massage therapy styles

Top 9 Massage Therapy Styles and What They're Best For

June 28, 2016

The Myriad Styles and Techniques of Massage Therapy


Styles used in massage therapy range from long, smooth strokes to short, percussive strokes. Some massage therapists use oils and lotions; others do not. Most massage therapists have clients unclothe for a massage, but some do not. A massage can last anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 hours.


In an article entitled: “What's the Difference Between All These Types of Massages?”, author and expert Melanie Pinola writes: “A good massage is truly a treat and offers many health benefits, but as you've noted, massage places tend to offer lots of options on their services menus. In fact, there are over 200 different massage techniques and types, all treating different needs and providing various benefits.”


Now, we’re not going to go through all 200. But, for the purposes of this blog, we’ll break down the 9 top massage styles and techniques as provided by Pinola.


Top 9 Massage Styles and Techniques, And What They’re Best For


Swedish Massage

Best for: An intro to massage, stress relief, relaxation, releasing cramped or tense muscles, couples massage


Hot Stone Massage

Best for: "Centering" yourself, releasing very tense muscles, relaxation


Chair Massage

Best for: Quick massages when you've been walking all day, stress relief


Deep Tissue Massage

Best for: Treating stiff, painful trouble spots like the shoulder and neck


Trigger Point Massage

Best for: Chronic muscle pain and tension


Neuromuscular Therapy

Best for: Treating injuries and issues like poor circulation or posture problems, lower back pain

Shiatsu Massage

Best for: Ailments such as headaches, back pain, and lack of energy


Thai Massage

Best for: Improving energy, increased flexibility, overall health and well-being


Sports Massage

Best for: Athletes