Massage techniques 101

You’d like to go to a massage parlor, but you’re not sure exactly what is on the menu and what should you be asking for? Here’s a brief run-down of popular massage techniques as well as some basic spa etiquette you should follow.

Aromatherapy Massage – if you’re just after something to relax you, this is the massage therapy you should be asking for. It combines light massage with smooth, shallow motions with scented plant oils which can have various effects, depending on the plants used. Aromatherapy massages also make great gifts, if you want to treat your partner or a friend.

Deep Tissue Massage – This technique targets deep layers of muscle tissue, and is best left to the hands of a professional who knows which areas to target with this particular techniques. First several times you try this particular massage method you will most likely be sore, as muscles adjust to this method of stimulation. This is a massage techniques used to improve injury recovery, to prevent chronic muscle pain and to deal with problems with posture.

Swedish Massage – The most common massage type with use of oils and and long smooth strokes and circular movements that improve circulation, but do not quite reach deep levels of muscle tissue. It is a great choice if you’re completely new to the massage therapy.

Hot Stone Massage – A bit more exotic method of massage, where hot stones are placed on specific points of the body, warming up the muscles and loosening them up. Sometimes the gentle pressure is applied to the stones. This is an excellent massage for dealing with muscle tension but you find deep tissue massage to rough.

Shiatsu – Shiatsu massage has strong roots in acupuncture, and is a Japanese massage method that includes pressure in a rhythmic sequence on specific points of the body. It is a bit rougher massage than Swedish Massage, but much less rough than Deep Tissue Massage.

Thai Massage – Another massage method relying on applying pressure on specific acupuncture points, but Thai methods include more of compression and stretching of muscles than rubbing and pressure common in Shiatsu.

Sports Massage – If you think Deep Tissue Massage is rough, this is not the method for you, but it is a massage method specifically designed to allow you to use the most of your body’s capabilities. One massage session is not nearly enough, this massage takes some time before it becomes truly effective.

Pregnancy Massage – Expectant mothers have a lot of problems to deal with, including sore muscles. A skilled massage therapist has the knowledge needed to position and support a woman’s body without any danger to the fetus at all. Bear in mind that this is only something you should ask from a massage therapist with certificates that show Pregnancy Massage is part of the services he or she offers.

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