How Do the Different Types of Massage Differ From One Another?

by | Jul 13, 2022


July, 2022

When attempting to schedule an appointment for a massage, you may feel overwhelmed by the variety of massage types available. Different styles of massage are preferable for various individuals, based on their desired outcomes. So how can you determine which massage is best? In this blog post, we will discuss the many types of massages and their benefits so that you can make an informed selection when scheduling an appointment.


Common Massage Methods

Most spas provide a variety of massage methods, each with its own benefits. Here are many of the most typical styles of massage:

Swedish Massage

Swedish massage, one of the most common types of massage, is ideal for individuals who are new to massage because it is quite gentle. The primary purpose of this massage is to relax the entire body. This is accomplished by utilizing lengthy strokes that return blood to the heart. Swedish massages are beneficial to a person’s health because they can:

  • Reduce muscle toxins and boost blood oxygen levels to 
  • Improve flexibility and blood circulation
  • Reduce muscular tension
  • Reduce cortisol levels, which increase blood sugar levels.
  • Boost the immune system by raising the amount of white blood cells (lymphocytes).

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage, as its name suggests, addresses the deepest levels of muscle and connective tissue. During a deep tissue massage, the therapist strokes deep tissue layers and provides finger pressure to knotted and contracted muscle groups. Deep tissue massages are popular because they alleviate chronic neck, upper back, lower back, leg, and shoulder aches and pains. People may visit a massage therapist to obtain a massage because:

  • Reduce scar tissue and eliminate any adhesions or “knots” (bands of painful, rigid tissue)
  • Range of motion restriction and better circulation
  • Reducing muscle inflammation assists individuals in healing from injuries, such as whiplash and falls.
  • Relieve the agony caused by strain injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Fix postural issues
  • Alleviate the pain caused by osteoarthritis

Sports Massage

This form of massage was developed with athletes in mind. Professional massage therapists that specialize in sports massage treatment are regularly sought out by athletes in need of pain relief due to repeated movements associated with their sport of choice. Consider the number of times a tennis player swings his or her racket; over time, the repetitive motion will cause the tennis player’s shoulder to deteriorate. Active individuals or athletes may require a sports massage since this modality can:

  • Reduce recovery times following exercise
  • Increase your mobility and flexibility.
  • enhancing overall performance
  • Reduce the soreness in the muscles and joints caused by exercise to help prevent sports injuries.
  • promote tissue regeneration and muscle equilibrium

Orthopedic Massage

Orthopedic massage is a type of massage therapy that, like sports massage, tries to treat a variety of ailments by reducing pain and dysfunction in the soft tissues and muscles. The three approaches employed in this massage treatment are clinical musculoskeletal examination, deep tissue and fascia massages, and stretch training. The therapeutic benefits of this massage include the capacity to rebalance the body, reduce extreme pain, and promote flexibility.

An orthopedic or sports massage would be most beneficial for those with chronic pain, sports injuries, shoulder or rotator cuff injuries, tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back discomfort, bulging or herniated discs, degenerative joint arthritis, sciatica, and other joint disorders. Additionally, this technique is particularly advantageous for those who have not had long-term relief from conventional massage techniques.

Thai Massage

Thai massage is a therapeutic touch technique that differs from traditional massage in a number of significant ways. You lie on a mat on the floor instead of a massage table while the practitioner manipulates your body in particular ways to rectify inadequacies, blockages, and imbalances in the body’s energy flow.

In addition to stretching your limbs, massage therapists employ compression and rocking techniques. Thai massage is a component of traditional Thai medicine. Similar to Chinese medicine, it employs the body’s energy channels. Additionally referred to as sen. Due to the numerous benefits that Thai massage provides, it is widely used to:

  • Warm and relax the muscles to enhance their flexibility and range of motion
  • Reducing joint pain and stiffness 
  • Promotes circulation and energy flow
  • Reduce headache and migraine pain
  • Reduces tension and creates a feeling of well-being

Neuromuscular Therapeutic Massage

Neuromuscular massage therapy, often known as trigger point massage, is a highly specialized form of manual therapy that addresses pain and dysfunction by treating trigger points, muscle adhesions, and fascial (connective tissue) patterns. These adhesions, trigger points, and fascial patterns may result from a specific trauma, a specific postural pattern, or a series of repetitive movements.

In order to address these patterns, certain treatment approaches are performed during neuromuscular therapy sessions to release tight fascia, palpate and diminish trigger points in tight bands of muscle, and release blocked muscle sites. These protocols are utilized to treat sore muscles as well as neighboring muscles affected by biomechanics and compensatory responses to the initial discomfort.

This sort of massage therapy is beneficial for numerous diseases, including back, neck, and shoulder pain, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, herniated discs, scoliosis, knee, hip, and other joint pain, spasms, cramps, strains, and postural distortions.

Final Reflections

In addition to the massage therapies listed above, there are additional forms of massage that serve a variety of functions. It is stated that hot stone massage is beneficial for reducing muscle tension and soreness. In addition, there is a prenatal massage for expectant mothers. Aromatherapy massage, on the other hand, utilizes essential oils to induce relaxation. Reflexology is a type of massage that focuses on pressure points in the hands and feet that are believed to be linked to particular organs and body systems.

The type of massage you select will depend on your needs and preferences. Consult a skilled massage therapist in order to determine which form of massage would be most useful for you. But regardless of the type you select, you are certain to appreciate the numerous benefits massage therapy has to offer. Therefore, if you’re seeking a way to relax, de-stress, and improve your overall health, book a massage session today.