From Swedish to remedial massages, there are numerous massage types in the market today. Swedish massage is perhaps the most common type. It is what comes into the minds of most people when the term massage is mentioned. In this technique, the therapists use long strokes, circular and kneading movements to reach their goal. This massage therapy mainly targets the superficial layer of muscle, and most of the time is executed using massage oils and lotions. It is very gentle and relaxing, and is the ideal massage therapy for the beginner.
Aromatherapy is another one of the relaxation therapies. It is similar to Swedish massage therapy, only that there is an additional use of scented essential oils. The choice of the oils depends on the target of the massage. There are different types of massage oils, from those that are relaxing and stress reducing, to energizing and body balancing types. It is suitable for stressful situations, especially those that have an emotional component.
Hot stone massage just as the name suggests makes use of hot stones. In this type of massage therapy, smooth heated stones are placed on certain parts of the body. These stones warm the tight muscles in the body and loosen them. This technique involves the massage therapist holding the smooth hot stones to certain parts of the body and applying gentle pressure to the muscles with them. It is ideal for those people with tension in their muscles but who prefer to have a smoother, lighter massage.
In deep tissue massage, the masseuse does not target the superficial layers of the muscle but instead targets the deep tissue layers. This technique makes use of deep slow strokes and friction. The strokes and hand movements go across the grain of the muscle. It is used for chronically tight muscles strains due to repetitive actions, problems with posture and patients who are recovering from injury. It is normal to feel sore for the next few days after going through a deep tissue massage session mostly because of the friction component.
Shiatsu massages originate from Japan. This form of Japanese bodywork uses pressure from the finger on localised areas of the body and muscle to alleviate pressure. The localised pressure is applied along acupuncture meridians, and comes in rhythmic sequences. The finger pressure lingers for between two and eight seconds to help the body regain some balance. Shiatsu surprises people because the pressure is firm yet one feels perfectly relaxed afterwards, without any residual soreness later.
Thai massage is similar to shiatsu in that it involves the alignment of energies in the body using finger pressure. However, that massage goes a step further to incorporate compression and stretching. Thai massage is not the conventional massage where one lies in the same position for the whole session. The therapist can move the body into many postures, much like yoga without all the work. It is one of the most energising massage therapy types available. Other types include pregnancy massage, back massage, reflexology and sports massage.