What Are The Different Types Of Massage Techniques, And Are Some Better Than Others?

Question: What are the different types of massage techniques, and are some better than others?

Answer: The basic form of massage that most therapists are going to start with a person is called Swedish massage, and that's more the gentle treatment that treats soft tissue and the superficial, or the outer layers of the muscles, and people find that very relaxing, and [it] can be helpful for muscle tightness.

If someone has a deeper problem, like disc disease or arthritis affecting their spine, or a condition like fibromyalgia where there's severe muscle pain, a massage therapist may do a technique called deep tissue massage where they're working on a deeper level to treat some of those problems out. And one form of massage that specializes [in this] is called lymphatic drainage, and that can be used to treat a condition like lymphedema where there's severe swelling in an extremity.

It can also help for things like arthritis, where there might be some mild localized swelling around a joint. And another specialized treatment is called shiatsu, and that's the Japanese form of acupressure that uses the same meridian points that are used with acupuncture, so it provides the benefits of massage with relaxation and treating out muscles as well as the benefits of acupuncture, and that allows you to treat general muscle conditions like stomach problems or menstrual irregularities.