Types of Massage

There are dozens types of massage and massage styles that are commonly practiced today. Knowing what they are and how they differ can often be confusing for someone who is new to massage therapy. If you don’t know what type of massage style you prefer or what it’s called, you might not get all its benefit. That’s why it’s important to understand what each massage style does and how it can benefit you.

In this article, we will list a few common massage styles and define the benefits they provide.

Shiatsu Massage

The belief behind Shiatsu and acupressure is that the body becomes out of balance due to blocked energy along special points called ‘meridians’, which are located along invisible channels of energy flow throughout the body.

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Shiatsu is a Japanese word: “shi” meaning finger, and “atsu” meaning pressure. Shiatsu is a form of Japanese massage based on acupressure. Shiatsu uses rhythmic pressure from 3 to 10 seconds on specific points along the body’s meridians by using the fingers, hands, elbows, and knees to unblock and stimulate the flow of energy. Oriental-based systems of finger pressure massage, such as acupressure and Shiatsu that treat points along the acupressure meridians, aiming to release discomfort and rebalance energy.

Video: How To Choose The Right Type of Massage


Sports Massage

Sports massage is geared toward athletes, from world-class professionals to weekend joggers. It is a special form of massage and is typically used before, during, and after athletic events. Sports massage can help prevent injuries that often get in the way of athletic performance, whether a person is a professional or a once a week jogger.

It is designed to address those specific concerns and may differ according to the sport the athlete plays. Sports massage can be aimed to help heal strained muscles and allow healthy ones to reach peak performance and maintain it while minimizing the risk of injury.

Sports massage can also include pre-event, post-event and maintenance techniques that promote greater athletic endurance and performance, lessen chances of injury and reduce recovery time. In addition to feeling good, sports massage reduces the heart rate and blood pressure, increases blood circulation and lymph flow, reduces muscle tension, improves flexibility and relieves pain.

Acupressure Massage

Acupressure has been practiced for over 5000 years. It is a form of bodywork based on traditional Chinese meridian theory in which acupuncture points are pressed to stimulate the flow of energy or chi. The technique is based on the same ideas as acupuncture. In acupressure, physical pressure is applied to acupuncture points by the hand, elbow or with various devices.

The therapist applies pressure to small contraction knots, relieving pressure. Acupressure stimulates these points to remove blockages, to increase the energy flow and to promote health and harmony in the body. Shiatsu is the most widely known form of acupressure and Zhi Ya is a form of Chinese massage based on acupressure.


Reflexology is an acupressure type technique performed on hands and feet. It is a form of bodywork based on the theory of zone therapy, in which specific spots of the body are pressed to stimulate corresponding areas in other parts of the body. Reflexology is a scientific foot massage based on the principle that the feet are a “mini-map” of the body, and every body part and organ corresponds to an area of the foot.

Designed to help bring the body back into balance reflexology uses pinpoint pressure and gentle strokes to the feet. Reflexology eliminates tension, improves circulation and stimulates the body’s natural healing process. A reflexology session is meant to break-up stress patterns within the body and provide an overall relaxing experience.

Massage Therapy can be relaxing and extremely beneficial for your health. If you are interested in massage therapy as a profession or you are a massage therapist and want to increase your business, you can find out how at Amen Massage.

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