What Are the Different Types of Massages?

What is a massage?

There are several kinds of massage that concentrate on various parts of the body or recovery techniques. Massage is the practice of rubbing and kneading the body using the hands. Throughout a massage, a massage therapist will apply mild or strong pressure to the muscles and joints of the body to reduce discomfort and tension. A massage therapist is a person trained in giving massages.

Keep reading to discover the various kinds of massage and which type may be ideal for you.

1. Swedish massage

Swedish massage is a gentle type of full-body massage that’s perfect for individuals who:

are brand-new to massage

have a lot of tension

are sensitive to touch

It can help release muscle knots, and it’s also an excellent choice for when you desire to fully unwind throughout a massage.

For this massage, you’ll eliminate your clothing, though you might select to keep your underclothing on. You’ll be covered with a sheet while pushing the massage table. The massage therapist will move the sheet to uncover locations that they are actively working on.

The massage therapist will use a combination of:


long, flowing strokes in the instructions of the heart

deep circular movements

vibration and tapping

passive joint motion methods

Generally a Swedish massage will last for 60– 90 minutes.


Pick a Swedish massage for relaxation or handling small discomfort.

This type of massage is likewise great for individuals new to massage

2. Hot stone massage.

Hot stone massage is best for people who have muscle pain and tension or who merely want to relax. This kind of restorative massage resembles a Swedish massage, only the massage therapist uses heated stones in lieu of or in addition to their hands. It eases muscle tension, improves blood flow, and eliminates discomfort by utilizing heated stones. Hot stone massage may assist:

ease muscle tension

improve blood circulation

minimize pain

promote relaxation

relieve tension

Throughout a hot stone massage, heated stones are put on various locations around your entire body. Your therapist may hold a stone as they massage different parts of your body utilizing Swedish massage methods utilizing mild pressure. Often cold stones are also used.

You do not wear clothes for hot stone massage unless you’ll feel more comfy wearing your underclothing. You will be covered with a sheet. Typically the massage is 90 minutes long.


Hot stone massage might eliminate more muscle tension than a Swedish massage because of the added heat.

This kind of massage in generally more expensive than a Swedish massage

3. Aromatherapy massage.

Aromatherapy massages are best for individuals who desire to have a psychological recovery element to their massage. This kind of massage can help:

boost your state of mind

minimize stress and anxiety

reduce signs of depression

ease muscle tension

ease pain

Aromatherapy massages combine soft, gentle pressure with using necessary oils. Your massage therapist will normally choose which vital oils to use, however you can let them understand if you have a choice. Essential oils are watered down prior to being applied to the skin.

During the massage, you’ll be provided a full-body massage while inhaling important oils through a diffuser and absorbing them through your skin. Often an aromatherapy massage will just focus on your back, shoulders, and head. You will not use any clothes other than underwear, which is optional.

An aromatherapy massage is 60– 90 minutes.


Aromatherapy combines the mild touches of Swedish massage with the addition of essential oils.

Do not use this kind of massage if you’re delicate to smell or vital oils.

4. Deep tissue massage

Deep tissue massage uses more pressure than a Swedish massage. It’s an excellent choice if you have chronic muscle issues, such as discomfort, injury, or imbalance. It can help ease tight muscles, chronic muscle pain, and anxiety.

Throughout a deep tissue massage, your massage therapist will use slow strokes and deep finger pressure to relieve stress from the deepest layers of your muscles and connective tissues. You can be naked during this massage or use your underwear.

The massage will last for 60– 90 minutes.

While deep tissue might be more intense, you should not feel any pain or soreness.


Deep tissue massage is a good option if you have a lot of muscle tension or persistent pain.

Prevent this kind of massage if you’re overly delicate to pressure.

5. Sports massage

Sports massage is a good alternative if you have a repetitive usage injury to a muscle, such as what you may get from playing a sport. It’s also an excellent choice if you’re prone to injuries because it can be used to assist prevent sports injuries. You might also utilize sports massage to increase flexibility and performance. Furthermore, sports massage can be used to ease pain, anxiety, and muscle stress.

A sports massage can be done as a full-body massage or the massage therapist may concentrate on the parts of the body that require the most attention. Deep pressure might be alternated with calming strokes depending on your needs.

You can have a sports massage while clothed or naked. If you prefer to wear clothing, ensure it’s thin, loose, and enables the therapist access to your muscles. Loose shorts and a tank top are options.

The massage will last for 60– 90 minutes.


Sports massage is a good choice if you have an injury from repeated muscle use.

This type of massage might also help enhance versatility and sports efficiency, and decrease your risk for injury.

6. Trigger point massage

Trigger point massages are best fit for individuals who have injuries, persistent discomfort, or a specific concern or condition. Sometimes locations of tightness in the muscle tissues, referred to as trigger points, can cause discomfort in other parts of the body. By focusing on alleviating trigger points, this kind of massage can lower pain.

Trigger point massage utilizes broad, flowing strokes that are mild and peaceful combined with more powerful, much deeper pressure. The massage will consist of work on your whole body, though your therapist will concentrate on particular locations of your body that need to be released. You can use lightweight clothes for the massage or be totally or partially undressed.

This kind of massage will typically last for 60– 90 minutes.


Trigger point massage can help you manage persistent pain.

Wear light-weight clothes for this kind of massage.

7. Reflexology

Reflexology is best for people who are seeking to unwind or restore their natural energy levels. It’s likewise a good option if you aren’t comfy being touched on your entire body. Reflexology uses mild to firm pressure on different pressure points of the feet, hands, and ears. You can wear loose, comfortable clothing that enables access to your legs.

A reflexology massage lasts for 30– 60 minutes.


Reflexology focuses on pressure points in your feet, hands, and ears.

This is a good option if you’re uneasy being touched over your whole body. You can also be totally outfitted throughout this type of massage

8. Shiatsu massage.

Shiatsu massage is best for people who want to feel relaxed and alleviate stress, pain, and stress. It’s a Japanese type of massage that:

promotes emotional and physical calm and relaxation

assists to alleviate stress, stress and anxiety, and depression

might ease headache

lowers muscle stress

Shiatsu massage works the entire body, however your therapist might focus on locations of your body that need additional attention. Throughout the massage, your therapist will utilize their hands, palms, and thumbs to massage particular points of your body. Pulsing or balanced pressure is used. You can be fully outfitted throughout this massage.

Shiatsu massages usually last for 60– 90 minutes.


Shiatsu is a great alternative if you’re trying to find a relaxing massage It may likewise help launch minor tension.

You can be completely outfitted throughout this type of massage.

9. Thai massage.

Thai massage is best for individuals who want a more active type of massage and want to minimize and ease pain and tension. It can likewise help improve:



energy levels

Thai massage works the entire body using a series of motions that are similar to yogic stretching. Your therapist will utilize their palms and fingers to use firm pressure to your body. You’ll likewise be extended and twisted into various positions. You can wear loose, comfy clothes throughout the massage.

Thai massage lasts for 60– 90 minutes.


Thai massage is more active than other forms of massage, and the therapist will stretch your body in addition to providing a massage

This is another type of massage where you stay fully clothed.

10. Prenatal massage.

Prenatal massage can be a safe way for ladies to get a massage during pregnancy. It can help in reducing pregnancy body aches, reduce stress, and relieve muscle tension. You can get a massage at any time during your pregnancy. However, numerous facilities, especially in the United States, do not offer massages to females in their very first trimester due to the risk of miscarriage throughout this time.

Prenatal massage uses mild pressure comparable to Swedish massage. The therapist will concentrate on locations such as your lower back, hips, and legs. You can be completely or partly undressed depending on your comfort level. Throughout the massage, you’ll either lie on your side or on a specially developed table with a cutout for your tummy. If you’ve had pain in your calves or other parts of your leg, see a doctor before you have a massage.

The massage will last for 45– 60 minutes.


Prenatal massage is a great alternative for pregnant women.

This type of massage focuses on gentle pressure and is great for relaxation and mild stress relief.

11. Couple’s massage

A couple’s massage is a massage that you finish with your partner, pal, or relative in the exact same space. It brings all the advantages of a routine massage and in some cases offers you with access to the spa’s hot tubs, saunas, and other facilities. Other treatments such as pedicures, facials, and body scrubs are sometimes offered as part of a plan.

You can usually choose which type of massage you ‘d like to get, and you and your partner can each get a different type of massage depending on your preference and the offerings at the spa. Your partner and you will be on tables side-by-side, and you’ll each have your own massage therapist working on your body. You can talk during the massage if you want.


A couple’s massage is a massage you have in a shared room with a pal, partner, or member of the family.

You can generally select from a range of types of massages to have throughout your consultation. Swedish and hot stone massages are typically used as an alternative throughout a couple’s massage

12. Chair massage.

A chair massage is best for individuals who desire a fast massage that concentrates on your neck, shoulders, and back. A chair massage can also be a way to present you to massage if you’ve never ever had one previously. Chair massage likewise assists to eliminate stress and promote relaxation. This kind of massage uses light to medium pressure.

During the massage, you’ll stay completely dressed and being in a specifically developed chair. You’ll straddle the chair so that your chest pushes into the back of the chair, enabling the massage therapist to have access to your back.

These massages are normally 10– 30 minutes.


A chair massage is a great choice if you’re short on time.

This kind of massage is also a good choice if you’re brand-new to massage.

How to find a massage therapist

You can get a personal suggestion for a massage therapist from a physician, buddy, or an online directory site. Or you can reserve a few massages with various therapists to see which one you prefer. Make certain it’s someone with whom you feel comfortable so that you can completely unwind.

Ensure your massage therapist s appropriately trained and has certificates and state licenses that are updated. You may wish to have a short discussion with your therapist before starting your sessions so that you can communicate your expectations and ask any appropriate concerns.

How much does a massage cost?

Prices differ significantly for massages in the United States. An hourlong massage is generally $50–$ 150. Most therapists will anticipate a 15– 20 percent idea on top of this. However, some places do not accept gratuity.

Aromatherapy, hot stone, and prenatal massages tend to be more expensive than standard massages. Depending upon the place, some specialty massages such as deep tissue, Thai, or sports massages may run a bit greater, too.

You can inspect out a massage school in your area or discover a massage therapist who operates at home if you wish to discover massages at a more affordable expense.

Insurance coverage in some cases covers massage therapy if you can show it’s being used to treat a medical condition. Often insurer will cover massage treatment if it belongs to chiropractic care.

The takeaway

Massage might be a way for you to feel much better physically, psychologically, and mentally. Experiment with various types of massage and with various massage therapists to find the type and company that is most ideal for you.

Always interact your expectations and objectives with your massage therapist and speak out if there is something with which you aren’t comfy. Talk to your physician prior to getting any kind of massage if you have any health concerns or conditions

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