It has been a very shaky year for Christchurch, New Zealand. The earthquakes and all those five thousand aftershocks have left many people with extremely frayed nerves. The local counseling services are struggling to assist with so many stressed-out people. Apart from counseling services, we can also recommend another way to relax and unwind, and that is with a good professional body massage.

Massage therapy has been proven to provide relief from psychological stress, as well as helping to heal injuries and improve the circulation of the blood. Massage for stress relief is often referred to as therapeutic massage therapy.

In March there were even news reports that the Church of Scientology had representatives going around the city offering massages to assist people in Christchurch after the earthquake. There are many places to get a professional massage in the city that do not involve religious discussions or strangers knocking at your door!

Check out the lists in the yellow pages, or check out the classifieds in your daily copy of the Christchurch Press. Look for well-known massage clinics such as Christchurch Therapeutic Massage Center, Canterbury Neuromuscular Clinic, Sanctuary Health, and Bour Thong Thai Beauty Therapy.

Massage services are typically offered according to a number of popular massage styles. Here are some of the more common types of massages available.

Chinese Massage

There are two main types of traditional Chinese massage, Tui na which involves pushing, stretching and kneading the muscles and Zhi Ya which involves more pinching and pressing at acupressure points.

Swedish Massage

A type of massage that uses five styles of long, flowing strokes to massage, typically with oil. The strokes usually include:

  • effleurage (sliding or gliding)
  • petrissage (kneading)
  • tapotement (rhythmic tapping)
  • friction (cross fiber), and
  • vibration / shaking.

Thai Massage

This is a style that incorporates yoga-like stretching and deep massage. The client usually wears lose, comfortable clothes that allow for movement. It is usually performed on a mat or firm mattress on the floor. Normally oils are not used in the Thai style.

Most professional operators will have a clinic so that you can book in advance, select your preferred style, and then simply arrive a few minutes before your booking. Some will offer a range of other services such as spa treatments or even yoga classes.

Personally, I would recommend a Swedish style massage for the maximum relaxation. One thing is for sure. Once you have tried a body massage, you will not only be relaxed, you'll be ready to book back in for another massage session soon.

And you will have found an excellent method to unwind and relax from the stress of aftershocks.