De-stress Before Midterms

Types of Massage Therapy that will Relax the Mind and Awaken the Body

By: Brielle Sparacino

It’s that time of year once again. A time for us to study our butts off to ace midterms. This is the only time (other than finals week) when energy drinks and coffee are the primary fluids running through our veins.

Nothing is more stressful than having to worry about achieving the highest grade possible in a class you’ve barely understood all semester, but try not to freak out about anything just yet. I’m about to offer you a surprisingly simple solution.

You’ve heard of the relaxation massage, but you may not have heard of the therapeutic massage.

Believe it or not, there is a significant difference between the two types. Most people receive relaxation massages in five-star resorts typically with a significant other. According to, “therapeutic massage is a general term that describes any type of massage modality that helps relieve pain, reduce stress, and work on a specific problem–such as a frozen shoulder.”

One might assume that therapeutic massages consist solely of deep-tissue work, but that’s not always the case. While deep-tissue massage does help your blood circulate better, it is not a massage modality for everyone. Some individuals might need a light-to-medium pressure massage, regardless of personal preference.

There are different kinds of therapeutic massage that benefit all types of people. For example, Swedish Massage is the most common therapeutic massage modality in the United States. It uses the lightest amount of pressure and is great to try if you’ve never had a massage before.

Aromatherapy Massage is another common modality. This type of massage would be perfect for college students to destress before midterms, because essential oils like lavender and rosemary are used during the massage to calm the mind and relax the muscles.

A third therapeutic modality that is usually seen in spas around the world are Hot Stone Massages. The massage therapist places hot stones on specific points in your back, loosening and relaxing the muscles without using much physical pressure on the body. This modality is also perfect for people with significant muscle tension, but who are uncomfortable with too much applied pressure.

As previously stated, Deep-Tissue Massage is another popular modality, but it’s not for everyone. The service usually benefits individuals who have extreme muscle pain and tightness, bad posture, or individuals that put repetitive strain on certain muscles.

While there are an endless amount of therapeutic massage modalities performed regularly, one should learn why they feel less stressed after receiving a massage.

According to, “Research has shown that [massages] can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, relax your muscles and increase the production of endorphins, your body’s natural “feel good” chemical.”

When receiving therapeutic massage, serotonin and dopamine are released. Dopamine is associated with the pleasure center of the brain, whereas serotonin helps to regulate factors like your mood, irritability and memory. As a result, you feel calm, relaxed and stress-free as soon as your massage is over!

Therapeutic massages are something everyone can benefit from, regardless of their age. Whether you’re in your twenties or your seventies, massage therapy has the ability to change your life for the better.

Not only will you feel less stressed when your massage is over, but your therapist may have also fixed some issues you didn’t even know you had! Just think of how much better you would feel if you came back from a 90-minute massage. You’ll be de-stressed enough to take your midterm the following day.
Stress will always be a part of our lives. Work, school and families are only some aspects we stress out about on a daily basis. However, therapeutic massages have the ability to alleviate some of that stress and make you feel better naturally, from the inside out.

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