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6 Popular Massages for Every Massage Therapist to Know

massage therapist training, massage stones, body, relax, soulThe Harris School’s experienced instructors are here for our students

Getting a massage can be a relaxing experience…just the thing you need to unwind after a busy week. Or you might get a massage because it is therapeutic, for instance if you have a back problem or a sports injury. Others might get a regular massage to help keep their muscles and joints limber. People get massages for many reasons, and there are many massage modalities to choose from.

At the Harris School of Business, we train our students to become Massage Therapists. Our experienced instructors provide training in the most popular modalities, so that students are prepared for jobs in local spas, hotels, chiropractors’ offices, or rehab clinics.

To get an idea of the kinds of massages we teach, we have compiled a list of six commonly-requested massages. But this list is just the tip of the iceberg! Our massage therapists graduate with a whole array of massage techniques and an understanding of many, many modalities!

Swedish Massage
When most people are asked to name a massage, a Swedish massage is the first thing that jumps to mind. This is a massage designed to relieve muscle tension. Like most massages, it lasts about 50 minutes. The therapist will use a combination of special strokes: effleurage (long, gliding), pretrissage (a kneading stroke), friction (rubbing strokes to warm the skin), tapotement (tapping to stimulate circulation), and vibration (shaking or jostling). This combination of strokes allows for penetration into the muscles that are tense and the subsequent relaxing of these muscles.

Shiatsu Massage
Originating in Japan, this massage modality is quite different from a Swedish massage. Rather than using stroke techniques on all of your muscles, this massage is more focused on specific pressure points along your body’s meridian lines. The therapist exerts pressure on these points, which in turn stimulates energy flowing throughout the body. Shiatsu massage can also include stretching and the manipulation of joints and muscles.

Deep Tissue Massage
This massage is sometimes confused with a deep pressure massage. This massage does not necessarily involve very strong pressure. It uses gentler techniques to get into the deeper layer of muscles and connective tissues that lies beneath your superficial layer of muscles. It begins with loosening up the superficial layer of muscles, and then slowly works its way deeper. It may take some time for the therapist to reach the deeper layers if your superficial layers are very tense.

Hot Stone Therapy
Stones are great at retaining and conducting heat and are increasingly being used in massage spas. Special hot stone warmers get the stones to a comfortable temperature, and next the therapist places them on specific areas of your body—usually along your back. The heat from the stones loosens up nearby muscles and tissues. The therapist can then provide light pressure on the stones, and this results in a very relaxing massage.

Thai Massage
In a Thai Massage, the massage therapist uses part acupressure and part yoga. Like Shiatsu, the the therapist will apply pressure along your meridian line to stimulate the flow of energy into different parts of your body. And in addition, the therapist will manually move your body into poses that are similar to yoga poses. The stretching and the acupressure together are designed to relax your muscles and help your internal organs.

Reflexology
Pressure points are an important part of reflexology, just like Shiatsu and Thai massage. With reflexology, the pressure points in the foot are used to carry energy to different zones in your body. Each pressure point in the foot corresponds to a different zone in the body, and can be stimulated by applying pressure to the foot.

The Harris School’s Massage Therapy training program prepares students with the skills they need to deliver these massages and more. We offer 5 convenient locations for this program:

  • Hamilton/Trenton, NJ
  • Cherry Hill, NJ
  • Linwood, NJ
  • Dover, DE
  • Wilmington, DE

To learn more about our program, visit us online, or contact us through our simple information form. We would love for you to start a new career path with us.

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