Massage is a common practice used by everyday people as a means to relax and unwind after a tense week at work or a tiring holiday. Since ancient times, spiritual and natural healers have used massage therapy techniques to cure illnesses and heal injuries to the body or mind. Many of the most successful techniques have survived the ravages of time - passed on from generation to generation and refined by gifted therapists - to exist today.


The best thing about massage is that you don't need a medical degree or a background in medicine or physiology-related education in order to learn and practice massage. It also does not require years of training to become a good massage therapist - only lost of practical experience to get really good at it. The training itself is very simple and very practice-based, and students have a variety of options when it comes to deciding which type or types of massage therapy they wish to learn and practice. The following are some of the types of massage therapy which are most popular and in-demand these days. Many massage therapy schools in Canada and the US (and all over the world) conduct regular training sessions on many of these types of therapy as part of comprehensive training courses and campus based programs.

The following are four of the several popular types of massage therapy taught most frequently at modern massage schools which offer complete massage therapy programs.

Swedish massage

This is the most common type of massage used in most western countries, especially Canada and the US. Massage lotion and oil are usually used to decrease friction on the surface and therapists use their hands for long smooth strokes (in a kneading motion), tapping and circular patterns with pressure applied to muscles just below the skin (there are five basic strokes used). This type of massage is considered beneficial for reducing pain and joint stiffness, and improving blood circulation and helps patients with osteoarthritis.

Thai Massage

Thai massage is based in yoga and originated from the far-east and India (originally).The objective of this type of massage is to align the energies of the human body (eastern spiritual concepts are used). This involves stretching and compressing muscles and putting pressure on specific points (nerve-pressure points) of the body. It improves flexibility and range of motion while refreshing and energizing the body - it is therefore preferred by performers and sportsmen and women.

Shiatsu Massage (Japanese)

Shiatsu literally means 'figure pressure' and is based on the same concepts as acupuncture. It uses eastern concepts of the balance and flow of body energy. Pressure is applied by the thumbs, fingers and palms of the hand to 'energy meridians' - the same points of the body as with acupuncture. Variations of this type of therapy include foot-shiatsu (a famous method of foot massage) as well as rolling, brushing, vibrating and hand-grasping areas of the body as well as stretching.

Aromatherapy (based on Swedish/ Indian massage)

Aromatherapy is basically massage therapy with the use of scented essential oils to provide stimulation through the sense of smell - along with touch - during a therapy session. The human sense of smell is connected to the part of brain (limbic system) that can regulate the heart, blood pressure, stress factors, breathing, memory, digestion and the immune system. The human skin absorbs these healing essential oils while the scent and the massage motion regulated the condition - through the brain - according to whichever objective is to be accomplished. Some oil used to regulate condition; Calming oils; chamomile, lavender, geranium. For mood uplifting; ylang ylang, clary sage, rose, neroli. For energizing the body and cleansing; rosemary, and for decongesting; eucalyptus, pine and tea tree.


Wikipedia - extensive reading

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Author's Bio: 

Frank Johnson is a staff writer for Find top massage therapy schools, online colleges, universities and online schools at, your resource for higher education.