‘Flow therapy’

Different types of massage and which one to choose?!

Here at The Retreat Kinsale we do not advocate one style of therapy, form of exercise or massage over another. If you have a preference, know what works for you, then that is what we will endeavour to deliver. 

Otherwise we believe in ‘going with the flow’. For example; If we were unfortunate enough to find ourselves in a situation where we needed to defend ourselves, we would not assess; what form of martial art is our attacker using? Shall we show them how superior our preferred discipline is over theirs? ‘If I use that pole that I can see, to keep them at bay, would I be betraying my preferred discipline and entering into another’?

Or, would we simply batter them with everything, and the ‘kitchen sink’, till they back off, and get the hell out of there already.


At The Retreat Kinsale, we do not believe in indoctrinating you into a belief of one form of therapy over another. Indeed, if we can not help you, we will say so and try our best, to assist you to find the therapy that will. Foe example, if upon availing of our taster session, our Hypnotherapiet finds that you are not the best subject for Hypnotherapy, and your results will be less than a subject that will respond easily to this therapy, we will tell you so.


Instead, what we will do, is discuss with you your preferences and desires and meet your needs by ‘building’ a bespoke treatment. Also, whilst treating you in a massage setting for example, and we encounter an area that would respond well to classic/Swedish/ or simply relaxation massage, that’s what we will do. Alternatively, if we encounter an area that would respond to deep tissue or sports massage (deep tissue with stretching) we will check with you, before proceeding into these styles. Hence ‘flow’ therapies.


Just in case, on the following pages, is a simplified break down in the difference between massage forms. Most of these various different disciplines are used or blended into the threatments available in The Retreat.

Swedish Massage

Swedish massage is a gentle type of full-body massage that’s ideal for people who:

  • are new to massage

  • have a lot of tension

  • are sensitive to touch

Hot stone massage

Hot stone massage is best for people who have muscle pain and tension or who simply want to relax. This type of therapeutic massage is similar to a Swedish massage, only the massage therapist uses heated stones in lieu of or in addition to their hands. It eases muscle tension, improves blood flow, and relieves pain by using heated stones. Hot stone massage may help:

  • ease muscle tension

  • improve blood flow

  • alleviate pain

  • promote relaxation

  • relieve stress

  • Hot stone massage may relieve more muscle tension than a Swedish massage because of the added heat.

Aromatherapy massage

Aromatherapy massages are best for people who want to have an emotional healing component to their massage. This type of massage can help:

  • boost your mood

  • reduce stress and anxiety

  • reduce symptoms of depression

  • relieve muscle tension

  • relieve pain

Deep tissue massage

Deep tissue massage uses more pressure than a Swedish massage. It’s a good option if you have chronic muscle problems, such as soreness, injury, or imbalance. It can help relieve tight muscles, chronic muscle pain, and anxiety.

  • Deep tissue massage is a good option if you have a lot of muscle tension or chronic pain.

  • Avoid this type of massage if you’re overly sensitive to pressure.

Sports massage

Sports massage is a good option if you have a repetitive use injury to a muscle, such as what you may get from playing a sport. It’s also a good option if you’re prone to injuries because it can be used to help prevent sports injuries. You may also use sports massage to increase flexibility and performance. Additionally, sports massage can be used to relieve pain, anxiety, and muscle tension.

A sports massage can be done as a full-body massage or the massage therapist may focus on the parts of the body that need the most attention. Deep pressure may be alternated with soothing strokes depending on your needs.

  • A good option if you have an injury from repetitive muscle use.

  • This type of massage may also help improve flexibility and sports performance, and reduce your risk for injury.


Shiatsu massage

Shiatsu massage is best for people who want to feel relaxed and relieve stress, pain, and tension. It’s a Japanese type of massage that:

  • promotes emotional and physical calm and relaxation

  • helps to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression

  • may relieve headache

  • reduces muscle tension

  • Pulsing or rhythmic pressure is used. You can be fully clothed during this massage.


Thai massage

Thai massage is best for people who want a more active form of massage and want to reduce and relieve pain and stress. It can also help improve:

  • flexibility

  • circulation

  • energy levels


Thai massage works the entire body using a sequence of movements that are similar to yogic stretching. Your therapist will use their palms and fingers to apply firm pressure to your body. You’ll also be stretched and twisted into various positions. You can wear loose, comfortable clothing during the massage. In summation:

  • Thai massage is more active than other forms of massage, and the therapist will stretch your body in addition to providing a massage.

  • This is another type of massage where you remain fully clothed.


Prenatal massage

Prenatal massage can be a safe way for women to get a massage during pregnancy. It can help reduce pregnancy body aches, reduce stress, and ease muscle tension. You can get a massage at any time during your pregnancy. However, many facilities, especially in the United States, do not offer massages to women in their first trimester due to the risk of miscarriage during this time.

Prenatal massage uses mild pressure similar to Swedish massage. The therapist will focus on areas such as your lower back, hips, and legs. You can be fully or partially undressed depending on your comfort level. During the massage, you’ll either lie on your side or on a specially designed table with a cutout for your belly. If you’ve had pain in your calves or other parts of your leg, see a doctor before you have a massage.

© 2018 The Retreat Kinsale