The Many Different Types of Massage

Jan 11, 2022 | Explained

You may not know there are many different types of massage in the realm of relaxation and physical therapy. Some are designed to promote healing and muscle recovery while others soothe and rejuvenate. We’ll explore the different types of massage techniques and how they might benefit you in this quick 7-minute read.


1. Chair Massage

A chair massage usually lasts 10-30 minutes and it’s a great intro to the art of massage. This treatment focuses on the neck, shoulders and back. You’re fully clothed and your massage will include light to medium pressure that relieves stress and tension in these areas.


2. Swedish Massage

A Swedish massage uses light to medium pressure to relieve tension and muscle knots. It’s the most common type of full-body massage and is performed while unclothed (although you may keep your underwear on). It’s usually 60-90 minutes and combines kneading, flowing strokes, tapping, passive joint movement and other gentle techniques. There are prenatal and couple’s variations of this technique.


3. Cupping Therapy

An ancient massage type, cupping improves circulation and relieves soreness. According to The Sporting Blog, “The sore area is detected and a cup is applied by vacuum. The cup remains at the surface for anywhere up to 45 minutes depending on the suction and then it is removed once blood appears under the surface of the skin.” Most treatments are 60 minutes and only the treatment area is unclothed.


4. Hot stone Massage

Hot stone uses Swedish massage techniques combined with heat from smooth stones to relieve pain, remove tension, promote blood flow and relax the body. Most treatments are 90 minutes, unclothed and involve hand massage plus warmed stones placed along the full body or the stones themselves are coated with oil and used for massage movements.


5. Aromatherapy

During this 60-90 minute unclothed treatment, soothing scents add another element to your massage therapy. The essential oils are diluted and applied topically and diffused for direct inhalation. You can have this treatment as a full-body or upper body therapy. On top of the general massage benefits, aromatherapy is thought to boost mood and relieve symptoms of depression.


6. Deep tissue Massage

The Deep Tissue Massage is an intense full-body massage is meant to relieve pain and tension in the deepest layers of your muscle tissue. It uses more pressure than Swedish or aromatherapy, so it’s not ideal if you are sensitive to intense touch. Some soreness may linger after the treatment and it’s important to drink lots of water following this 60-90 minute unclothed session.


7. Myofascial release therapy

According to Spine-Health, “Many patients seek myofascial treatment after losing flexibility or function following an injury or if experiencing ongoing back, shoulder, hip [or] pain in any area containing soft tissue.” These massages focus on treating loss of motion in the problem area through low-load stretching and gentle pressure. This technique is very commonly used during a Sports Massage,


8. Sports Massage

This 60-90 minute treatment is Circle 8 Massages speciality and we offer some of the Best Sports Massages in Leeds. According to Healthline, “Sports massage is a good option if you have a repetitive use injury to a muscle, such as what you may get from playing a sport. It’s also a good option if you’re prone to injuries because it can be used to help prevent sports injuries. You may also use sports massage to increase flexibility and performance. Additionally, sports massage can be used to relieve pain, anxiety, and muscle tension.”


9. Reflexology

This clothed treatment has roots in Chinese medicine and releases tension through the touch of the feet, hands, and ears only. It’s great if you don’t like full-body touch or are short on time. Most treatments are 30 minutes and just use medium intensity on the pressure points in the ears, hands and feet.


10. Active release

A pain-relief treatment developed for athletes, this 60-90 minute session seeks to repair torn, overused and damaged muscle and soft tissue. It is a targeted treatment for pain management and recovery that focuses on your problem area. According to Physiopedia, “The clinician applies deep tension at the area of tenderness whilst the patient is instructed to actively move the injury site from a shortened to a lengthened position.” Active release is a common technique within a Sports Massage.


11. Shiatsu

This unclothed massage technique uses pulsing or rhythmic pressure to relieve stress, tension, anxiety and pain in the full body. It’s a Japanese technique involving the clinician’s palms, hands and thumbs for 60-90 minutes of medium intensity massage.


12. Thai Massage

An active form of massage, Thai massage uses stretching and twisting to promote relaxation and healing. You can wear light, loose clothing during the 60-90 minute treatment. According to WebMD, “Instead of a massage table, you lie on a mat on the floor while the provider manipulates your body in certain ways to stimulate organs and improve flexibility.”


Looking for a Massage in Leeds?

Keen to explore what type of massage is right for you? Talk to the Circle 8 Massage team about your treatment options for Massage in Leeds. We can offer expert advice on which treatment we think will help you the most.

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When you come for a massage at Circle8 we don’t just treat your issue and send you away, we find out exactly which movements and muscles are causing it, explain to you what’s actually happening, give you exercises in the gym and at home that you can do to help alleviate and eventually get rid of your issue.