Providing the right massage technique for a client’s needs is a point of pride at London Mobile Massage Therapy. However, our clients request some types of massages more often than others! The three most popular massage techniques are relaxation, deep tissue, and hot stone. Here’s what makes them so popular, and how to tell which one is right for you!
Relaxation (Swedish) Massage
The most familiar form of massage, relaxation massage focuses on the top layer of muscles and joints without going very deep. It also goes by the name “Swedish massage” because Swedish physiologist Per Henrik Ling developed the system in the 1800s. When it came over to the United States, masseuses billed it as the “Swedish movement cure.” While we no longer use it as a “cure” for ailments, there are still so many benefits to the relaxation massage!
The most obvious benefit clients want out of this type of massage is stress relief. The kneading, rubbing, vibration, and even stretching and bending of the joints are well known to relax the body. This technique is also known to increase circulation by massaging the soft tissues, reducing muscle tension that can cause other problems!
Deep Tissue Massage
A deep tissue massage uses a lot more pressure than a relaxation massage. This is because this type of massage has to go deeper to bring about the benefits. A deep tissue massage uses slow strokes and firm pressure to get at the connective tissue that surrounds and supports the muscles, bones, and nerves. After starting with some light pressure to prepare the muscles, the masseuse will apply the deeper pressure using their elbow, forearm, knuckles and thumbs.
Because of this, clients who need more than just relaxation will often request a deep tissue massage. It has been known to help relieve chronic pain as well as the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis.
Hot Stone Massage
The third most popular massage technique, one that is being requested more and more because of its reputation for combining relaxation and relief, is the hot stone massage. As the name suggests, the masseuse places heated stones at specific parts of the body to relax sore muscles. They use smooth, flat basalt stones on specific parts of your body. Basalt is important because it’s a volcanic rock that retains heat very well, helping sustain the feeling for much longer periods.
On top of stress relief, hot stone massages are a favourite among those with chronic aches and pains. It is a popular treatment for chronic pain in the legs, shoulders, neck, and upper and lower back. It may also be a part of a holistic approach to treat hypertension, as this massage technique can also lower blood pressure.
How Do I Know Which Massage Technique Is For Me?
While all three of these popular massage techniques promote lower levels of stress, they also have specific benefits. When booking a mobile massage appointment, talk with LMMT about your reasons for making the arrangement. If you have specific health problems or goals, deep tissue or hot stone massage might be the right type for you. But if you are pregnant or have health issues that can be exacerbated by heat and pressure, you’ll want to avoid them in favour of a relaxation massage.