Read the news lately or watch last night’s news on TV? The world is hurting right now and everyone is stressed about it. Even if your own life is going well, the stress of worrying and protecting that life is there. What is a person to do? Chronic stress is bad for your health and could cause future medical problems that cost money, which causes more stress!
One solution is a relaxing, Swedish massage.
The best massage for stress is the Swedish massage, not deep tissue or therapeutic massage. Why? Because this is the massage that makes you float and drift, soothes and comforts. Deep tissue and therapeutic massages are all about digging in and getting rid of knots and pain. Yes, they are also great stress relievers, but they can be mighty uncomfortable massages!
A great Swedish massage has the following elements:
- Gentle, soothing rhythm
- Long, slow massage strokes
- No discomfort at any time
- The mind should be able to drift, not focusing on any particular thing.
Best environment for Swedish massage:
- Gentle, relaxing music
- No strong, disturbing scents – light aromatherapy is good, but only if it blends with the environment and doesn’t overpower. Ever get a whiff of too strong incense or essential oil? Ewww.
- Dim lighting. Candles are optional.
- Oil as the massage lubrication so the massage therapist’s hands can glide without any pulling on the skin.
Best type of massage therapist for Swedish massage:
- A calm and centered massage therapist who generates a tranquil appearance.
- A quiet therapist. (Note: if you get a chatty massage therapist, it’s within your right to politely ask them to shut up. Unless you like to chat during your massage as well.)
Now that I have you convinced that you need a Swedish massage and what makes a great Swedish massage, the next problem is money. Many people don’t realize you can still get a great Swedish massage inexpensively.
How to find an inexpensive Swedish massage:
- Table massage at a spa; consider having a half-hour massage instead of an hour. Ask the therapist to focus on back, shoulders and neck. This will still greatly reduce your stress levels and cut the cost of massage in half.
- Find a massage membership club and sign-up for their discount massages. One word of warning; make sure you’re going to commit to getting a massage once a month or you’ll lose money on this. Their sales contracts are as tight as gym memberships and almost impossible to break.
- Massage at your home; this is considered the ultimate in pampering. To make this affordable, consider splitting a hour massage with a house member and have half-hour massages each. Have the therapist give each of you back, shoulder and neck massages. Note: Usually massage therapists will only go to your home or hotel when there is a 1 hour commitment, thus you will need 2 half-hour massages scheduled.
- Chair massage is a very inexpensive option and yet still very effective. At the local malls there are chair massage stations. They can be found in kiosks or in hair salons. The price for this can be as low as $1.00/per minute. A 20 minute back, shoulder and neck massage will do wonders.
- Lastly, consider massage schools. The students need people to practice their Swedish massage techniques on and the price is very inexpensive. To find your local massage schools, look them up in the yellow pages. The downside to this is if you are used to experienced massage therapists, you might be really disappointed because these are students and they are still learning.