Your Guide to the Different Styles of Massage

Your Guide to the Different Styles of MassageSwedish. Deep Tissue. Reflexology. Your favorite wellness clinic may have a list of a dozen or more styles of massages available. Do you know which are right for you? We’ve put together a guide to four common styles of massage, including the pros and cons of each, to help you decide what to try next time you go to your local chiropractic/massage studio.

Swedish Massage

This is a classic massage style that has been popular for decades and is a staple for many massage lovers. The masseuse will relax the body and stimulate circulation to the skin and shallower tissues with sweeping strokes, tapping, and kneading motions.

This is a very beginner-friendly massage that tends to be quite gentle. It is excellent for boosting circulation to the skin or working around an injury.

Swedish massage may not be a good fit for people with certain sensory issues. For instance, if you are ticklish or find vibration itchy, certain Swedish Massage techniques may be irritating. It also tends to not affect deep tissues and joints. In these cases, a different massage technique may be called for.

Deep Tissue

Deep Tissue massage targets knots and tension deep within the muscles and connective tissues of the body. The masseuse may use their fingers or a rounded tool to press down at carefully chosen spots to relieve chronic tension or pain.

This is more of a targeted, therapeutic massage as opposed to focusing on total relaxation. People who have received a massage in this style, administered by a skilled masseuse, may find both short-term and lasting relief from chronic pain or other conditions.

Deep Tissue massage can be strenuous. The masseuse needs to use a fair amount of force to affect deeper areas of the body. This may not be a good fit for people who bruise easily or have a low tolerance for discomfort.

Sports Massage

Sports Massage can both prevent and treat athletic injuries. Instead of massaging the entire body, specific areas are selected. These receive increased range of motion and blood flow to improve athletic performance.

Sports massages are typically quick, pleasant treatments that many athletes find good benefit from. They work best when scheduled overtime to maximize the ‘prevention’ aspects of this technique.

Sports massage involves a range of activities including pressure points, friction, and compression. These may be uncomfortable for people with an injury. It also tends to be less relaxing than long, full-body massage sessions.


This technique involves applying pressure, kneading, and rubbing to specific areas of the hands and feet. This purports to stimulate the function of various organs, decrease stress, and increase feel-good neurotransmitters.

Reflexology is ideal for people who need specific treatment or dislike being touched on areas such as the back. Because it is founded on different principles than many other forms of massage, it may offer benefits to people who have found other styles lacking.

Reflexology is highly dependent on the people involved, both the training and competence of the masseuse and personal factors of the client getting the massage. Not everyone experiences health benefits from it.

If you’re interested in learning more about any of these techniques or setting up an appointment at Islands Chiropractic & Massage in Gilbert contact us today!

Islands Chiropractic & Massage

Phone: (480) 545-4580

1447 W. Elliot Rd., Suite 103
Gilbert, AZ 85233

Office Hours

Monday: 8am – 6pm
Tuesday: 8am – 6pm
Wednesday: 8am – 6pm
Thursday: By Appointment
Friday: 8am – 6pm
Saturday: By Appointment
Sunday: Closed

Our Location

Font Resize