A number of massage techniques exist which may help to relieve tension in the shoulder area, including Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, sports massage, indian head massage, trigger point therapy and hot stone massage.
The best technique to use would depend on what was contributing to the tension. I would begin by asking a client about their lifestyle, including their hobbies, sporting activities and occupation. If would then ask when the tension could be felt on a day to day basis, if any pain is triggered and if certain movements were restricted by pain and tension. I would also look at posture and range of movement.
Depending on the nature of the tension I would advise an appropriate treatment or combination of treatments or course of treatments and in the case of a possible injury I would refer to a GP for further investigation.
Massage treatments offered by myself may include work on other areas of the body that could also be affecting tension in the shoulders, such as the neck, lower back, erector spinae, rotator cuff, bicep, tricep, deltoid and pectoral muscles.
From personal experience I have found that deep tissue massage and sports massage on a regular basis do wonders to dispel the tension in my shoulders! Hot stone massage and indian head massage are also very effective.
Massage itself is often only part of the solution. Simple techniques such as yoga/pilates and stretching, correcting bad posture and a good matress/pillow can all help.
A combination of tuina sports and acupuncture works best, when the tension is to painful to massage, acupuncture relaxes the area and then after you can carry out the massage without it being to painful for your client.