There are more than 80 known types of massage, each with its own unique characteristics. With so many options, it can be difficult to decide which type of massage is best for you. To help you out, here is a comprehensive list of 35 different massages from around the world. This list includes a combination of pressure, stretching, stroking and percussion manipulations, along with gentle, fluid movements to stimulate the circulatory systems.
To perform the massage, the fingers, thumbs, arms, elbows, knees and feet are used and applied next to the acupressure points found in the body's 14 meridians or energy pathways. Oils are generally not used and the client may be sitting or lying down, although a lying position creates a stronger energy flow in the body. Swedish massage is one of the most popular types of massage. It is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping to help relax and energize you.
Read our complete guide to Swedish massages and buy Swedish massages near you.
Deep Tissue Massageis another popular type of massage. It aims to relieve tension in the deeper layers of muscle tissue and fascia. Because of this, it uses more intensive kneading techniques than Swedish ones.
Buy deep tissue massages near you.
Hot Stone Massageis a type of massage that uses heated stones to relax and massage sore muscles. The heat helps to relax the muscles and allows for a deeper massage. Buy hot stone massages near you.
Sports Massage is specifically designed with athletes in mind. It is a variation of Swedish massage that aims to address pain caused by repetitive movements and help active people recover more quickly from stress and injury. Read our guide to sports massages and buy sports massages near you.
Shiatsu Massageis a Japanese style of massage rooted in Chinese medicine. It aims to eliminate blockages that prevent the body's energy force, or Qi, from flowing freely.
Therapists use many different techniques, often using the elbows, knees, and even the feet, as they work on tension in the back, joints, and extremities. Read our guide to shiatsu massage and buy Shiatsu massages near you.
Trigger Point Massageis similar to deep tissue massage but it focuses on relieving chronic tension located deep within the muscles. Massage therapists knead two clients side by side in the same room. Buy trigger point massages near you.
Couples Massageis a great way for couples to relax together while enjoying a massage.
Swedish massage is the typical modality used but you can also request other types of massages such as deep tissue or hot stone massage. Buy couples massages near you.