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Buying a Massage Video

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Updated June 01, 2012

Question: Buying a Massage Video
I'm looking for a massage video but don't know where to start. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks!

- Callie
Miami, Florida
Answer: Just as there are many different types of massage, there are many types of massage videos. If you are interested in seeing a short demonstration of various massage styles to help you decide which type of appointment to book, a great place to start is with the About.com massage videos. Each massage video is approximately three minutes long and allows you to see the different types of massage.

In our Common Types of Massage video, you can see Swedish Massage (often referred to as massage therapy), sports massage, deep tissue massage, hot stone massage, and aromatherapy massage.

If you are thinking of trying an Eastern massage, you may want to take a look at the Shiatsu and Thai Massage video. Thai massage has become popular at spas and is more energizing than other forms of massage. You don't just lie there--the therapist moves and stretches you into a sequence of postures. It's like yoga without doing any work. In addition to the Thai massage video, you can also see photos of Thai Massage at our Thai Massage Photo Gallery, or read more about Thai Massage.

Although reflexology is sometimes called foot massage, it is more than simple foot massage. Reflexology involves applying pressure to certain points on the foot that correspond to organs and systems in the body. Watch the video, See a Reflexology Treatment.

If you are interested in massage videos because you would like to learn how to give a massage at home, there are also plenty of options. There are an increasing number of short videos online, some at popular video websites and search engines like YouTube and Google Video. I took a quick look at some of the videos, however, and it really is a mixed bag. Many of the people in the videos are not licensed massage therapists, so there is no guarantee that the techniques are being demonstrated properly and safely.

Massage videos and DVDs can also be purchased online or at bookstores. One of the more popular how-to massage videos, and a good starting point, is Basic Massage Therapy (www.mymassagevideo.com), which is demonstrated by a registered massage therapist. Another option is Essentials of Swedish massage, by licensed massage therapist Meade Steadman.

Massage is sometimes used by couples to increase intimacy and enhance their relationship, which also happens to be beneficial for overall health and well-being. The video The Art of Sensual Massage by Gordon Inkeles is just one that shows sensual massage techniques intended for couples to try at home.

Although massage videos can be a great way to help provide the benefits of massage at home, keep in mind that how-to massage videos should be approached with caution.

First, massage is not suitable for everyone and many massage videos do not explain this. For example, people with medical conditions such as cancer, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, deep vein thrombosis, recent heart attack or surgery, hematomas, tumors, hernias, recent or unhealed fractures, burns or infections, or who are pregnant should speak to their doctor first and only receive massage by a licensed massage therapist.

Massage should not be done over skin that is infected, broken, blistered, ulcerated, or other areas where pressure could be harmful.

Side effects of massage may include temporary soreness, pain, and fatigue. Very rarely, massage may cause internal bleeding, temporary paralysis, and nerve damage, usually resulting from massage by an improperly qualified person.

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