Most popular types of massage

Massage HandsMost Popular Types of Massage

We know that massages are loaded with health benefits such as pain relief, sleeping better, increased digestion, faster healing, headache relief, and more.  There are different types of massages that take things a step further to make that session more useful and pleasurable.  Here is a list of the most popular kinds;


Hot stone massage.  The use of hot stones in massage therapy dates back more than 2000 years in Chinese practices. It is known to improve the function of internal organs by expanding blood vessels and creating better blood flow. Also, the relaxation of a treatment eases pain and inflammation as it reduces stress.  The stones used are flat and often made of basalt because the material holds heat for more extended periods. A therapist places the stones on different parts of the body, gently moving them around. Unlike most images you see of hot stone massages, the stones are not typically left in one place due to the heat involved and the risk of causing discomfort to the patient.


Swedish massage.  This type of massage has specific steps performed in order.

  1. Effleurage is a gliding motion using the palm or fingertips used in different areas to loosen knots and tension in the muscles. 
  2. Petrissage is a kneading technique meant to reach deeper penetration using the knuckles. This technique kneads and squeezes the muscles.
  3. Tapotement is also known as Rhythmic Tapping and uses the fists of the therapists cupped hands to loosen, relax, and energize the muscles. The therapist may also use the sides of their hands.
  4. Friction uses the palms of the hands to create heat, warming up the muscles.
  5. Vibration and Shaking. As the name suggests, this technique vibrates the muscles, using various parts of the hand, to shake and loosen the area worked.

Combining these techniques together creates a system the gives the client a deep muscle relaxation session. Patients are energetic and less stressful afterward.


Lymphatic Massage is used to drain lymph nodes throughout the body, reducing toxic buildup. Lymph nodes are an essential factor in immunity and fighting infections, so keeping them healthy means keeping oneself healthy.  This type of massage involves the masseuse gently massaging the lymph node areas of the body. A light, soft touch is used to move the fluid through the system for proper elimination.

Pregnancy Massage is growing in popularity and geared toward helping moms overcome some of the discomforts from their changing bodies. It can relieve back pain, joint pain, reduce muscle aches, stress, edema, improve sleep, circulation, and oxygenation of soft tissues.  This type of massage is a wonderful treat for expecting moms. Therapists are specially trained in prenatal massage techniques and know what is safe for mother and child.

Sports massage is an effective way to help athletes keep their muscles flexible and ready for strenuous activity. Blood circulation increases, along with a range of motion to help prevent injuries.  This type of massage is intended to help athletes recover from workouts and competition, and to maintain optimum health. Sports massages concentrate on the soft tissue performed by therapists schooled in specific medical knowledge to prevent overworking or injuring muscles further.

Shiatsu Massage is a technique based on energy meridians using acupuncture points to heal specific, targeted areas. The information used comes from principles in Chinese and Japanese methods formed over their long histories of healing. Pressure is applied in points along the body's meridian to activate and balance energy. The amount of force used can vary from one patient to another, depending on their individual needs. This type of massage eases tension and may include visualization and breathing exercises.

No matter what your health need, there is a massage that is suited for you. There is not much that compares to having your muscles relaxed, energized and rejuvenated. Creating the space in your life to have a massage on a regular basis will keep you healthy and able to recover more quickly from an illness or injury. Make sure you choose a therapist who is licensed and appropriately trained. Don't be afraid to ask questions ahead of time to find the perfect masseuse! 

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Kathie Fingerson 05/03/18

Marketing specialist for alternative health.

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