According to the American Massage Therapy Association, roughly one in every five Americans have at least one therapeutic massage each year. That’s a lot of massages, but it’s still a small number given the many amazing health benefits of this unique practice. As more research and data appears, the massage therapy industry is only going to get bigger. As the health and wellness benefits of therapeutic massage continue to go mainstream, the services of qualified massage therapists will be in greater demand than ever.
If you’ve never had a professional massage before, you might assume that all massages are more or less the same. Even if you go frequently for therapeutic massage, you might find yourself getting the same type of treatment over and over again. After all, if you enjoy the treatments and you find them beneficial, why change?
On the other hand, there are several different massage therapy techniques that you probably haven’t tried – and your new favorite type of massage might be out there, just waiting to be discovered. Here are 3 types of massage you should try at least once.
1. Hot stone massage
Hot stone massage is not necessarily a “type” of massage – but it does make use of warmed Basalt stones in order to calm your muscles, provide deep relaxation, and increase the benefits of your massage. A blend of techniques can be used in conjunction with hot stones: Talk to your therapist about your options!
2. Thai massage
A lot of people describe this type of massage as “passive yoga,” and there is good reason for this description. Thai massage is done with the patient fully clothed and lying on either a floor mat or a raised table. The practitioner then performs a series of assisted stretches, compressions, and traditional “kneading” techniques to relax the muscles and improve circulation. It’s a wonderful and healing massage technique, but it may not be the kind of massage you’re used to!
3. Foot reflexology
A foot massage is always one of the most relaxing and pleasurable experiences out there; but reflexology kicks it up a notch by using pressure points on the foot to stimulate healing responses throughout the whole body. It may sound outlandish, but this type of therapy has been in use for centuries. If you’re someone who enjoys having your feet massage, and are interested in a type of foot massage that benefits the body as a whole, foot reflexology is definitely worth a try. Just make sure you book with someone who is trained and experienced in this specific healing art!
Where are the good practitioners, and what’s the best value?
A lot of people have only one or two massage therapy sessions in their entire life, simply because they get unlucky and end up with a practitioner who is not property trained or experienced. Student clinics are a great way to get quality massage at a lower rate, since the treatments are administered by advanced students under supervision by a master massage therapist.