A Simple Guide on All the Different Types of Massages

According to research, 88% of people believe that massage therapy is effective for improving their overall health and wellness.

The benefits of massage therapy are plentiful, from improving lymphatic drainage to improving flexibility, reducing pain, and so much more. That is because there are many different types of massages available. 

Massage therapy is not a “one size fits all” approach. Many massage therapists have a specialty background that enables them to treat their patients in a variety of ways. This helps the client with specific needs and also helps the therapist treat a wider variety of clients. 

The only problem is — how do you know which type of massage therapist to see? 

Keep on reading to learn about the different types of massages available, so that you can reap the benefits of massage therapy and live a healthier life again!

1. Deep Tissue Massage

Just as the name hints, a deep tissue massage gets deep into the muscles of the body and helps to release all your pains and knotty points. While this sounds thoroughly enjoyable, please note that it is sometimes also very painful. However, this is one of those pains that are very effective.

During a deep tissue massage, the massage therapist will use their elbows and knuckles to get as deep as they can and release the tight muscles that have been bothering you.

This is far from a relaxation massage, but it is also much more effective. You may also feel sore for a couple of days afterward, which is completely normal.

2. Trigger Point Massage

If you’ve been feeling chronic pain, radiating pain, or just can’t seem to get over an injury, a trigger point massage may be just what you need. A trigger point is an area of the body that may be outwardly radiating pain into another localized area of your body. This is also known as referral pain.

Referral pain can be tricky because you may feel the pain in your wrist, however, the actual trigger point that is causing it is coming from your pectoral muscles in your chest. 

During a trigger point massage, the therapist will use long, flowing strokes alternating with deeper pressure on the appropriate points that cause you troubles. This isn’t a relaxation massage, but it is extremely effective like a deep tissue massage.

3. Thai Massage

Thai massage is a very active form of massage that is known to increase your mobility, flexibility, circulation, and energy levels. During your treatment, you will experience an active form of therapy with dynamic movement as you are stretched into various positions. 

You may also experience your therapist walking on your back, this is completely normal and they are well trained to do this. Thai massage dates back to 2500-7000 years ago, so these are specialized techniques that have been developed over thousands of years!

4. Hot Stone Massage

If you want to experience relaxation, but need some benefits of a deep tissue massage, then a hot stone massage may be just what you are looking for. Hot stone massages ease tension in your body, relieve pain and improve blood flow by the use of hot stones. 

During your treatment, your therapist will place hot stones on various points of your body, as they massage you with a stone instead of just using their hands. 

5. Shiatsu Massage

A shiatsu massage is an ancient form of Japanese massage that stimulates acupressure points, stimulates blood flow and increases balance. Shiatsu focuses on very localized pressure by the use of fingers. Your therapist will a very specific sequence, and hold pressure on some troubled areas for up to ten seconds. 

6. Swedish Massage

Swedish massage focuses more on relaxation and uses less pressure than a therapeutic type of massage. Swedish massage is best for those who just want to relax and possibly fall asleep during their massage. 

This is typically the type of massage you would experience in a spa-like environment that focuses on making you feel zen and relaxed. The benefits include stress release, improved blood flow, and reduced back pain.

7. Sports Massage

A sports massage is very similar to deep tissue, and its main focus is to get athletes out on the playing field again. The treatment includes techniques from shiatsu, trigger point, acupressure, and deep tissue. This is not a relaxing massage like a Swedish massage, as it focuses on treating your injuries and ultimately relieving your pain.  

Sports massages are great for releasing lymphatic fluids, improving blood flow, reducing scar tissue, releasing tight knots, and improving flexibility and mobility.

8. Prenatal Massage

Prenatal or pregnancy massage is specialized for expecting mothers and aiding the aches and pains of pregnancy. Massage therapists with a prenatal background will know specific techniques to help relieve the pains of swollen joints, lower back pains, and increasing blood flow.

These therapists have a specialized table that allows you to lay down and relax but not worry about your belly being in an uncomfortable position.

9. Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Lymphatic drainage massage offers a relaxing, yet effective treatment to help release the movement of Lymph fluids around the body. Lymphatic fluid is responsible for removing the toxins and excess drainage from specific areas in the body.

People with certain conditions have a hard time releasing these fluids, so the therapist will use specific techniques to encourage this release.

Learn More About the Different Types of Massages Available

Now that you know the different types of massages available, it is essential for you to book in sooner than later to reap the benefits.

Typically, you start to feel the benefits after your first treatment, however, you may need at least 4-6 treatments until you really begin to feel healthier. 

If you liked this article, check out more like this on the health and wellness section of our blog.