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

We cannot deny the healing powers of massage therapy, from promoting relaxation and calm to relieving stress and helping in the recovery process.

During a massage, your massage therapist may apply various techniques, usually strong or gentle pressure to your joints and muscles. Depending on your needs, your practitioner will involve your entire body or target just specific parts that need attention, particularly tight muscles. There are no standard guidelines on how many times you should receive a massage, but your doctor or professional massage therapist may recommend what is best for your condition. While massages for healing injuries require frequent visitations to the massage center, relaxation or pampering massages might occur less often.

So, what are the kinds of massage? How do you know which one is right 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’re on the hunt for professional therapeutic and healing massage, you might want to try Bodywise Massage, located in San Rafael, California. They offer a wide selection of massage services, including Swedish, Shiatsu, Lomi Lomi, Reflexology, Reiki, Tui Na, and many more. It’s where you can try an exciting outdoor massage experience wherein you’ll have your massage in a wellness garden full of exotic and native plants while listening to the beautiful sounds of playful birds and falling water. They also have an open-air massage area for people who prefer an indoor massage. With Bodywise therapeutic massage, you will nourish not only your body but also your mind and soul.

2. Aromatherapy Massage

This is excellent for people who need emotional healing. Using essential oils, your practitioner will combine soft, gentle pressure on your entire body, though sometimes they will only focus on your shoulders, back, and head. While your massage therapist usually decides on the essential oil to work with, you can let them know if you have a preference. Aromatherapy 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 perhaps want to relax? Consider the Hot Stone massage, which is similar to Swedish massage when it comes to techniques. The only difference is that it uses heated stones instead of or in addition to hands. 

During your session, they will place heated stones on specific parts of your body, and sometimes, they will hold a stone while massaging your entire body. Because of the additional heat, Hot Stone massage can relieve more tension compared to Swedish massage, though results are similar to an Aromatherapy massage.

4. Sports Massage

This is ideal for athletes or people who frequently suffer from muscle injuries due to sports. You can even use this to reduce the risk of sports injuries. Sports massage may also increase endurance and performance, alleviate pain, nervousness, and muscle strain.

5. Deep Tissue Massage

If you’ve got chronic muscle problems such as soreness, imbalance, or injury, Deep Tissue massage is a good option. It aids in relieving tight muscles, chronic muscle pain, as well as anxiety. During your session, your massage therapist will apply slow strokes and deep finger pressure to ease tension from the deepest layers of your connective tissues and muscles. Even though it’s intense, you shouldn’t feel any pain or soreness.

6. Shiatsu Massage

This Japanese massage is most suitable for people who wish to feel relax and alleviate pain, anxiety, and tension. It works the whole body, but your professional may concentrate on specific areas that require more attention.

What exactly does it do to your body?

  • reduces muscle tension
  • may alleviate headache
  • aids to relieve anxiety, stress, and depression
  • encourages emotional and physical relaxation and calm

7. Reflexology

Do you need to restore your energy levels? Consider Reflexology. This type of massage can also be for relaxation. If you’re not comfortable being touched on your entire body, this may be your best option. It uses gentle to firm pressure on various pressure points of the hands, palms, feet, and ears. This usually lasts for 30-60 minutes.

8. Thai Massage

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

  • circulation
  • energy levels
  • flexibility

9. Prenatal Massage

A lot of women suffer from pregnancy body pains, muscle tension, and anxiety. Fortunately, Prenatal massage is a safe method for pregnant women to overcome these issues. If you’re one of them, you can have this type of massage anytime during your pregnancy period. However, it’s always best to consult your doctor before getting this massage. Moreover, ask your massage therapists if they offer this on your first trimester because some don’t allow it in this period due to the dangers of miscarriage.

In your session, they’ll focus on some areas of your body, like your hips, legs, and lower back. 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 factors, which are areas of tightness in the muscle tissues, are causing pain in certain parts of our body. Through focusing on alleviating trigger points, Trigger Point massage might help manage chronic pain. They’ll use 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.