6. Trigger point massage
Trigger point massages are best suited for people who have injuries, chronic pain, or a specific issue or condition. Sometimes areas of tightness in the muscle tissues, known as trigger points, can cause pain in other parts of the body. By focusing on relieving trigger points, this type of massage can reduce pain.
Trigger point massage uses broad, flowing strokes that are gentle and relaxing combined with stronger, deeper pressure. The massage will include work on your entire body, though your therapist will focus on specific areas of your body that need to be released. You can wear lightweight clothing for the massage or be fully or partially undressed.
This type of massage will usually last for 60–90 minutes.
- Trigger point massage can help you manage chronic pain.
- Wear lightweight clothing for this type of massage.
Reflexology is best for people who are looking to relax or restore their natural energy levels. It’s also a good option if you aren’t comfortable being touched on your entire body. Reflexology uses gentle to firm pressure on different pressure points of the feet, hands, and ears. You can wear loose, comfortable clothing that allows access to your legs.
A reflexology massage lasts for 30–60 minutes.
- Reflexology focuses on pressure points in your feet, hands, and ears.
- This is a good option if you’re uncomfortable being touched over your entire body. You can also be fully clothed during this type of massage.
8. Shiatsu massage
Shiatsu massage is best for people who want to feel relaxed and relieve stress, pain, and tension. It’s a Japanese type of massage that:
- promotes emotional and physical calm and relaxation
- helps to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression
- may relieve headache
- reduces muscle tension
Shiatsu massage works the whole body, but your therapist may focus on areas of your body that need extra attention. During the massage, your therapist will use their hands, palms, and thumbs to massage certain points of your body. Pulsing or rhythmic pressure is used. You can be fully clothed during this massage.
Shiatsu massages typically last for 60–90 minutes.
- Shiatsu is a good option if you’re looking for a relaxing massage. It may also help release minor tension.
- You can be fully clothed during this type of massage.
9. Thai massage
Thai massage is best for people who want a more active form of massage and want to reduce and relieve pain and stress. It can also help improve:
- energy levels
Thai massage works the entire body using a sequence of movements that are similar to yogic stretching. Your therapist will use their palms and fingers to apply firm pressure to your body. You’ll also be stretched and twisted into various positions. You can wear loose, comfortable clothing during the massage.
Thai massage lasts for 60–90 minutes.
- Thai massage is more active than other forms of massage, and the therapist will stretch your body in addition to providing a massage.
- This is another type of massage where you remain fully clothed.
10. Prenatal massage
Prenatal massage can be a safe way for women to get a massage during pregnancy. It can help reduce pregnancy body aches, reduce stress, and ease muscle tension. You can get a massage at any time during your pregnancy. However, many facilities, especially in the United States, do not offer massages to women in their first trimester due to the risk of miscarriage during this time.
Prenatal massage uses mild pressure similar to Swedish massage. The therapist will focus on areas such as your lower back, hips, and legs. You can be fully or partially undressed depending on your comfort level. During the massage, you’ll either lie on your side or on a specially designed table with a cutout for your belly. If you’ve had pain in your calves or other parts of your leg, see a doctor before you have a massage.
The massage will last for 45–60 minutes.
- Prenatal massage is a good option for pregnant women.
- This type of massage focuses on gentle pressure and is good for relaxation and mild tension relief.
11. Couple’s massage
A couple’s massage is a massage that you do with your partner, friend, or family member in the same room. It brings all the benefits of a regular massage and sometimes provides you with access to the spa’s hot tubs, saunas, and other facilities. Other treatments such as pedicures, facials, and body scrubs are sometimes offered as part of a package.
You can usually choose which type of massage you’d like to receive, and you and your partner can each get a different type of massage depending on your preference and the offerings at the spa. Your partner and you will be on tables side-by-side, and you’ll each have your own massage therapist working on your body. You can talk during the massage if you wish.
- A couple’s massage is a massage you have in a shared room with a friend, partner, or family member.
- You can usually choose from a variety of types of massages to have during your appointment. Swedish and hot stone massages are commonly offered as an option during a couple’s massage.
12. Chair massage
A chair massage is best for people who want a quick massage that focuses on your neck, shoulders, and back. A chair massage can also be a way to introduce you to massage if you’ve never had one before. Chair massage also helps to relieve stress and promote relaxation. This type of massage uses light to medium pressure.
During the massage, you’ll remain fully clothed and sit in a specially designed chair. You’ll straddle the chair so that your chest pushes into the back of the chair, allowing the massage therapist to have access to your back.
These massages are usually 10–30 minutes.
- A chair massage is a great option if you’re short on time.
- This type of massage is also a good option if you’re new to massage.
How to find a massage therapist
You can get a personal recommendation for a massage therapist from a doctor, friend, or an online directory. Or you can book a few massages with different therapists to see which one you prefer. Make sure it’s someone with whom you feel comfortable so that you can fully relax.
Make sure your massage therapist s properly trained and has certificates and state licenses that are up-to-date. You may wish to have a brief conversation with your therapist before beginning your sessions so that you can communicate your expectations and ask any relevant questions.