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Massage therapy is an effective treatment for ailments ranging from joint pain to depression. There are many different types of massage to choose from, all of which are designed to help alleviate specific health issues. For example, Swedish massage is better suited to help with some health issues than sports massage. To derive the greatest benefits from massage therapy, it is important to know what type of massage would best enhance your health.

Swedish Massage and its Benefits

During a Swedish massage, the massage therapist will use her hands, forearms and elbows to stimulate the superficial muscle tissues, according to a writer on the Healthline website. The person receiving the massage lies on a massage table and the body, except the area being massaged, is covered with a sheet or blanket. Swedish massage benefits include reduced stress, improved circulation, increased muscle tone, better range of motion and better drainage of the lymphatic system. Swedish massage helps create an overall sense of relaxation and provides mental calmness and improved physical health.

Sports Massage and its Benefits

As the name implies, sports massage is designed to help athletes perform at their peak. The techniques used during a sports massage are much like those used during a Swedish massage, but sports massage works much deeper into the muscles. Though the techniques are similar, sports massage is specifically designed to help athletes. Sports massage boasts the ability to reduce muscle soreness, tension and swelling. The reduction of muscle tension during sports massage can help reduce an athlete's chances of sustaining injury. Specialized techniques are used to help athletes before, during and after athletic events to boost performance.

Choosing Swedish Massage

If you seek an overall improvement in physical and mental health, choose Swedish massage. The wide range of health benefits associated with this technique would benefit most people.

Choosing Sports Massage

If you are an athlete or very physically active, sports massage may be a better technique for you. You will still experience an improved sense of well-being, but the focus of the massage will be on making sure your muscles are ready to perform.