Massage Types and Benefits

Choose the massage style that is best for your needs

Massage isn’t a one-size-fits-all regimen. In fact, today there are more than 100 different massage styles and techniques, with some using just hands while others add certain implements and even scents to enhance the effect.

The first concern before going in for a massage is to decide what you want the massage for, whether it’s simply to relax and relieve stress or to help with certain physical conditions or maladies.

Massage therapy has been shown to help with a variety of medical concerns, including, but not limited to:

  • Back and neck pain

  • Athletic injuries

  • Muscle strain or sprain

  • Circulation and respiration

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis

  • Immune deficiencies

  • Headaches and migraines

Types of massage matter

The most popular type of massage is the Swedish massage. It’s the one most people think of when the subject comes up and uses various methods of kneading and stroking the upper skin layer to promoted circulation, relax muscles, and relieve stress. It has also been shown to help after injuries.

The deep tissue massage generally focuses on problem areas causing stiffness and pain. It uses slow, deliberate pressure to reach deeper tissues of muscles and tendons. This is especially effective on lower back pain or other muscle spasms and strains.

The chair massage is often offered by popular employers to help employees relax and loosen up. It is great for a quick 10 or 20 minute recycling of the body’s energy. Recipients sit in a specially designed chair and remain fully clothed while the masseuse massages the shoulders, back, arms, and hands.

Other types are available

Other popular massage styles include:

  • Hot stone massage, which uses heated stones in specific locations to relax muscles

  • Thai massage and shiatsu massage, which feature pressure on certain energy points to balance the body’s chi, or vital energy. Thai massage also uses stretching and compression.

  • Aromatherapy massage, which adds aromas to the massage