Types of massages
There are many different massage types or techniques, too many to explain all of them.
Here are just a few; Bowen, Reflexology, Shiatsu, Chinese, Thai, Reiki, Alexander
Technique, Relaxation (Swedish), Therapeutic, Remedial, Sports & Lymphatic Drainage.
Since massage is a very personal thing, each therapist will work differently and specialise in
different styles and techniques. Some even specialise in specific areas of the body. We
will explain the differences and benefits of each method offered by the therapists here at
Optimal Health Centre Braddon.
Here at Optimal Health Centre Braddon we offer individualised massage treatments. As a
result each person will receive a different massage. Your massage therapist will discuss
your massage plan before the massage starts. If the therapist feels the need to deviate
from the agreed plan he or she will discuss it with you and change the treatment
The aim of a relaxation massage is as the name implies, to relax you. It may also help to
lower blood pressure and may reduce light tension headaches. There is no discomfort or
pain in a relaxation massage but it is unlikely to reduce pain or discomfort in any specific
area. The techniques used in a relaxation massage are soft and flowing movements, using
gentle strokes with hands, arms and forearms and may include stretching. The therapist will
discuss with you which areas he or she may have time to massage depending on your
presenting condition and the time available
The aim of a therapeutic massage involves similar techniques as in a relaxation massage to
spread the oil and warm up the muscles but introduces narrower and deeper pressure.
Some mild discomfort and even some minor pain may be normal. This technique affects
deeper muscles and therefore can get closer to the core of your problems. The therapist
may use more pressure and/or a smaller contact area. A therapeutic massage requires
more time to work the deeper muscle fibres. The therapist will discuss with you which areas
he or she may have time to massage depending on your presenting condition and the time
The aim of a remedial massage is to find the cause of the discomfort or pain and help your
body to rebalance the muscle tension and bring you back to your optimal posture. Remedial
massage will involve deep tissue work on a single muscle or a group of muscles. This type
of massage includes techniques from relaxation, lymphatic and therapeutic massages.
Although rare, this technique may cause minor bruising, please let your therapist know if
you have a tendency to bruise easily or are on blood thinning (anti-clotting) medication. The
therapist will discuss with you which areas he or she may have time to massage depending
on your presenting condition and the time available.
As an athlete’s training progressively builds-up there can be a point where the body can no
longer recover fully between sessions and performance may level off or even decline. At
this stage the person may feel muscle, joint pain or inflammation of tendons. This can also
make them more prone to injury. Massage is an ideal form of treatment for muscle tension
& can be used on a regular basis to help prevent overuse injuries as well as treating any
A pre-event massage consists primarily of relaxation techniques on the muscle attachments
and belly of the major muscles used for a particular sport in order to loosen up and increase
the blood flow to these areas. This is most effective within 1.5 hours to 45 minutes before
an event but can still be of benefit the day before.
A post event massage uses mostly relaxation and stretching techniques to help prevent
lactic acid build-up and muscle soreness in the next few days.
The aim of this technique is to help the body recycle waste produced by the muscles,
digestive system and other systems as quickly as possible. The lymphatic fluid has the
consistency similar to mayonnaise and doesn’t flow like blood, it also does not have a
pumping mechanism to move it around like the heart so it is moved around by muscle
action and breathing. Lymphatic drainage aims to improve the circulation of lymph by
causing a pumping and suction effect on the vessels and lymph nodes.
A lymphatic massage involves the same techniques as a relaxation massage but the
strokes are applied in a precise direction to “push” the lymphatic fluid towards the upper
chest where it is filtered and recycled within the blood. This helps to speed up the healing
of the body by filtering the wastes/toxins more efficiently. There may be minor discomfort
involved, this technique is more invasive than .a relaxation massage though. To truly help
the flow of lymph the massage therapist must apply pressure to the lymph vessels and
nodes, which are located throughout the entire body. Consequently the therapist will need
to massage close to genital organs and breast tissue as these are the areas where there is
the most concentrated quantities of lymph nodes in the body. Because of this, it is not
suitable for everyone, as you need to feel comfortable and confident with your massage
therapist. The therapist will discuss with you which areas he or she may have time to
massage depending on your presenting condition and the time available.