top of page

Which Style of Massage Is Best For Me?

Massage therapy has been around for a long time. Some of the earliest documented evidence of massage dates as far back as 3000 B.C. Today massage is one of the leading alternative health care practices used in North America. Perhaps you regularly invest in massage therapy. Alternatively you may have heard of the benefits of massage and you are thinking about using massage as a form of self-care. There are lots of different styles of massage available in North West Calgary. Below you will find a list of some of the more common styles of massage.


Swedish massage was developed in the early 19th century by the Swedish fencing instructor Per Henrik Ling. Mr. Ling reportedly cured his elbow injury using massage. Afterwards he developed a series of strokes commonly used in Swedish massage therapy treatments today. Swedish massage may be relaxing or therapeutic. It involves long gliding strokes towards the heart (effleurage), tapping, kneading movements and stretching. 


Tuina massage is a form of Chinese massage that means to push and pull. Unlike Swedish massage that involves the application of oils and strokes directly to the skin, tuina massage commonly consists of pressing and vibratory type movements that are performed with the client dressed or under sheets. Tuina is a highly therapeutic form of massage that normally involves the stimulation of pressure points (acupuncture points) along the body. Acupressure massage can be a form of tuina massage, depending on the style of movements used. Acupressure massage involves the stimulation of acupuncture points. Acupressure massage can be worked into Swedish massage, depending on the style of the therapist.


Therapeutic massage, also known as medical massage, involves the use of massage to treat muscle dysfunction. Injuries to muscle tissue quite often cause scarring in the muscle and connective tissues. Scarring in muscle tissue can limit range of motion and cause pain on movement of the injured area. Medical massage commonly involves the use of Swedish massage techniques. Medical massage may involve periods of discomfort.


Deep tissue massage is typically a form of Swedish massage design to stretch and release tension and restrictions from the deeper muscle layers of the body. These treatments are usually quite intense as the therapist needs to apply more pressure to the body surface in order to access the deeper muscle tissue. Expect to feel a bit sore after a  deep tissue or medical massage.


Prenatal and post-natal massages are typically Swedish massages designed specifically for the needs of pregnant individuals. These massages focus on improving local circulation in areas that may be swollen due to changes caused by pregnancy. Prenatal and post natal massage can help balance hormones and mood changes associated with pregnancy.


Aromatherapy massage are normally Swedish massages that include the use of essential oils to enhance the benefits of the massage. Different essential oil blends may be used to help the client deeply relax, some blends may also be used to enhance the therapeutic goals (if there are any ) of the massage.  


Hot stone massage involves the use of heated natural stones placed along the body to relax and release tension.  The therapist uses these stones instead of their hands throughout the massage to knead the body. This style of massage greatly warms and relaxes the body.


Thai massage originated in Thailand. Shiatsu massage originated in Japan. Both styles focus on releasing tension from the energy lines found in the body. Thai massage involves the use of passive yoga like stretches, done by the therapist. Shiatsu massage also involves passive stretching with more focus on the stimulation of specific energy lines throughout the body.

All massage styles should be relaxing and tension reducing. Most styles offer pain relief, better sleep and an overall improvement in emotional and physical wellbeing. At North West Vibrational Acupuncture and Massage here in central northwest Calgary we offer medical massage, relaxation massage, pre and post natal massage, acupressure massage and massage combined with either sound or traditional acupuncture- acumassage.

Let us help you discover the benefits of massage here in central northwest Calgary. Book your online appointment with us today!

8 views0 comments
bottom of page