Massage therapy is a therapeutic practice that uses varied techniques to encourage healing of the body. There are many different types of massage, from aromatherapy that uses essential oils to heal and relax to sports massage that addresses health conditions for athletes. Typically, massage therapy involves kneading and rubbing the body with the hands. Massage techniques are varied in style, using different levels of pressure and techniques to address specific ailments or simply to encourage relaxation. The benefits of massage are abundant, so whether you are seeking pain relief or simply want to relax, explore some of the many existing massage techniques.
1. Swedish Massage
Swedish massage is a full body therapy that is a great option if you are new to massage or if you have physical sensitivities. Massage therapists will use gentle kneading and long, flowing strokes to help release muscle tension and pain. Other techniques used during a Swedish massage include deep circular motions, gentle tapping on the body, and passive joint movement. Whether you are seeking relief from achy joints or simply want help relaxing, Swedish massage techniques are highly beneficial.
2. Deep Tissue Massage
Using more pressure than Swedish, a deep tissue massage is ideal if you suffer from chronic pain or have extremely tight muscles. In addition to slow strokes, the massage therapist will apply deep pressure along with specific points of the body. This slow, targeted pressure will help release tension from the deepest layers of tissues and muscles. If you have experienced a sports injury or an accident, struggle with neck, shoulder, or back pain, or live with a disorder like scoliosis, you may benefit greatly from deep tissue massage.
3. Hot Stone Massage
Hot stone massage combines a therapeutic style of massage similar to Swedish massage with the use of hot stones that are placed on the body. This type of massage is ideal to ease muscle tension, alleviate pain, and improve blood flow. During the procedure, the massage therapist will place heated stones on different areas of your body. They may carefully knead, move in long strokes, tap, or make circular movements with the stones during the massage. This massage technique goes beyond just physical benefits and can improve sleep and relieve stress as well. If you’re feeling anxious or tired, booking a hot stone massage might be the perfect anecdote.
4. Trigger Point Massage
The effects of massage can be significantly impactful if they target a specific ailment. A trigger point massage is no exception to this. It’s a technique most beneficial for individuals who have a specific injury, chronic pain, or muscle tightness. Areas of tightness in the muscles, known as trigger points, can sometimes cause pain in other parts of the body. When a massage therapist focuses on relieving tension in these trigger points during a massage, this can also reduce pain throughout the entire body. Trigger point massage uses relaxed, flowing strokes combined with strong, deep pressure. Although it is a full body massage, the massage therapist can focus on specific areas of the body that need to be released.
5. Thai Massage
A Thai massage is a more active form of massage therapy that works the entire body with a sequence of movements. In addition to using the palms of the hands and fingers to apply pressure to the body, the massage therapist will stretch and twist your body, opening up the joints in ways that a more traditional massage would not.
6. Aromatherapy Massage
An aromatherapy massage is one of the most relaxing massage techniques. This type of massage combines soft, gentle pressure with essential oils. The massage therapist will typically choose the oils but you can let them know if you have a preference. Various oils, such as lemongrass, jasmine, and eucalyptus, offer unique benefits. You’ll receive a full body massage with the oil while also inhaling the aroma through a diffuser. Expect to walk away feeling lighter, happier, and rejuvenated after an aromatherapy massage, or any other type of massage!