Massage is the practice of rubbing and kneading the body using the hands. One can receive a variety of massage therapies. We will go into detail about the many types of massage therapy and the benefits of massage therapy in this article.

types of massage therapy

What are the types of massage therapy?

There are lots of physical benefits of massage. Get to know all types of massages before getting your first one. 

Read on to learn about the different types of massages and their benefits, then decide which type might be right for you. 

Here is the top 10 list of massage techniques. Learn more about the advantages of massage.

Type 1: Swedish massage

Swedish massage is a gentle full-body massage that’s great for people who:

  • are new to massage
  • want to release tension
  • desire gentle touch

It can help release muscle knots, and it’s also a good choice for when you want to fully relax during a massage. It is a great relaxation massage.

Type 2: Hot stone massage

Hot stone massage is best for people who have muscle pain and tension or who simply want to relax.

The only difference between this therapeutic massage and a Swedish massage is that heated stones are used instead of or in addition to the hands by the massage therapist. 

Hot stone massage may help:

  • ease muscle tension
  • improve blood flow
  • alleviate pain
  • promote relaxation
  • relieve stress

Type 3: Aromatherapy massage

People who appreciate scent and want their massage to include a component for emotional healing might opt for aromatherapy massages. This type of massage can help:

  • boost your mood
  • reduce stress and anxiety
  • reduce symptoms of depression
  • relieve muscle tension

Type 4: Deep tissue massage

Deep tissue massage uses more pressure than a Swedish massage. It’s a good option if you have muscle problems, such as:

Here are the top 3 benefits of deep tissue massage

Type 5: Sports massage

If you have a muscular injury from repetitive motion, such as what you could get from playing a sport, sports massage is a suitable alternative. It’s also a good option if you’re prone to injuries, because it can be used to help prevent them.

Sports massage can:

  • increase flexibility
  • improve athletic performance
  • relieve pain
  • reduce anxiety
  • release muscle tension

Type 6: Trigger point massage

The greatest candidates for trigger point massage are those with injuries, persistent pain, or a particular problem or condition.

Other portions of the body may experience discomfort from trigger points, which are locations of stiffness in the muscles. This kind of massage might lessen discomfort by concentrating on releasing trigger points.

Type 7: Reflexology massage

Reflexology involves applying light to hard pressure to various pressure points on the hands, feet, and ears. It works best for those who want to unwind or regain their natural vigor. It’s also an excellent alternative for people who don’t like having their full body touched.

Reflexology may be especially beneficial for:

  • relaxation
  • reduced pain
  • reduced fatigue
  • improved sleep
  • reduced anxiety
  • improved mood

Type 8: Shiatsu massage

The best candidates for shiatsu massage are those who desire to relax and relieve stress, discomfort, and tension. It’s a Japanese type of massage that:

  • promotes emotional and physical calm and relaxation
  • helps relieve pain
  • may relieve headache
  • reduces muscle tension
  • improves sleep and fatigue
  • may improve mood

Type 9: Thai massage

Thai massage is best for people who want a more active form of massage and want to reduce and relieve pain and stress. It can also help improve:

  • flexibility
  • circulation
  • energy levels

Thai massage works the entire body using a sequence of movements that are similar to yogic stretching. Your therapist will use their palms and fingers to apply firm pressure to your body. You’ll also be stretched and twisted into various positions.

Type 10: Prenatal massage

Women who are expecting can have a massage safely using prenatal massage. The advantages of massage during this period are significant. It can relax tension in the muscles, lessen stress, and lessen physical aches associated with pregnancy.

Similar to Swedish massage, prenatal massage involves little pressure. The therapist will concentrate on parts of your body including your legs, hips, and lower back. Depending on how comfortable you are, you may be partially or completely undressed.

You will either lay on your side or on a table with a belly cutout while receiving the massage. Before getting a massage, visit the doctor if you’ve experienced pain in your calves or other areas of your leg.

How to find a massage therapist?

You might ask your doctor, a friend, or an online directory for a personal referral for a massage therapist. Additionally, you can schedule a few massages with various therapists to choose which one you like most.

Make sure you are comfortable with them so you can relax completely.

Make sure your massage therapist has the necessary education, credentials, and licenses. Ask to view their most recent credentials.

Additionally, you might want to have a brief discussion with your therapist before the session starts so you can express your expectations and ask any pertinent concerns.

How much does massage therapy cost?

Prices vary greatly for massages in the United States. A 60-minute massage is usually $60 to $150. Most therapists will expect a 15 to 20 percent tip on top of this. However, some places don’t accept gratuity.

These types of massages may cost more than a basic massage:

  • aromatherapy
  • hot stone
  • prenatal
  • sports
  • therapeutic, like craniosacral and myofascial release 

You can check out Immerse Modern Massage: The Best Massage in Portland Oregon to find a professional massage therapist, if you want massages at a reasonable cost. 

Insurance sometimes covers massage therapy if you can show it’s being used to treat a medical condition. Sometimes, insurance companies will cover massage therapy if it’s part of chiropractic care. 

F.A.Q: Which type of massage therapy should I get?

Here are the top frequently asked questions about different types of massage therapy and which one is right for you.

Which massage is most popular?

Swedish massage is arguably considered the most popular massage type, appearing on a majority of spa menus worldwide. This Western massage utilizes the following techniques—effleurage (stroking), friction (rubbing), petrissage (kneading) and tapotement (rhythmic choppings)—for a truly relaxing spa treatment experience.

What is the healthiest massage?

Thai massage is best for people who want a more active form of massage and want to reduce and relieve pain and stress.

It can also help improve:

  • Flexibility
  • Circulation
  • Energy Levels

What type of massage is most relaxing?

Swedish Massage: The most common type of massage therapy, Swedish massage will help to relax you with a combination of specific movements

What type of massage feels the best?

A Swedish massage should be top of your list if you’re looking for a way to relax, or if you want to experience your first treatment. It’s all about using long strokes and light-to-firm pressure that will leave you feeling rejuvenated.

How often should I get a massage?

A general recommendation is every 1-3 weeks, especially “if they have specific strain or tension or any area,” says Amey. Pregnant women can greatly benefit from regular massages as well, particularly near the end of the pregnancy.

The Conclusion

There are different types of massage therapy out there, each achieving different results. 

Most of us are familiar with the image of a traditional massage table and oils. However, massage doesn’t fit into just one category. There are dozens upon dozens of variations, sometimes even within one subset of massage.

These different types of massages and methods are called modalities. Modalities have been developed to target specific problems or areas of concerns to get tailored results. We didn’t list all the modalities here because there are so many, but above you’ll find the top 10 list of massage modalities that you can commonly find.

Not every modality is made for every person, but that’s why it’s so great — you can find a type of massage tailored to both your personal needs and philosophy.

Massage can be considered a measure of physical, mental and emotional improvement. You can experiment with different types of massage and different massage therapists to find the best option for you. 

When massaging, you need to talk to the therapist about your wishes and speak up if you feel uncomfortable. At the same time, if you have any concerns or health conditions, you need to talk to your doctor before performing a massage.

Now you know the many different massage techniques available, you might want to start experiencing them! Contact Immerse Modern Massage for more info. 

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