Your guide to massages: Which one’s for you?

By October 14, 2019Current

TL;DR – When all else fails, have a massage.

We all know massages can soothe our tired muscles and put us in a state of sheer bliss but how do you know which type of massage is for you? Here is a list of the most popular types of massage (including some that may be new to you)!

1. Swedish Massage


Swedish Massage is a standard relaxation type of massage that most people associate massages with. Using lotion or oil, therapists use long, gliding strokes and then transition to specific kneads and circular motions for problem areas.

For: Relax muscles, ease superficial tension, help to boost circulation throughout the body.

Try it if: you’re new to massage or you’re looking to relieve light to moderate tension in your back and shoulders.

2. Hot Stone Massage


As it’s name suggests, Hot Stone Massage uses hot stones on specific spots on the body to work out stubborn knots. The warmth of the stones can be relaxing and can loosen tight muscles so that the therapist can reach areas of muscle tension quickly.

For: Relieving tense areas, improve blood flow

Try it if: you suffer from stubborn knots and like the therapeutic heat

3. Aromatherapy Massage


An aromatherapy massage is a Swedish massage with essential oils and massage oil. Essential oils offer pleasant fragrances that can relax, energize, or uplift.

For: Relax muscles, ease superficial tension, help to boost circulation throughout the body.

Try it if: you suffer from headaches, insomnia, certain digestive disorders, back pain, and even premenstrual symptoms.

4. Deep Tissue Massage


As it’s name suggests, Deep Tissue Massage is a focused massage that can relieve tension in the deeper layers of muscle tissue. Therapists use deliberate and intense kneading on muscle knots.

For: Releasing chronic tension, improve range of motion

Try it if: you suffer from chronic aches and pains or want more pressure than classic Swedish massage.

5. Shiatsu Massage


Shiatsu Massage is a Japanese style massage rooted in Chinese medicine. It helps to deeply relax and achieve a clear flow of the body’s energy force, or Qi. Therapists use many different techniques like their elbows, knees and even their feet to work out tension from the back, joints, and limbs.

For: Release stress, promote good circulation

Try it if: you need to seriously de-stress and relax. Or, if you’re curious about Eastern types of massage and need a good introduction.

6. Thai Massage


Thai massage is a mix of assisted yoga and intense stretches. Therapists use rhythmic compression along the body’s energy lines to reduce stress and improve flexibility and range of motion. It is done fully clothed and usually without oil.

For: Improving flexibility, greater range of motion and temporary relief from pain

Try it if: you want help achieving deeper stretches and like the idea of remaining totally clothed during a massage.

7. Pregnancy Massage


Also known as prenatal massage, Pregnancy Massage is customised to an expectant mother’s needs to promote relaxation. Since many pregnant women suffer from lower back pain and swollen ankles especially in the later months, prenatal massage is a relatively safe, drug-free way to provide relief. Most will have a special table that allows the woman to rest comfortably and safely during the massage.

For: Relax muscles, ease tense areas

Try it if: you are pregnant!

8. Foot Reflexology


Foot Reflexology is a specialised form of foot massage based on “reflex areas” on the hands and feet. By applying pressure to the reflex points, therapists can balance your nervous system and stimulate endorphins which reduces stress and discomfort.

For: Traditionally, reflexology is believed to help correct imbalances throughout the body. But like any foot massage, it relieves tension on the soles of your feet

Try it if: you’re curious as to how reflexology can reveal other issues with your health OR if you just need an excuse to put your feet up for a while.

9. Sports Massage


Sports Massage helps athletes to prepare for or recover from athletic or sports events. It can prevent and treat injuries, improve flexibility and enhance athletic performance. Even if you aren’t an athlete, sports massage may help muscle pain or restricted range of motion. Therapists may include compression, pressure point therapy, friction and joint mobilisation.

For: Increasing blood flow, increasing range of motion and flexibility

Try it if: before or after a sports event or gym session


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Lynette K

Author Lynette K

Taking on the world on Cocktails, Coffee and Carbs.

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