Massage expectations vary with different techniques

Why does one massage hurt more than another? Depends on who's giving the massage.

  • Jul. 17, 2012 9:00 a.m.

Connie Brummet


You may have had a massage and wondered why this one hurts so much, and one you had done months ago did not?

The answer to this is simple.

Every massagae practitioner has had different training and also has different hand pressure (softer to very firm).

There is also a difference between a spa massage practician and a massage therapist.

Massage therapy treats a person’s injuries or issues, using Swedish or deep tissue massage techniques.

A spa massage practician is trained to do many different types of massage, for many different purposes, mostly pampering and preventative medicine.

The following are the main types of massages employed by a day spa or spa massage practician, natural health/wholisitic practitioner or musclologist:

Aroma Scalp Massage

Specific techniques, taught to use on the head and scalp, a personalized therapeutic blend of essential oils are blended to stimulate your senses.

Athletic Massage

Using the techniques taught in the Swedish massage course, a practitioner combines specific moves on specific muscle groups for each individual sport.

Back, Neck & Shoulder Massage

Using the techniques taught in the deep tissue massage course a practitioner combines specific moves on the back, neck and shoulders.

Breast Massage

Specific techniques and moves for the purpose of lymphatic drainage. Excellent for cancer patients or preventative medicine.

Chair Massage

The client is clothed and usually sitting in a specially designed chair. This massage can be done using Swedish Massage moves, though usually taught using the Shiatsu pressure points.

Deep tissue massage

The practitioner is using approximately a nine to 10 pound pressure while massaging the client for the purpose of muscle, fascia and connective tissue manipulation. Can be very painful for the client.

European Lymph

Drainage Massage

This is a very specific massage taught to help drain the lymphatic system. Excellent for pre-post surgery, weight loss, relaxation and after competition sports.

European Lymph

Drainage Massage with Aromatherapy

Just adding therapeutic essential oils to the carrier used in the massage to help boost energy, natural healing or to uplift the spirits. Pressure is at approximately two pounds.

Hot Stone Massage

The ultimate relaxation massage, using heated basalt (lava) stones! But be careful, this massage has contra-indications (cannot use if you have some medical issues —if you can be in a hot tub submerged for twenty minutes, you should be able to have this massage).

Pregnancy Massage

A wonderful massage to do on a pregnant woman, during her whole pregnancy. Relief of muscle aches and pain, cramping, swelling, the carrier oils help to prevent stretch marks.

Swedish Massage

We call this a muscle massage; it is used to stimulate the body to have more energy and to help relax those aching muscles. Pressure is at about four pounds.

Table Shiatsu

Not really considered a massage, the client is clothed and lying down on a massage table for the entire session. It is excellent for improving flexibility and balancing the body’s meridian system. The practitioner uses Chinese Medicine’s knowledge of finger pressure (acupressure).

There are many massage practitioners working all over the world, in spas, hotels, health or fitness centres, cruise ships or owning their own small private business.

Most sessions are about an hour in time and usually priced between $40 to $200, depending on if it is a private business or a large fancy hotel chain.

The average price tends to be around the $60 to $80 range.

If you call one of the schools and be a student case study (new students learning) the price is about $29 for the session.

A good practitioner has graduated from an accredited college, with anywhere from six months to a couple years training (depending on how many types of massages they know how to perform) and can prove it with their certificates.

They will always ask you to fill out a client health form to make sure they are addressing your issues.

No matter what type of massage that you are having, the results should be beneficial for your mind, body or spirit, relaxed muscles, extra energy, uplifted spirits and best of all your body should feel balanced.

Connie Brummet, is president and an instructor of the Canadian Institute of Natural Health and Healing.

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