Swedish massage therapy, the most widely used type of massage, is the most common. It uses soft, long, kneading strokes along with light, rhythmic tapping strokes to reach the topmost layers. You may also incorporate movement of your joints. Swedish therapy can relax and energize muscles by relieving tension. This therapy may also be helpful for injuries.
Researchers in Thailand studied the effects of Thai massage on a group of 120 people with nonspecific low back pain. Half the test group was treated with Thai massage and the rest with other conservative management techniques that included joint mobilization (a technique that involves applying pressure), hot packs, and manual stretching to painful areas.
Brush aside any thoughts that massage is only a feel-good way to indulge or pamper yourself. To the contrary, massage can be a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well-being, whether you have a specific health condition or are just looking for another stress reliever. You can even learn how to do self-massage or how to engage in massage with a partner at home.