Which Type of Massage Is Right For You?

Which Type of Massage Is Right For You?

Massages are one of life’s simple—but sometimes confusing—pleasures. With so many different varieties, it can be hard to know which kind would be best for your needs.

A good massage is truly a treat and can offer many health benenfits, but there are over 200 different massage techniques and types, all treating different needs and providing various benefits. Which one should you choose? Here are 10 of the most popular types of massages to meet your varied needs.

Massages for relaxation and stress relief
Some massages are more soothing than others, leaving you feeling like you’ve been wrapped in a cloud and the “reset” button pressed on your body.
Swedish massage
This is the most common type of massage therapy, and what many people think of when they hear the word “massage” or try to give someone else (or themselves) a good massage. Swedish massage uses a combination of these basic movements:
Long, sweeping strokes (effleurage): usually used at the start and end of a massage.
Muscle kneading and rolling (petrissage): where the muscles are worked on just as one would knead dough.

Friction: where deep pressure is applied to a particular spot with the thumb, fingertips, or knuckles.
Rhythmic tapping (tapotement): fast, percussive movements like chopping and even pounding. (Trip Savvy notes, however, that percussion techniques have fallen out of favor for Swedish massages because they’re not relaxing—the way that karate chops to your naked, oiled body could be distracting)
Best for: An intro to massage, stress relief, relaxation, releasing cramped or tense muscles, couples massage
Hot stone massage
During a hot stone massage, your body is not only weighted down with hot, smooth stones, but the masseuse also uses the stones to massage your body. It’s like being caressed by the smoothest (rollerball-like) hands, but also being (lightly) scorched by them. A hot stone massage is mostly relaxing, but it also is more invigorating than your run-of-the-mill massage, thanks to the almost-too-much heat keeping you in the mom

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