Here is our massage guide that breaks down the ten most popular types of massage therapy to help you find which style is right for you.
1. Swedish Massage Therapy
Swedish massages are the most common type of massage therapy in the United States today. If a massage type isn’t specified, they’re probably referring to a Swedish massage. Swedish massages involve long strokes, kneading of the muscles, and circular movements on superficial layers of muscles using massage lotion or oil.
2. Aromatherapy Massage
An aromatherapy massage is the same as a Swedish massage in addition to one or more scented plant oils to address your specific needs. The oils used, called essential oils, are relaxing, energizing, stress-reducing, etc. Some essential oils include lavender, eucalyptus, mentha arvensis, and clove.
3. Hot Stone Massage
Hot stone massages involve heated, smooth stones placed on certain parts of the body to warm and loosen tight muscles and balance energy in the body. Stones also may be held and gently applied gently on a body with pressure. Hot stone massages are known to be comforting and good for people with muscle tension who prefer a lighter massage.
4. Thai Massage
Thai massages also align the energies of the body, but by gentle pressure, compressions, and stretches on specific points. Thai massage is known to be more energizing than most other forms of massage as it reduces stress, improves flexibility, and range of motion.
5. Deep Tissue Massage
A deep tissue massage involves slower massaging strokes or friction techniques across the muscles to target deep layers of the muscles and connective tissues.
Deep tissue massages are used for those who suffer from chronically tight muscles, repetitive strain, posture issues, or those who are recovering from an injury.
People who have received a deep tissue massage often report being sore for a couple days after the massage.
Shiatsu, a massage technique from Japan, uses finger pressure on acupuncture points to help the body regain balance. Each acupuncture point is held for between two to eight seconds to improve the flow of energy. Shiatsu is known to be relaxing and pleasant.
7. Back Massage
Back massages are just what they’re called, a massage specifically for your back. If you need special attention for your back, most massage therapists offer massages just for your back to help you reduce stress, ease pain, and relax.
Reflexology is a foot massage that involves applying pressure to certain parts of the foot that correspond to your organs and vital systems of the body. Reflexology is used for relaxation, especially for those who are tired and have feet aches.
9. Sports Massage
Sports massages are used specifically for those involved in sports or any other kind of physical activity. The focus is on prevention, treating an injury, and enhancing athletic performance.
The massage is a combination of techniques including Swedish massage, facilitated stretching, and more.
10. Pregnancy Massage
The pregnancy massage, also known as a prenatal massage, is done to expectant mothers who can expect to reduce stresss, decrease swelling, relieve aches and pains, reduce anxiety and depression. Be sure to find a massage therapist who is certified in pregnancy massages and are familiar with the peoper way to position and support the woman’s body during the duration of the massage.