What Type of Massage Should I Get?
Do you ever wonder which type of massage is best for you and your specific needs?Are you suffering from chronic pain? Maybe anxiety or insomnia? Or do you have a sports injury? Finding the right massage technique and therapist for you will be crucial for meeting your health and pain relief goals.
Before your massage, make sure to ask your massage therapist about which techniques are right for you. You may also contact us and receive guidance from our clinical team on which massage is right for your specific condition prior to coming in. Learn more about our massage therapists and their specialties here.
Here is a brief overview of the numerous types of therapeutic massage therapy we offer at The Wellness Hub, right here in the heart of Jacksonville, FL:
Relaxation Massage - Relaxation (also called Swedish Massage) massage is one of the most commonly offered types of massage therapy in the western world. It is called Swedish massage because it was invented at the University of Stockholm in Sweden in the 1700's by a physiologist who also pioneered the practice of physical therapy. A relaxation massage is generally given as a full body massage, which includes the neck, shoulders, back, head, arms, hands, legs and feet. A relaxation massage uses light but firm strokes to induce the release of tension from the muscles and to calm the nervous system. This type of massage stimulates the lymphatic system, which helps to facilitate the removal of toxins from the body...so a relaxation massage is good for whole body health. In a relaxation massage, special focus will be given to areas of concern such as the back, neck or any other area you mention to your therapist. Sometimes relaxation massage will be used to warm up the muscles before moving on to other massage techniques such as deep tissue or neuromuscular massage.
Deep Tissue Massage - Deep Tissue is similar to Relaxation massage, however pressure is applied to the deeper layers of the muscle and fascia (connective tissue) to address chronic or acute pain and tension. It can be used to treat strains and sports injuries, as well as repetitive strain injuries (which can come from working at a computer or being on a phone). Sound familiar??
Neuromuscular Massage/Medical Massage - This is also called Clinical Massage or Trigger Point Massage. This type of massage is very specific for treating chronic pain syndrome or specific orthopedic conditions. Examples of the types of conditions neuromuscular massage can treat are: sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff injuries, thoracic outlet syndrome, frozen shoulder, knee pain, tension headaches, nerve entrapment, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis and more. Neuromuscular massage is good for athletes as well as someone with an orthopedic injury or a repetitive strain injury. Trigger point therapy is employed often in neuromuscular massage, which is specific pressure applied to areas of taut and tense muscle fibers, which can feel like a knot or even a marble. Trigger points tend to "refer" pain to other areas, which means it can cause pain in areas other than just where the trigger point is. It's important to note that neuromuscular massage isn't as relaxing as a traditional massage (like a Swedish or deep tissue) and usually doesn't address the whole body (just the specific areas of pain). Neuromuscular massage is an excellent option for correcting long standing pain patterns. Since this is a medical massage, a treatment plan will likely be recommended, just as if you were going to a chiropractor or physical therapist.
Hot Stone Massage - This type of massage has been used in many ancient healing traditions, first in ancient Indian and Chinese medicine. The modern form of hot stone massage originated in Hawaii and uses warmed, smooth basalt stones to massage the body. The heat penetrates into the muscles to further relax them and improve circulation. It is a comforting, luxurious and deeply relaxing treatment!
Cupping Therapy - Cupping therapy has been used in ancient healing systems throughout the world, but most notably in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In the west it used to be that cupping was something you'd only get when you saw an acupuncturist, but now many massage therapists incorporate this modality into their massage (thank goodness!). Cupping uses plastic, silicone or glass cups to apply negative pressure to the muscle and connective tissue. This has many similar benefits of massage such as relaxation to the muscle and improved circulation, but instead of compressing the tissue like in massage - it decompresses it - which allows for effective pain relief. Cupping can be done as stationary cupping (the cups are left in one place) or sliding or massage cupping (when the cups are glided across the body). Cupping therapy is excellent for treating many different types of pain syndromes, especially low back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain and tension headaches.
Reflexology - Reflexology, like cupping therapy, is a system of massage that also comes from East Asian Medicine and Chinese medicine. It involves the theory that different zones of the feet and hands can impact other parts of the body, including organs and regions of the body such as the neck, shoulders or back. Indeed, there is evidence that pressure on the hands or feet can stimulate the central nervous system, which has an impact on areas of the body away from the hands and feet. This is similar, but not exactly the same, as acupuncture theory. Reflexology is deeply relaxing and while it can help pain in the feet or hands, it can impact so many other areas of your health.
We hope that this has given a good overview of different types of massage therapy available. If you are still wondering what type of massage therapy is best for you or which practitioner would be best for you, please feel free to reach out to our clinical director here or call (904) 834-0740 and we'll be happy to help match you up to the best type of therapy and therapist for you.
Remember, there are a couple of things that make our massage services different from other spas and massage establishments:
5/31/2022 11:52:26 am
I like how you mentioned that neuromuscular massage can be used to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. My wrists have been in a lot of pain for the past couple of weeks. I haven't been able to work because of the wrist pain, so it seems like it would be a good idea for me to find a massage specialist.
I like that you talked about the full body deep tissue massage therapy which can help with acute or chronic pain that one has. I will suggest this to my dad because he has this chronic pain in his lower back. He started having this kind of issue when he reached the age of 50 which has affected his daily activities a lot.
3/14/2023 12:01:29 pm
It's great that you explained that a deep-tissue massage can be used to treat strains. I think that I strained my ankle pretty seriously during my hike last night because I could barely walk this morning. Visiting a massage therapist could be a good way for me to start the process of healing my ankle.
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The Wellness Hub Center for Integrative Medicine and Holistic Spa in Jacksonville, Florida