There are lots of definitions of superficial massage, and even some specific massage techniques which can be classed as Superficial Massage, but what I am talking about here is any type of massage that works on our top or superficial tissues - usually our skin.
In some ways I am really using the expression simply to define massages which are not deep tissue massage.
is that it can be a lot more effective for any kind of problem than deep, hard or aggressive massage. Think of the story of the North Wind and the Sun arguing about who is the strongest. They decide that as a test they'll try to take the coat off a man walking down the road. The North Wind blows... and blows... and blows... and the man just holds his coat tighter. The Sun takes a turn, and shines... the man peels off his coat and slings it over his shoulder.
Doctors usually work by the rule "First, do no harm", well it's much more difficult to harm someone if we are working on a superficial level, and there are many studies showing that superficial or gentle massage are always beneficial.
Having said that it is entirely possible to harm someone with superficial treatments (take a look at my cupping and gua sha marks) or remember how painful a graze can be. I often steer away from facials because many products irritate my skin.
Perhaps I should start breaking this down into gentle superficial massage etc. etc. but we're getting into the difficulty of categorising and describing massages that this section was designed to remedy, and the easiest way to guide you through many of the treatments is to point you in the direction of great spas where the treatments have been excellent, because sometimes there'll be a little gentle deep tissue massage, a harder superficial bit... it can be hard to isolate different techniques used in a whole massage. One of my worst massages this year was at a top spa where the word used was "relaxing" - the massage and its after effects were sadly not relaxing for me, although I did quite like the deep pressure bit where the massage therapist knelt on my back...
Excellent superficial massages and therapies I like can include;
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