There are hundreds of different massage techniques available for use. These techniques all employ specialized treatment for the soft tissues of the body and help to enhance the body’s internal workings. When looking for a massage therapist, one should remember that massage therapists who offer these services should be licensed and trained in these techniques.

Also, it is important to remember that massage techniques that use firm touch can sometimes be uncomfortable and are not always well tolerated. Therefore, it is important to keep open communication between a massage therapist and patient.

Swedish Massage

In the 18th century a Swedish gymnast named Per Henrik Ling developed a technique referred to as Swedish massage. Swedish massage is a type of therapeutic massage. It helps to manipulate the body’s muscles, skin tendons and ligaments to help treat various conditions.

A massage therapist using Swedish massage uses a number of different techniques to achieve their goals. This massage therapist uses firm stroking, kneading and fast continuous movements in a flowing, motion to achieve their goal.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Swedish massage techniques can be used to increase blood flow to the heart, enhance the lymphatic system and even reduce stress and muscle tensions.

Neuromuscular Massage

Neuromuscular massage and Swedish massage are similar. However, neuromuscular massage focuses specifically on therapeutic pain relief. According to the Oregon Health and Science University, neuromuscular massage is a much deeper type of massage that extensively works the muscles with deep kneading strokes.

According to the University of Michigan Health System, a massage therapist using neuromuscular massage will apply deep compression to certain areas on the body to release trigger points that have been causing pain to radiate to other locations on the body. For example, neuromuscular massage may be used to treat lower back pain that is radiating down in the buttocks or the back of the legs.

Shiatsu Massage

Shiatsu massage is a Japanese form of massage therapy and is widely used throughout the world. It can be traced back to Chinese medicine from over 5,000 years ago. The name shiatsu simply means: shi (finger), and atsu (pressure). Therefore, shiatsu means to apply pressure with the fingers to relieve trigger points on the body.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, shiatsu massage is a more gentle type of massage that uses firm pressure applied to specific points on the body to relieve pain, tensions and enhance bodily functions and energy flow. Massage therapists utilize shiatsu much like acupuncture is used as a specialized therapeutic treatment. It is very effective on severe muscle tightening in the neck, shoulders and back area.