Which Massage is Best for Stress Relief?

best massage for stress relief

Real-life experiences and studies have shown that massage is good for stress and anxiety. After a massage session, you feel more relaxed, calm, peaceful and happy. Everything from the warm and relaxing massage environment to the massage itself promotes relaxation, letting go of feelings of fear and anxiety and focusing on the now.

Massage therapy helps relieve stress by releasing the muscle tension caused by stress helping you feel relaxed. It also leads to a decrease in cortisol the stress hormone and an increase in serotonin and dopamine, the feel-good hormones responsible for a stable mood. Research has also shown that massage therapy can lower your heart rate, blood pressure, and insulin levels. Here are the best massages for stress-relief:

The Best Types of Massage for Stress Relief

Swedish Massage

This is the most common type of massage and also one of the best massages for stress relief. It relaxes the whole body and mind helping you feel calm and peaceful. Studies have also shown that Swedish massage causes a decrease in cortisol the stress hormone and an increase in the levels of oxytocin, the love hormone. This massage technique involves the application of long, sweeping strokes and muscle rolling and kneading in slow, deliberate movements to relieve tension and promote relaxation.

Aromatherapy Massage

Aromatherapy infused massage is the ultimate type of massage for relieving stress and anxiety. The relaxing benefits of massage combine with the soothing, relaxing and healing effects of oils such as sweet orange, lavender, sage, lemon balm, rose, peppermint and ylang ylang to calm your mind and melt away stress. This type of massage even has anti-depressive benefits!  

Hot Stone Massage

This is a calming and relaxing massage that combines the stress-relieving benefits of Swedish massage with hot stone therapy for a more relaxing experience. The massage therapist uses heated basalt stones to massage your body using the stroking, kneading and rolling techniques of a Swedish massage. The heat helps relax your muscles for deeper massage therapy. It also helps you sleep better thus helping relieve and ward off stress.

Shiatsu Massage (Reflexology/Acupressure)

Applying pressure to certain pressure points on the feet and hands can relax your body and mind and help alleviate stress and anxiety. The massage therapist uses their fingers to apply pressure on pressure points to relieve stress. Pushing these points helps release energy and restore balance to your body and mind and induce relaxation and calm.


Massage is one of the best ways to alleviate stress and the symptoms of anxiety. You experience immediate benefits and the results aren’t short-lived. It alleviates stress and anxiety and all the symptoms including sleep problems, irritability, muscle aches, restlessness, fatigue and headaches. All types of massage will help with stress but the above techniques are the best for mental benefits and especially effective for stress and anxiety relief.

As for how often to get a massage for stress and anxiety, regular sessions deliver maximum benefits. After several sessions, you will notice a lasting difference in your stress and anxiety levels. If you can’t book a massage session with a licensed massage therapist, even simple self-massage techniques you can do yourself can help with stress-relief.

More Resources

Massage Therapy for Anxiety and Stress

Get in touch with Higher Living Bodywork at (929) 500-2041 for a consultation on the best type of massage for your needs! I am a licensed massage therapist and can offer my therapeutic services at the comfort of your home or in our studio space in Williamsburg Brooklyn!

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