15 Different Types of Massage Therapies in the World

Since the early and middle ages, massage therapies have been in existence. Different types of massage therapies used today have their roots in ancient civilizations like China, Japan, India, Egypt, and Greece. They were used to trigger a variety of different responses in the body.

The massage therapist can use fingers, elbows, knees, and even their feet, depending on the location of the massage. They also use tools and materials, from common massage tables and chairs to warm water pools, lotions, and even stones or rocks.

Every massage style presents a unique historical and cultural experience. Therefore, considering these differences, this blog post will help you discover different types of massage therapies.

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What is massage therapy?

Massage therapy which a massage therapist performs, uses hands-on techniques to apply therapeutic kneading, manipulation, and movement to muscles, tendons, and ligaments during massage therapy.

The massage therapist uses varied degrees of pressure with their hands to increase blood flow and tension in the affected soft tissues. This helps to reduce muscular tension and promotes the nervous system’s relaxation, resulting in total mental and physical relaxation.

A registered massage therapist gives massages with more therapeutic intent. Others who are not registered give other massages, which usually have a more relaxing goal in a spa setting. There are different types of massage therapies. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Different types of massage therapies from around the world

Different types of massage therapies are used for specific purposes. Here is a guide to the various massage therapies in the world.

1. Rungu massage

Rungu sticks are wooden throwing clubs or batons with unique significance among the tribal cultures of East Africa and are used in rungu massage. It has its origins in the region. Young men in Maasai culture view the Rungu as a symbol of warrior status.

The Rungu stick pierces deep into the muscles for a more vigorous massage. The huge knob is used on bigger muscles, while the smaller knob is used to get into smaller spaces like the scapula. And the shaft is used in circular motions on bigger body parts.

Rungu is a fantastic deep-tissue massage for releasing stress. It enhances lymphatic drainage and deepens the feeling of relaxation and sensory nerve sensitivity.

2. Laos massage

Laos massage can be traced back to Jivaka, the inventor of what is now known as Thai Massage approximately 2,500 years ago in India.

Despite possibly sharing Thai origins, the techniques and rituals are different. Thai massage brings balance and harmony by concentrating on pressure points and oxygenating muscles to ease tension.

This massage is mostly done by the northern tribes of Laos, who use it to relieve stress and prevent pain.

Before engaging in a Laos massage, where you will be lying on a flatbed, you should first attend a herbal steam sauna.

The masseur stretches the entire body while applying pressure to various body areas. The Laos massage is gentler than a Thai massage and uses foot reflexology. You may experience your bones creaking during this massage.

3. Stone massage

Types of Massage Therapy

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The practice of hot and cold stone massage was invented in Arizona, USA, by therapist Mary Nelson for her company LaStone Massage.

River stones that have been polished and smoothed over time are often used as hot stones. However, some massage therapists go for body rocks carved from stone or found in an auspicious location.

In this procedure, your body is subjected to pressure and various temperatures from cold and hot stones to effect the necessary modifications for a cleansing procedure.

Along acupressure meridians, hot stones are placed on the back, helping to preserve heat that deeply penetrates your muscles and eases tension.

A body rock exerts more force and pressure on particular body parts. This massage can be done using a lubricant oil applied directly on the skin or wearing a cloth.

4. Trigger point therapy

Dr. Janet G. Travell invented trigger point therapy, which treats sprains, strains, aches, pains, etc.

A trigger point in the neck muscles may send pain into the brain, giving you a headache. This therapy deactivates sensitive spots in muscle fibers that may be the source of local or referred pain.

Trigger point massage differs from acupressure, reflexology, and pressure point massage because it addresses a myoneural junction problem in the muscle.

The massage therapist will locate the myofascial trigger points in the body and release them with manual pressure, vibration, injection, etc. Pain, such as a headache, is relieved when a trigger point in the neck muscles is released.

5. Ayurvedic massage

Ayurvedic massage, which has been practiced for 5000 years and is still popular today in India, combines numerous emotional, spiritual, and physical teachings that help individuals unwind physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

It is a holistic therapy method that looks at an individual’s physical, mental, and spiritual health while using massage, meditation, yoga, dietary changes, and herbal therapies. Ayurvedic massage soothes the body, enhances blood flow, removes impurities, and rejuvenates it.

The client’s physique, medical conditions, and diet are considered when creating the heated herbal massage oil combination.

For the head massage, oils are used to knead and stroke the entire head, working through the hair while concentrating on pressure points on the hands, shoulders, and other areas of the head.

Even babies are not left out. They can be massaged with a tiny dough ball dipped in vegetable oil. You can receive an ayurvedic massage while seated or lying on a massage mat.

6. Shiatsu massage

Shiatsu is a type of massage therapy of China origin but is now popular in Japan. Traditional Chinese medicine includes massage and acupuncture, and a Buddhist monk brought these ideas to Japan in the sixth century.

The Japanese subsequently created their massage technique based on these ideas. In 1919, masseuse Tamai Tempaku organized the procedure into a regimented technique, and the Japanese Government subsequently acknowledged it in 1964.

The body is stretched while pressure is applied to the body’s meridians using the fingers, thumbs, and palms, similar to acupressure. Also, the masseur can roll, brush, vibrate, and grab the skin.

In a different technique, pressure is applied to your back, legs, and feet using your feet. To restore balance to the body, shiatsu may include acupuncture and cupping.

7. Thai massage

As a result of its roots in yoga and Ayurvedic healing massage, Thai massage is often called yoga massage. It was developed in India about 2,500 years ago.

It was founded by Jivaka, a Buddha physician who outlined its ties to yoga and served as the personal physician to Bimbisara, the King of North India.

Given that Thai massage uses yoga-like techniques, some movement is required by both the massage therapist and the client.

And to provide a deep stretch, the massage therapist will knead and rub deep tissue, moving different body areas and applying pressure.

If done successfully, you will hear bone cracking. While stretching is emphasized in the northern style of Thai massage, acupressure is emphasized in the southern form.

8. Aromatherapy

Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Italy used aromatherapy as massage therapy. The massage uses essential oils to facilitate healing and relaxation.

The area is scented with a specific essential oil, allowing the client to unwind, feel inspired, or re-energize their body. Due to the unique features of the essential oil, and the results are generally predictable, they can be combined to meet a client’s specific needs.

The client should feel at ease using this massage therapy, and the aromatherapist shouldn’t use excessive oil.

9. Acupressure

Acupressure, which originated from acupuncture, has been practiced for many centuries. It is a traditional Chinese healing technique.

Ailments caused by tension, such as headaches, backaches, muscle pains, eye strain, neck discomfort, sinus problems, arthritis, etc, can be effectively treated with acupressure.

This massage technique increases your energy levels and general welfare, which helps with the elimination of toxic waste.

The hand, fingers, or elbow are used to apply light but strong pressure to acupuncture points on the body to activate the body’s inherent capacity for self-healing.

These acupressure points can be pressed to reduce muscle stress, improve blood flow, and promote healing in the body. After which you’ll feel at ease and relaxed.

10. Swedish massage

Massage Therapies

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Although Swedish or classic massage is the most popular type of therapy, it wasn’t originally invented in Sweden.

Dutch practitioner Johan Georg Mezger systematized the basic massage strokes, whose approach was confused with Peter Ling’s Swedish Movement System in the 19th century.

The massage helps reduce pain, ease joint stiffness, improve circulation, and increase flexibility and joint function.

The client is massaged with five different types of strokes. These include tapotement, petrissage, friction, effleurage, and vibration.

It’s excellent for athletes and exercise enthusiasts since they frequently develop lactic acid buildup. The massage aids in releasing and providing room for new blood to flow through.

11. Snail facial massage

Russian, Japanese, and British spas offer snail facial massage. Secreted snail mucus is the secret to the face. It has potent anti-aging properties that can repair damaged skin.

You do not need to buy many facial creams with snail extract as an ingredient because the method is 100 percent pure and natural.

The face is covered with three huge snails gliding around, leaving their slime on your face.

Proteins, anti-oxidants, and hyaluronic acid found in snail slime work to moisturize the skin, decrease wrinkles, remove dead skin cells, get rid of scars, and soothe skin inflammation.

12. Reflexology

Reflexology massage is based on a Chinese technique used for thousands of years. It uses acupressure points on the hands, feet, and ears connected to the body’s organs, glands, and systems.

The body’s organs are stimulated, energy pathways are opened, and blocked areas are released. This is done by applying various pressure levels to the acupressure points on the feet, hands, and ears.

Reflexology strengthens the immune system and fosters self-healing by interacting with the body’s natural energy system.

It further enhances relaxation, boosts blood and lymphatic fluid circulation, and reduces pain, stress, and anxiety.

13. Lomi Lomi

A typical Hawaiian massage is called a Lomi Lomi. It is a custom massage because it differs by island and household.

Intense pressure and stroke are the primary techniques for a Lomi Lomi massage. You can enjoy this massage in any place, under a makeshift shelter or beach.

14. Hammam

Turkish baths, also known as hammams, were initially constructed in Turkey by the Ottoman Empire in Constantinople, now Turkey.

In the latter half of the fifteenth century, an Ottoman architect, Mimar Sinan, created several bath buildings across the city, some of which are still in use today. One such facility, the Cemberlitas Hamami, offers spa visitors the chance to participate in an antique activity.

You should dress in a traditional cotton body wrap, heat your body in a sauna with a heated marble platform in the center, and have your body scrubbed and cleansed by a staff member before visiting a hammam.

The type of massage you receive depends on the hammam you visit and the massage professional. For instance, they may walk on your back, twist and tug at your body, so be ready and ask ahead of time to avoid surprises.

15. Cupping massage

Types of Massage Therapies

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It is among the earliest massage that humans have ever experienced. It dates way back to ancient Egypt.

Cupping is a simple procedure that promotes blood flow throughout the body. A cup is applied by vacuum when the painful spot is identified.

The cup is placed on the skin for about one or two minutes, and once blood appears beneath the skin’s surface, the cup is removed. Different types of cupping therapy include wet cupping, dry cupping, and fire cupping.

Take Away

From this blog post, we have seen different types of massage therapies. Massage is important and helps relieve the stress of everyday living. Thus, it benefits the body and mind’s overall wellness.

To maintain mental and physical vigor, it is recommended that people engage in massage occasionally. You can choose the massage therapy that best suits you by identifying your areas of need and focus.

Uchechukwu Ufoh Kyrian

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