5 Popular Types of Massages

Written by Julieta Hernandez , Posted in Articles

Massage therapy has been proven beneficial, safe, and effective by various scientific researches. In fact, evidence-based medical studies show that massage can help improve your physical and emotional well-being. According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), massage therapy is highly beneficial for serious health problems such as cancer, hypertension, lower back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and migraine. Here are some the most popular types of massages.

Types of Massage in Salt Lake City


Widely known for its efficacy in alleviating several health issues, aromatherapy is the application of essential oils to produce psychological and emotional changes in the body. The different applications of aromatherapy has continued to increase after a French doctor, Jean Valnet, wrote a book “The Practice of Aromatherapy,” which was published in 1982. Essential oils such as lavender, sage, eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, chamomile, geranium, rosemary, sweet orange, and sandalwood are known to be safe and effective in relieving physical tension and stress.

Aromatherapy is recommended for the following health problems:

  • Insomnia
  • Eczema
  • Digestive problems
  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Respiratory problems

Swedish Massage

Also known as therapeutic massage, Swedish massage is used to enhance blood circulation and to relieve emotional and physical stress. Per Henrik Ling, a Swedish physical therapist and professor of medical gymnastics developed five massage techniques that can be used to apply deeper pressure on the muscles for improved oxygenation. Swedish massage combines long sweeping strokes using the palm (effleurage), kneading of specific muscle groups using finger knuckles and thumbs (petrissage), tapping with the side of the hands and fists (tapotement), warming up of the muscles by rubbing two hands together to produce heat (friction), and shaking and loosening of the muscles using the fingertips in a back and forth motion (vibration).

Swedish massage is beneficial for the following health concerns:

  • Release of metabolic wastes (ideal for athletes)
  • Stiffness
  • Joint pains
  • Enhanced flexibility
  • Stress
  • Osteoarthritis

Hot Stone Massage

Using basalt stones that are water-heated, hot stone massage is specifically designed to help relax and deeply soothe tired and aching muscles. In ancient China and Japan, hot stones were widely used to aid digestion and to relieve muscle pains. River stones were also used in India for healing rituals. Generally, a therapist begins with a Swedish massage to prepare your body. To increase the flow of energy in your body, hot stones are carefully arranged along the spine, on your stomach, in the palm of your hands, and between the toes.

Hot Stone massage is recommended for the following health issues:

  • Poor blood circulation
  • Arthritis
  • Rheumatism
  • Back pain
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety and stress


Reflexology is a unique form of massage therapy because it targets only three specific pressure points in the body – hands, feet, and ears. These parts are believed to be closely connected to the vital organs of the human body. For instance, the major organs located in the left region of the body can be accessed via the pressure points of the left foot. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) supports reflexology’s promise as an effective medical intervention in helping cancer patients cope with pain.

Reflexology is good for the following health conditions:

  • Asthma
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Headaches
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney problems
  • Cancer

Deep Tissue

Deep tissue massage targets the inner layers of thick muscle tissues. Using slow movements and deeper muscle pressure, this type of massage can effectively realign muscle and connective tissues to relieve pain and tension. The direct pressure breaks down adhesions in tendons, muscles, and ligaments that may cause swelling, difficulty in movement, and muscular pains. Unlike other types of massages, deep tissue massage is highly specific.

Deep Tissue massage is ideal for the following conditions:

  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic muscle pain
  • Limited mobility
  • Blood circulation

Massage is an effective antidote to stress. If you want to relax or reduce physical stress, consider getting a therapeutic massage from a reputable massage clinic.

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Julieta Hernandez

Julieta is the owner of Matrix Spa & Massage in Salt Lake City, UT. She and her staff pride themselves on providing the best massages in a truly comfortable and relaxed environment.

Massage Therapy FAQ’s

The law always requires that you be appropriately covered with sheets or towels to keep you comfortable and warm. If you start feeling uncomfortable or exposed, speak up. Your therapist will respect your wishes and work with you to make the massage session a comfortable one.
No, only undress as much as you are comfortable with. Some people prefer undressing completely, while others prefer to keep undergarments on. You'll have privacy in your massage room to undress before the session and redress afterwards.
It depends on your massage therapy goals. Some people get a monthly massage to manage stress or to prevent health problems. Others opt for weekly sessions if they need relief from injuries and chronic tension.
Licensing and certification mean that the massage therapist can legally practice massage in your city or state. To get this license, they must have performed several hours of training at an accredited school, past the extensive licensure exam, and have paid any relevant licensing fees.
Every insurance plan works a little differently, so your best bet is to contact your insurer directly. Some plans do cover alternative therapies including chiropractic and massage. You will likely need a doctor's prescription first. If you don't have health insurance, or if it doesn't cover massage therapy, you can find massage therapy coupons and discounts on our site.
How much depends on how pleased you are with the service and how much the massage costs (the full price, not any discounted fees). One easy trick is to think about how you would tip a waiter after a similarly priced restaurant meal. This is often 15-20% or more if you received exceptional service.
Let your massage therapist know before the session if there are areas on your body that you don't want to be touched. They will have the training and experience to give you a therapeutic massage while working around ticklish or sensitive places like your feet or abdomen.
Yes, absolutely. You should always speak up if something is uncomfortable. Secondly, keep the lines of communication open during deep tissue massage or sports injury massages. Your therapist needs the feedback to work on you properly and without aggravating an injury. On the other hand, if you are looking for relaxation, it's often best not to talk unless necessary. This lets your mind as well as your body release tension. With the right mindful breathing technique, you may even achieve a stress relieving meditative state during the massage.
Most likely, unless your doctor says otherwise. Prenatal massage can reduce and relieve common pregnancy issues like lower and upper back pain, sciatic nerve irritation, swelling, tension headaches, heartburn and constipation, and more. Let your massage therapist know that you're pregnant so they can use the right techniques during the session.

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