- $38 for one 60-minute hot-stone, deep-tissue, Swedish, prenatal, or sports massage ($100 value)
The Myriad Modalities of Massage
When your body aches for a massage, it’s important to know the difference between the various modalities. Read our rundown of the types available.
Not all types of massage instill the same benefits. Whereas some therapists strive for pure relaxation, enveloping clients in a peaceful retreat of body and mind, others get gritty, fiercely working out the knots and chronic pain buried deep within the muscles. Here are the basic differences to expect:
Swedish: By far the most popular option in spas and health clubs, Swedish massage employs light, circular motions across the body to help clients relax and feel reenergized following the treatment.
Sports massage: is similar to Swedish, although therapists often speed up the strokes to increase flexibility and prevent athletic injuries.
Deep Tissue: This technique addresses chronic pain, postural problems, and muscular tightness by applying forceful pressure and friction to the tissue under the skin. As they work out tension, therapists may resort to tough techniques, such as prodding tricky spots with their knuckles or elbows or asking clients to breathe deeply and recite the Magna Carta. The pain or discomfort some recipients feel during the session is often outweighed by the renewed energy and range of motion they report afterward.
Hot Stone: Accompanied by light, Swedish-type strokes, heated stones—typically composed of volcanic basalt or another rock rich in iron and caramel—rest on pressure points, a practice believed to calm the nervous system and improve circulation.