12 Most Popular Types of Massage

Types of Massage

For anyone wanting to feel a little rejuvenated and relaxed, or even to ward off some pains that bother you, there may not be a better way than to get massaged to feel all the good and better. There are several types of massage therapies that one can find, from the very traditional deep tissue and Swedish massages to the all-exotic shiatsu massage. In any massage type, the style followed, the movements adopted and the pressure applied on different body parts such as fascia, muscles, skin, ligaments, and tendons is definitely different from another type of massage. Whether you need the massage for relaxing or to cure a particular health issue, it is important that you know about each variety of massages to select the one that fits you the best.

Types of Massage

Here are 12 of the most famous massage types including the ones that you may not have heard before;

1.     Swedish Massage Therapy:

This is the most standard type of massage that you can find in any place offering massage. It is Swedish massage that comes to the minds of many people hearing the word massage. Swedish massage is founded on the Western concepts of physiology and anatomy and is different from the Asian style massages that concentrate more on energy than anything else.

In Swedish massage, the therapist begins the massage with broad general strokes that gradually concentrate on the areas of problem. There are five basic massage strokes in the Swedish massage therapy, such as;

  • Effleurage or strokes that are long and smooth
  • Petrissage or strokes that include lifting, rolling, and kneading
  • Friction or strokes that include small circular movements or wringing
  • Tapotement or strokes that include includes percussion
  • Vibration or strokes that include shaking and rocking movements

2.     Deep Tissue Massage Therapy:

Deep tissue massage therapy is a more focused massage that is very much therapeutic in nature. The massage targets “adhesions” or muscle knots and definite trouble areas in the root layers of connective tissues and muscles of the body.

The therapist uses various deliberate, yet slow, frictions or strokes over the muscle grain to get the desired result. When compared to Swedish massage, the amount of pressure used in this type of massage is slightly on the higher side but does not have to be pain inducing. If you experience any sort of pain during the massage, let the therapist know about the same to lower the pressure.

The massage is used as an effective means to address various issues that emerge as a result of chronic painful or tight muscles, postural problems, injuries or repetitive strain. Studies indicate that deep tissue massage can normalize arterial blood pressure and abnormal heart rate.

3.     Myofascial Release

It is a thin layer of tissue called ‘fascia’ that helps the muscles providing the strength and support required to sustain different body postures. There can be situations where ‘fascia’ can become tight or stuck at area and give rise to muscle contractions preventing it from fully relaxing.

Being a gentler type of massage, in this type of massage, the therapist tenderly strokes over the contracted fascia over the muscle until it is fully relaxed.

Myofascial Release can bring about several;

  • Great postural enhancements
  • Relaxation of several constricted muscle clusters

It is also impeccably beneficial for patients with Fibromyalgia to relive pain and improve their muscle functions.

4.     Sports Massage:

A more vigorous form of massage, sports massage is aimed at athletes, sports persons and fitness enthusiasts. This type of massage is considered to be a warm up massage that can used both before and after any type of demanding physical activities that involve exerted use of various muscle clusters and body parts.

Sport massage is chiefly used to;

  • Prevent injury
  • Provide assistance in training
  • To aid accelerated healing in cases of injuries or cramps

It also helps in effective treatment of injuries such as tendonitis, sprains and strains that are common in sports.

5.     Reiki Massage:

A unique sort of energy work, Reiki involves a series of hands-on holding postures that correspond with the nerve plexus and vital organs. The postures help in aiding the body to use its own various convalescent processes and restore its mental calm.

It is a suggested therapy for people who tend to experience severe anxiety disorders and constant mood swing.

6.     Reflexology Massage:

This is a type of massage that is based on the concept that all organs of human body are connected to our feet and hands through nerves. This type of massage focuses on various types of pressure massaging, on the feet and palms, to enhance the performance of various organs in the human body.

It includes various type of;

  • Movements
  • Stretching
  • Pressure massages using fingers.

7.     Shiatsu Massage Therapy:

Based on the same principles of Acupuncture in China, Shiatsu massage is a type of massaging technique or body work invented in Japan. Just like in Acupuncture, Shiatsu, too, sees human body as a labyrinth of interconnected pathways called meridians that supports the flow of energy through human body.

It is believed that blockages can bring in imbalance of the energy; excess in some parts, deficiency in some other. These imbalances are said to be the root cause of various pains, discomforts and deteriorating health. And, through effective shiatsu massages, health and wellbeing can be derived by people suffering from these discomforts.

By using effective combinations of several stretching, pressure, and holding key points, the Shiatsu practioner seeks to remove those blockages from the body paving ways for better and renewed flow of energy through the meridians across the body.

8.     Lymphatic Massage Therapy:

In people suffering from edema, gentle, light and repetitive strokes are used to elicit the activities of the lymphatic system. It is an effective method used to treat the swelling resulting from various injuries or after any surgical treatments.

9.     Heated Stone Massage:

In this type of massage therapy, heated semi-precious stones and/or basalt mineral stones, representing the energy-chakras in the human body, are used. This is an effective method to remove any type of muscle tensions as small heated stones move over the muscle clusters. It is also said that these small stones can align the subtle energies in the human body giving way for better flow of energy to enhance the harmony of body parts for holistic wellness.

10.     Craniosacral Therapy:

In this therapy, the rhythm at which the fluid surrounding human brain and the spinal cord keeps draining and refilling is monitored. Once the rhythm is monitored carefully, the craniosacral therapist learns about the area where treatment intervention is needed. Once the area is discovered, he/she uses extremely subtle and gentle manipulative measures and techniques to correct the areas of pain effectively.

Craniosacral Therapy is an extreme gentle hands-on therapy that must be carried out with intense care to drive comfort, relaxation and relief from various craniosacral distresses.

11.     Rolfing Massage Therapy:

It is a sort of system for educating people for various body movement and restructuring. This is a very advantageous way of addressing various issues relating to muscle adhesions.  It works primarily on the myofascial structure of the body with an aim to relax the muscle clusters that are constricted to release the muscle and to provide for a better and complementing existence of muscles and bones.

This form of therapy concentrates on the alignment of various bodily parts, such as arms, torso and legs, to derive the best result for the client while treating to address any sort of muscle cramps, injuries and tensions.

People, who have severe postural conditions and deviations, must take more care while opting for this kind of therapy and seek expert advice before undergoing the same.

12.     Pregnancy massage:

Pregnancy massage is a type of massage that is done on women who are either carrying or have just given birth. This is carried out with an intention of improve the blood circulation and to decrease the tensions experience especially during pregnancy.

This type of massage, too, must only be taken after consulting with an expert.

Concluding thoughts

As you would have already seen, there are a myriad of massage types that one can undergo depending upon the condition one is in. There are several types of massages that are very much therapeutic in nature while many others are utilized to provide relaxation. Care must be taken at all times to ensure that the type of massage that you undergo matches your body type, body conditions and various other health complications that you might have.

The details are given here with an intention to help you understand different types of massage at a deeper level so that you can make well-informed decisions when it comes to choosing the type of massage that fits you the best. However, you need to consult an authorized expert to choose the type of massage that first you and your conditions.