back massageGetting a massage used to mean a luxury that only a few could enjoy.  As more and more studies are being conducted on the benefits massage has to offer, more and more people are turning to massage therapy as a way to reduce symptoms from a variety of ailments, to decrease feelings of anxiety and stress, reduce chronic pain and improve overall well-being.

There are a few different massage therapy techniques that people can turn to when considering which type of massage to choose.  Here are 5 of the most common.

Swedish Massage is the most common type of massage therapy technique.  It can be used for pain management and injury rehabilitation.  It is characterized by a few different movements or motions that the massage therapist can use.  Effleurage refers to smooth strokes that relaxes soft tissue.  Petrissage is a kneading or squeezing motion.  Friction allows the therapist to access deeper pressure and helps increase blood flow.  And lastly, tapotement, which is a tapping motion using fingers or hands.

Shiatsu Massage comes from the tradition of Chinese medicine and is meant to relieve blockages in the body’s energy, known as qi. Finger pressure on acupressure points and along meridians is used to facilitate this process.

Thai Yoga Massage is a form of massage that involves acupressure along energy lines and brings in an element of passive stretching.  It is most commonly performed on the floor.  The deep stretches are very similar to those found in Yoga.

Hot Stone Massage involves the heating of stones that are used to bring heat and pressure to points along the length of the spine.  The stones are sometimes used to create a kneading motion to more deeply access tissue.

Deep Tissue is another common massage technique that is meant to relieve pain and stiffness that comes with injury or repetitive movements that strain the muscles.