Massage therapy isn’t just as simple as a good rubdown! There is a high level of precision in every press, stroke, and stretch. We’ve found 7 types of massage therapy that you may have never heard of.
Since records began, massage has been a highly valued method of therapy for treating the mind and body. We have compiled a list of the seven most popular massage therapies offered today and a brief explanation of the methodology behind each one.
What are the 7 types of massage therapy?
This is one of the most popular massage types. It consists of five basic strokes: sliding, kneading, rhythmic tapping), cross-fiber, and shaking.
A fellow named Johan Georg Mezger is credited with founding Swedish massage. Funnily enough, Swedish massage is only called that in English-speaking countries, Holland and Hungary. It’s just called “classic massage” everywhere else.
This one is designed to stimulate the body’s lymphatic system with gentle, repetitive strokes. With this kind of massage therapy, the muscle cells are able to contract smoothly within the lymph vessels so that muscles can safely transport the lymphatic fluid through the body.
It was discovered by 2 Danish doctors; Emi & Estrid Vodder. Lymphatic massage is not really suitable for those looking for a strong, pressured massage. It is of most benefit to people that wish to detox their body or reduce swelling after an injury or surgery.
This system of massage and stretching originates in the obvious place and dates back over 2,500 years. It is said that Shivago Komarpaj was the founder of this very complex form of therapy but it’s very difficult to credit just one person as the techniques used are extremely intricate and vary from therapist to therapist.
With Thai massage, there are no oils used. It’s usually performed with the recipient in loose-fitting clothes laying on a mat or sometimes on the ground. Then the masseuse positions the lucky massage in different yoga-esque poses and then applies rhythmic pressure on the body (while in that position.)
Thai massage is not to be confused with a Bangkok Soapy Massage or a Thai Body Slide! These are a whole different thing altogether and will only take care of one particular body part!
Deep Tissue / Trigger Point massage
This one uses friction and strong finger pressure on the parts of the body that feel tension, aches, or pain.
It is highly recommended for dudes with hypertension and is particularly useful on the neck and shoulders. Sometimes, it is used with other kinds of massage therapy to create a fantastic kind of treatment.
This is an alternative medicine therapy that is used to treat skeletal muscle immobility and associated pain by relaxing the contracted muscles, increasing blood / lymphatic circulation, and by stimulating the stretch reflex in the muscles.
The use of myofascial release as a massage treatment is not supported by much medical evidence and is not recommended without thorough research first.
Reiki is a different “kettle of fish”. It’s a spiritual practice of energy work that has its devotees and skeptics.
Reiki uses an application of a number of hands-on holding positions that correspond to vital organs and nerve plexes. The main idea is that the treatment helps the body to heal itself and t create an overall equilibrium in the mind and body.
It is often favored by folks that suffer from stress. It was developed by a Japanese Buddhist named Mikao Usui in 1922. The most traditional form of Japanese Reiki uses intuitive hand movements, whereas the Western variation uses a series of systematized hand placements.
The last one on our list of types of massage therapies is reflexology and it’s huge right now. This foot-based therapy works on the idea that all of the body’s organs are mapped to the feet. Applying finger pressure to the feet, hands, or ears, links pressure points to the various internal body systems.
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Reflexology was first used in 1913 by an American doctor named Dr. William H. Fitzgerald.
If you liked this article about the different types of massage therapy, you might also like our article about the health benefits of getting a weekly massage.