4 Popular Massage Types Therapists Should Know

Find out the types of massages clients frequently choose

If you like to help people to de-stress, and relish the idea of supporting them via gentle, safe, and healthy healing, being a massage therapist might be a good fit for you. Branford Hall prepares students in the massage therapy training program by teaching the various methods and techniques of massage, as well as basic business management and communication skills. This makes it possible for graduates to offer the best services to their clients once they begin working at a spa, hospital, or other venue.

While there are many techniques a massage therapist can use as part of a holistic approach to healing, here are some details about four modalities that are often popular. Therapists use these to address a range of issues including muscle tension, rehabilitation after an injury, and keeping muscles limber:

1. Swedish

This is probably the most well-known and popular type of massage in the United States. This full-body technique uses various strokes to work out tension and increase blood and oxygen flow. During this massage, the therapist uses long, gliding strokes; kneading; rubbing strokes, which warm the skin and muscles; tapping, which aids circulation; and shaking, to loosen muscles. It is definitely a method to choose if the client looking to relax and reduce stress.

2. Deep-tissue

While somewhat similar to a Swedish massage, a deep-tissue massage enables the therapist to target areas of the client’s body that may need some extra help. The therapist will use slow movements and use the hands to apply deeper pressure to work down into the deepest layers of muscle to release tension. This type of massage is also useful for joints, ligaments, and connective tissue. The therapist may suggest a deep-tissue massage for soreness and tightness in the neck, shoulders, and back, although it may be used on other areas of the body as well. Some clients say it can be painful at times, but many believe that the relief and relaxation they feel afterwards is worth it!

3. Shiatsu

This technique focuses attention on pressure points along the body’s 12 main meridian lines, which, according to this Japanese technique, carry energy to organs and throughout the body. By applying pressure, the therapist helps to move energy and bring balance to areas of the body that need it. With this technique, the therapist may also use stretching to manipulate the muscles and joints.

4. Hot stone therapy

This form of massage is becoming increasingly popular. The therapist places stones in a warmer that raises them to a temperature that is hot but comfortable to the touch. The massage therapist places the stones on areas of the body—most frequently on the back—and may also apply light pressure to the stones. The heat relaxes the surrounding muscles and tissues. The result is a very calming and stress-reducing massage.

Other forms of massage that you will learn if you study to become a massage therapist include aromatherapy, sports massage, Thai massage, reflexology, and more.

If this sounds like an exciting path for you, today might be the time for you to do some research and look into a training program. You could soon be one step closer to a career as a massage therapist!

This post is part of the Branford Hall Career Institute weekly blog. Contact us today to learn more about applying to our various career training programs, or to request more information. We look forward to hearing from you.