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What are different massage therapy styles?

ANSWER

When you need or want a massage, you can choose from about 80 massage therapy styles with a wide variety of pressures, movements, and techniques. These all involve pressing, rubbing, or manipulating muscles and other soft tissues with hands and fingers. Sometimes, even forearms, elbows, or feet are used.

Common types of massage are:

  • Swedish
  • Deep tissue
  • Sports
  • Chair
  • Shiatsu
  • Thai
  • Hot stone
  • Reflexology
  • Pregnancy

SOURCES:

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Massage Therapy as CAM."

U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics: "Massage Therapists."

American Massage Therapy Association: "2008 Massage Therapy Industry Fact Sheet;" "Choosing a Type of Massage;" "Glossary of Massage Terms;" and "Massage and Serious Health Conditions."

Washington State University: "UREC Massage Styles."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on October 2, 2018

SOURCES:

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Massage Therapy as CAM."

U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics: "Massage Therapists."

American Massage Therapy Association: "2008 Massage Therapy Industry Fact Sheet;" "Choosing a Type of Massage;" "Glossary of Massage Terms;" and "Massage and Serious Health Conditions."

Washington State University: "UREC Massage Styles."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on October 2, 2018

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How do you decide which massage style is best?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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