From Swedish to Sports: Your Guide to the Most Popular Types of Massage Therapy
Getting a massage is one of the best things you can do for your body.
They’re not just luxury treatments to help you relax. They can have a huge impact on your health, too.
If you’re struggling with chronic pain, a lack of flexibility, headaches, digestive issues, or even insomnia, a good massage could be the answer. But with so many types of massage therapy out there, which one should you choose?
In this post, we’ll explain how each of them works.
9 Types of Massage Therapy to Choose From
Not sure which type of massage to go for? Use this guide to find the best one for you.
1. Swedish Massage
Swedish massage is one of the most commonly used types of massage therapy.
It uses long, flowing strokes and kneading techniques, while hands continuously move across your muscles. It also uses percussive strokes, like taps, shakes, and strikes to stimulate your muscles.
Before the massage, you remove your clothes. However, you can choose to keep your underwear on. A masseuse will cover you with a towel or sheet, which they move periodically to work on different parts of your body.
2. Hot Stone Massage
For a hot stone massage, you remove your clothing, cover yourself with a towel and lie face-down on a massage table.
A therapist then applies oil to your back, as well as smooth, flat stones that have been heated. The stones rest for a while to allow the heat to relax your muscles. Then, they’re used to massage the oil into your back.
This is great for loosening tight muscles and improving circulation, but it’s also perfect for those who simply want a rejuvenating, relaxing spa treatment.
3. Thai Massage
Thai massage is almost like a combination of yoga and massage.
During this type of treatment, your therapist will put your body in various positions to perform stretches.
Some of these involve lifting your legs and pushing them back while you’re sitting down, while others involve stretching your back while you’re sitting up.
Before you begin, the masseuse will wash your feet and give you a set of comfortable clothes to change into. Then, you lie down on your back while they go to work.
At the end of a traditional Thai massage, they’ll usually press their knees into either side of your spine to make it click. They also ask you to interlock your fingers behind your head while they reach through your arms and twist you from side to side.
This doesn’t mean that a Thai massage isn’t relaxing, though. They’ll massage you from head to toe, even releasing the tension in the joints of your hands and feet. Afterward, you’ll feel completely invigorated, and your muscles will be good as new.
You’ll remain fully-clothed throughout the massage, but the masseuse may lift parts of your clothing to apply herbal oils or balms.
4. Shiatsu Massage
Shiatsu is a traditional Japanese massage, which is rooted in ancient Chinese medicine.
It involves using the fingers to stimulate the body’s pressure points in a rhythmic fashion. Therapists apply pressure to each point for up to 10 seconds before moving on to the next one. This improves the balance and flow of energy within the body.
As a result, clients experience reduced pain and stress and an increased sense of wellness and relaxation.
Clients dress in loose or comfortable clothing and lie down, either on a massage table or a mat placed on the floor.
5. Deep Tissue Massage
If you’re looking for a treatment for rehabilitation rather than simply a soft, soothing massage, a deep tissue massage could be ideal for you.
This type of massage targets knots in the deeper layers of the fascia by using intense kneading techniques. The process can be slightly painful for some clients, but the results are worth it.
The benefits of deep tissue massage include lower blood pressure and heart rate, stress relief, and improved mobility. It can even break up scar tissue to reduce stiffness in the body after injury or surgery, too.
6. Trigger Point Massage
Trigger point massage is ideal for those with chronic aches and pains.
It helps to improve mobility by stimulating specific trigger points, which are linked to pain or tightness in the muscles.
You can keep your clothes on during this massage, as long as it’s loose and non-restrictive.
7. Aromatherapy Massage
Different smells can have a surprising impact on our relaxation and well-being.
That’s why aromatherapy massage is so effective. It uses various essential oils to provide targeted benefits.
Chamomile and lavender are popular choices for relaxing massages, while rosemary and ylang-ylang are used for energizing ones. Tea tree oil and eucalyptus are also used to aid decongestion and improve skin health.
Reflexology is perfect for those who want to enjoy the benefits of massage without having a therapist go to to work on their entire body.
This type of treatment involves only the feet, and sometimes the hands.
It dates back thousands of years and is rooted in the belief that various illnesses and ailments can be linked to pressure points in the feet.
During this relaxing and recharging massage, the therapist will usually inquire about various aspects of your health and make observations about improvements you could make.
9. Prenatal Massage
Massage therapy is hugely beneficial for pregnant women.
As their bodies go through huge changes, prenatal massage can help to make things easier and more comfortable.
One of the ways they do this is by improving circulation. Good circulation is crucial for delivering oxygen and nutrients to the baby in utero.
Massage makes this process more efficient. It also stimulates the lymph system to remove any toxins.
It also alleviates some of the pains that come with pregnancy. Many expectant mothers experience back pain, as well as aches in their weight-bearing joints. A specialist prenatal masseuse targets those areas to eliminate those pains.
A prenatal massage also focuses on soothing and relaxing the nervous system, triggering the brain to release endorphins. This helps mothers to relax and get a more restful sleep.
Let Us Fix You
Different types of massage therapy have different benefits, and the best one for you will depend on your mobility and your specific pains as well as your personal preferences.
At Omega Rehab, we’re dedicated to helping our clients feel their best.
We’ll work with you to find the perfect treatment plan, so you can get back to your peak performance.
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