swedish-massage

Massages aren’t all the same. Before you make an appointment at the spa, think about what your body needs, or the types of strokes that you’re look forward to, and choose the therapy that you want. If you’re unsure now, here’s a guide to help you out.

Swedish Massage

Recommended for: Those with back aches or muscle tension, conditions such as arthritis and migraines

What is it like: This is a very common massage that most people will find comforting and therapeutic. The therapists use long strokes that are smooth, sometimes some kneading actions on the surface of your muscles. Most of the time, they use an oil, cream or lotion during the process.

Thai Massage

Recommended for: Those who want to improve energy levels and flexibility

What is it like: This massage features a lot of compressions and stretches. Don’t be surprised when the therapist moves you into a sequence of postures – it’s almost like doing a two-man yoga.

Shiatsu

Recommended for: People looking for a relaxing experience, or for overall well-being

What is it like: A Japanese therapy, the therapist uses his/her fingers to add pressure to acupoints in a rhythmic movement. Each point is held for a few seconds so that energy can flow from the acupoints and the body can regain balance.

Hot Stone Massage

Recommended for: People experiencing poor blood circulation, low energy and anxiety.

What is it like: Those who have poor blood circulation tend to feel chilly and the warmth from the hot stones help to improve the blood circulation. The heat also relaxes the muscles so the massage can be done more gently. Sometimes, instead of just placing the hot stones on the body, the therapist may use the stones to apply some pressure on specific muscles. In some cases, the stones may be swapped with other tools, such as bamboo.

Aromatherapy Massage

Recommended for: Those who are experiencing stress or stress-related problems like insomnia. Also great for energizing the mind and reducing problems like headaches.

What is it like: The therapist chooses essential oils (usually after a consultation with the client to find out about his/her needs) to administer the massage. You can expect the therapist to guide you through some breathing exercises too, so that you can inhale the scent of the essential oils, which can help to alleviate stress level and blood pressure.

Deep Tissue Massage

Recommended for: Those recovering from injury and those who are having chronically tight or aching muscles

What is it like: This works similarly to the Swedish massage, but the therapist uses slower and stronger strokes, or even friction techniques (going back and forth on every muscle) to help loosen and deeply knead the muscles. Take note that you may feel sore for a few days after deep tissue massage.

Do you have a favourite massage?

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About the Author
Kristen Juliet SohIn her 30s, Kristen Juliet Soh is the editorial director of Daily Vanity, and has spent more than a decade in the field of journalism and content stra...Read More

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