What’s Your Massage Style? Massage Types & Tips From a Spa Lover

Hello, last day of February and Happy Leap Day. Doesn’t it feel like this should be a holiday just because? Even if I didn’t go to an Oscar party it still feels like a Saturday night in my world.

Part of my weekend was at Spa Noir in downtown Seattle with a good friend who was generous enough to share her spa gift with me (thanks again, friend!). She’s usually not a big fan of massages where as I can’t get enough of them. So it got me thinking about all the different types of massages, which ones I like best, and why different massages may match up better with different personalities. For the record, I am not a massage therapist. I’m just a girl who’s had a lot of them and this is my opinion. Let’s dig deep, shall we? 😉

What's Your Massage Type?

The Swedish Massage

This is probably the most common type and it’s usually very gentle. Therapists use long strokes, soothing circles, and/or gentle kneading on the superficial layers of your muscle.

Who I think it’d be good for: Almost everyone. Relaxation is an often overlooked part of our busy lives. Taking time to tune out and relax is very important.

My tips: If you are a person that doesn’t like to be touched, and a full body massage causes you more stress than relaxation, go for the facial! Or at least, a shorter time spent on the table. 90 minutes is probably too much for you.

Deep Tissue

Deep tissue  massage is my jam. It’s not for everyone because they get into the connective tissue of the muscle (hence “deep tissue”) so it can feel more tender. Some would even say hurt, I just happen to think it’s a good hurt!

Who I think it’d be good for:  Those with physically demanding jobs, athletes, or when prescribed by your doctor.

My tips:  Tell your massage therapist if the tenderness is too much, but when there are sore spots focus deep breathing right into the source of the pain. I’d also try it for a few visits because what could start out as very tender over time can feel good. At least for me!

Hot Stone

Just like it sounds, smooth hot stones are placed on areas of tension or used along with gentle massage strokes. The heat is usually very soothing.

Who I think it’d be good for: People who don’t like deep tissue massage but get bored or need a little extra than a regular Swedish Massage.

My tips: When the rocks are first placed on the skin they can feel a little too hot but they cool down very quick.


With Japanese origins, this type of massage uses firm finger pressure applied to specific points for healing (as used in acupuncture) and increased energy flow.

Who I think it’d be good for: People who are looking for more than just relaxation.

My tips: Go in with an open mind and try to visualize energy flowing into the areas of finger pressure.

Thai Massage

Thai massage uses the therapist’s other body parts as well as hands (knees, legs and feet) to get you into yoga-like positions.

Who I’d think it’d be good for: Yoga lovers or if you are feeling like you need an extra stretch.

My tips: It feels a little strange at first having someone else pull your body parts in strange ways. Try to relax and be a “wet noodle” as much as possible to make their job easier and for you to get the most out of the movements.

These are the massages I’ve tried. There is one I’ve heard of where they walk on your back by holding onto a bar above as well as a water massage. Both of those are on my list. What’s your favorite type of massage? Are there any that I didn’t mention that you’d recommend?


After our spa day, I took my shiny skin and hair to a yearly holiday gala for E’s work. It was at a nearby seafood restaurant that has great food an even better view. If you every visit Seattle and are looking for a good Seafood restaurant then check out Salty’s on Alki Beach!

What's Your Massage Style? (Weekending)

What's your Massage Style?

The rest of the weekend we celebrated my church’s official grand opening, met the newest baby in our group of friends, celebrated my Dad’s Birthday, and watched the Oscars. A lot to celebrate! I think you could have heard a pin drop before they announced Leo’s name for  best actor.

Massage Types & Weekending

Wishing you all a wonderful first week of March!



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  1. Depending on my mood I love the swedish and deep tissue, but they can totally throw some hot stones in the mix as well! I tried a Thai Massage once without really knowing what I was getting and it was definitely a different experience. Overall I don’t think I’d ever turn down a massage, not matter the type!

  2. I have to confess I’ve never had a massage! With all the running I do I should, I just never have. Would you recommend starting with a Swedish massage for your first? I’m also very intrigued by the hot stone one because I love heat, haha.

    • I’d say start with a Swedish and if you have the option to add hot stones in, go for it! I bet you would love one as a runner. Especially your legs! I hope you get to experience one soon:-)

  3. Oh I wish I’d have money to have regular (or even irregular haha) messages.. They are so amazing, feel truly like heaven. Thanks for the tips!

  4. I’ve been to a chiropractor, so I’ve found I have quite a tolerance for deep tissue massage! Sometimes I just want to relax, but when I have knots in my shoulders I need someone to work those out!

    • I think each time you go that relationship will get better and better and soon you’ll be falling asleep! I’m so glad you are starting to do them with how active you are.

  5. I’ve never actually had a massage, mostly because I freak out if someone touches my back (it’s got something to do with the nerves back there–I nearly took out the anesthesiologist when I was getting my epidural during labor!) I’d still love to try out a facial or a massage that stayed far, far away from my back. 🙂 I could do with a little relaxation these days!

    • It’s good to know your boundaries lol! Can you do shoulders? Maybe those head and neck ones where you are in a chair? Or nothing beats a good foot massage either. Facials are more relaxing to some people any way!

  6. Just reading your descriptions and tips was relaxing! But I’m the type of person who likes to read massage and facial service descriptions. I imagine what they’ll be like!

  7. Love the descriptions here 🙂 I’ve had a massage before, but I shied away from anything that wasn’t blatantly obvious what it was. Will have to schedule another appointment soon – Shiatsu sounds interesting!

    • I hear you! When I first started getting massages my neck hurt so bad but after awhile it started feeling better. We just carry so much tension there.

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  9. My massage style is definitely deep tissue. Indeed it may hurt a little bit, but it also feels really good. I haven’t tried a couple of these listed here though, like the hot stones one. I will have to the next time I get the chance.