8 Most Popular Types of Massage and What They Can Do For You

Massage therapy is not just a massage. There are various types of massage and each offers different benefits, Massage has been valued over the years and it has been used for both therapeutic and medicinal ability. Certain massage techniques can help alleviate certain ailments.

If you’ve never been to a spa for a massage, it can be difficult to decide on the right one for you. Should you choose a deep connective tissue massage or Swedish massage? To help you avoid this confusion, here are some common types of massage therapy.

Swedish Massage

This type of massage was first introduced in the 1800s by a Swedish physiologist. Swedish massage treatment use five techniques-mainly kneading, stroking, vibration, friction and percussion to target soft tissues like the muscles and skin. The great thing about Swedish massage is that the techniques are versatile and are used as a base for other types of massage. Swedish massage is mostly used for relaxation purposes.

Moreover, Swedish massage helps to improve weak muscles, improves sleep, stretches muscles, relieves gas and lowers high blood pressure.

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage mainly stresses on realigning deep layers of tissues and muscles. While some of the same strokes are used in classic massage therapy, the movement in deep tissue massage is slower and a high pressure is usually applied. This type of massage targets the painful area and may be beneficial to someone who has a back or neck pain. In some cases, this massage can be intensive and may cause pain after the treatment. Nonetheless, a massage therapist will advise you on different ways to manage pain levels. Additionally, the deep tissue massage may be helpful when you’re recovering from surgery or injuries.

Benefits of deep tissue massage include the ability to improve blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, relieve stress, break up scar tissues and rehabilitate injured muscles.

Hot Stone Massage

Hot stone massage mixes coolness and warmth to help your body heal and detoxify. Normally, smooth, heated stones are used to soothe muscles, some therapists may use water to heat their stones while others use an electrical heater.  The therapist first holds the stones to ensure that they are not too hot for you.

In some cases, your therapist may use cold stones to help reduce the pain of inflammation. A hot stone massage starts with application of a massage oil. The heated stones are then placed to your back. The heat from these stones are what work to relax and calm your muscles, after this, the therapist may or may opt not to use their hands to relieve the tension. If you have arthritis, poor circulation or even back pain, this type of massage mat be ideal for you.

Shiatsu Massage

Originally from Japan, this type of massage uses a finger technique to build pressure on many pressure points. The aim is to reduce the imbalances in the energy flow of the body. During a shiatsu massage session, the therapist invites you to sit on a mat. He/she will use stretching techniques to relieve any muscle stiffness. Shiatsu massage can alleviate toxins, reduce stress and improve circulation.

If you have no time to visit a spa, you can easily get a massage chair which can help you get the same form of massage. Shiatsu Chairs has advice on what to look for in a massage chair.

Sports Massage

This type of massage mainly targets athletes of every kind from weekend joggers to world-class professionals, the sports massage technique is specific to athlete’s sport of choice and mainly focuses on areas that are stressed as a result of being overused from aggressive and repetitive movements.

Sports massage can help reduce recovery time to get an athlete ready and able to perform as expected. Moreover, this massage reduces fatigue, promotes flexibility, prevents injuries and improves your endurance. If you participate in regular physical activity, going for a sports massage every week may be an excellent addition to your normal routine,

Lymphatic Massage

Also referred to as lymphatic drainage, lymphatic massage involves application of gentle, light and repetitive strokes to certain parts of the body. This massage stimulates the lymphatic system by contracting the muscles, which in turn leads to fluid flow through lymph nodes, vessels, and the whole body. Lymphatic massage is great if you are looking to reduce swelling and detox your body.

Reflexology Massage

This is a foot massage which works to relax and offer therapeutic benefits. Reflexology massage is perfect for those suffering from ankle injuries, plantar fasciitis or even normal work.  Massage techniques are applied to the foot, calf and upper leg. This relieves ankle pain and various types of arthritis. Reflexology can also reduce stress and anxiety levels in the body. For extra benefits, a regular reflexology massage is recommended.

Prenatal Massage

During pregnancy, most women experience discomforts such as leg cramps, headaches, back aches, swelling and even a stiff neck. Going for a prenatal massage can reduce stress and promote overall well-being. In addition, prenatal massage encourages blood circulation and alleviates depression that is mainly caused by hormonal changes.

Massage therapy has both mental and physical benefits. The above list gives you an idea of the different types of massage and what they can do for you. Speak to a doctor before if you have a medical condition to make sure that it’s safe to go for a massage.