The Different Types of Massage

The word “massage” might conjure up images of rich women with cucumber on their eyes, but relaxation massage is one small niche; there’s a wide range of massage techniques, for a wide range of health conditions. Here’s a basic guide.


Swedish Massage

This is the most common type of massage, and is characterised by long sweeping strokes, muscle kneading and rolling (like kneading dough), and rhythmic tapping.

Hot Stone Massage

This is fairly self-explanatory; hot stones are placed on the body, and the masseuse may (usually) uses hot stones to massage the body at the same time. This form is very good for releasing tension.

Chair Massage

This is the type of massage you’ll see at events or at kiosks in the mall (sitting face forward in a special chair). The major focus is on your neck and shoulders, and it’s used to get tension out of your upper body.

Deep Tissue/Trigger Point (Remedial) Massage

This type of massage, as the name suggests, applies strong pressure to points that are causing you trouble. It’s not “pleasant”, but you can ask your therapist to adjust the pressure if you’re finding it too much and it’s incredibly important to find a fully trained therapist who you trust (as untrained hands on an injury can make it worse).

Shiatsu Massage

Gentle stretches plus finger pressure are used to improve the flow of energy within the body.