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Six Specialties for Massage Therapists

Beginning your massage school training? Many a massage therapist will tell you that you're never done growing. Therapists continue their learning after completing an initial massage school program by taking additional workshops as they develop specialties. Many learn from client feedback that they're particularly strong or intuitive in a niche of body work.

Here are six massage techniques that you can develop over time as you build your practice:

Deep Tissue Massage
Massage therapists may use deep tissue techniques for work on chronic muscle issues, helping patients overcome tightness or injuries. Can be effective in treating tendonitis or arthritis. The technique requires that clients are already relaxed from surface massage so that sub-layers of fascia and inflamed muscles can be worked.

Shiatsu is a technique developed in Japan using direct pressure from the finger (elbow or knee) into acupressure points to assist healing along energy meridians. Can assist in long-term healing, although clients may experience pain during the procedure and soreness afterwards.

This Chinese modality is used to stimulate acupressure points in the feet and hands to stimulate energy, healing, and balance. The technique is very popular because patients find the process soothing and relaxing.

Hot Stone Massage

The addition of hot stones on tense muscles or key meridian points can transform a traditional Swedish massage into an effective experience for people who want relief without undergoing a deep or intense massage. The technique is gaining in popularity.

Sports Massage
Sports massage is as easily a preventative procedure as a restorative one. It can be employed before an athletic event to help warm up athletes to improve their performance or afterwards, to speed recovery. It is also effective to treat chronic muscle soreness from injuries.

Aromatherapy Massage
The use of natural, scented plant oils in body work can be effective in treating stress or muscle complications that involve emotional trauma. Lavender oils are common essential oils, although Ayervedic practitioners believe in the use of sesame oil.

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