6 Popular Types of Massage Therapy

Posted Wednesday, May 18, 2011 by Allen B. Ury

Massage TherapyMassage has many benefits. It’s a great way to relax and rejuvenate. It also has numerous proven medical benefits ranging from lowering blood pressure to pain management. Today, massage is practiced everywhere from hospital rehabilitation centers to exotic luxury resorts. Its benefits are enjoyed by everyone from young athletes to senior citizens.

Massage can be delivered using a number of styles and techniques. Which style you choose depends on what you’re trying to get from the treatment and, of course, your own personal taste.

Following are the six most popular forms of massage found in the United States and Canada:

Swedish Massage. By far the most popular form of massage, Swedish Massage is so common that it’s often referred to generically as “relaxation massage” or even just simply “massage.” Popularized by early 19th century Swedish fencing master and gymnastics teacher Henrik Ling, Swedish massage involves long, flowing strokes, often in the direction of the heart, along with kneading and circular movements, all using massage lotion or oil to minimize friction. Used most often for its relaxation benefits, Swedish massage is the common “introductory” technique for people who have never experienced massage before.

Hot Stone Massage. Sometimes done in combination with other types of massage, particularly Swedish, this technique involves laying smooth stones heated to slightly over 100 degrees on shoulders and back muscles to increase circulation and promote relaxation. The therapist might also apply light pressure to the stones to enhance their effect.

Thai Massage. Although it originated in India, this form of massage achieved its greatest popularity in nearby Thailand, hence its name. Considered one of the most “energizing” of massage styles, it involves the therapist moving and stretching the client into a series of yoga-like positions. The practitioner often pulls the client’s toes, fingers, ears, etc., as well as cracks knuckles and walks on the client’s back. A typical Thai massage session lasts anywhere from one to two hours.

Reflexology. Originated in China, reflexology is a form of foot massage that involves applying pressure to points on the feet that practitioners believe are associated with specific organs of the body. The theory is that by stimulating these areas of the feet, one can promote better health overall. While the medical benefits of reflexology have never been clinically proven, there’s little question that a reflexology massage can often relieve foot pain as well as be a very relaxing and pleasurable experience.

Deep Tissue Massage. This type of massage is targeted at muscles that have been strained or are related to chronic pain or posture problems. The therapist targets deep layers of muscles and connective tissue by using short strokes and intense pressure. It’s not uncommon for clients to feel sore for several days after such a deep tissue massage session, but the benefits can be well worth it.

Shiatsu. A Japanese specialty, this technique involves using fingers and thumbs to apply pressure to acupuncture/acupressure points to relieve stress and pain. Although more intense than a traditional Swedish massage, Shiatsu can actually be quite relaxing, without the residual soreness of a deep tissue massage.

Massage Therapy at Everest College in Seattle

If you would like to become a professional massage therapist, you can get the training and experience you need to start your career at Everest College in Seattle, Wash. Everest’s Massage Therapy program is designed to help prepare students to work in day spas, hotels, resorts, clinics and other venues where massage therapy is offered. The program is taught by professional massage therapists and can be completed in as little as 12 months.

The Seattle campus also offers a Massage Therapy – Spa Specialist program that teaches special body treatment techniques found at major health spas.

Upon graduation, students in the Massage Therapy program can take advantage of Everest’s Career Services department where experienced representatives help students identify and contact local employers. They also help students prepare winning resumes, practice effective interviewing techniques and even select their interview wardrobe.

About the Seattle Campus

Everest College’s Seattle campus is at 2111 North Northgate Way in Seattle, Washington (98133). The campus is just west of the intersection of North Northgate Way and the I-5 freeway. The school is on a metro bus route and also has convenient free parking available. In addition to its Massage Therapy and Massage Therapy Spa Specialist programs, Everest’s Seattle campus also offers career training programs in Medical Assistant, and Medical Insurance Billing and Coding.

For more information, contact Everest today!

Financial aid is available for those who qualify.

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