Different Types of Massage Techniques

massageA massage is a traditional form of therapy in which muscles and other soft tissues of the body are manipulated to improve health and well-being. It helps relieve muscle tension, reduce stress, and evoke feelings of calmness. Varieties of massage range from gentle stroking and kneading of muscles and other soft tissues to deeper manual techniques.

Here is a list of the most common types of massage:

Swedish massage – utilizes long, flowing strokes; designed to increase circulation and blood flow. This style of massage is generally attributed to the Swedish fencing master and gymnastics teacher Per Henrik Ling.

Reflexology – focuses solely on the hands and feet; uses specifically targeted points on the extremities to send signals to the brain and balance the nervous system.

Shiatsu – literally means finger (Shi) pressure (Atsu); Shiatsu is primarily pressure, usually applied with the thumbs. The emphasis of Shiatsu is the treatment of the whole meridian.

Trigger point massage – a trigger point is an area of a muscle that refers pain sensations to other parts of the body. Trigger Point Therapy applies pressure to these points leading to immediate release of tension and improved muscular functioning.

Deep tissue massage – used to target knots and release chronic muscle tension. It reduces inflammation and helps eliminate scar tissue.  The focus is on the deepest layers of muscle tissue, tendons, and fascia.

Acupressure – based in traditional Chinese meridian theory in which acupuncture points are pressed to stimulate the flow of energy or chi.

Cranial sacral therapy – a gentle, noninvasive form of alternative medicine that deals with the movement of the fluid surrounding the skull and spine.