Types Of Massage Therapy: Part 1

If you’re thinking about pursuing a career in massage therapy, you’ll need to know the different types of massage as well as specific techniques that are used in the practice. As the top massage therapy school in Chicago, we offer a robust massage therapy program at Estelle Medical Academy, where students get to explore hot stone techniques, body mobilization techniques, trigger point therapy, and so much more. Our massage school is also institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES), so we are able to accept Federal Financial Aid from students who qualify. Not only that, but a massage therapy education is also recognized anywhere in the U.S., including spas, health clubs, and clinics.

Interested in becoming a massage therapist in Chicago? Click here to check out our massage therapy program at Estelle, or continue reading to learn about the different types of massage you’ll practice as a licensed massage therapist.

Swedish Massage

Swedish massage therapy is the most popular form of massage, and it is characterized by gentle kneading and strokes. This is the most relaxing type of massage, and it is great for people who are new to massage therapy or who experience a lot of tension and stress, but not necessarily those who experience a lot of pain. During a Swedish massage, your massage therapist will use their hands, elbows, and forearms to gently loosen knots in the muscles through circular motions, long strokes, and passive joint movement techniques. This is a full-body massage that lasts anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes, during which the massage therapist uncovers different parts of the body as they work.

Aromatherapy Massage

An aromatherapy massage is very similar to a Swedish massage, but with the addition of essential oils for deep relaxation. Perfect for people who struggle with tension, anxiety, and depression, aromatherapy massages are a great way to relax and relieve muscle pain while putting the mind at ease. During an aromatherapy massage, your massage therapist will use techniques that are similar to the Swedish massage, while gently rubbing essential oils into the skin. Most aromatherapy massage therapists also use an essential oil diffuser, which disperses the oil into the air and creates a relaxing environment. Aromatherapy massages also range from 60 to 90 minutes.

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massages are a more intense version of the Swedish massage, with more pressure and slower movements. This type of massage is great for people who struggle with chronic pain, persistent muscle soreness, or have suffered an injury that causes them pain. People with anxiety and depression can also benefit from deep tissue massages, as they typically have lots of tension and stiff muscles. Massage therapists who specialise in deep tissue massage will apply pressure with their fingers, elbows, and forearms in order to loosen up knots in the muscles and provide relief on a deeper level. The deep muscle layers and connective tissues are targeted during a deep tissue massage, leaving you feeling refreshed. Like Swedish massages and aromatherapy massages, deep tissue massages usually range from 60 to 90 minutes.

Hot Stone Massage

Though they might sound intimidating, hot stone massages are one of the most relaxing types of massage. Similar to the Swedish massage, hot stone massages are characterized by soft kneading and long strokes, but with the addition of hot stones. These stones are placed on certain areas of your body, such as the upper back, shoulder blades, and lower back, to warm up the muscles and make them less tense. This allows the massage therapist to work out deeper knots in the muscle, making the hot stone massage a deeper version of the Swedish massage. Hot stone massages are either an hour long or 90 minutes, depending which spa you go to.

Chair Massage

Another popular type of massage is the chair massage, which is a quick massage that works out knots and tension in the neck, shoulders, and upper back. This type of massage is sometimes provided at shopping malls, events, festivals, offices, and other public spaces for people who are seeking quick relief while on the go. During a chair massage, you’ll sit fully clothed in a forward-leaning massage chair while your therapist gently massages the upper half of your body. Typically, they apply light to medium pressure, using soft circular motions and kneading techniques. Chair massages usually only last between 10 minutes and half an hour, and they’re far cheaper than other types of massage.

Enroll In Our Massage Therapy Program At Estelle Medical Academy

The five types of massage mentioned in this blog post are the most common types of massage offered today, but aspiring massage therapists will learn much more during their massage therapy training at an institutionally accredited massage school. If you are interested in learning more about what it takes to become a massage therapist, check out our massage therapy class information online, or continue to part two of this blog series to read about other types of massage!

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