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May 26, 2021

7 Key Techniques for Massage Therapists

The world of massage therapy has many techniques that can be used to provide a client with a massage that is tailored to their specific needs. The human body is intricate and complex, making the job of a massage therapist a technical one. To effectively release stress and tension to help the client attain the alleviation they seek, massage therapists need to have extensive knowledge of which techniques help most with certain types of pain, stress, and pressure in certain areas of the body. Here are 7 techniques that can help a massage therapist more effective:

  1. Zen Shiatsu
    Massage borrows many techniques from other cultures and corners of the globe. Zen Shiatsu is a technique that integrates aspects of traditional Chinese medicine to help people achieve balance and positive energy. Zen Shiatsu has been known to help with problems other than muscle stiffness such as anxiety and digestive problems. Adding this technique to your massage therapy skill set can be very valuable.
  2. massage therapist hands working

  3. Cranial-Sacral Therapy
    This technique can empower massage therapists in assisting clients find relief from problems with their spine, head, and central nervous system. It is a gentle technique and can be used on clients of almost any age. Knowing how to use cranial-sacral therapy effectively can be very useful for massage therapists.
  4. Reiki
    This technique is also rooted in a tradition from the East. Tibetan Buddhism gave birth to Reiki which can be used with massage therapy treatments to help the client feel a more free flow of energy and greater balance. This technique focuses heavily on hand placement in key areas that are said to help the client find greater relaxation which can then help them heal more efficiently. It is less focused on actual massage and more on helping the client feel positive and comfortable.
  5. massage therapist massaging back

  6. Pregnancy and Postpartum Massage
    This type of massage is becoming more and more known and widely used. Pregnancy brings with it many strains. Pregnant women are seeking relief from these strains and pains with massage therapy. Massage during pregnancy has been said to help the mother-to-be reduce stress causing hormones and increase good hormones like dopamine and serotonin. It has also been known to help pregnant women with the swelling and nerve pain that is commonly experienced. While massage during pregnancy can have many positive effects, it requires special knowledge and expertise to administer this kind of massage. Learning how to effectively and safely administer pregnancy and postpartum massages is important for massage therapists.

    What’s more, some massage therapists even specialize in or practice infant massage as well! Even your little ones can benefit from a properly performed professional massage.

  7. Thai Massage
    This type of massage is often seen as an artform and in many ways can help the therapist feel better while performing massages. Learning about Thai massage can teach the massage therapist how to be more aware of their own body, breath, and movement while they work. Understanding these aspects of Thai massage can help the massage therapist feel more comfortable while working by being much more efficient in the way they use their energy. This efficiency and focus on good form can also translate to a better experience for the client. Learning Thai massage techniques has the potential to help both the therapist and the client feel better once the massage session is finished.
  8. sports massage therapist massaging athlete

  9. Sports Massage
    This area of massage offers its own focuses and unique techniques. A massage therapist that works in this sector of the industry helps people who live active lifestyles or athletes. They can help these people with preparing their muscles for competition, keeping them going during high activity, and making the recovery process more effective and faster. It is also a very popular area of massage that provides a lot of opportunity for therapists to work. Focusing and honing in your sports massage skills can be a very appealing trait to acquire.
  10. Lymphatic Massage
    Learning how to increase the flow of fluids through the body can make massage therapists much more versatile and valuable to clients and employers. This can be done through lymphatic massage, a key ingredient in massage therapy. Lymphatic massage is focused on probing and massaging key areas that relax and open the lymphs allowing them to work more efficiently. Learning this technique is important and necessary for therapists to create a great massage experience for clients.

These are only a few techniques that massage therapists can learn to help them become more skilled and adaptable in their work. There are a plethora of techniques and practices that can and should be learned and acquired by massage therapists. Continual learning and growth is an important characteristic of being a great massage therapist.

To learn more about becoming a massage therapist, learn more about our program. You can also look at our list of continuing education courses if you are already a massage therapist and are interested in expanding your knowledge and skill.

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Sarah Smith
Sarah Smith
5 years ago

The majority of men in my family work in construction, so I would like to start learning massage therapy so that I can help them to relax and relieve tension. I didn’t realize that there were so many different techniques that originate from the East or that massage can be beneficial to pregnant women. With the amount of techniques that I would learn to give a quality massage, I think I should start looking into massage therapy institutes.

5 years ago

As licensed massage therapists we prefer to do customized massages. Depending on the clients needs we give THEM the best massage with a mixture of modalities. It’s never 1 type of massage only. We get the best outcome possible and our clients Are always happy and feel AWESOME! 💗

San Francisco School of Massage & Bodywork

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475 Valencia Street – 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
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– Located at the 16th Street Campus
2973 16th St., Ste 100 – Ground Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
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