10 types of massage therapy you should know about
If your answer to the question what is your favourite types of massage therapy is “Swedish relaxing massage”. Then it is possible that this is the only type of massage you know of.
Some people are probably confused and wondering if there are other forms of massage.
Well, there are and you have actually been missing out on all the action. There is no need to feel bad about it, you had no knowledge about it.
However, by the end of this article, you should be well equipped to understand the different types of massage.
Our body can only do so much, it can alert us to the fact that we need a massage. However, it cannot detect what particular massage we really need.
The benefit of understanding the different types of massage
Some people might probably see no use for this article. They might be like “I see no use to know over 7 types of massage, as long as the Swedish massage works for me, I’m good”
That’s fine, every human is entitled to his or her opinions. However, you might not know that there is something better until you try it.
For instance, let’s briefly talk about eggs. There are different ways to prepare an egg, however, if all you know about cooking an egg is how to boil it.
Then your knowledge about egg preparation is quite inefficient. You have no options hence, boiled egg is fine for you until you try scrambled, fried or poached egg.
This is exactly the same thing with the different forms of massage.
You might feel completely okay with just Swedish massage but that might be because you haven’t actually tried out the other types of massage.
Give the others a trial and your most preferred choice might suddenly change.
10 types of massage and their health benefits
Swedish relaxing massage
Let’s start with the most basic form of massage that almost everyone knows about. The Swedish massage is a very relaxing form of massage. It is generally helpful to relieve and help the individual unwind.
When you visit the spa for a massage session, most times this particular form of massage is what you receive.
It is a combination of different forms of movements including kneading, gliding, circular movement and aromatherapy.
Let’s briefly discuss the movement associated with this particular form of massage.
Chefs or kitchen enthusiasts who loving baking will be quite familiar with this kind of movement. It is used in making bread or cakes.
To knead is simply to work and press into a mass, usually with the hands; especially, to work, as by repeated pressure with the knuckles, into a well mixed mass.
If you have ever received a massage then you have probably felt this motion. Where the therapist uses his or her knuckles to repeatedly massage a particular muscle mass.
This process is known as the kneading motion.
When you mistakenly kick your cup of water to the floor. That motion it exhibits is known as a gliding motion.
It an act of moving softly, smoothly, or effortlessly. It requires little to no additional force or pressure.
This type of motion can be very relaxing, soothing and can easily lure one to sleep.
If you have ever put your phone in vibration mode. You should have an idea of what this kind of motion will feel like.
The act of vibrating includes shakes with small, rapid movements to and fro.
It feels like electric is coursing through your body, this movement is extremely beneficial to the circulatory system.
According to the English dictionary, aromatherapy is the use of selected fragrances in lotions and inhalants in an effort to affect mood and promote health.
Have you ever lit a sweet scenting candle before you slept? The feeling is pretty amazing, your body relaxes and your mood improves.
This is all aromatherapy is all about, if you haven’t experience the power of fragrance you should give it a trial.
- If you are looking for a massage to help you relax. The Swedish massage is a perfect choice. The combination of different motions helps to relieve tension from the superficial part of the body.
- It also helps to boost circulation.
When compared with other forms of massage, the Swedish massage is more superficial than deep.
It’s quite a fancy name right? And your probably thinking it’s Chinese? Not really, however, you are close.
It actually has a Japanese origin. The Japanese believe that certain forces can block your energy source “Qi”.
Hence, leading to pain and tension in different parts of the body.
In the shiatsu massage, the masseuse uses a different part of their body including the elbow, arms and sometimes the feel the massage the body.
This type of massage is performed to alleviate stress, pain and tension in different paths of the body.
Unlike the Swedish massage, this type of massage can be performed with the clothes on.
- The shiatsu massage is perfect in dealing with stress and tension. It involves more deep motions than that of the Swedish massage.
- Reduces muscle tension
- It aids in the alleviation of pain(headache).
- It improves circulation.
Hot stone massage
This is another exciting and extremely beneficial type of massage. Most people see the word “hot” and instantly believe that the process will be too painful to handle.
Is this really true?
I hate to disappoint you but hot stone massage is not exactly the picture you have in your head. Where boiling stones producing steam are placed on the body.
That will definitely hurt the individual and leave a scar on the body.
The hot stone massage is almost similar to the Swedish massage. However, In the hot stone massage, the massage therapist uses heated basalt stones in place of their hands.
Most times the Swedish massage includes the hot stone massage. Hence, after the therapist is done using their hands, he/she place the heated stones in specific areas.
This type of massage is done without clothes, however, most clients prefer to stick with their undergarments to feel more comfortable.
- Just like the other two types of massage, it helps to relieve stress and alleviate muscle tension.
- It targets specific areas of the body and relieves pain from the area.
- The heat from the heated stones helps to improve blood flow.
Another fancy name? Is it from Thailand?
Contrary to your thoughts, the Thai massage is actually from India, not Thailand.
A quick advice, if your plan is to relax and probably drift off to sleep during your massage session. Then you should not make the mistake of choosing the Thai massage.
Thai massage is also known as the yoga massage. Yoga involves lot of poses that stretches different part of the body.
Unlike other types of massage, the thai massage is a very active form. It involves lot of stretching and exertion of firm pressure on the body.
It is a great exercise for individuals seeking to improve their flexibility.
- The perfect choice for individuals seeking to increase their flexibility.
- It helps to relieve pain.
- It boosts blood circulation
If you love good fragrances and have no allergic reactions to essential oils then this is a great massage to try out.
It is a combination of essential oil on your skin and in the diffuser. Not only does your body receive preferential treatment.
Your environment does too through the use of a diffuser.
In aromatherapy, the massage therapist uses essential oil to massage your body. The oil could be chosen by the therapist or you can share your personal preference to your therapist.
The therapist uses soft and light motions to massage the body most especially the back, head and shoulders.
- It helps to boosts or improves one’s mood
- Aromatherapy is a great massage with high relaxation capabilities.
- It helps to reduce stress and depression.
- Pain and muscle tension can also be relieved through aromatherapy.
If you have a partner but have not tried out the couple massage therapy. Well, it’s not extinct yet, you can still engage in couple therapy.
Just like the name implies, couple massage is a kind of massage you do with your partner or friend. It is just the opposite of a solo massage.
In couple massage, you are free to choose any type of massage offered by the spa. You and your partner share the same room on a side by side bed but with different massage therapist.
You do not have to engage in the same type of massage. You are completely free to make a choice based on your personal preference.
Unlike the solo massage, here you have your friend or buddy and you can choose to engage in a conversation during the procedure.
- Based on the type of massage you choose you receive the benefits associated with it.
- You have a love one with you, you get to talk which makes the relaxation process more fun.
If you don’t feel comfortable exposing your body to people. This might just be the perfect type of massage for you.
It is believed that certain parts of your feet have a connection with different part of your body.
Hence reflexology has to do with the application of pressure to different areas of your feet in order to reduce the imbalance in different parts of the body.
Don’t get confused, it not that complex.
It basically a foot massage however specific areas of the foot are targeted to ease stress and tension in different parts of the body.
- Just like any other foot massage, it helps to relieve stress and tension.
- It also helps to relieve pain.
Deep tissue massage
If you are sensitive to extreme pressure, I strongly advise that you avoid this type of massage.
The word “Deep” is not just a prefix added to made the massage look fancy. The massage actually involves deep kneading of muscles in the body.
This type of massage is great for individuals with severe pain or chronic muscle stiffness. The massage therapist exerts deep pressure on the muscles and connective tissues in the body.
This process should be handle by a registered massage therapist. One who has basic anatomy knowledge about the different muscles in the body.
- It is effective in pain reduction
- Deep tissue massage also helps to relieve tension and stress from the body.
- It deals with an imbalance in the body.
“Pre” “natal” means before birth. This is for all pregnant or expectant mothers.
Who says pregnant women don’t need a massage, I’m talking about just the regular foot massage. Pregnant woman also needs a relaxing massage that can help relieve stress.
This massage is not advisable for women in their first trimester. As there is a high risk of miscarriage during this period.
The massage therapist exerts mild pressure to massage the legs and lower back of the expecting mother.
The pregnant woman lies on their side or use a customized massage bed that has a cut where the belly can comfortably stay.
I strongly advise pregnant women to consult their doctor before going a massage.
- It helps to relieve pain and stress
- A good form of dealing with depression or other forms of mental and emotional stress.
Trigger point massage
If you feel pain in specific areas of your body, this is the right massage for you. Trigger point massage is a combination of Swedish and deep tissue massage.
Tightness felt in certain areas of the body are referred to as “trigger point”.
It is believed that these points might be responsible for pain felt in other part of the body. Hence these areas are massage with relaxing and deep stroke to relieve the tightness.
- This is a great exercise to relieve pain and tension.
There are different types of massage that offer so many health benefits to the body.
Try to experiment and spice up your spa session. It doesn’t always have to be Swedish massage.
Most spas give you a form to fill as a new client. In the form, questions like your endurance or pain tolerance level are asked.
Ensure that you refer back to this form before choosing to experiment with more active types of massage.