A quick look at (insert your favourite search engine here) will reveal over 150 different types of massage. Some usually performed through loose fitting clothing and others with the client usually stripping down to knickers/underpants.
How do you choose which sort is for you? This depends a lot on what you want to get out of it. Deep tissue and sports massage can be painful but should not be unbearably so.
I tend not to use as much pressure as most sports massage therapists unless more pressure is requested but still encounter clients who find some of what I do painful. If this is the case, I always ask them if they think it is a pain that is healing or one that if continued might make things worse. (The exact words depend on the client and my relationship with them.
So if you want some, “knots” worked out a sports massage therapist might be what you want. If you have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and want to increase you energy levels or relax and catch up on sleep then Aromatherapy is much more likely to be your bag.
Most of us fall somewhere between the two, most of my clients have some degree of neck or shoulder pain but are not looking for deep tissue work. A lot have some lower back pain and again are not looking for deep tissue work but often would like more pressure than some aromatherapists use.
Remember as a client it is OK to ask for more or less pressure just as you are or should be in control of what parts of the body are massaged. You are the expert on your own body and know what works and what doesn’t or at least what doesn’t in most cases! Some people come to me, not having found what works.
Essential oils have an effect that is partly physiological and partly psychological. The latter is why I will not use exactly the same oils for everyone with a particular problem but choose from a variety of oils that I know can be helpful based on the client’s preferences. If you are particularly drawn to an oil it is likely to be helpful. If you can’t stand one it is going to inhibit relaxation.
Work with your practitioner whoever they may be and tell them what you find helpful/enjoyable and what you don’t. They may be experts in their particular therapy but not on you, especially if it is your first appointment!