There are a variety of massages types and techniques with various options available. Each one offers their own benefits. Understanding which one is right for you can be a challenge until you understand the various types. In fact, there are actually over 200 different techniques. Some are specific to relaxation and stress relief, some are specific for treating an injury, and others are for rejuvenation. Below I will describe some of the more common massages available.

Swedish Massage

A Swedish message is one of the most common types of massages because it is used to relax the patient. The massage therapist uses long gliding strokes in the direction of the blood flow towards the heart to increase your relaxation. The benefits of a Swedish massage include increasing the oxygen in your blood stream, degreasing the toxins in your muscles, improving circulation in your body, and increasing your flexibility. This type of massage is excellent for relieving stress and tension. A study has determined it even has a significant effect on your immune system. If you get regular Swedish massages your ability to fight off colds and the flu will increase significantly.

Sports Massage

A sports massage is geared towards active individuals that need to focus on a specific area of the body that is troubling them, stressed, or overused. Massages like this are becoming widely popular for marathon runners who want to prevent injuries. They use them as pre-event training to enhance flexibility, improve performance and prevent injury. The biggest difference between sports massage and other massage techniques is that the therapist focuses on muscle-tendons junctions. Most people that use this type of massage like to get them on a weekly or bi-monthly regiment as a part of their training to keep their body in optimal shape. However, it can also be used in rehab if you are coming off of an injury.

Hot Stone Massage

Hot stone massages are terrific for relieving stress, tension and any stiff areas you may have. The massage helps increase your circulation and enhances your metabolism, which is an added bonus. The stones promote deeper muscle relaxation than a regular massage because they are water-heated stones that are placed on key locations of your body specific for stress relief. After that you are given a special massage using the heated stones, which is a more relaxing experience than a regular massage. Those with chronic pain are known for have hot stone messages because of the effects of the massage. The ability to promote stimulation in your muscles at a deeper level is what makes this massage so effective. Typically, you will have less pain, tension, stress, and muscle spasms if you have hot stone messages on a recurring basis.

Prenatal Massage

Prenatal massages are a great gift for expecting mothers. They reduce stress, relieves discomfort from back pain, neck page and leg cramps, and improve circulations in your legs to keep you from getting swollen feet. The massage is centered on you being as comfortable as possible. You will lay on your side or back depending on where you on in your pregnancy with cushions for support, relieving strain on our back. The approach is to relieve symptoms that you may be experiencing from your pregnancy such as headaches, tension, fatigue, back pain, leg pain, ect. The massage will promote relaxation and release serotonin and endorphins that will help your sleeping patterns as well. This is wonderful experience for stressful expecting mothers.


Most clinics offer a customized option so that you can choose exactly what it is you want out of your massage. If you have migraine headaches, you may want the therapist to focus on your temple area, neck and shoulders. If you are a runner you may want your sports massage therapist to focus on your IT bands, quads and calf muscles. There are ways to customize exactly what you need so that you are happy with your results. Contact your local massage therapist to find out what massage services are available and enjoy it!

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