Choosing the Right Massage Technique: Swedish, Shiatsu, Hot Stone And More

If you’ve never had a professional massage before, trying to figure out which type of treatment to try can feel pretty daunting. There are certain techniques to relieve pain, while others are great for relaxation. Some work wonders to get rid of stress, while others aim to stretch compacted muscles.  So with so many options to choose from, how do know which is best for you? We’ve put together this cheat sheet to help you decide.


Swedish is the most common type of treatment and it’s a great introduction into massage therapy. Using long, sweeping strokes, your therapist will warm up your muscles and then utilize kneading and rolling techniques to target tension in particular areas. People love Swedish massages for stress relief and relaxation as the variation in techniques can help to alleviate tense muscles and calm the body.

Bottom line: Best for beginners who want to relax and ease slight to moderate tension.

Hot Stone

If you like the idea of a relaxing massage but also want something a bit more soothing, a hot stone massage might be your perfect match. This massage applies the strokes of a Swedish massage with heated, smooth stones rather than just the hands. The heat from the stones gets transferred into the muscles, which loosens them up and allows for better penetration of the overall technique. This is a great massage for people who enjoy medium pressure and are looking for something relaxing that will still release areas of tension.

Bottom line: Best for pampering, great for relaxation and as a couples treatment.

Deep Tissue

If you’re looking for something with a bit more chutzpah, a deep tissue massage might be right up your alley. This type of massage is great for specific areas of pain and works by applying deep pressure on knotted muscles to alleviate significant pain points. This type of massage is not the most relaxing of the bunch and during the treatment, you’ll likely find the pressure uncomfortable and possibly painful. You may be sore for a few days afterward, but if you have chronic trouble spots, you’ll need this kind of massage to break up that tension and get you back to feeling like yourself again. This treatment is popular for people who have chronic lower back and shoulder pain, often due to sitting at a desk all day.

Bottom line: Best to dissipate pesky knots and to treat more severe muscle pain. Not for the faint at heart.


Not all massages are created to ease muscle pain. A shiatsu massage is a technique which originated in Japan and combines finger pressure with gentle stretching to fix imbalances in the flow of energy to the body. People with chronic headaches, sleep issues and trouble letting go of the day often look to this type of healing massage to decrease stress and rebalance the energy in the body.

Bottom line: Best for relaxation and stress relief.


If you’re looking to relieve pain and to relax, the bamboo massage is our top pick. This treatment combines the best of both worlds by relying on the popular deep tissue technique to ease muscle soreness while applying heated bamboo stalks of varying lengths and thicknesses. This combination enables the therapist to use the key benefit of warmed muscles to work deeper into the body while ensuring that the guest is comfortable and the treatment is balanced. Because the heat warms the muscles prior to the deep tissue work being done, the guest will not feel any soreness after the massage, which often happens in the days after an intense deep tissue session.

Bottom line: The benefits of muscle tension relaxation and stress reduction all in one.

No matter what type of technique you choose, massage is a therapy that can help both the body and mind by repairing overworked muscles and providing quiet time for relaxation. With so many options to choose from, which will you pick? At Body by Brooklyn, we offer every different type of massage technique to cater to our client’s specific needs. Check out our luxury treatments and indulge in the benefits of massage therapy today.

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