Massage is an effective way to relieve pain, increase circulation, break down scar tissue, ease stress and anxiety, and relax muscles. The health benefits of massage are clear, but sometimes the service menu isn’t.
With hundreds of different types of massages to choose from, how can you narrow it down? Let’s break down 10 of the most popular types of massages so you can identify exactly what fits your needs.
Relaxation And Stress Relief
These are some of the most common massages that work well for people who are looking for overall relaxation and tension release.
This is the most common massage that consists of long, slow strokes, muscle kneading and rolling, deep pressure applied to a specific spot with the knuckles or fingers, and rhythmic tapping (like a karate chop). Swedish massage warms up the muscles to release toxins and tension.
Best for: Your first massage, stress relief, relaxing tense muscles, couples massage
Hot Stone Massage
With a hot stone massage, smooth, hot stones are placed on your body and are also used to massage you. The heat helps release tension in your back and shoulders and loosen your muscles so they can be massaged more effectively.
Best for: Releasing tension in very tight muscles, relaxation
This is just like a Swedish massage, but with essential oils added to the massage oil. The oils release a calming scent and are believed to aid in healing.
Best for: Soothing, relaxation
Pain Relief And Specific Conditions
These massages are focused on alleviating specific areas of pain or discomfort.
Deep Tissue Massage
With deep tissue massage, deep pressure is applied to a specific problem point. You will likely experience mild pain or discomfort in the affected area. These massages are less for relaxation and more for a “hurt so good” kind of result. Deep tissue massage can leave you sore in the coming days.
Best for: Stiff problem areas like the shoulders and neck. Chronic pain, lingering injuries
Trigger Point Massage
This is similar to a deep tissue massage because the focus is placed on one area rather than massaging the whole body. A trigger point is an area or “knot” that holds tension and can shoot pain in other areas of the body. Trigger point massage targets the source of the pain.
Best for: Chronic muscle pain or tension
Prenatal or pregnancy massage helps reduce swelling and lower back pain that is common with pregnancy.
Best for: Women at any phase of pregnancy. Stress relief, easing swelling, aches, and pains
With reflexology, massage is focused on reflex areas of the hands and feet. It’s believed that the energy and nerves in these areas are connected to organs and other parts of the body.
Best for: Balancing the nervous system, sore feet
Rejuvenation And Overall Health
These massages help boost energy and increase flexibility and circulation.
Shiatsu literally means “finger pressure” in Japanese. With this massage, clothes stay on and gentle pressure is applied. The goal is to improve the flow of energy and balance throughout the body. As pressure is applied to acupuncture points on the body, it can help calm the nerves and improve circulation.
Best for: Low energy, back pain, headaches
Thai massage is best described as assisted yoga. The massage therapist uses their entire body to stretch and place you into a series of postures.
Best for: Increased energy, flexibility, overall health
Sports massage combines different types of massages to concentrate on areas related to your sport. This massage is faster paced and is usually done before or after an event. It helps to increase the range of motion and dissipate lactic acid build up in the muscles.
Best for: Athletes, enhance performance, prevent and treat an injury
The Benefits Of Massage Therapy
These are just a few types of massages—there are many others. But these common massages should be great starting points for you to begin your healing journey.
Massage can bring significant health benefits and help improve your quality of life. To get the most out of your massage, be sure to tell your massage therapist where your pain is, and what your ultimate goal is with the massage. Give feedback throughout your massage as well, like when to apply more or less pressure.
Looking for a licensed massage therapist in Logan, Utah? Let the team of specialists at Spring Creek Medical Center take care of you.
Request an appointment for massage in the Cache Valley area with Spring Creek Medical.