Four Common Massage Styles: Deep Tissue, Swedish, Shiatsu, and Junetsu Massage

Massage Styles: Deep Tissue, Swedish, and Shiatsu Massage

In this article, I’ll take a few minutes discussing what characterizes four common types of massage styles and their effect on the body.

Deep Tissue Massage Style:

Let’s start with one of the most common massage styles: Deep Tissue Massage (DTM). As the name suggests, DTM refers to any massage which deeply penetrates muscle layers and connective tissue. DTM also mobilizes deep connective tissue layers called fascia and has effects on blood vessels and nerves. DTM is commonly used on on athletes during a game or to aid recovery.

Growing up as a high-level athlete in soccer and wrestling, massage therapy was an important, integral part of my overall health maintenance program, especially as I aged. In 34 years of competition, I never missed a game due to injury. I was an iron-horse because I looked after my body carefully and consistently throughout my athletic career. I am convinced that regular DTM regularly was critical to my longevity and that it enhanced my ability to heal from injury.

massage stylesMany people feel like they almost have to feel some level of “pleasurable pain” when they get a massage. We know the Asian cultures value all types of massage, but some really yearn for that type of deeper penetrating massage that almost brings a painful wince to one’s face. You’ve certainly seen massage therapists from various Asian cultures utilizing their elbows or standing on people’s backs, or really digging into their patients as they’re working on them. Some of the chairs at The World’s Best Massage Chairs (like the Panasonic MA73) can utilize their 3D RealPro™ roller mechanisms to offer those types of deeper penetrating and borderline “pleasurably painful” experiences if you choose that option – especially when the chairs are set to the highest levels of intensity.

Swedish Massage Style:

Then we have the softer type of massage techniques called Swedish or light touch massage. Those types of massages create a more relaxing and less painful type experience. The Swedish massage or light touch massage techniques are incredibly popular in massage chairs, and as a matter of fact, some massage chairs have built their legacies on the softer and lighter type massage like the Brio+ which is described as exactly that – light and incredibly relaxing.

Shiatsu Massage Style:

Shiatsu massage as described by the Acupuncture & Massage College in Miami as a massage therapy technique that relies on the use of the fingers, thumbs and palm to apply pressure to various areas of the body’s surface to help heal common ailments and conditions, and correct imbalances in the body.” The various parts of the hands and the force upon which they are applied create a “kneading type” of tactile sensation. This style of massage therapy is also incredibly popular in massage chairs and here at the World’s Best Massage Chairs, all of our chairs offer Shiatsu or a Shiatsu-like programmed session. Those Shiatsu programs can also be customized based on what you personally like in your massage.


Dr. Ron is a former chiropractor and a lifelong athlete.
He is one of the healthcare experts that is currently on the staff at WBMC and provides a real-life perspective on the health benefits of massage chairs. He can be reached directly at