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The Best Massage Modalities To Impress Your Clients

The Best Massage Modalities To Impress Your Clients

You may find that your clients gravitate towards a few different types of massage, most typically hot stone and Swedish massages.

However, if your spa is only limited to these types of massages then you could potentially be limiting your clientele as well. 

Spas that keep up to date with different massage modalities are those that tend to be more successful as they are keeping up with the times.

The spa-goers of today are keen to try new therapies to achieve specific results. 

There was a time when massage was considered a leisure activity purely for relaxation.

However, more and more people are using massage to target specific problem areas related to pain or even aging. 

Your clients are most likely people who are trying to balance their work and life whilst dealing with other concerns with their health.

They will probably want to feel the results after a single session and so, as massage therapists, it is our responsibility to know how to target these problem areas. 

This is where massage modalities come into play. We’re going to take a look at the best massage modalities that you can utilize in your spa to really make a targeted difference to your clients.

What Is A Modality In Massage Therapy? 

Massage therapists often refer to their practice as a “modality” in which they specialize. What does this actually mean? 

“Modality” is a common jargon word that can be heard throughout the massage therapy industry. Typically, the word “modality” means the mode or way that something is done or in which it exists. 

Massage therapists would say that the modality they have is the unique approach that they take with their clients. They tend to have many different modalities within their individual skillset. 

When training, students are introduced to many different modalities. All of these are individually effective depending on the client and the situation at hand.

When a massage therapist recommends to their clients a particular modality there are up to 200 different modalities they can choose from. 

Craniosacral Therapy 

Craniosacral Therapy 

CST (Craniosacral Therapy) has been practiced in osteopathic and chiropractic practices since the 1970s. Now, we’re seeing it making waves in spa therapy as a hot and trendy item. 

This modality was originally developed by John E. Upledger, MD, an osteopathic physician. It is mainly used to help improve the function of the internal nervous system as well as for pain relief. 

How Does It Work? 

Massage therapists aim to free the restrictions on the cranium as well as improve the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid by manipulating the sacrum and cranium gently.

The fluid is within the dural tube and it encases the spinal cord as well as surrounding the brain. 

This modality of massage helps to affect even the deepest parts of the body without using any invasive techniques. Through this method of massage, the body is able to begin to heal itself from the inside. 

You can even offer this form of massage whilst your client is lying in a bath of water. This is known as an Aquatic CranioSacral treatment. This may be something that you want to offer your clients. 

Why Is It Special? 

Craniosacral therapy has been known to ease back pain and neck pain as well as reduce migraines, stress, and more.

Clients who have received this treatment have also noted how much more beneficial this has been compared to their regular therapeutic and deep tissue massages. 

With this treatment, your clients are bound to have an experience of a lifetime full of deep relaxation and lasting relief. 

You can read more on the benefits of this massage modality at

Myofascial Release

This massage therapy helps to target the pain that can come from the fascia by using a gentle massage technique.

The fascia are the connective fibrous tissues that are woven throughout the body to separate, support, and attach the bones, muscles, internal organs, and ligaments. 

If you have a healthy fascia then your movement would be pain-free, smooth, and supple.

However, if the fascia is not healthy then the fibers are much tighter which reduces mobility and increases pain and stiffness. 

How Does It Work? 

Massage therapists must first start by looking for any signs of stiffness. If this is found then they will help to “unravel” or loosen the damaged fascia by using very gentle pressure. 

It is not like a deep tissue massage, the difference being that the system is aided in relaxing completely naturally by utilizing myofascial release. 

The fascia system is very expansive and so by using this therapeutic technique on a single part of the body, tension can be aided in being released without even necessarily touching the problem area itself. 

Why Is It Special? 

A lot of spas tend to offer this service as an enhancement to an existing treatment or just as its own stand alone treatment. The relief that a client feels from the pain and problem areas is quick and precise. 

Some therapists have reported that their clients have come into the spa reporting pain at an 8 on the scale and left feeling entirely relieved with their pain lowered to a 2. 



Reiki is a modality that originated in Japan and is widely known for its healing properties. It is used to improve a person’s flow within their life force energies (qi). 

Those that use this technique have stated that if a person’s qi is stagnant or low then this can build up stress and sickness.

However, if their qi is strong then happiness and health come along with it. 

How Does It Work? 

The aim of Reiki is to transfer energy from the client to the practitioner.

Clients are to remain clothed fully and the massage therapist then hovers or lightly touches their hands over any areas where the negative energy is concentrated the most. 

You will often find that these energies hang around the back, torso, and head areas. Clients that come in for Reiki treatment will often report that they are feeling like they have low energy or that they are imbalanced. 

When conducting this method it can usually take two or three sessions to fully feel the difference. You can include this as an add-on to other massage services or as its own stand-alone therapy. 

Why Is It Special? 

Those that seek out Reiki therapies are usually going through some personal troubles in their lives and they are seeking a method to be eased through these.

Reiki is fantastic for exactly this and is a modality that should be explored in every spa. 

You may find that your clients visit you specifically for this treatment, whereas other clients may have come in for a different treatment and the therapist may sense that they might benefit from Reiki as an additional treatment. 

Chair Massage 

Oftentimes referred to as a seated massage, this modality has been around for a while but is currently increasing in popularity.

More and more day spas are starting to offer this type of massage and are even offering it as something that can be done outside of the spa as well. 

Some therapists who specialize in chair massage have done the practice in many off-site locations such as offices and even events like conventions and music festivals. 

How Does It Work? 

Clients will remain fully clothed throughout the process of this massage and will sit in the massage chair that is specifically designed so that the client can sit leaning forward with their face in a face rest. 

This chair is excellent as it supports the legs, upper body and face all at once so that the therapist can target the client’s arms, shoulders, back, and neck.

Other spots can even be targeted if need be depending on the problem. 

These don’t tend to last very long and are excellent for those who want to do lots of short treatments. You may find that clients come in for a quick 10 to 20 minute treatment purely focusing on the upper back and neck. 

You may offer this as a stand-alone service, or you can add it to your other services such as facial treatments or even manicures and pedicures.

If you keep the massage chair in an area where your clients can see it, requests to use it often go up. 

Why Is It Special?

This is a great introduction to clients who have never experienced a massage before. It can be a great way to ease them into the experience of bodywork. 

Many clients have started out in a massage chair and then later on moved onto table massage services such as Swedish massage or deep tissue massage. 

This specific modality is also excellent for older clients who have difficulty getting on and off a massage table. 

Natural Facelift Massage 

Natural Facelift Massage 

Clients can avoid all the nasty plastic surgery by having a natural facelift massage. Many clients have reported that this massage is oftentimes actually better than going under the knife in terms of results and in fact, some have said it’s even better. 

This massage was originally created by two massage therapists – Narendra and Kundan Mehta.

Ayurvedic practices were used to influence the technique that is the natural facelift massage. The procedure doesn’t rely on any products at all. 

How Does It Work?

This massage uses a wonderful mix of other modalities too including acupressure, lymphatic drainage, and myofascial release.

Massage therapists will use lifting, sweeping, and circular movements to help the muscles in the face to relax. 

The process of aging affects our skin as it sinks into our bones causing us to look aged. This massage is utilized so that the connective tissues within our face are retrained. Many clients will leave feeling refreshed and more youthful. 

Why Is It Special? 

Many clients will be able to see an immediate improvement in their faces. However, other clients may need to return for several sessions to reap the benefits. This is entirely dependent on their individual needs as well as their age. 

Typically, massage therapists will state that it takes up to six sessions for the muscles to start to work and create lasting differences. 

Assisted Stretching

Assisted stretching has been a favorite of the fitness industry for a long time. This technique is used by therapists and instructors to help their clients to improve their range of motion and flexibility. 

How Does It Work? 

This modality will need a hands-on approach to be successful. Clients are guided gently through different intensities of stretching.

Clients who are new to exercising may have trouble identifying the areas of muscles that need to be stretched. 

By offering assisted stretching, you can help to guide and clarify where these areas are and how they can be targeted.

This kind of assistance brings awareness to their bodies so that they can achieve these stretches on their own at home or at the gym. 

However, it’s not only for beginners as clients who are more athletic also make use of this therapy as a way to push themselves and test their limits.

There are also areas of the body that require assistance in order to be stretched. 

Why Is It Special? 

Assisted stretching is not like going to an exercise class. This type of stretching helps a client to achieve their goals and get those results. 

Typically therapists would observe the stretching and potentially lightly touch the areas that need to be focused on so that awareness is brought to them.

Bringing awareness to these areas helps the client to understand the purpose of the stretch rather than trying to intensify or deepen the stretch. 

You can use assisted stretching alongside a massage or you can offer it as a stand-alone service. It is easily incorporated into other bodywork services if it is deemed necessary.

Light Therapy 

This modality has been used to help with the effects of aging as well as improve various conditions that affect the skin.

Light therapy uses infrared light and has recently become more popular for helping with pain. 

Clinical trials have shown that this type of therapy has been effective for uses in reducing inflammation and helping with muscle spasms.

By using light therapy before starting a massage your client will feel amazing benefits. 

How Does It Work? 

LED panels are placed on the affected areas of the body during the treatment. LED panels can be used as well as any other devices that emit infrared lighting. 

These infrared wavelengths then start to penetrate the skin and heat the nerves, bones, and muscles in a way that traditional massage therapies aren’t able to.

This then helps to speed up the healing process and relax the muscles. 

Why Is It Special? 

Clients have said that the relief from pain has been practically immediate thanks to this treatment.

They also stated that they felt like themselves again afterward. You could combine it with another treatment or have it as a stand-alone service.


Each of the massage modalities has its own uses and you will find that your day spa will benefit from adding them to your services. With these, your clients will start to feel brand new!

Why not also check our article on popular treatments for male clientele to find out how you can extend your spa’s service offering.

About Me

Hey there, welcome to the blog! I’m Carmen. I have over 30 years of experience in the beauty and wellness industry. My goal is to help smart spa business owners and managers like you achieve the success and freedom you deserve and that I desperately wanted when I started.

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