Your Visit to the Spa: The Complete Guide SEE FULL GUIDE prev next How Often to Get a Massage How Often to Get a Facial What's an Esthetician? Massage Technique Basics How to Use Spa Gift Cards Day Spas Destination Spas Spa Hotels Korean Spas Wellness Spas Mineral Springs Spas Spa Etiquette: 101 Destination Spa Costs Day Spa Costs Massage Costs How to Tip at the Spa How to Tip at a Medical Spa What to Do When a Massage Hurts Being Nude at the Spa Should You Undress for a Massage? How Does Massage Draping Work? Are "Happy" Massages Legal? Male vs. Female Masseuses Children in the Spa Swedish Massage Full-Body Massage Asian Massage Hot Stone Massage Couples Massage In-Room Massage Deep Tissue Massage Thai Massage Therapeutic Massage Sports Massage Aromatherapy Massage Relaxation Massage Chair Massage Facial Masks Anti-Aging Facials Microcurrent Facials Hydrafacials Chemical Peels Photo Facials LED Facials Reflexology Body Wraps Hydrotherapy Vichy Showers Cellulite Removal Spa Manicures Body Polishes Sugar Scrubs Body Scrubs Korean Body Scrubs Salt Scrubs Gommage Sand Baths Mud Baths Ayurveda Microdermabrasion IPL Treatment Extractions Brazilian Waxing Brazilian Wax Cost Skin Analysis Exfoliation What Is a Spa? The Top Reasons to Visit a Spa How to Read a Spa Menu What Is a Spa Treatment? What Is a Body Treatment? What Is a Facial? What Does a Massage Feel Like? Make the Most of a Massage The Most Popular Massages Your Visit to the Spa: The Complete Guide close Overview Inspiration Spas The 10 Most Popular Massages Written by Anitra Brown Anita is a spa expert who has written about, worked in, and visited some of the world's best spas for the past 20 years. Tripsavvy's Editorial Guidelines Anitra Brown Updated 06/26/19 Share Pin Email Westend61/Getty Images There are lots of different kinds of massage, and sometimes the same massage goes by different names. Find out more about these common types of massage, and which one is best for you. 01 of 10 Swedish Massage Swedish massage is the most common type of massage and a great place to start if it's your first massage or if you're afraid a massage might be painful. During Swedish massage, massage therapists use massage oils to facilitate smooth, gliding strokes over your body. You are usually nude under sheets, but only the part that is being massaged is exposed so modesty is always respected. 02 of 10 Relaxation Massage While a relaxation massage has health benefits, the massage therapist will probably go slower and avoid deeper work that could be at all uncomfortable. A relaxation massage is good if you're a beginner or sensitive to pain, or if you had a lot of deep work done the day before at a spa that offers daily massage. 03 of 10 Deep Tissue Massage Deep tissue massage uses many of the same movements and techniques as Swedish massage, but the therapist will work the deeper tissue structures of the muscle and fascia (connective tissue). It is also a more focused type of massage, as the therapist works to release chronic muscle tension or knots called adhesions. Many people expect deep tissue massage to be an hour of intense pressure and pain, but this is counterproductive. 04 of 10 Therapeutic Massage This is just another way to say that the massage is meant to have therapeutic purposes and health benefits. Therapeutic massage is a way to distinguish it from "massage parlor" massage, which was the image that massage had with most Americans back in the 1960s. Therapeutic massage also might indicate that the massage will be a little deeper -- not just a pure relaxation massage. Continue to 5 of 10 below. 05 of 10 Full-Body Massage Most massages are full-body massage, meaning that the therapist will massage your back, legs, arms, and neck. If it's a half-hour massage, you are better off having the therapist concentrate on a specific area that is giving you trouble. Or a therapist might take a full hour to concentrate on a specific area because of injury or chronic pain. Sometimes signs for "full-body massage" are used by "spas" that function more like the old massage parlor. 06 of 10 Aromatherapy Massage Aromatherapy massage is usually a Swedish or deep tissue massage where the massage oil has been blended with essential oils such as lavender, peppermint or geranium to affect your mood and alleviate pain. Aromatherapy massage is at its best when the therapist uses high quality, therapeutic essential oils blended to address your specific need. This can be hard to find in a commercial spa setting. You are probably better off with a private practitioner specifically trained in aromatherapy massage. 07 of 10 Hot Stone Massage Hot stone massage is a very popular massage that uses smooth, rounded stones that have been heated in water. The therapist uses the stones as an extension of his/her hand and may also place them on your belly, hands or back. When done well hot stone massage is great because the heat helps warm up your muscles and is very relaxing. But hot stone massage requires a lot of skill, so quality can vary widely. 08 of 10 Sports Massage Sports massage was developed for athletes who need to keep their bodies in great condition and quickly work out any stress or injuries. Sports massage can be used to get an athlete ready to compete, support their bodies while they compete, or help it recover after an event. But sports massage is good for anyone with chronic pain, injury or range-of-motion issues. The therapist generally concentrates on a specific problem area which may be related to sports, like golf or tennis. Continue to 9 of 10 below. 09 of 10 Couples Massage Couples massage is where two people are massaged in the same room, at the same time, by two different therapists. It can be a husband and wife, girlfriend and boyfriend, same-sex partners, or even moms and daughters sometimes or best friends. The setting can range from a simple room big enough for two tables to an elaborate spa suite. You can talk or keep quiet during couples massage -- it's up to you. 10 of 10 Prenatal/Pregnancy Massage Pregnancy massage, also known as prenatal massage, promotes relaxation, soothes nerves, and relieves strained back and leg muscles in expectant mothers. Pregnancy massage is especially beneficial in the second and third trimesters when the extra weight in your belly puts a strain on your back. Before you get a pre-natal massage, make sure the therapist has been specially trained. Is Once A Week Too Much Massage? Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Share Pin Email Tell us why! Submit Relax With a Swedish Massage Here's What to Expect From Your First Massage What to Expect During a Full Body Massage Do You Need a Sports Massage? The Most Popular Spa Treatments Are Your Muscles Tense From Traveling? Book a Deep Tissue Massage The Rise of Therapeutic Massage What to Expect When Getting a Hot Stone Massage Ouch! What to Do When Your Massage Hurts Is Once A Week Too Much Massage? 9 Best Luxury Day Spas in Mumbai to Relax and Rejuvenate The Coolest Cannabis-Inspired Spa Treatments in Colorado A First-Timer's Guide to Aromatherapy Massage How to Get the Most From Your Massage A Cannabis Massage is a Must For Your Denver Visit What Is Thai Massage?