Massage Therapy Styles


At Poppies Spa in Auburn CA, we only employ master level therapists. Our massage therapist is a former instructor from Hawaii and will draw upon her extensive training and experience to use the massage therapy styles that suits your needs.Consultation with your massage therapist is primary

Together, you will discuss goals you wish to achieve. We have simplified the massage menu to two categories of relaxing and therapeutic (deep tissue) modalities because our therapist may incorporate many of these to achieve the best results. The following are just a few of the massage therapy styles that she will use.

Which Massage Therapy Styles Are Best?

(This is an excerpt of the WebMD.com article “Massage Therapy Styles”)

Best massage therapy in Auburn CAStyles used in massage therapy range from long, smooth strokes to short, percussive strokes. Some massage therapists use oils and lotions; others do not. Most massage therapists have clients unclothe for a massage, but some do not.

Before you can decide which massage style is best for you, you need to ask yourself a question. Do you simply want a massage for relaxation and stress control? Or do you need symptom relief or help with a certain health condition? Before booking a massage, let the therapist know what you’re looking for and ask which style the therapist uses. Many use more than one style. Or the therapist may customize your massage, depending on your age, condition, or any special needs or goals you have.

What follows is a list of some of the more popular massage therapy styles. The first four are especially popular.


Swedish Massage:

The most common type of massage is Swedish massage therapy. It involves soft, long, kneading strokes with light, rhythmic movement. It can also include tapping strokes on topmost layers of muscles. This may combined with movement of the joints. By relieving muscle tension, Swedish therapy can be both relaxing and energizing. It may even help after an injury.

The four common strokes of Swedish massage are:

  • Effleurage: a smooth, gliding stroke used to relax soft tissue
  • Petrissage: the squeezing, rolling, or kneading that follows effleurage
  • Friction: deep, circular movements that cause layers of tissue to rub against each other, helping to increase blood flow and break down scar tissue
  • Tapotement: a short, alternating tap done with cupped hands, fingers, or the edge of the hand

Neuromuscular Therapy Massage

Neuromuscular therapy is a form of soft tissue manipulation that aims to treat underlying causes of chronic pain involving the muscular and nervous systems. This medically-oriented form of massage addresses trigger points (tender muscles points), circulation, nerve compression, postural issues, and biomechanical problems that can be caused by repetitive movement injuries.

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage is best for giving attention to certain painful, stiff “trouble spots” in your body. The massage therapist uses slow, deliberate strokes that focus pressure on layers of muscles, tendons, or other tissues deep under your skin. Though less rhythmic than other types of massage, deep tissue massage can be quite therapeutic — relieving chronic patterns of tension and helping with muscle injuries, such as back sprain.

Lomi Lomi Massage

Lomi Lomi one of many Massage Therapy Styles

Lomi Lomi massage

Lomi Lomi is a another choice in our massage therapy styles. It is a technique originating in Hawaii. The Lomilomi therapist implores fluid penetrating movements their forearms and hands The massage is given in fluid, rhythmic motion using the forearms as well as the hands. Some people have described this as feeling like gentle waves moving over the body. Another feature is that different parts of the body may be massaged at the same time, for example one arm or hand may be working on a shoulder and the other hand may be working on the opposite hip. This assists the recipient in totally relaxing as it is impossible or at least extremely difficult for the brain to focus on the two different areas at once. By not working on areas in isolation a deep sense of balance and harmony is achieved. As I said earlier, whilst technique is important, the priority is loving the body, using intuition so the massage is “right” for the client. The client on the table is not viewed as someone to be fixed, but a being to be returned to harmony and balance. It is important to remember that the practitioner does not heal but is the facilitator for the healing.

Sports Massage

Developed to help with muscle systems used for a particular sport, sports massage uses a variety of approaches to help athletes in training — before, during, or after sports events. You might use it to promote flexibility and help prevent injuries. Or, it may help muscle strains, aiding healing after a sports injury.

 Shiatsu Massage

In Japanese, shiatsu means “finger pressure.” For shiatsu massage, the therapist uses varied, rhythmic pressure on certain precise points of the body. These points are called acupressure points, and they are believed to be important for the flow of the body’s vital energy, called chi. Proponents say shiatsu massage can help relieve blockages at these acupressure points.

 Reflexology

Foot massage at Poppies SpaReflexology uses hand, thumb, and finger techniques to stimulate certain areas of the feet. These areas are believed to correspond to different parts of the body. The massage, then, is expected to promote health and well-being. Of all the massage therapy styles; this one is one of the most requested.

Pregnancy Massage

During pregnancy, your body goes through major changes. Pregnancy massage can help with these changes by reducing stress, decreasing arm and leg swelling, and relieving muscle and joint pain. Massage may be particularly helpful during a time when the benefits of medication and other medical options are less effective. Massage therapy styles for pregnant women use specially designed massage pillows, the massage therapist will help get you into a comfortable position for this type of massage.


What Are the Health Benefits of Massage?

Many types of massage offer benefits beyond simple relaxation. Here are just a few of the health problems that may benefit from massage. Ask your doctor before using massage for any health condition, though.

  • Back pain. More than one study has shown the effectiveness of massage therapy for back pain. In fact, one 2003 study showed it worked better than acupuncture or spinal modification for persistent low back pain — reducing the need for painkillers by 36%.
  • Headache. Another type of pain — headache — also responds to massage therapy, as shown by more than one study. Massage therapy can reduce the number of migraines a person has and also improve sleep.
  • Osteoarthritis. In the first clinical trial looking at the effectiveness of Swedish massage for knee osteoarthritis, participants who received a one-hour massage either one or two times a week had improvements in pain, stiffness, and function. The control group had no such change.
  • Cancer. Used as a complement to traditional, Western medicine, massage can promote relaxation and reduce cancer symptoms or side effects of treatment. It may help reduce pain, swelling, fatigue,nausea, or depression, for example, or improve the function of your immune system.
  • Anxiety. A review of more than 12 studies shows that massage helps relieve depression and anxiety. It lowered levels of cortisol by up to 50%. And massage increased levels of neurotransmitters that help reduce depression.