A Beginner’s Guide to the Different Types of Massage Therapies

In the US, over 32 percent of American adults received a massage in 2020, and massage therapist employment is expected to increase by 26% by 2026. Most people are familiar with massages and what they bring to the table. But, there are different aspects of every massage therapy that don’t let the term massage fit into one category.

These various aspects of massages are called modalities. Modalities are developed to target and solve the areas of problem in the body to get tailored results. It’s vital to know that not every modality is for every person, and that’s why it’s so great. You can easily find the perfect massage type for your needs.

Massage therapy is proven to be beneficial for overall wellness. It brings an hour of relaxation and helps unwind individuals from their hectic work lives. Here are different kinds of massages that may help you out:

1. Aromatherapy Massage

Aromatherapy comes from ancient Egypt, where people often used to get scented massages. Aromatherapy usually integrates essential oils into the massage. Blending the massage and aromatic scent brings relaxation and energizes you.

Usually, most therapists would ask you which kind of essential oils you require. For instance, cypress is used to relieve muscle pain, and tea tree oil is used to support the immune system.

2. Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage focuses on relieving severe pain. It’s effective, especially if you’re suffering from chronic muscle pain or posture problems. In deep tissue massage, therapists use their elbows and knuckles to dig in and reduce the pain.

It’s important to know that you should avoid deep tissue massage if you have inflamed joints.

Person massaging with an elbow

3. Myofascial Massage

Myofascial massage is related to fascia—a tissue that holds all the organs and bones together. The massage is often used to manipulate connecting tissues.

During massage therapy, your therapist may locate areas in your body that are stiff and apply pressure on them. Targeting specific areas can help in improving restricted movements and relieving pain.

4. Craniosacral Therapy

If you’re looking for a gentle and soothing experience, craniosacral therapy might be the perfect fit for you. Moreover, if you’re shy about taking your clothes off in front of a stranger, it becomes all the better with craniosacral therapy. The craniosacral therapist will massage you while you’re fully clothed with light movements.

According to experts, craniosacral therapy helps in restoring the nervous system and improving sleep patterns. Unlike other massages, craniosacral therapy starts from a massage chair and afterward moves to a massage table.

5. Hot Stone Massage

Are you trying to experience something new? Hot stone massages stand out from the rest. During a hot stone massage, the therapist places hot stones on your body. Through lighter pressure, therapists are able to go deeper and treat specific areas of your body.

During a hot stone massage, managing the appropriate heat level is an efficient way to loosen muscles and increase relaxation levels.

6. Swedish Massage

Swedish massage is gentle in nature and ideal for people who are new to massages. It helps in releasing muscle knots and letting you relax during the massage. In a Swedish massage, the therapist may use:

  • Flowing strokes in the heart’s direction
  • Circular motions
  • Tapping and vibration
  •    Passive joint movements

7. Prenatal Massage

During pregnancy, massage therapy can help reduce anxiety, fatigue, and headaches, etc. It also helps strengthen your immune system and provides support to mothers during labor.

8. Shiatsu Massage

Shiatsu is a form of physical therapy that integrates psychological, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. For centuries Chinese therapists are pairing shiatsu with acupuncture to help relieve pain.

You can find practitioners who specialize in healing, barefoot, or movement shiatsu — to name a few. It’s recommended to choose the massage based on your needs. For example, barefoot shiatsu integrates yoga-like stretches, which help unwind tightness; on the other hand, healing shiatsu involves meditation.

9. Sports Massage

If you’ve ever noticed, there’s an entire industry around specifically-tailored massages for sports athletes. Athletes work hard for their bodies and stamina and take advantage of the therapist before, after, or during athletic events.

Sports massage helps relieve pain, promote flexibility, and even ward off injuries. Therapists often combine multiple techniques, like acupuncture with deep tissue massage, to tailor the massage according to athletes’ needs.

10. Reflexology

Reflexology is often used as a massage to relieve pain and tension. Based on the theory that hands and feet have reflexive points and are linked to various parts of the body, reflexology helps release pressure. It increases blood circulation in the areas of the body and stimulates endorphins.

Reflexology helps reduce anxiety and headaches and promotes healing.

Masseuse performing hand massage

11. Thai Massage

Thai massages use stretching and pressuring the body areas to increase energy and flexibility and reduce muscle tension. In a Thai Massage, therapists might use knees, legs, and hands to help clients try different yoga movements.

Thai Massage helps reduce back pain and headache and increases the range of motion and blood circulation.

12. Couples Massage

By the name of it, you can guess what’s the massage is all about. It’s the same as any regular massage and often provides saunas, hot bathtubs, and other facilities.

You can choose which type of couples massage you’d like to have; you and your partner can have different types of massage depending on preference.

13. Reiki

Reiki originated in Japan in the 1800s. Unlike most massages, Reiki doesn’t involve working on tissue or body parts. Instead, it allows the therapist to gently place hands above your shoulders to transfer energy and warmth.

Many people report that after a Reiki session, they felt the heat and a sense of warmth. The warmth from the practitioner’s hand is known to promote relaxation. It’s one of the more gentle massage types that won’t leave you feeling sore the next day.

How to Find a Professional Massage Therapist?

Finding a professional massage therapist who can meet your needs can be difficult. However, you can find a therapist from personal recommendations like friends, family. It’s important to make sure that you’re comfortable with a therapist so you can relax during the therapy.

Always look for certified and licensed therapists and have a brief conversation before starting your sessions. Ensure that you communicate your expectations and ask relevant questions.

Get Professional Massage Therapies at Eden Massage in Fayetteville, NC

If you want to book one of the best massage therapies in Fayetteville, NC, Eden Massage is the right place for you. Our certified therapists offer comprehensive massage services starting from couples massage to individual Swedish massage. It’s time to say goodbye to your anxiety and muscle pain.

Book an appointment with us today to start a healthy journey!

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