The Different Types of Massage, Explained

We have mentioned on this blog before that careers in massage are exploding! In fact, the growth rate in the massage industry is more than double what other beauty related fields are witnessing. This is a huge growth, which could equal huge possibilities!

The massage licensing and education requirements in Minnesota are varied, breaking different types of therapeutic techniques into separate certification requirements. If you are interested in pursuing a future in massage therapy, but are not sure what the different types of therapy entail, we have you covered!

There are many different types of massage. At The Salon Professional Academy(TSPA), Rochester we offer courses in many of the following techniques in our massage therapy program.

Swedish Massage

woman getting massage

This technique is the most commonly used type of massage. If you have ever gotten a massage before chances are high that it was a Swedish Massage. Originating from Sweden, this massage technique focuses on full body relaxation and assisting in increasing blood flow to the heart by use of long strokes.

This massage technique is the foundation for many other types of therapeutic methods in western massage technique and should be learned as a foundation to massage.

Deep Tissue Massage

Similar to Swedish massage in both stroke technique and purpose, this method has a heavier focus on reaching deeper muscles and tissues. This type of massage can be beneficial in releasing chronic tension and helping to ease joint pain.

You will often find Deep Tissue Massage in specialty clinics and hospitals to help both assist blood flow and healing in chronic cases.

Sports Massage

woman getting sports massage Geared toward athletes, this massage was created using the techniques from both Swedish and Deep Tissue massage to help athletic individuals recover from injuries or strain sustained during activity. Because the focus of this massage is for athletes, techniques have been developed to assist in healing for many different types of sports activity.

Used by athletes both for recovery and regular maintenance, this type of therapy is commonly used in both rehabilitation clinics, and regular massage practices.

Thai Massage

Developed thousands of years ago from Indian Ayurvedic principles, this type of massage uses a combination of pressure, guided strokes, and yoga to help promote relaxation and blood flow. Depending on the training or technique learned, Thai massage can also include acupressure.

Because this massage utilizes passive stretching and a much more active massage system, this type of massage tends to be done on the floor to assist the therapist in the motions and access to the client.

Shiatsu Massage

Man getting shiatsu massageOriginating from ancient Chinese medicine, the Shiatsu method focuses on pressure points to help the client ease into relaxation. To access these points, the therapist may apply pressure using their thumbs, hands, knees, or feet. While not as active as Thai massage, this technique also utilizes passive stretching to help promote blood flow.

Often thought of as a specialty technique, those with knowledge in this method may be able to find employment in spas and resorts.

Acupressure Massage

Developed over 5,000 years ago for the enjoyment of the ruling party in China, this massage takes the system of acupuncture and focuses it on pressure points. This massage does not utilize as much of the same stretching and kneading of the muscles that we see in other techniques.

Hot Stone Massage

woman getting a hots tone massageBy using water-heated stones at key pressure points on the body, this type of massage promotes relaxation and the ease of muscle tension. The heat from the stones not only prompts tightened muscles to relax, but helps promote circulation to the warmed areas. In addition to placing the stones on the body, the stones can also be used as a massaging agent, prompting the further release of tightened muscles.

At The Salon Professional Academy, Rochester we are proud to offer instruction in many of these methods to help our students learn the skills they needs to achieve their dreams.

Learn more about how we adapt our program to benefit our students on our blog!

If you are interested in pursuing a career in massage therapy and want to see how our programs can help you get there, schedule a tour today. Our admissions director would love to show you our facility and introduce you to our educators and to the bright future that could be yours.

Call Today.

How to Become a Massage Therapist in Minnesota!

So you want to be a massage therapist? Awesome! Welcome to one of the fastest growing industries in the health and wellness field!

With an estimated 22% growth by 2024 the massage therapy field is in demand, and in need of highly trained professionals to bring relaxation, comfort, and wellness to the millions of Americans who are passionate about their health.

At The Salon Professional Academy(TSPA), Rochester we are dedicated to our students, and to helping them build the skill and knowledge they need to develop a career that could support them into a successful, and healthy future. If you want to learn more, come in for a tour and learn about the massage programs at TSPA Rochester.

Interested in becoming a Massage Therapist? Here are the steps you need to follow to reach your goals in Minnesota.

  1. Find a School

    Finding the right school can be difficult! Depending on where you hope to work and what you would like to specialize in, the education you get can be important.

    When looking into schools, make sure you are working toward your goals, and that you understand the skills and massage types you should master in order to get there.

    Our Admissions Coordinator can help you understand what skills you may need, and assist you in reaching your career goals. Don’t be scared to ask questions to make sure you are enrolling in a program that will help to get you where you want to be.

  2. Gain the Skill

    man getting massageThere are many different types of massage. From Swedish, to sports, to hot stone. Once you have picked a school that will help you master the techniques to reach your goals, make sure you have enough hours in the student salon training area to help you build your skill.

    Because of the way our licensing is set up in Minnesota, you are able to take courses in individual techniques. To help our students prepare for whatever might come their way, as well as potential specialty focuses in the future, we teach a wide variety of techniques. This helps to build more career options, as well as potential and skill for years to come.

  3. Gain Your License

    In Minnesota the licensing for massage therapists varies from county to county. This can be confusing depending on where you get your license, as well as where you plan to work. But it doesn’t have to be!

    For this reason, at TSPA Rochester, we work to make sure our curriculum goes above and beyond the minimum requirements, helping to prepare you for whatever you may face. Plus, if you plan to live or work somewhere that will require a license, we can prepare you for that as well. We want our students to succeed, and working to create a curriculum that can prepare them for success is a cornerstone we are proud of.

  4. Pass the MBLEx

    woman getting massage While passing the MBLEx exam is not required to begin working in massage in Minnesota, it is required at many of the most sought after jobs, such as hospitals and physical therapy. Because of this we strive to train our students with all of knowledge and skill they need to sit for the MBLEx exam with confidence.

    This may seem like a small detail, but by working to deliver an in-depth education, we are helping to prepare our students for a career that will support them for years to come.

If you want more information about the massage therapy program at TSPA Rochester, schedule a meeting with our admissions advisor today! Also, make sure to check out our blog and get a sneak peek about what makes massage therapy at TSPA Rochester different, and how we can help you reach your dreams.

At The Salon Professional Academy, Rochester we are dedicated to you and your success! Let’s get started, today!

Fall 2017 Student Spot Light

The Salon Professional Academy – Rochester is excited to announce that we will begin hosting a Student Spot Light! This student spot light will introduce to you one or two students who are currently attending the Salon Professional Academy!


Fall 2017 Student Spot Light

Cosmetology Student Spotlight:

We are so excited to introduce you to Tuyet! Tuyet started our cosmetology program January 09, 2017 and is scheduled to graduate in January of 2018! She has shared that her favorite things she has learned from TSPA is how to cut hair and coloring. She is always very enthusiastic about helping guests get a fresh look with a cut and color! We love learning about our students and Tuyet shared with us that some things she enjoys doing outside of The Academy include: singing karaoke, cooking, traveling overseas, and meeting new people! Her educators shared with us that she is always happy from the time she steps into the academy to the time she leaves. She is very good with clients and gets excited with her work!

Check out some of her work:

Massage Student Spotlight:


We would like to introduce our Massage Therapy Student Spot light, Kate! Kate started the Massage Therapy program June 2017 and will be graduating at the end of November 2017! When asked what her favorite things about TSPA are she wrote that she enjoyed all of the instructors and current students! Outside of TSPA Kate is a mother of two beautiful children, Sophia who is 5 and Roman who is 3. In addition, she is currently and will continue to work as a licensed massage therapist at Serenity Couture. Her favorite thing that she has learned is the deep tissue techniques.  Kate’s educators had the following to say:

“Kate is the absolute ideal student any instructor could ever want: she’s organized, helpful, and determined. She keeps clear and assembled notes that has made her both, one of the best performing students, academically, and the most prepared Massage Therapist student, too. Kate is always helping out the new students in the classroom. Whether it’s helping remember muscles, or showing trigger points, she is always going out of her way to assist in any way she can. Kate is also very determined- she will not stop until she gets it right! From learning a modality or draping, to know her anatomy and physiology, Kate is dead set on getting it right and never forgetting. These three characteristics- organization, helpfulness, and determination- are just three of the many qualities that make Kate the ideal student. “

The Salon Professional Academy and One Warm Coat®, Warming Up The Community

The Salon Professional Academy and One Warm Coat®,

Warming Up The Community

spreading warmth…one coat at a time.


A 2-degree drop in body temperature results in reduced heart rate, loss of coordination, and confusion. Help us spread warmth by donating coats to our @onewarmcoat drive November 6-10 at The Salon Professional Academy. #warmamillion #igavewarmth

The Salon Professional Academy is hosting a community drive to collect clean, gently worn, warm coats, hats, mittens, boots, and/or scarves. Area residents are invited to make a difference in our local community by donating to our Warming Up The Community drive and helping The Salon Professional Academy reach their goal. Donations can we brought into the Academy between Mon. November 6 and Friday November 10. Monday-Thursday donations are accepted 8:30am to 5:00pm. On Friday we will continue accepting donations from 8:30am to 7:30pm. To celebrate and give thanks, we will be hosting a “thank you festival” on Fri, November 10 from 3pm to 7:30pm. There will be hot chocolate, warm cider, a bounce house, camp fires, s’mores, hot dog roasting, face painting, and fun!

Do you have coats in your closet that you no longer wear – donate them! Stop by our @onewarmcoat drive at The Salon Professional Academy November 6-10 and donate your gently worn coats to a great cause! #warmamillion

“We are so excited about our upcoming One Warm Coat drive and hope the community will support us.  There are nearly 50 million Americans currently living in poverty and struggling to provide a warm coat for themselves or their families.  One Warm Coat’s program helps us keep all of the coats we collect in this community, which will make a big difference for our neighbors who need a coat” said Coat Drive Ambassador and local resident.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of gently worn coats are distributed across North America to children, women and men in need through One Warm Coat’s Coat Drive program. “We are so grateful for our Coat Drive Ambassadors, like The Salon Professional Academy!  It is because of our incredible volunteers that we have been around for 25 years, helping get coats to our neighbors who need them. Thanks to The Salon Professional Academy’s efforts, many people in this community will have a much warmer winter”, commented Jennifer Stockard, President and Chief Executive Officer of One Warm Coat.

One Warm Coat is a national non-profit organization that works to provide a free, warm coat to any person in need and raises awareness of the vital need for warm coats.  One Warm Coat supports individuals, groups, companies and organizations across the country by providing the tools and resources needed to hold a successful coat drive.  Coats are distributed in the communities where they were collected, to any person in need, without charge, discrimination or obligation. Over the past 25 years, One Warm Coat has worked with its volunteers to give away nearly 5 million coats.

Unable to donate gentle used or new items during our donation drop off week or thank you festival? Don’t worry you are still able to help our community!  Head on over to our website where you can still donate to help those in need!


Warming up the community. We will be collecting the “BIG 5” in this drive; Coats, Hats, Mittens, Boots, and Scarves. To celebrate and to give thanks, we will be hosting a “thank you festival” on Fri, November 10 from 3pm-7:30pm. There will be hot chocolate, warm cider, bounce house, camp fires, s’mores, hot dog roasting, face painting, and fun!