The 8 Most Popular Forms of Massage

There are many different forms of Massage Therapy, the most popular of which are:

1. Swedish

Swedish massage is likely the most commonly offered massage in spas around the world. It involves long strokes gliding over the skin to stimulate the return of blood to the heart. A masseuse will typically administer a Swedish massage using lotions or oils.

2. Shiatsu

Shiatsu is a Japanese form of massage in which a masseuse uses their fingers, hands, and elbows to put pressure on specific points. It is great for stress relief, working knots out of the back, and stimulating recovery from certain injuries. 

3. Reflexology

Like Shiatsu, Reflexology focuses on pressure points. Reflexology is practiced under the notion that reflex points on the ears, hands, and feet correspond with specific parts of the body. It’s excellent for stress relief and can even promote better sleep.

4. Thai

Thai massage is a combination of massage and yoga. In a Thai massage, a masseuse manipulates body positioning to give the patient an assisted stretch. The masseuse typically alternates between Shiatsu and assisted-stretching.

5. Hot Stone

Hot stone massage is exactly what it sounds like. A masseuse places smooth, heated basalt stones on specific parts of the body to relax muscles. When performed correctly, it is perhaps the most relaxing massage available.

6. Deep Tissue

Deep tissue massage is similar to Swedish massage, except as the name implies, it deals with deeper tissue. It uses many of the same strokes from Swedish massage but applies more pressure to help relieve chronic pain deep in the muscles.

7. Sports

Sports massage is a combination of many massage techniques to keep the body healthy for athletics. A sports masseuse will typically focus the on a particular region of the body depending on what sport the patient plays. A runner, for example, would have the massage focus mostly on their legs and back.

8. Pregnancy

Carrying a baby can put a lot of pressure on a woman’s lower back, especially in the third trimester. Pregnancy or prenatal massage is designed to help relieve muscle strains caused by carrying a baby. Prenatal massages are often performed while the future-mom lays on her side.