Top view of  young beautiful woman receiving hot black marble stone massage and relaxing in spa salon

Massage therapy can be described as the manipulation of soft tissue. Massage therapy has physical, and psychological consequences, in other words, it may affects the brain, body, and soul.


The term “massage” comes from the French meaning “friction or kneading”, the Arabic word “massa” meaning “to touch, feel, or manage”, and the Latin “massa” meaning” mass, dough”. An older origin might have been in the Hebrew “me-sakj” significance “to anoint with oil” and the early Greek “anatripsis” or Latin “frictio” was the term for massage.

What happens during the massage?

During a massage, soft tissue, composed of muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, lymphatic vessels, organs and other connective tissues, can be in manipulated in numerous ways. These include with stress, strain, movement, vibration – all either stationary or moving, structured or unstructured. Massage strokes can be applied with the hands, soft fists, fingers, thumbs, elbows, forearms, and feet. There are over 80 accepted massage modalities or kinds of massage. The most stated reasons for presenting massage as curative has been due to customer demand and perceived clinical efficacy.

During a massage, the client is positioned on either a massage table or massage chair. The massage table is well- cushioned for comfort, easily cleaned between clients, and includes a cushioned horseshoe-shaped head support to allow for proper positioning of the neck and effortless breathing while the customer is facedown. The massage chair is also well-padded, easily cleaned, and provides a cushioned horseshoe-shaped headrest but the customer remains in a more upright, sitting position. Typically, a chair massage is for a shorter duration from 5 to 15 minutes and can be done with the client fully clothed. A table massage session generally lasts from 30 to 90 minutes with the customer partially or completely undressed under a blanket or sheet. Often pillows or bolsters are utilised to assist with body positioning to increase the comfort throughout the session. Massage chairs and tables are generally mobile and can be easily setup almost everywhere.

Typs of massages around the world

In america, the most frequent type of massage therapy is Swedish massage and often it’s simply known as “relaxation massage, “European massage” or just “Swedish”. A Swedish massage therapy is typically very gentle and relaxing. The session usually includes long smooth strokes with kneading & round motions that operate on the superficial layers of the muscle. There are many different kinds of massage – such as Deep Tissue Massage, Neuromuscular Massage, Sports Massage, Heated Stone Massage, Myofascial Tissue Release and Prenatal Massage just to name a few.

Each modality, or type of massage, is used to attain unique results and treat various conditions. Usually modalities are combined together in 1 session to attain different results requested by the customer. The objective of your massage will determine what modality or modalities the massage therapist will use. The question to ask yourself is -“what’s my goal for my massage session?” Is the massage for relaxation, stress management, relief from chronic pain, rehabilitation of an accident, relief from frequent headaches, or improvement of flexibility and range of movement. Let your massage therapist know what type of results you’re looking for and let her/him finish up.


Often, a massage therapist may use essential oils during the massage session. This is known as “aromatherapy”. Aromatherapy is defined as the use of essential oils for physical and psychological well-being. It’s understood that essential oils have therapeutic properties on both the physical and psychological levels. Only nature can product entire essential oils. Essential oils are found as tiny droplets inside various plant parts such as leaves, stems, bark, flowers, roots, and fruits. Each essential oil has its own distinctive set of therapeutic properties and can relax, energize, reduce headaches, or relief anxiety to name only a few. Among the most popular essential oils used in massage is lavender.

A heated stone massage session typically includes Swedish massage with the addition of heated, smooth stones stored in the hands of the massage therapist. Usually heated stones are also placed on the trunk, abdomen, behind the neck, and even between the toes to add an additional element of comfort to the session. Heated stones can be quite good at heating and loosening tight muscles. Typically, the pressure used during heated stone massage is somewhat on the lighter side and may be great for the ones that have tight muscles, but don’t like plenty of pressure.

Sports massage is especially designed for the ones that are involved in physical activity and sports. You can surely benefit from this sort of massage even when you aren’t a professional athlete. Anyone who’s physically active and works out regularly can benefit. The focus of the form of massage is much more about helping the body healing after a workout or sporting event in addition to preventing and treating injuries. Regular massage can also improve athletic performance.

Sports massage is made up of mix of techniques and the strokes are generally faster than Swedish massage. Also included in this modality are techniques to warm up and/or cool down the muscles along with facilitated stretching to help increase flexibility and range of movement.

Massage Theories

There are many theories of the massage therapy actually does affect the body. Some theories suggest that massage can trigger the release of substances in the body such as dopamine or endorphins to facilitate relaxation, or the “gate of management theory” indicating the massage itself might help block the pain signals sent to the mind. It’s understood that massage therapy does activate the parasympathetic nervous system that is the nervous system that controls “digestion & relaxation” and that might help clarify those stomach gurgles you hear throughout your session.

The best way to discover a massage therapist is ask a friend or health care professional, such as chiropractor, family physician, or personal trainer, to recommend you. Make certain to ask the massage therapist about their training, experience, and permit credentials. Also, ask your insurance carrier about coverage as some insurance plans will cover some or all the session fees. Otherwise, check into your flex spending plan or health saving accounts as often it is possible to use one of them to cover the sessions.