9 Top Types of Massage and Their Health Benefits: Which One Suits your Needs?

Massage therapy’s healing wonders are undeniable. From relaxation to helping in the healing process, it’s not hard to explain the growing number of individuals visiting health spas for their massage sessions.

During a massage, your massage therapist will apply different techniques, usually strong or gentle pressure to your joints and muscles. Depending on your condition, your practitioner will involve your entire body or target just specific parts that need attention, especially tight muscles. There are no standard rules on how many times you should receive a massage, but your doctor or massage therapist will recommend what’s best for your needs. While massages for injuries are more frequent, relaxation or pampering massages may occur less often. Generally, it lasts for 30-120 minutes, with 60-90 minutes as the most usual duration.

So, what are the types of massage? How can you know which one is ideal for you?

Types of Massage

1. Swedish Massage

Also called “classic massage,” Swedish massage best reflects the western style of massage. Its most important purposes are relaxation and promoting well-being, applying five techniques like kneading, stroking and gliding, rubbing, tapping, pounding, and vibration. 

Its health benefits include:

  • Lessening physical and emotional stress
  • Relieving muscular tension by flushing out toxins
  • Alleviating chronic pain and back pain
  • Increasing blood flow throughout the entire body
  • Helping to keep ligaments and tendons supple, in addition to improving range of motion

If you happen to live in the gorgeous city of San Rafael in California, you might want to try Bodywise Massage. They offer a wide range of services, including Lomi Lomi, Shiatsu, Reflexology, Swedish, Tui Na, Reiki, Table Shiatsu, Lymphatic Drainage, Acupressure, Cranial Sacral, and many more. They feature an indoor open-air massage wherein you will have your favorite massage in an “open-air” room with no door and ceiling for improved ventilation. Another exciting service is Bodywise outdoor massage held in a serene and beautiful wellness garden filled with exotic and native plants, while the sounds of playful birds and falling water serenade you.

2. Aromatherapy Massage

This is ideal for people who need emotional healing. Using essential oils, your massage therapist will blend soft, gentle pressure on your whole body, though sometimes they will only focus on your shoulders, back, and head. While your practitioner usually decides about the essential oil to use, you can let them know if you have a preference. This can help:

  • boost your mood
  • reduce stress and anxiety
  • lessen symptoms of depression
  • alleviate muscle tension
  • alleviate pain

3. Hot Stone Massage

Do you have muscle pain and tension or just want to relax? The Hot Stone massage may be a healthy option. It’s very similar to Swedish massage, but it utilizes heated stones instead of, or in addition to hands. Throughout your session, they will place heated stones on specific parts of your body and sometimes hold a stone while they’re massaging your entire body using Swedish massage techniques. Because of the additional heat, Hot Stone massage can relieve more tension compared to Swedish massage, though results are similar with the Aromatherapy massage.

4. Sports Massage

Sports massage is ideal for athletes and individuals who frequently suffer from muscle injuries due to playing sports. This may also increase endurance and performance, alleviate pain, nervousness, and muscle tension.

5. Deep Tissue Massage

If you have chronic muscle problems like soreness, injury, or imbalance, Deep Tissue massage is a good option. It assists in relieving tight muscles, chronic muscle pain, as well as anxiety. Though it’s intense, you shouldn’t feel any pain or soreness.

6. Shiatsu Massage

This Japanese massage is best for people who want to feel relaxed and calm and ease pain, stress, and tension. It works the whole body, but your practitioner may focus on particular areas that require more attention.

What exactly does it do to your body?

  • minimizes muscle tension
  • eases headache
  • aids to relieve anxiety, stress, and depression
  • encourages emotional and physical relaxation and calm

7. Reflexology

Does your energy need a boost? Why don’t you try Reflexology? This type of massage can also be for relaxation and a good option if you’re not comfortable being touched on your whole body. It utilizes gentle to firm pressure on different pressure points of the hands, feet, and ears.

8. Thai Massage

Using a sequence of movements similar to yoga stretching, your massage therapist will use their fingers and hands to apply firm pressure to your body. You’ll be stretched and twisted into various positions that is why it’s necessary to ensure that you wear loose, comfortable clothing during your session. Thai massage can help improve your:

  • circulation
  • energy levels
  • flexibility

9. Prenatal Massage

Many pregnant women suffer from pregnancy pains, muscle strain, and stress. Fortunately, Prenatal massage is a safe way for pregnant women to overcome these problems. If you’re one of them, you can have this type of massage anytime throughout your pregnancy period. However, it’s always best to consult your doctor before getting a Prenatal massage. Also, ask your massage therapists if they offer this to pregnant women who are in their first trimester because some do not allow it during this period due to the risks of miscarriage.

They’ll focus on some specific areas, such as your hips, legs, and lower back in your session. You will either lie on your side or a customized table with a cutout in your belly.

10. Trigger Point Massage

Unknown to many, sometimes trigger points, which are areas of tightness in the muscle tissues, are causing pain in certain sections of our body. Through focusing on alleviating trigger points, Trigger Point massage may help manage chronic pain. They’ll utilize relaxing and gentle broad, flowing strokes combined with stronger, deeper pressure. It will involve your entire body, but your practitioner will only focus on specific areas that need to be released.

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