Different Types of Massages and Their Benefits for Your Body

Massage is a general term used for pressing, rubbing, and manipulating your skin. Massage has been in practice for thousands of years. It is generally considered part of integrative medicine, and is increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for many medical conditions. Most patients can return to daily activities after massage.

In a typical massage therapy session, you wear loose clothing or can undress yourself to the point you feel comfortable. Massage is generally given over a table but you can also have it on a chair or fully clothed. Depending upon your preference, your massage therapist may use oil or lotion to reduce friction on your skin. A typical massage session may last from 10 minutes to 90 minutes, depending on the type of massage. You can choose from about 80 different massage therapy styles which are differentiated based on their techniques of application, rubbing and pressure applied.

Massage offers some key advantages to you like:

  • Relives stress
  • Reduces muscle tension
  • Promotes relaxation
  • Manages low back pain
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Enhances exercise performance
  • Eliminates toxins
  • Improves circulation
  • Eases symptoms of depression
  • Increases range of motion
  • Improves sleep

Different types of massages 

Swedish massage

It is the most common type of massage that involves soft and long kneading strokes and rhythmic tapping of strokes. This is combined with the movement of joints.

Deep tissue massage

It is best to get relief from the painful and stiff trouble spots in your body. The massage therapist uses slow strokes that focus pressure on layers of muscles, tendons and other deep tissues. It helps in relieving chronic patterns of tension and muscle injuries.

Sports massage

This is especially helpful for athletes in training, before, during, and after sports events. The massage helps promote flexibility, prevents injury, and aids in healing after a sports injury.

Hot stone massage

The massage therapist will use heated stones instead of or in addition to their hands. Heated stones are placed on different areas of the whole body. The therapist holds stones on different parts of your body with gentle pressure. Sometimes, cold stones may also be used.

Trigger point massage

It is best suited for people who are suffering from injuries, chronic pain, or some tissue condition. Areas of tightness in the muscle tissue, known as trigger points, are pressed with an alternating level of pressure to alleviate tension.      

Shiatsu massage

In this Japanese-style massage, pulsing or rhythmic pressure is used. The therapist will use their hands, palms, and thumbs to massage certain parts of your body. Self-Shiatsu can significantly improve the quality of sleep and daytime fatigue.

Chair massage

It is best for the people who want a quick massage for their neck, shoulders and back. During the massage, you remain fully clothed and sit in a specially designed chair. The massage will usually last for 10 to 30 minutes.

Percussion massage

A percussion massage gun is used that packs a powerful punch, reaching deeper into tired muscles to relieve tension and bring blood flow to the area.

Thai massage

In Thai massage, only gentle pressure is applied with stretching incorporated for whole-body relaxation. It offers a great way to get the blood pumping and works wonderfully with yoga-like stretches.


Also known as zone therapy, the massage style applies different levels of pressure to your hands, feet and ears. It has been observed to boost mental well-being and long-term health conditions.

Lymphatic massage

Also sometimes called lymphatic drainage, the therapist uses slow and circular motions and pressure to move lymph fluid throughout your lymphatic system. It helps in reducing swelling (lymphedema) and pain.

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