What Are the Different Types of Massages?

What is a massage?

There are a number of types of massage that focus on different parts of the body or healing methods. Massage is the practice of rubbing and kneading the body using the hands. During a massage, a massage therapist will use gentle or strong pressure to the muscles and joints of the body to alleviate discomfort and tension. A massage therapist is an individual trained in offering massages.

Keep reading to learn more about the various types of massage and which type might be ideal for you.

1. Swedish massage

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

are new to massage

have a lot of tension

are delicate to touch

It can assist release muscle knots, and it’s likewise a good choice for when you wish to completely unwind throughout a massage.

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

The massage therapist will utilize a mix of:


long, streaming strokes in the direction of the heart

deep circular movements

vibration and tapping

passive joint motion methods

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


Choose a Swedish massage for relaxation or managing small pain.

This kind of massage is also good for individuals brand-new to massage

2. Hot stone massage.

Hot stone massage is best for people who have muscle discomfort and tension or who just wish to unwind. This type of therapeutic massage is similar to a Swedish massage, just the massage therapist uses heated stones in lieu of or in addition to their hands. It reduces muscle tension, improves blood circulation, and eliminates pain by using heated stones. Hot stone massage might assist:

ease muscle stress

improve blood flow

relieve pain

promote relaxation

alleviate stress

Throughout a hot stone massage, heated stones are put on various areas around your whole body. Your therapist might hold a stone as they massage different parts of your body utilizing Swedish massage methods using mild pressure. Sometimes cold stones are also used.

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


Hot stone massage may relieve more muscle tension than a Swedish massage since of the added heat.

This kind of massage in typically more pricey than a Swedish massage

3. Aromatherapy massage.

Aromatherapy massages are best for individuals who wish to have an emotional healing part to their massage. This type of massage can assist:

enhance your state of mind

decrease tension and stress and anxiety

lower symptoms of anxiety

ease muscle stress

relieve pain

Aromatherapy massages combine soft, gentle pressure with using essential oils. Your massage therapist will generally decide which essential oils to use, but you can let them understand if you have a preference. Essential oils are watered down prior to being used to the skin.

During the massage, you’ll be given a full-body massage while breathing in important oils through a diffuser and absorbing them through your skin. In some cases an aromatherapy massage will only concentrate on your back, shoulders, and head. You won’t wear any clothes besides underwear, which is optional.

An aromatherapy massage is 60– 90 minutes.


Aromatherapy integrates the mild touches of Swedish massage with the addition of important oils.

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

4. Deep tissue massage

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

Throughout a deep tissue massage, your massage therapist will use sluggish 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 may be more intense, you should not feel any discomfort or discomfort.


Deep tissue massage is a good alternative if you have a lot of muscle stress or persistent discomfort.

Avoid this type of massage if you’re excessively sensitive to pressure.

5. Sports massage

Sports massage is an excellent option if you have a recurring use injury to a muscle, such as what you might receive from playing a sport. It’s likewise an excellent choice if you’re susceptible to injuries due to the fact that it can be utilized to help avoid sports injuries. You may also use sports massage to increase flexibility and performance. Furthermore, sports massage can be utilized to alleviate discomfort, anxiety, and muscle stress.

A sports massage can be done as a full body massage-body massage or the massage therapist might focus on the parts of the body that need the most attention. Deep pressure might be alternated with relaxing strokes depending upon your requirements.

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

The massage will last for 60– 90 minutes.


Sports massage is an excellent alternative if you have an injury from repetitive muscle usage.

This type of massage might also help enhance flexibility and sports performance, and reduce your danger for injury.

6. Trigger point massage

Trigger point massages are best fit for people who have injuries, persistent discomfort, or a specific issue or condition. Sometimes areas of tightness in the muscle tissues, called trigger points, can cause pain in other parts of the body. By concentrating on alleviating trigger points, this type of massage can minimize pain.

Trigger point massage uses broad, streaming strokes that are gentle and relaxing integrated with stronger, much deeper pressure. The massage will include deal with your entire body, though your therapist will focus on particular locations of your body that need to be launched. You can use lightweight clothing for the massage or be fully or partially undressed.

This type of massage will usually last for 60– 90 minutes.


Trigger point massage can help you manage chronic pain.

Use lightweight clothing for this kind of massage.

7. Reflexology

Reflexology is best for people who are wanting to unwind or restore their natural energy levels. It’s likewise a great alternative if you aren’t comfortable being touched on your entire body. Reflexology utilizes gentle to firm pressure on various pressure points of the feet, hands, and ears. You can wear loose, comfortable clothes that allows 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 an excellent choice if you’re unpleasant being touched over your whole body. You can also be fully outfitted throughout this kind of massage

8. Shiatsu massage.

Shiatsu massage is best for individuals who want to feel relaxed and eliminate tension, discomfort, and stress. It’s a Japanese type of massage that:

promotes emotional and physical calm and relaxation

assists to ease stress, anxiety, and depression

might eliminate headache

reduces muscle tension

Shiatsu massage works the whole body, however your therapist may concentrate on areas of your body that require extra attention. During the massage, your therapist will use their hands, palms, and full body massage thumbs to massage specific points of your body. Pulsing or balanced pressure is utilized. You can be fully dressed throughout this massage.

Shiatsu massages generally last for 60– 90 minutes.


Shiatsu is a good choice if you’re searching for a relaxing massage It may likewise help release minor tension.

You can be completely clothed throughout this type of massage.

9. Thai massage.

Thai massage is best for people who desire a more active form of massage and desire to lower and eliminate discomfort and stress. It can likewise help improve:



energy levels

Thai massage works the whole body utilizing a sequence of movements that resemble yogic stretching. Your therapist will use their palms and fingers to apply firm pressure to your body. You’ll likewise be extended and twisted into different positions. You can wear loose, comfy clothing throughout the massage.

Thai massage lasts for 60– 90 minutes.


Thai massage is more active than other types of massage, and the therapist will extend your body in addition to supplying a massage

This is another kind of massage where you stay fully outfitted.

10. Prenatal massage.

Prenatal massage can be a safe method for ladies to get a massage throughout pregnancy. It can help in reducing pregnancy body pains, minimize tension, and ease muscle stress. You can get a massage at any time throughout your pregnancy. However, numerous centers, especially in the United States, do not offer massages to ladies in their very first trimester due to the danger of miscarriage throughout this time.

Prenatal massage uses moderate pressure similar to Swedish massage. The therapist will focus on locations such as your lower back, hips, and legs. You can be totally or partially undressed depending upon your comfort level. During the massage, you’ll either rest on your side or on a specially created table with a cutout for your belly. If you’ve had discomfort 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 good option for pregnant females.

This type of massage concentrates on gentle pressure and benefits relaxation and moderate stress relief.

11. Couple’s massage

A couple’s massage is a massage that you finish with your partner, pal, or household member in the same space. It brings all the advantages of a routine massage and often provides you with access to the spa’s jacuzzis, saunas, and other facilities. Other treatments such as pedicures, facials, and body scrubs are often offered as part of a package.

You can usually choose which kind of massage you want to get, and you and your partner can each get a various kind of massage depending upon your choice 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 wish.


A couple’s massage is a massage you have in a shared space with a pal, partner, or relative.

You can typically pick from a range of types of massages to have throughout your consultation. Swedish and hot stone massages are typically used as a choice during a couple’s massage

12. Chair massage.

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

During the massage, you’ll stay completely dressed and sit in a specially designed chair. You’ll straddle the chair so that your chest presses into the back of the chair, enabling the massage therapist to have access to your back.

These massages are generally 10– 30 minutes.


A chair massage is a fantastic choice if you’re brief on time.

This kind of massage is also an excellent alternative if you’re new to massage.

How to find a massage therapist

You can get a personal suggestion for a massage therapist from a medical professional, good friend, or an online directory. Or you can schedule a couple of massages with various therapists to see which one you prefer. Make sure it’s someone with whom you feel comfy so that you can completely unwind.

Make certain your massage therapist s effectively trained and has certificates and state licenses that are up-to-date. You might wish to have a brief conversation with your therapist prior to starting your sessions so that you can interact your expectations and ask any pertinent questions.

How much does a massage cost?

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

Aromatherapy, hot stone, and prenatal massages tend to be more expensive than basic massages. Depending on the place, some specialized massages such as deep tissue, Thai, or sports massages might run a bit higher, too.

You can have a look at a massage school in your location or discover a massage therapist who operates at home if you desire to discover massages at a more affordable expense.

Insurance in some cases covers massage treatment if you can show it’s being utilized to deal with a medical condition. Often insurance coverage business will cover massage treatment if it belongs to chiropractic care.

The takeaway

Massage might be a way for you to feel better physically, psychologically, and mentally. Try out different types of massage and with different massage therapists to discover the type and supplier that is most perfect for you.

Constantly interact your expectations and intents with your massage therapist and speak out if there is something with which you aren’t comfy. Talk with your doctor before getting any kind of massage if you have any health issues or conditions

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