What sort of massage is best for you? Whether it’s your first or 500th massage, you should always approach a session knowing what you’re getting into, how it will proceed, and how you’d like to feel afterward. There are plenty of choices, which, depending on your health and attitude, all have pros and cons. Here are several different types of massage and what they do. Keep these in mind when searching for a massage therapist.
For a long time, this was the massage technique most people were familiar with—or so they thought. It was shown in old comedy skits involving a lot of grunting, groaning, and pain inflicted by a grumpy Scandinavian masseur. That’s fiction. Swedish massage is only called that in English- and Dutch-speaking countries. Elsewhere it’s better described as “classic massage”. Massages are delivered using five strokes: gliding, kneading, rhythmic tapping, friction, and vibration, to help with pain, blood flow, injuries, and flexibility, and to manage stress. Swedish massage is a good place for beginners to start.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is a lot more intense than Swedish massage, applying much more pressure to reach deep within the muscles. It’s employed to work out knots in the muscles and connective tissues, and to clear up pain in the joints and muscles. If a muscle has been injured, deep tissue massage helps it to heal.
A sports massage is much like Swedish massage, but has been designed to aid athletes by to prevent or treat injuries they encounter in their respective fields. Sport massage can also reduce stress and aid in relaxation, but it also focuses on reducing muscle tension, increasing range of motion, cutting down on injury recovery time, and help performance overall. It’s good for helping with stress injuries in parts of the body that can get overused in a sport.
Aromatherapy massage is similar to most massage techniques because it involves the aforementioned strokes and other techniques. However, it’s also accompanied by the use of essential oils and various scents, which are diffused into the air you breathe and applied to your skins during the massage. Your masseur will suggest a blend of oils they can apply during the massage.
What sort of massage is best for you? It’s a question best answered through a little research and more questions. Ask other people—online and off—about their experiences with the different types of massages, the places they received them, and for recommendations and referrals on the latter!