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5 Massage Therapy Styles That Can Help Relax Your Body

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Health Care

Have you been feeling physically and mentally exhausted lately? Is your current state taking a toll on your health? If so, massage therapy can be an effective solution. Massage therapies are based upon the utilization of various movements and pressures to palpate soft tissues and muscles. They also stimulate the underlying peripheral nerves and the central nervous system, which regulate the autonomic nervous system functioning. Massage therapy benefits the body in various ways by:

  • Improving sleep
  • Reducing stress
  • Enhancing immune system
  • Providing symptomatic relief
  • Relaxing muscles and joints
  • Promoting better lymphatic drainage
  • Aiding gut health

You can contact a registered massage therapist to get the right massage therapy and discuss your conditions and desired outcomes. Here are five massage therapy styles that will help you achieve optimal body relaxation and health:

Shiatsu Massage

The Shiatsu massage is a Japanese massage technique based on the concept of qi from Chinese medicine. Many healthcare professionals consider this massage therapy a modified version of acupressure. It is performed with loose clothing on and does not involve the application of oils.

During a Shiatsu massage, the therapist uses their fingers, thumbs, palms, elbows, and feet to apply direct pressure at different body points. The pressure applied is varied yet rhythmic and follows a specific path of meridian points to relieve symptoms.

Before performing the shiatsu massage, a condition assessment is done via stretching, holding, tappings, kneadings, movements, rotations, and soothing. It helps the therapist to know where the pressure needs to be applied. Shiatsu massage therapy can be beneficial for improving posture, relieving back pain, muscle aches, and bowel functioning, and treating sports injuries. It is also known to reduce menstrual symptoms, improve libido, and even induce easy labor in pregnant women.

Swedish Massage

The Swedish massage is a common therapy style that lasts 60 to 90 minutes and is great for beginners. Unlike the Shiatsu massage, this massage therapy is done on bare skin and uses oil or lotion application to reduce friction.

Swedish massage is focused on gentle touch to relax the entire body. Your massage therapist will use a combination of kneading, tappings, joint movements, and vibrations with gentle pressure. The soft, long kneading strokes are done in the direction of the heart to improve blood flow. At the same time, the rhythmic tappings on the skin stimulate the underlying sensory receptors. Other than relaxing the body, Swedish massage is beneficial for improving blood circulation and oxygenation, removing toxins, reducing cortisol levels, and increasing lymphocytes.

Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Lymphatic drainage massage therapy, also known as Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD), is an excellent technique to relax and improve overall condition. It uses gentle touch, pressure, and motions to help lymph fluid flow through the lymphatic channels. The therapy usually takes around 60 minutes or more until the body feels relaxed.

A registered massage therapist would apply gentle pressure through slow circular movements. The lymphatic drainage massage is ideal for people experiencing inflammation. Other than that, the therapy aids in reducing lymphedema, fatigue, muscle, bone, nerve pain, skin and digestive problems, and migraines.

Hot Stone Massage

Hot stone massage therapy relaxes the body by transmitting heat deep within the muscle tissues. A massage therapist places heated stones on bare skin at different acupressure points. The stones are either temporarily left in place or moved to apply gentle pressure on the body.

A hot stone massage session lasts for about 90 minutes and may be done with other techniques like a Swedish massage. Heated stone massages improve blood circulation and reduce pain, muscle tension, and stress.

Aromatherapy Massage

The aromatherapy massage is an excellent body-relaxing combination of aroma stimulation and different massage techniques. During aromatherapy massage, the therapist applies diluted essential oil on the bare skin. A diffuser is also placed nearby with essential oils to provide a soothing effect when inhaled.

Gentle pressure is applied to the whole body, and the procedure goes on for about 60 to 90 minutes. An aromatherapy massage is excellent for elevating mood, combating stress, depression, and anxiety, and lessening muscle tension and pain.


Massage therapy is a proven effective method to achieve body and mind relaxation. Various massage therapy styles exist, and each provides multiple health benefits. However, prior to booking a session, consult with your healthcare specialist to rule out any underlying condition that could interfere with the outcomes of the therapy.

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