This weekend is as good a time as any to pay a complete stranger to rub the stress out of your gross, naked body. Massages can be both enjoyable and therapeutic, but there are lots of different kinds — so you need to know what you’re looking for. What would be best for working out the tense knots in your upper back caused by the stress you’re under may not be best for simply relaxing for an hour to get away from that stress. Also, you may want to get a nice tug! So here’s a rundown of several different kinds of massage.
SWEDISH MASSAGE is the most common type of massage therapy in the U.S. Message therapists gently knead your muscles in long, circular motions, making this ideal for relaxing and/or beginning a porn, but probably not ideal if you have sore muscles you need to heal.
AROMATHERAPY MASSAGE is supposed to be great if you’re stressed out and could use a few minutes of quiet to smell some redolent oils and listen to the sounds of the Costa Rican rain forest waft out of a wood-grained stereo.
SHIATSU sounds like some intense martial art that masseuses practice on people’s backs, but it’s actually rather pleasant. This form of Japanese bodywork uses localized finger pressure in a rhythmic sequence along acupuncture meridians. Each ‘pressure point’ is held for eight seconds, supposedly helping the body improve its energy flow. Basically, it’s like getting a rubdown from Mr. Miyagi.