Everyone seems to have their own ideas about what each of those words mean. We’ve come up with some basic definitions so that we’re all on the same page. 

Relaxation – The main goal for this massage is to relax the client fully. You would typically use long strokes that create a nice overall flow over the whole body. You may target a few trigger points if the client wants that, but you wouldn’t attack them with full force unless the client says it is ok. 

Deep Tissue – This is still a full-body massage, but using a bit more pressure. You can target more trigger points and really aim to get those knots out while still making the client feel like you covered the entire body.

Sports – Typically, the goal for this modality of massage is to help with recurring tightness or problems due to sports, training, or everyday activity and use. You might do some assessments before and after, some stretches, and maybe some active release techniques during the massage. The client may want the massage targeted specifically to those problem areas as opposed to getting to the entire body.

Pregnancy – This type of massage is for women who are more than 12 weeks pregnant and is performed while the client is lying on their side. It’s best to make the client comfortable using pillows under the head and in between the legs. You should probably avoid using essential oils, and only use a lighter pressure avoiding trigger points altogether. The main purpose of this massage is for the mum-to-be to feel relaxed and pampered.

Because no one really has the same definition of what each word means, the most important thing is to communicate with your client before and during the massage to ensure they get exactly the type of massage that they are looking for. Communication is key!