If you’re new to the world of massage, it can be intimidating to visit a spa website and see the full menu of services. How do you know which style of massage is right for you? Here, we’ve got a guide to what the different types of massage have to offer, and who they might be beneficial for. Before we get started, some general things to note: massage rates are priced by the minute, and the common industry rate starts at $1/minute, depending at your therapist’s experience. Massage is a necessary service performed by qualified professionals, so it’s important to value your therapist’s time. Massage therapy is not a service where haggling over prices is acceptable, and a 20% gratuity for services rendered is common practice.
Swedish Massage: The Old Classic
When people think of massage as they’ve seen it in movies and television, Swedish massage in a spa is usually what comes to mind. Utilizing light to moderate pressure, Swedish massage is great for people who are looking to relax or introduce themselves to massage therapy. Swedish massage can be great for circulatory enhancement and stress reduction, and treatments can be offered over the whole body or focused to specific areas. It’s important to note though: if you’re going in for a 60-minute massage, it can be better to go with targeted areas, as a full-body massage in 60 minutes doesn’t give your therapist much time to spend in any one area.
Great For: anybody looking to dip their toes into massage or relax.
Deep Tissue Massage: A Chronic Pain Superstar
If you’re suffering from chronic pain that can’t be relieved by lighter pressure and are looking for therapeutic option, deep tissue massage might be right for you. A slightly more intense massage, deep tissue work can involve stretching and other forms of bodywork in order to help release muscle tension and provide the relief you need.
Great For: chronic pain sufferers and especially stubborn tension.
Trigger Point Massage: Focused Work With Great Results
A cousin to deep tissue massage, trigger point therapy is often performed in tandem with deep tissue massage in order to provide relief and ease dysfunction at the area of maximum tenderness. This type of massage works with both active trigger points, which refer pain to other parts of the body when pressure is applied, and passive trigger points, which can be one of the culprits behind stiff joints or limited range of motion as we age.
Great For: chronic pain sufferers, especially those dealing with referred pain and limited motion.
Prenatal Massage: Body Relief Before Baby
It’s no secret that bodies can change a great deal over the course of a pregnancy, and that many of the changes that occur can cause some discomfort, such as sciatic pain as the fetus grows. Prenatal massage uses gentle techniques designed to address the specific bodily changes that occur over the course of pregnancy, with a lot of work focused on tender areas such as the lower back, legs, neck, and the pelvic joints. It’s especially important to make sure that you find a spa and therapists who are familiar with the techniques of prenatal massage in order to keep things healthy for mother and baby.
Great For: pregnant people who have passed beyond the first trimester.
Sports Massage: Healing for Body and Mind
Athletes are especially connected to the relationship between the body and mind, and sports massage can be an essential part of nourishing the relationship between the two. Whether you’re working on recovering from an injury or trying to keep muscles well-cared for, sports massage can not only be good for the body, but relax the mind in order to keep your head in the game.
Great For: athletes trying to take a holistic approach to injury management and prevention.
These are just a handful of the types of massage available. If you have more questions about which massage is right for you, call your local spa and make an appointment. You won’t regret investing in yourself and your wellness.