There are a wide variety of popular massage therapies that have been proven to benefit people both physically and mentally. However, massage enthusiasts are always trying to find the “next big thing.” They want something new or cutting edge, or sometimes they just want something that is so off-the-wall that they can go run and tell their friends about it. However, before you go off the deep end and try some out-of-this-world massage technique, be certain that you are having your massage done by a certified massage therapist. Additionally, ask for referrals, and verify that their certification is from a reputable massage therapy program and a school. Below are some of the strangest massage therapy techniques that might soon pop-up in your neighborhood:
6.) Golf Ball Massage Therapy
Golf Ball Massage Therapy was created in California by massage therapist, Heather Karr. In fact, the idea of using a golf ball as a massage tool came from a client, who requested that the golf ball be utilized for deep-penetrating tissue massage. Surprisingly, the golf ball was of the ideal shape to smoothly and deeply massage hard-to-reach muscles. The golf ball also works well for the pressurized kneading techniques and cross-fiber work necessary to combat trouble spots.
5.) Snake Massage
I mean, who doesn’t enjoy the feeling of snakes slithering across their skin??? Oh wait, that would be pretty much everybody. However, that thought didn’t cross the mind of the health and beauty spa in Israel that created the world’s first Snake Massage treatment. In this particularly massage, six non-venomous snakes, including California and Florida king snakes, corn snakes, and milk snakes, slide up and down the body, presumably working aching muscles and stiff joints. The creator has publicly proclaimed that once people get over their initial misgivings about the snakes, they find physical contact with them to be soothing. And this, my friends, is a little hard to believe. However, it can probably be assumed that the snakes’ generalized pressure to the body would be a relaxing experience.
4.) Cactus Massage
Created at the Four Seasons Resort in Punta Mita, Mexico, this intriguing massage therapy treatment is not as painful as it initially may sound. This rejuvenating massage treatment involves the application of a warm concoction consisting of cactus, tuna (the blossom of the cactus), and pulque (an alcohol made from the agave plant), while utilizing various massage techniques. This cactus cocktail is applied to the body using the cactus paddles themselves. Thankfully, the spines of the cactus paddles have been removed. And as bizarre as this treatment may sound, the cactus is known to have quite a few healing properties, as well as the ability to rehydrate the skin and remove toxins trapped inside.
3.) Indian Face Massage
Advertised as the “natural facelift massage,” Indian Face Massage uses special techniques and acupressure to improve the conditioning of skin by encouraging natural oils to flow, and thereby creating a more radiant glow. This is supposedly achieved by releasing tension within the connective tissue and toning the muscles of the face. The results are purportedly extraordinary – a plumped, younger, and fresher facial appearance, as well as the redefinition of the contours of the face.
2.) Trager Work
Trager Work, named for its creator, Dr. Milton Trager, refers to the wacky form of massage therapy created over a half a century ago that involves rocking and shaking movements ranging from gentle to violent in intensity. This form of massage therapy allegedly loosens restrictions in the joints and promotes overall relaxation. The practice of Trager Work involves a patient lying on a table while the therapist instigates a series of rather large movements designed to explore and maximize range of motion, all-the-while rhythmically rolling the patient back and forth. In Trager Work, it is actually commonplace to witness limbs being violently jerked and flailed around. But proponents of the technique assert that once the problem is released, movement of that particular body part becomes light and effortless. And just like something right out of the world of Tom Cruise, Dr. Trager’s technique claims to have successfully treated conditions ranging from back trouble to polio to psychiatric issues to paralyzation, and states that once released, the problem would not reappear. After all, Dr. Trager believes that the pattern of tightness is all in the mind.
1.) Watsu Massage
Watsu, or Water Shiatsu, works under the belief that warm water, which many associate with the body’s deepest state of waking relaxation, is the ideal medium for the stretching needed to strengthen muscles and increase flexibility. Warm water takes the weight off of the vertebrae and allows the spine to be moved in new ways. The concept in Watsu is that gentle twists and pulls relieve pressure on the nerves and help undo any resultant dysfunction that this pressure can cause to the organs serviced by those nerves. During Watsu, you must be floated in the therapist’s arms and you must participate in the Water Breath Dance, a meditative stillness in which someone, while being floated in the therapist’s arms, is allowed to sink a little as they breath out, and then is lifted again as both therapist and patient breath in. The understanding is that when repeated consistently, this creates a connection between the therapist and patient that can be carried through the stretching activities.
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