3 Unique Types of Massage: Which is right for you?

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    When we think of massage, we often think about the physical aspects of massage and the different methods and techniques the massage therapist can perform on us to improve our muscles, circulation, and other aspects of our body and our health. 

    There are many additional services that can come with massage therapy, these can include

    • Hot Stones
    • Cupping
    • Aromatherapy 

    All of these can provide various benefits and enhance your overall massage experience. In this blog, we’ll go through these methods, what they are, and how they can benefit you. 

    Hot Stones

    Hot stones can be used to relieve strained muscles and injured soft tissues all throughout your body. They are a complementary therapy during your massage. Smooth, flat, heated stones are used on certain body areas during a hot stone massage. Typically, basalt, a type of volcanic rock that maintains heat, is used to make the stones. The heated massage stones range in temperature from 45 to 50 degrees Celsius.

    They can be placed in various areas such as between your spine, on your belly, on the sternum, hands and feet, and even your face. Heated stones can be used in conjunction with Swedish massage techniques such as rotating motions, kneading, tapping, vibration and extended strokes. 

    Hot stones can increase blood flow to the affected area to ease muscle tension and pain. A hot stone massage can be helpful for anyone who is dealing with stress, insomnia, or muscle pain. Consult your doctor to determine whether a hot stone massage is an appropriate alternative for you if you suffer from a chronic pain problem. 


    Cupping therapy is an old traditional type of alternative medicine, where a therapist applies special cups to your skin for a short period of time to create suction. People receive it for a variety of reasons, including as a form of deep-tissue massage and to aid with pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation, and overall well being.

    The variety of cup types can include glass, earthenware, silicone, and bamboo. The massage therapist will heat the cups and then apply them to the skin. A vacuum is produced as the cup's air cools. Your blood vessels enlarge as a result, causing your skin to raise and get red. Typically, the cup is left in position for up to three minutes. 

    The process of cupping improves blood flow to the area where the cups are applied. This could ease muscular tension, which would encourage cell regeneration and enhance general blood flow. Additionally, it might support the development of new blood vessels and connective tissues. 


    Consider aromatherapy if you need to improve health issues, such as anxiety or poor sleep. In this type of treatment, you either breathe in plant extracts in the form of essential oils or have them applied topically to your skin. Some of the essential oils frequently used in aromatherapy are lemon, chamomile, lavender, cedarwood, and bergamot.

    Aromatherapy can potentially reduce tension, fear, and depression, increase your sense of relaxation, and reduce specific types of pain, such as knee osteoarthritis and kidney stone discomfort. There are many ways to implement aromatherapy, including body oils, creams and lotions, massage diffusers, spritzers and inhalers, bath salts and facial steams, in any one or combination. 

    Aromatherapy oils can improve the respiratory system, act as a decongestant, and have psychological effects in addition to giving off a nice scent. It can assist with conventional therapy of a number of illnesses, and provide relief for a variety of them. 

    Which is right for you?

    Generally, you can get any of these additional massage therapy benefits, but there are a few things you should consider and watch out for for each of these methods and services. 

    If you have sensitivity to scents or certain oils, you may want to avoid aromatherapy. Some can irritate eyes or skin, or create mucus membranes in your body. In addition, they may trigger minor allergic reactions which may last for a while depending on your body. 

    Be careful with hot stones if you have any skin conditions such as a rash or broken skin; you can get hot stones but make sure it is not applied to that particular area. Avoid it if you have a low platelet count, have diabetes, or osteoporosis. 

    The marks on your skin that are caused by cupping can stay there for up to 10 days. It can also potentially cause discolouration of the skin during or after and dizziness. Be wary of skin irritation when it comes to cupping. 

    Consider your body, what you’re going through, and what you enjoy to decide which massage therapy methods would suit you best, and which would create the best atmosphere for you. 

    Interested in becoming a massage therapist? Enroll in ABM College’s massage therapy diploma program. You get to work in our student massage clinic for real, hands-on experience and register to become a registered massage therapist (RMT) upon graduation. 

    Contact us for more information. 

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