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

by | Jul 13, 2022


July, 2022

When you’re trying to book an appointment for a massage, you may feel overwhelmed by all of the different types of massage that are available. The types of massage are better for different people, depending on what they are hoping to achieve from it. So how do you know which massage is right for you? In this blog post, we’ll do a quick run-down of the different types of massages and their benefits, so you can make an informed decision when booking your appointment.

Common Types of Massage

There are several different types of massages that are offered at most spas, and each one offers its own unique benefits. Here are a few of the most common types of massages:

Swedish Massage

One of the most popular types of massages, Swedish massage is great for people who are new to massage, as it is relatively gentle. The main objective of this massage is to calm the entire body. Long strokes that bring the blood back to the heart are used to achieve this. But in addition to providing complete relaxation, Swedish massages are advantageous for a person’s health since they can:

  • Lower muscle toxins and increase blood oxygen levels
  • increase flexibility and blood flow
  • Relax the muscles
  • Reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which raises blood sugar levels
  • Boost the immune system by increasing the number of lymphocytes, which are white blood cells.

Deep Tissue Massage

As the name suggests, deep tissue massage targets the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. When performing a deep tissue massage, the therapist strokes deep tissue layers and applies finger pressure to tight and knotted muscle groups. Deep tissue massages are popular because they help people with their chronic aches and pains in the neck, upper back, lower back, legs, and shoulders. People may go to a massage therapist to receive one because it can:

  • Break down scar tissue and get rid of adhesions or “knots” (bands of painful, rigid tissue)
  • Reduced range of motion and improved circulation
  • decrease muscular inflammation
  • assist people in recovering from injuries including whiplash and falls
  • alleviate the discomfort caused by strain injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome
  • correct posture issues
  • reduce the discomfort of osteoarthritis

Sports Massage

This particular style of massage was created with athletes in mind. A professional massage therapist who specializes in sports massage therapy is frequently sought out by athletes who need relief from pain brought on by a repetitive action linked to their preferred sport. Consider how many times a tennis player swings his or her racket; over time, the repetitive motion will wear out the player’s shoulder. A sports massage may be necessary for an active person or athlete since this kind of therapy can:

  • shorten recovery times after exercise
  • Expand your flexibility and range of motion.
  • improving overall performance
  • lessen the discomfort in the muscles and joints brought on by exercise
  • aid in reducing sports-related injuries
  • encourage tissue regeneration and muscular balance

Orthopedic Massage

Similar to sports massage, orthopedic massage is a type of massage treatment that aims to treat a range of injuries by reducing pain and dysfunction in the soft tissues and muscles. Clinical musculoskeletal evaluation, deep tissue, and fascia massages, and stretch training are the three techniques used in this massage treatment. This massage provides therapeutic advantages, including the ability to balance the body again, lessen severe pain, and increase flexibility.

People with chronic pain, sports injuries, shoulder or rotator cuff injuries, tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back pain, bulging or herniated discs, degenerative joint arthritis, sciatica, and other joint issues would benefit most from an orthopedic or sports massage. Additionally, this technique is especially beneficial for those who have not seen long-lasting relief from other forms of massage.

Thai Massage

Thai massage is a therapeutic touch technique that differs greatly from conventional massage in many aspects. You lie on a mat on the floor rather than on a massage table as the practitioner manipulates your body in specific ways to correct any deficiencies, blockages, and imbalances in the flow of energy in your body.

Massage therapists use compression and rocking techniques while stretching your limbs. Traditional Thai medicine includes Thai massage. It uses the body’s energetic channels, much like Chinese medicine. They are also known as sen. Because of the many benefits that Thai massage offers, it is frequently used to:

  • Warm and loosen the muscles
  • increase flexibility and range of motion
  • Reduce pain and stiffness in the joints
  • improves circulation and energy flow
  • alleviate headaches and migraines
  • Lower stress levels and promotes a sense of well-being

Neuromuscular Massage Therapy

Also referred to as trigger point massage, neuromuscular massage therapy is a highly specialized type of manual therapy that treats trigger points, muscle adhesions, and fascial (connective tissue) patterns to address pain and dysfunction. These adhesions, trigger points, and fascial patterns can develop as a result of a particular trauma, a particular postural pattern, or a series of repetitive movements.

During neuromuscular therapy sessions, specific treatment procedures are used to release tight fascia, palpate and reduce trigger points in tight bands of muscle, and release blocked muscle locations in order to address these patterns. These protocols are used to treat the painful muscles as well as the nearby muscles that are impacted by biomechanics and compensatory responses to the original pain.

This type of massage therapy is effective for a variety of conditions, including back, neck, and shoulder discomfort, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, herniated discs, scoliosis, knee, hip, and other joint pain, spasms, cramps, strains, and postural distortions.

Final Thoughts

Aside from the massage therapies discussed above, there are also other types of massages that serve different purposes. There’s hot stone massage, which is said to be helpful in relieving muscle tension and pain. There’s also a prenatal massage for expectant mothers. Aromatherapy massage, on the other hand, is a type of massage that uses essential oils to promote relaxation. And then there’s reflexology, a type of massage that focuses on pressure points in the hands and feet that are believed to be connected to specific organs and body systems.

Choosing the right type of massage will depend on your needs and preferences. It’s best to consult with a professional massage therapist to find out which type of massage would be most beneficial for you. But whichever type you choose, you’re sure to enjoy the many benefits that massage therapy has to offer. So if you’re looking for a way to relax, de-stress, and promote overall wellness, then don’t hesitate to book a massage session today.