The wellness industry is generating nearly 4 trillion US dollars annually. There are currently 21,000 spa locations nationwide that offer services like massage therapy. 

Why get a massage? There are various health benefits to massage therapy that make it worth the cost. Read on to learn about the different techniques behind each type and how scheduling one can boost your health. 

What Is a Massage?

Massage is the practice of rubbing and kneading the muscles to relieve tension and promote relaxation. It’s used to treat various muscle issues resulting from athletic injuries or everyday tension. US massage therapists are trained and skilled to perform massage sessions and will know which method is right for you. 

Top Eight Types of Massage Therapy

There are various types of massages that can help people with different physical issues. Massage therapy research has shown that it can improve your quality of life and relieve certain pains. 

Depending on how severe your muscle tension may be, you’ll want to choose between a light form of massage or an intense massage. For most sessions, you’ll remove your clothes and be covered by a cloth.

Are you wondering what the differences are between each form of massage therapy? Read on to learn about the techniques of each one. 

1. Swedish Massage

If you’re getting your first massage and want to get accustomed to the experience, then a Swedish massage is a great starting point. This type of massage involves gentle pressure to relieve knots and general muscle tension. 

During a Swedish massage, massage therapists will use a combination of kneading and circular motions. They’ll also use long, sweeping motions towards the heart. Depending on the session you choose, this type of massage may last 60-90 minutes. 

2. Hot Stone Massage

A hot stone massage is another great choice for individuals wanting a gentler massage for general muscle tension. In this type of massage therapy, hot stones are placed on the body to relieve pain and increase blood flow. 

3. Deep Tissue Massage

If you’re an athlete or have chronic muscle problems, a deep tissue massage is a great massage therapy option. In this type of massage, therapists apply more pressure to the muscles for an intense massage. It might be the best option for you if you have severe muscle soreness and are accustomed to massages. 

4. Thai Massage

A Thai massage involves sequences of movements similar to yoga. Instead of lying on a table, you’ll be stretched into different positions while your therapist applies pressure to your body.

This form of massage is a fun option for individuals who want a more active form of massage. It can help relieve stress while increasing circulation and flexibility. You should wear loose, comfortable clothing for this type of massage. 

5. Aromatherapy Massage

Aromatherapy adds an emotional aspect of healing to a gentle massage. During an aromatherapy massage, therapists diffuse essential oils. They’ll apply light pressure to your body and focus on your back, shoulders, and head. 

This type of massage can help relieve stress and anxiety. The aroma of essential oils can also boost your mood. Some therapists will apply a diluted form of essential oil to your skin, but this can be optional if you have sensitive skin. 

6. Sports Massage

A sports massage is a great option for athletes who have a repetitive use injury or are prone to muscle injuries. It can be used to relieve muscle tension while increasing flexibility and performance. 

This type of massage can be a full-body massage or focus on the parts of your body that need attention. It will be catered to your needs, so your therapist may alter between deep tissue and soothing strokes. You can be clothed during this massage as long as your clothing is loose and light. 

7. Prenatal Massage

Since pregnancy comes with muscle aches and soreness, a prenatal massage can be a safe way for pregnant women to relieve some tension. This form of massage uses light pressure and focuses on the lower back, hips, and legs. During a prenatal massage, you can lie on your side or on your belly if your therapist is using a special table with a cutout for your belly. 

8. Shiatsu Massage

A Shiatsu massage is a Japanese form of massage therapy that involves pressure applied with the hands, palms, and thumbs. Rhythmic pressure is used to focus on certain muscles. 

This form of massage can promote physical and emotional relaxation. It also helps to relieve anxiety and depression. You can choose to be clothed during a Shiatsu massage, unlike most forms of massage therapy. 

Benefits of Massage Therapy

There are numerous health benefits to massages, and anyone who has ever had a sore neck or muscle cramp can enjoy the benefits. It’s being offered as a complement to standard medical treatment because of its simple and holistic healing. 

Massage therapy can be used to treat anxiety, depression, or chronic muscle soreness. It’s a great option for pregnant women experiencing daily aches and pains. Athletes who are prone to muscle injuries can benefit from regular massages. If you’re simply trying to get better sleep, regular massage therapy could help you feel more relaxed at night. 

If you don’t experience any specific muscle pain or physical tension, light forms of massage can be a simple way to help you relax. Remember to check with your doctor first if you have any serious medical concerns. Most hospitals will offer a massage therapy unit or can suggest popular therapists nearby. 

If you want to learn more about therapeutic techniques, there are About Touch Massage resources online to guide your way. Massage therapy may be the beginning of your healthful journey. 

Boost Your Health and Relaxation

Massage therapy is a simple and relaxing way to relieve pain from everyday headaches, soreness, or cramps. It’s a great option if you’re wanting to unwind for the weekend or prepare for an athletic event. 

When you’re looking for a specific type of massage therapy, look for a practitioner who is specialized in what you need. Don’t be afraid to explore several options or to ask questions before your session. 

Want to learn more about relaxation techniques? Read about the powerful benefits of yoga for women on our blog. 

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