the suitability of various techniques to prospective clients and discuss the benefits to be obtained from having a full body massage.