How To Learn the Best Massage Techniques

Giving massage

Massage therapy is an extremely important technique that can have important benefits for your health.  Massage can:

  • Reduce stress
  • Decrease physical pain due to injury or stress
  • Prevent physical pain and injury
  • Relax tense muscles
  • Relax the mind
  • Increase a general sense of well-being
  • Increase relaxation
  • Improve blood circulation
  • Improve the immune system

There are many massage techniques, and finding the best technique is usually a matter of personal preference.  Common massage techniques include:

  • Swedish: The most popular and well-known
  • Deep Tissue: Goes into the deeper muscles that Swedish massage techniques cannot touch.  May be a little intense and painful. 
  • Reiki: Energy work; the body is actually not touched. This technique requires training and is not something you can learn from a book. 
  • Acupressure/Acupuncture: An Eastern technique that involves stimulating acupuncture points to bring about change. 
  • Rolfing: Follows the philosophy that poor posture can bring about physical pain.  Rolfing corrects the poor posture by working with the connective tissue surrounding muscles.
  • Sports Massage:  Sports massage is similar to Swedish and deep tissue massage techniques, only the emphasis is on preventing injury, promoting healing, relaxation and enhancing energy reserves. 
  • Craniosacral: Craniosacral involves using an extremely limited amounted of pressure on the skull and spinal column to reduce stress and correct any injuries. 

If you get massages from a massage professional or you simply want to learn how to massage a loved one, you may be wondering where to learn the best massage techniques.  

  1. Read a copy of Tappan's Handbook of Healing Massage Techniques : Classic, Holistic and Emerging Methods (4th Edition) by Patricia J. Benjamin and Frances M. Tappan.  This book takes you through Western and Asian massage techniques and even offers information about hydrotherapy (water massage) and thermal therapy (heat and cold massage).  This book includes a CD-ROM to with good and clear instructions on various massage techniques. 
  2. Read The Complete Guide to Massage: A Step-by-Step Approach to Total Body Relaxation by Susan Mumford.  This book provides easy to follow illustrations about various massage techniques.  It also includes information about anatomy, where certain muscles are and how to relieve tenderness and stress in the muscles. 
  3. The Book Of Massage: The Complete Step-by-step Guide To Eastern And Western Technique by Lucinda Lidell, Sara Thomas, Carola Beresford Cooke, and Anthony Porter. This book consists of detailed pictures and very clear instructions on how to perform a massage.  This is a great book for beginners, looking to try massage in the privacy of their homes on their loved ones. 
  4. Go to the website article, Top Ten Massage Techniques (link included).  As its title states, this article discusses ten massage techniques including deep tissue, Swedish, and Rolfing.  This article does not provide in-depth instruction, but provides information about the various massage techniques.
  5. Check out the article on Cool entitled Self-Massage Techniques (link included).  This website goes through the benefits of massage and provides clear instructions on how to do basic massage techniques on yourself.  
  6. Of course a great place to learn about massage techniques is from a school that teaches massage professionals.  About (link included) provides information about massage's benefits, massage associations and massage schools.  You can also look in your local area; many technical schools also offer classes for massage professionals. 
  7. Check out Pure This is a United Kingdom based site that provides information not only about massage techniques such as Rolfing and Acupressure, but aromatherapy and essential oils.  While this website provides information about various massage techniques, it does not provide clear instructions on how to perform the various techniques.  


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