Choose an ancient civilization — India, China, Egypt, Greece, Rome — and you’ll find equally ancient records of massage as a healing art. In fact, massage has been practiced in societies around the world for nearly 5,000 years!
When you consider this history, it’s easy to see why there are so many different types of massage. Some focus on pure relaxation, others on balancing energy, and still others on healing chronic pain.
The question now is: What’s the best type of massage for you?
Keep reading below as we explore some of the most popular massage modalities available today.
Developed in Sweden in the 1830s, Swedish massage is undoubtedly the most popular type of massage in the western world.
Swedish massage generally involves light-to-medium pressure along with passive stretching movements. The massage therapist uses techniques like kneading, percussion, friction, and gliding strokes to manipulate the superficial layers of the muscles.
Most people describe Swedish massage as a calming, relaxing, and rejuvenating experience. It’s ideal for anyone who wants to “unplug” from the outside world and experience a deep state of relaxation.
Sports massage is a targeted, therapeutic massage designed to treat specific aches, pains, and injuries.
Rather than a general full-body massage, this type of massage is customized to address your body’s unique needs. Techniques might include trigger point therapy, deep kneading, range-of-motion movements, and active or passive stretching.
Sports massage is a great choice for anyone interested in increasing their athletic performance while reducing pain, stiffness, and soreness.
Deep Tissue Massage
Another common modality is deep tissue massage, which (as the name suggests) is designed to reach the deeper layers of your body’s connective tissues.
The therapist will apply deeper pressure to break up scar tissue and realign the deepest layers of muscles and fascia. Aside from basic relaxation, the main goal is to release areas of chronic pain and tension or restore normal function after an injury.
Hot Stone Massage
No one is sure of its exact origin, but experts believe that hot stone massage is based on ancient healing practices from India, China, and the Pacific islands.
The flat, smooth volcanic rocks used during the treatment retain heat well and are believed to channel positive healing energies from the earth. The massage therapist will place warm stones at key points on your body as well as massage your body with the stones using long flowing strokes.
The deep, penetrating heat from stone massage is ideal for anyone seeking a profoundly relaxing spa experience.
People have used scented oils from plants and flowers for thousands of years to improve their health and boost their mood. Today we call this practice aromatherapy, and it’s easy to incorporate into a massage.
The massage therapist will apply pure essential oils (along with a carrier oil) to your skin during the treatment, allowing you to experience the positive benefits to your physical and mental health.
The Best Type of Massage for You
The list above is just a small sample of massage modalities you might see on a spa menu.
Now the only question to ask is: What’s the best type of massage for your unique needs?
At Apres at Simply Massage, you don’t have to settle for just one modality. Our custom massage allows you to benefit from many different types of massage in a single session!
Contact us today at 970-445-2114 to learn more or use our convenient online form to book your custom massage in Vail, Colorado.