Which Massage Style Should a First Time Patient Choose?


People going to a massage therapist for the first time often have a lot of questions. Are you going to have to undress? (Not if you don’t want to.) Is this going to hurt? (No, speak up if anything hurts you!) What kind of massage should I try first? (That answer… is a little more complicated.) When it comes to choosing a massage style for a first experience, it all comes down to what you want from the experience.

Swedish Massage

Swedish massage is a great choice for someone who doesn’t know what they want. It’s a full-body massage that plays into what we classically think of as “massage”. There are lots of long, firm strokes on major muscle groups. It helps you to feel relaxed in body and mind. If you don’t have a specific area you’d like to work on, Swedish massage is a great way to release tension all over the body.

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage is a more intense experience than Swedish massage. It tends to focus on one area or system of the body. For example, a deep tissue massage that focuses on lower back pain will concentrate on your lower back. However, it may also include work on your upper back, thighs, and knee in an effort to get to the bottom of your persistent pain. Deep tissue massage is a bit like jumping in the deep end, but it’s great for someone who wants to see results now. If you’re coming in for a massage to deal with a specific problem, deep tissue massage can start to give results in as little as one session, though severe problems may still require more.

Aromatherapy Massage

Aromatherapy massage incorporates essential oils into standard massages. You can breathe them, have them massaged into your skin, and more. Aromatherapy massage tends to be gentler than other forms of massage. It’s a great massage to choose if you’re looking to relieve a problem that isn’t entirely in your body, such as chronic stress or anxiety. Aromatherapy can tackle the issues of your mind while the gentle massage reduces physical stress and breaks through some of the biochemical feedback loops in your body.

Combined Therapies

You don’t always have to dip your toe into something new. You can jump in with both feet. Take advantage of a consultation before your first massage. Go over what you’d like to accomplish with your session, and your massage therapist may be able to come up with a combined therapy to give you maximum results. A long Swedish massage with a targeted portion of deep tissue is a stress-busting, pain-fighting one-two punch to your problems.

A first time patient who’s thinking of getting into massage should think about what they need from the experience. Are you looking for general relaxation, or do you have a specific problem you’d like to address? Massage is hugely beneficial for a variety of issues. If you’re not sure what you need, reach out to your massage therapist for help.