7 Peaceful Massage Styles: Which Is Best for You?

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Scientific evidence shows that massage can help with chronic pain, including low-back and neck pain. It may also alleviate depression and anxiety and improve the quality of life in people with chronic illnesses.

But how do you know which type is right for you? There are so many massage styles to choose from.

To help you understand the differences and how each can benefit you, we’ve put together a list of seven client favorites.

Keep reading to learn about the most popular therapies and see which ones appeal to you.

1. Hot Stone Massage

Similar to Swedish massage — the most popular therapy in the U.S., hot stone massage uses heat and gentle pressure to offer relaxation at its best. It also relieves anxiety, stress, depression, insomnia, muscle tension, and back pain. It even reduces autoimmune disease symptoms and boosts immunity and sleep.

Hot stone treatment is a great starter massage. It’s gentle and goes “light” on the pressure.

Your practitioner places heated river stones on key tension points on your body, depending on your health history and where healing is needed. The heat relaxes our muscles and promotes circulation (hence the immune boost). Your therapist uses stones or hands to massage your muscles with soft pressure.

Enjoy soothing heat penetrating the muscles on your spine, legs, and face.

2. Deep Tissue Massage

This form of therapy takes it to the next level of intensity and the deeper level of muscle and connective tissue to relieve tension and increase blood flow. It’s great for extreme chronic muscle tension, tightness, and pain as well as for athletic repetitive strain, muscle injuries, and postural issues. This treatment focuses on specific areas rather than your whole body.

During treatment, the therapist checks in with you regularly to ensure that the pressure is comfortable and identify areas that need work. If the pressure is too much, be sure to say so.

Deep tissue massage can also improve your range of motion, relieve headaches and sciatica, and help dissolve micro-scarring from surgery or injury.

Expect some discomfort from the kneading pressure. Some therapists use elbows to get in deep. You may also experience soreness — the good kind — and a sense of relief and healing.

3. Cupping Therapy — The Inverse Massage

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has long used this tried and true therapy that is inverse to massage. We’re including it because it has many of the same effects as a conventional massage on the body, promoting relaxation and improving blood circulation.

Suction cups pull muscle tissue up rather than kneading it down. The muscles relax — and the blood flows. Toxins are pulled to the surface, ridding them from your muscles and skin.

Other benefits of cupping include a faster metabolism, constipation relief, and clearing of lung congestion.

4. Myofascial Release Pressure-Point Massage

This technique focuses on release through sustained pressure applied to fascia (connective tissue all through the body) that has become dry and hardened like glue. This happens because of toxin buildup and a lack of blood and oxygen flow. Normally, fascia is supple and promotes movement.

This technique gets your fascia back to that state, relieving headaches, promoting flexibility, increasing joint range of motion, and allowing muscles to stretch. Hardened fascia can be caused by injury, repetitive stress, surgery, bad posture, and emotional stress.

This treatment includes flexibility exercises that you can also do at home.

5. Prenatal Massage

This is a wonderful treat of relaxation and health to add to your prenatal care! It provides relief from issues caused by the weight gain, hormonal fluctuations, and emotional changes that happen as you prepare for your baby’s arrival.

Only go with a massage therapist experienced in prenatal massage as there are some safety precautions. For example, no pressure should be placed on your ankles and sacrum (the lowest part of your back/tail bone). If you’re high-risk, double check with your doctor before you get a prenatal massage.

Are you experiencing back pain, headaches, or water retention? Prenatal massage has you covered as it helps lift stress on the joints and back, boosts blood and lymph circulation (think immune system boost and moving that water out), and relieves cramping and mood swings.

6. Post-Natal Massage

Just had a baby? Or maybe it has been a few months and you’re finally emerging from the fog? You deserve a massage!

Gentle pressure is the name of the game, and beyond the sheer bliss of relaxation and treating yourself, the benefits of post-natal massage include reduced inflammation and water retention, relief from postpartum depression, and hormone regulation. It may also lead to increased milk production and faster recovery from pregnancy.

If you’ve had a C-section, ask about deep tissue massage to help reduce scar tissue, but only after you’re fully healed. Let your massage therapist and doctor advise you on the timeline.

7. Reflexology

This type of massage therapy focuses on the pressure points on your feet. These spots link to different areas of your body, and when massaged, they can provide relief to the corresponding area.

Your massage therapist works on specific points based on your level of discomfort when pressure is applied.

So Many Massage Styles to Try and So Much Relaxation

Now that you’ve learned about the different therapies, its time to try out the ones that popped out at you as sources of bliss, relief, and healing.

Did any of these massage styles speak to you?

Contact us to book an appointment and get started on your healing and relaxation path today. You deserve it!

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