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.

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