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7 common types of massage therapy and their specialties

Massage is not just a case of pressing here and there and making it feel nice for the person lying on the massage table, it’s about manipulating the joints, muscles, connective tissues, and reducing inflammation. Research suggests that massage has a range of benefits, including increased relaxation, a sense of wellbeing and positive mood change. It’s recommended to treat yourself to a massage once in a while to nurture your body and soul.

There is a range of skills required to giving a top quality and well-suited massage. There are also different subcategories within that scope. It’s important to find the right type of massage for you, in order to get the most out of the various benefits on offer. Before you book in your first massage appointment, ask yourself: what are the main types of massage? Which one suits me the most? To Find out how much a massage normally costs, visit Oneflare Cost Guide to see the cost factors.

hot-stone-massage

Here are seven common massage types.

Swedish Massage

If you’ve ever had a massage, you probably had this one. Swedish massage is a gentle type of affair. The movements used are long and smooth, using circles and kneading effects which work the upper muscles of the body.

This type of massage is ideal for anyone who is feeling stressed, anyone who just needs to relax, to improve circulation, or to relieve tension or cramping in the muscles. Swedish massage has also been proved effective to increase skin elasticity and help prevent the occurrence of cellulite and stretch marks.

Aromatherapy Massage

Therapists use essential oils in their aromatherapy massages. The particular oils are chosen depending on the body conditions or upon the requirement of the person having the massage. The oil will be massaged into the skin, working the upper muscle layers while allowing the essence to be absorbed.

An aromatherapy massage is practical for relieving stress. It’s also ideal for anyone whose hormones are out of whack, or anyone who has any skin conditions. The particular oil chosen will be paired with the condition in question.

Hot Stone Massage

This specialty massage is often referred to as a holistic therapy and popular in top hotels and quality spas. It is ideal for relieving muscle tension and back pain.

The masseuse uses smooth and heated stones and places them on pressure points of the body, e.g. along the spine. Then the pressure and warmth of the stones allows the therapist to work on deeper layers of muscle and helps the body to absorb essences. When undergoing this type of massage, the heat provides you with a reinvigorating experience during the massage and a great energy boost afterwards.

Deep Tissue Massage

When it comes to targeting a specific body condition, deep tissue massage is the one to get for treating discomfort  e.g. tension in the lower back and neck pain. The routine is designed to penetrate below the upper layers of the muscles, and also to reach the lower connective tissues. Whilst targeting a particular problem area, the massage is continued in a much more gentle manner for the rest of the body, to bring about a sense of relaxation after the massage.

It’s a common practice among certified professional physiotherapists and chiropractors to target specific problems of the body.

Thai Massage

This particular type of massage is a combination of bodily goodness and it aligns the chakras, or energies that dwells within the body. It’s described as a very dynamic type of massage, but it is incredibly relaxing at the same time. An experienced practitioner in Thai massage will leave you feeling worked out afterwards! This massage covers the whole body and stretches joints, and at the same time putting a suitable amount of pressure on the muscles.

Thai massages are great for energising and bringing a sense of flexibility and mobility to the body. Anyone who suffers from tension headaches, general tension in the body will also find great relief afterwards.

Sports Massage

Active athletes favour sports massage. This type of massage is a combination of a Swedish massage and a deep tissue massage, but it tends to be more focused on a problem area, e.g. the parts of the body that are specific to the sport. For instance, if you cycle, the massage will be focused on your wrists, knees and legs.

This type of massage suits sports enthusiasts and the physically active, as well as anyone who wants to prevent injury and boost performance.

Reflexology Massage

If you don’t like your feet being touched, a reflexology massage is not the one for you! This type of massage is very specific and it focuses on massaging the feet. The thought behind this is that every part of the foot pertains to a particular part of the body, or a body system. Massage and pressure is applied to a specific area, which the person reports as being a problem, and relief is obtained.

Reflexology massages are ideal for a huge range of ailments, and not just muscle tension and fatigue. For instance, stress relief can be obtained with reflexology massages, problems with the digestive system, arthritis, problems with sleep, any imbalances with hormones, feeling tired, and generally needing a little TLC.

There are many benefits to be obtained from having regular massages, so if you feel like you need a little added TLC, head to your nearest massage practitioner and enquire about which type of massage therapy is best for you.