Massage 101: What Modality Is Right For Me?

Massage 101: What Modality Is Right For Me?

Read on to Get the Lowdown Before Your Next Rubdown

With so many techniques and so little time, choosing the massage style to suit your needs can be a challenge. From stress-melting to tension-busting and everything in between, the art of massage therapy has long been revered for its ability to keep the body and mind at peak performance. Variations in pressure, technique, areas of focus and desired outcome set the various massage styles apart, but which one is right for you? We’ve put together a quick guide help you figure out which massage style best suits your needs.

Read on to get the lowdown before your next rubdown.

South Beach Swedish Deep Tissue Massage

Swedish Massage

Best for: Relaxation, stress relief, first massage

The most common form of massage therapy, the Swedish massage is designed to warm up the muscle tissue to release toxins, tension and general soreness. The therapist will use hands, fingers and sometimes forearms to perform long, gentle, soothing strokes with light to medium pressure.

The Swedish massage is revered for its ability to kickstart circulation and eliminate lymph and metabolic waste often stored deep within the muscle tissue. This technique is ideal for those seeking relaxation and first time spa-goers.

Deep Tissue Massage

Best for: Relieving acute tension

A deep tissue massage is much like the Swedish with an increased level of pressure. This technique hyper-targets deeper layers of muscles and tendons to eliminate toxic waste, blockages and tension in the body. Expect muscle-melting movements utilizing friction to generate heat and stimulate blood flow and deep kneading and muscle manipulation to release chronic muscle tension and knots.


Best for: Improving energy blockages

Feeling drained, lazy or grumpy? Improve your flow of energy while detoxifying the body by treating yourself to an aromatherapy massage custom built to cater to your mood. Aromatherapists interview each guest to determine goals for the session and craft a unique blend of essential oils accordingly to help relieve stress, ease anxiety or eliminate toxins.


Best for: Boosting immune function, stress relief, detoxifying

Reflexology is the ancient art of applying pressure to reflex points on the soles of the feet, hands and ears as an alternative health treatment, utilizing the body’s natural capacity to heal itself. Each pressure point corresponds with an organ and system of the body and can be manipulated to promote overall well being and release blocked energy throughout the body.

Sports massage

Best for: Preventing and treating injury and enhancing athletic performance

Whether you’re sore from beach yoga, biking the MacArthur Causeway or jogging the sandy shores of South Beach, a muscle-melting sports massage pinpoints your most painful parts with deep muscle work to target problem areas causing pain and inhibiting performance training.

McAllister’s professionally trained therapists identify the exact location and intensity of discomfort and employ a variety of firm stroking techniques to break down scar tissue and improve elasticity to effectively increase mobility, stimulate blood flow and relieve chronic pain. Sports massages can be performed prior to a bout of heavy exertion to prime muscle tissue or after to flush the system after a race or sporting event.

McAllister Spa’s “Best Mother’s Day Ever” Salon Itinerary

McAllister Spa’s “Best Mother’s Day Ever” Salon Itinerary

Mother’s Day is Around the Corner…May 8th!

Mother’s Day is upon us – have you planned anything special for the woman in your life? If not, no worries! We’ve put together the Ultimate Miami Beach Mother’s Day Spa itinerary to take the guesswork out of the equation, starting with several of our best salon services coupled with a few amazing spa treatments.

Mother’s Day Starts at McAllister Spa This Year

For all the days spent taking care of others, Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity to treat mom to a day of “taking care of” herself. McAllister Spa is offering an assortment of salon and spa packages perfect for the loved one in your life:

Mother’s Mini Retreat, $84

Get mom glammed up for a day full of Mother’s Day Spa fun with the ultimate trio of treatments. This package features McAllister’s classic manicure and pedicure and a blowout in our StyleLab, Miami’s best blow-dry bar alternative. (2.5 hours)

Mama’s Meltaway Massage, $148

For the mom in need of some serious me-time, Mama’s Meltaway package is the play. Mom start off by enjoying McAllister’s 75-minute signature aromatherapy massage, a personalized sensory journey, featuring powerful essential oil blends to leave mom energized and refreshed or at peace and balanced. After her massage, she’ll receive a blowout in our StyleLab and be out in no time to enjoy the rest of your heart-fully crafted day. (2.0 hours)

The Hot Mama, $214

Super moms deserve the best of the best. Treat mom to The Hot Mama which combines two of our most popular treatments. The day kicks off with a Skinceuticals Vitamin Sea Facial, a 60-minute treatment able to hyper-focus on specific skin concerns, including wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, rosacea, redness, acne and skin sensitivity, specifically using marine-derived ingredients. Up next is the Ultimate mani/pedi combo, in which McAllister’s seasoned nail technicians will treat mom to a gentle exfoliation using Ambito No Moshio, some of the world’s rarest sea salts from Japan and her choice of exclusive essential oils. The treatment finishes with a relaxing massage of the forearms, hands, calves, and feet, a lavender paraffin treatment, and callus removal. (3.0 hours)

…And Gift Cards Are Always Available

If after reading the gift ideas listed here, you are thinking “I have NO idea what my mom would do in a spa or salon!” – not to fear, you can always pick up a gift card packed with whatever denomination you choose and she can carefully select the perfect combination of services and retail products.

After the Spa Day, where to brunch on Miami Beach?

Mother’s Day simply wouldn’t be Mother’s Day without an A+ brunch. Impress mom with one of these festive feasts:

Matador Terrace at the Miami Beach Edition

For the mom who appreciates a good view, the beautiful outdoor Matador Terrace will host Mother’s Day brunch from 11am to 4pm with a seasonal selection, including huevos rancheros, poached eggs with roasted mushrooms, coconut pancakes with grapefruit and lavender maple syrup, and crunchy Mexican-spiced French toast with apples – to name just a few.

Seagrape at Thompson Miami Beach

For the cocktail aficionado, Chef Michelle Bernstein has crafted a special Mother’s Day cocktail, pink bubbles, made with Absolut Elyx, cranberry juice, fresh lime, simple syrup, and Veuve Cliquot rosé and garnished with a fresh mint leaf.

Tongue & Cheek

An entire weekend celebration, Tongue & Cheek’s Mother’s Day brunch is the perfect choice for the low-key mama on the hunt for elevated comfort food. In addition to FREE mimosas and coffee, the Cheek will offer brunch items like fried chicken ‘n’ cheddar waffles, lemon ricotta pancakes, and Key West pink shrimp ‘n’ grits.

…Or Perhaps Finish the Day with Family!

At the end of the day, quality time with her children is all mom really wants. Here’s a few suggestions for family-fun the whole crew can enjoy:

Sundown Beach Picnic

Cap off the perfect Mother’s Day with an evening, sundown picnic. Bring an assortment of your favorite sweets, a family-sized beach blanket and a fully-charged iPhone for sunset selfies.

Try Something New

South Florida boasts endless opportunities for outdoor play. Take mom to experience a new adventure together. Whether it’s airboating through the Everglades, sea kayaking through Biscayne Bay, or finally biking the MacArthur causeway, today’s the day!