The Wide Variety of Massage Techniques


Swedish massage

Swedish massage is all about relaxation. So, if you’re looking for that muscle-tenderizing experience, this isn’t for you.


This is good for: “People who want to treat themselves (or somebody else — this would be an ideal Mother’s Day gift, for instance.) Or, if you are new to massage, the Swedish massage would be a good one to start off with,” Emily Blatchford, author of “Swedish, Deep Tissue, Remedial: How Massages Differ”, writes.  


Deep tissue

Deep tissue is similar to the Swedish massage, but implements firmer pressure on the muscles.


This is good for: “Someone who is looking for something similar to a Swedish massage, but wants a massage that targets the deeper layer of muscle,” Blatchford writes.



Remedial massage is for those who suffer from soreness and pain; for those who require specific areas on which to be worked.


This is good for: “Office workers who suffer from sore shoulders or stiff necks, as well as anyone with a muscle-related injury that can be assisted by massage,” Blatchford writes.



If you’re pregnant, you can get any kind of massage you like. The main difference is that, if you’re in your second or third trimester, you must lay on your side or use a pregnancy pillow.


“I’d actually recommend a pregnancy remedial massage, because then you are going to have a therapist who is more qualified. It’s just better because your body is completely changing and everything’s moving and you’re in safer hands,” Blatchford writes.


Sports massage


Sport massage is much like remedial, but the massage therapist focuses mainly on areas affected by activity and sport.  


“This is good if you do a lot of exercise, or for pre and post game massages. A lot of footy players like it as it is really good for hamstrings,” Blatchford writes.


Hot Stone


Hot Stone massage is, again, mostly for relaxation, but it can also help improve blood circulation during the cold winter months.


“Probably the same people who would appreciate a Swedish massage, but in winter,” Blatchford writes.




Thai massage is very different from the above techniques. The subject remains fully clothed, and, instead of the massage therapist using rubbing tactics, he or she stretches, pulls and rocks.


“They really stretch your body. The traditional Thai massage is pretty much stretching, but here, I’d say it’s more of a half stretching, half oil massage. It’s very strong,” massage therapist and founder of Still Beauty, Joanna Beecher, told The Huffington Post Australia.


“Someone who enjoys a strong massage and wants to try something a little different,” Blatchford writes.


How to Know Which One is Right For You


It all depends on what you wish to get out of the experience. If your intent is to relax, Swedish, Hot Stone and Deep Tissue are what you’re looking for. If you’ve suffered an injury and require massage therapy to help ease the pain, Remedial and Sports Massage are for you.


“Traditional massages are great when you just need a little stress relief and relaxation. When you have knotted muscles, however, or have more specific ailments, more attentive techniques are required,” Melanie Pinola, author of “What’s the Difference Between All These Types of Massages?”, writes.  


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