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Video:Common Types of Massage

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There are a few common types of massage that you will see on spa menus. Watch this video to learn what they are and what makes each massage unique.See Transcript

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Transcript:Common Types of Massage

Hello, I'm Perry Levenson. I hold New York State Licenses in Acupuncture and Massage Therapy, and I’m nationally board certified in acupuncture and oriental medicine. I'm here for About.com to talk to you about three types of massage. Tui Na, or Chinese medical massage, Swedish massage, and hot stone massage.

Tui Na Massage Technique

In Tui Na, we use the long, gliding stroke, not only to assess muscle tension, but also to open up the channel of energy for chi flow. Once we’ve warmed up the back, we can assess the different areas of tension. In this case, we’re talking about the middle back. I might use just pressure in the center of the muscle. That deep pressure is gonna help stimulate a release by moving the chi. Another technique that more broadly disperses chi is called “rolling”. Just rolling the hand. And what I’m doing here is really effectively moving chi through the channel.

Swedish Massage Technique

In Swedish massage, the client is normally disrobed. We need to apply oil to the body so that we can get this nice, long, gliding movement. Our focus in Swedish is to increase circulation, particularly blood and lymph flow to the heart. What we can do is work up through the neck. All of these muscles overlap each other and attach up here, at the base of your skull. So if we can help this relax, we can help the whole back relax. This technique helps to lift the muscle and milk out any toxins that may be stuck in the muscles, particularly after a workout.

Hot Stone Massage Technique


In hot stone massage, heated stones are used to perform the massage. I have a big stone - a nice, big flat stone on the lower back often fosters relaxation through the whole body and a sense of grounding. The stones sit in water that’s  about 120 degrees, and I put oil on the stone. And I put a little oil on the back so that it will glide. The purpose of using the stones is to use the heat in the stones to help increase circulation and soften the muscles. And then I’ll put the stone down and I’'l move it rapidly because it’s very hot. And then, I can use the stone to work the muscles, deeply.

And there you have it, a quick look at and comparison of three different massage techniques. Tui Na, Swedish massage, and deep tissue hot stone massage. For more information about massage therapy, visit About.com

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