Woman laying on bed about to receive mobile massage therapy at home

THE 6 MAIN TYPES OF MASSAGE

Woman laying on bed about to receive mobile massage therapy at home

In this guide we demystify and condense the differences between the countless styles of massage available down to 6 key types. So whether you are seeking the best remedial therapy for a recent injury or just want some help to destress, you’ll be able to choose the most appropriate type of massage with ease if you follow this guide.

From Relaxing to Remedial


The Massage Rooms offers 16 different styles for home visits but there are hundreds of different types of massage practiced around the world. With so many choices, how to choose the most appropriate for your needs?


Regardless of whether you are new to massage or a seasoned pro, we think it is possible to distil the many different types of massage down to the following six:

 

1. Swedish Massage


 

Types of massage: Swedish Massage


Best For: First timers, sensitive bodies, sleep inducing, anxiety
Target: Relaxation
Ideal Duration: 60 minutes
What to Wear: Undress completely or to underwear 


A gentle and soothing style of treatment, the classic Swedish massage is one of the most regularly requested types of massage anywhere. It is also one of the best ways to get introduced into the world of different massage treatments. 


Swedish massage is a light to lower-medium pressure type treatment. Therapists use a range of gentle techniques from flowing strokes (known as effleurage) to light tapping (known as tapotement) to deliver an overall soothing treatment. 


Depending on where you are in the world, you may come across various different names such as Californian, Classic or Relaxing Massage – but essentially these are all synonymous with Swedish massage. 


Also popular are targeted versions of Swedish massage such jet lag and hangover massage which uses similar techniques but focus mainly on the head and neck area to help beat jet lag and hangovers. 


In summary, Swedish massage is probably the most popular types of massage for relaxation and pampering. It is also an excellent solution when you need help falling asleep.


2. Deep Tissue Massage


 

Types of massage: deep tissue massage


Best For: Regulars, stronger bodies, tension
Target: Deeper tissue relaxation, stress relief
Ideal Duration: 90 minutes
What to Wear: Undress completely or to underwear 


A deep tissue massage therapist uses many similar techniques to those applied in Swedish massage, but with more pressure and firmness. In addition to effleurage and tapotement, therapists use the techniques of rolling and kneading (known as petrissage) to work deeper and more actively into soft tissues and loosen tight muscles. 


This more intense type of massage can also help invigorate the body’s immune system by encouraging improved blood circulation. 


Deep tissue massages are also often chosen for stress and anxiety relief. The feeling of a more involved therapist applying deep but smooth pressure can help divert your mind away from troubled thoughts to enjoying the moment instead. 


Whilst employing a firmer and meaningful touch, deep tissue massage should still be a calming experience and not be painful. The aim is to deeply relax and restore body and mind.

 

3. Lomi Lomi Massage


 

Types of massage: Lomi Lomi massage


Best For: Experienced regulars, adventurous spirits
Target: Intense holistic relaxation for the mind, body and soul
Ideal Duration: 120 minutes
What to Wear: Undress fully 


Originating in the exotic land of Hawaii and deeply flowing in its techniques, Lomi Lomi massage is often compared to swimming in the ocean. Therapists apply smooth yet powerful and penetrating waves along the whole length of your torso using their fingers, hands and arms all at once. The aim is to creates a flood of warmth and good energy which starts in your skin but eventually flows all the way through to your mind. 


Well trained practitioners of the Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage believe their role is to help their clients find a natural position of balance, peace and happiness through the application of powerful physical strokes delivered in a meditation like state. 


Other types of massage with a similar philosophy and approach to Lomi Lomi are the Balinese and Yoga massage styles.

 

4. Sports Massage


 

Types of massage: Sports massage


Best For: Those suffering an ailment or physical injury
Target: Focused therapy to relieve pain and aid recovery
Ideal Duration: 60 minutes
What to Wear: Uncover injury area only 


More targeted than a typical deep tissue massage, sports massage is usually tailored to deal with specific injuries such as a calf strain from running or problematic areas that may have been caused as a result of repeated strenuous activity, like tennis elbow


This type of massage therapy may feel painful at times, as injured tissue and nerves are manipulated. However, any pain is usually only for a few moments during the treatment. 


Closely related to Sports Massage and often used alongside it is physio-style massage. This type of treatment uses fundamental physiotherapy techniques to help realign joints and restore soft tissue to better health. Physio-style massage is also especially good at helping patients overcome mental blocks that may have arisen following a significant mobility issue.


5. Asian Massages


 

Types of massage: Asian massages


Best For: Flexible bodies, brave types, seasoned receivers
Target: Remedial revitalisation
Ideal Duration: 60 minutes
What to Wear: Undress or loose clothing 


Combining spiritual energy with the healing power of physical touch is a key theme that features in these types of massage, with each Asian style having a slightly different interpretation. 


Both Thailand's signature traditional Thai massage therapy and the ancient Indian Ayurvedic yoga massage focus on deep stretches, with the Thai also incorporating some (usually harmless!) cracking of joints. Chinese and Japanese massage also employ a range of stretching techniques but often lean more towards pressure point and powerful rubbing techniques. 


Another tenet of Asian massages is the principle of life force energy. The body is believed to comprise channels (or meridians) through which vital energy should flow freely. Asian types of massage are frequently designed to try to clear blockages in these channels. This is seen especially in acupressure techniques such as Shiatsu and reflexology


Regardless of the type of Asian massage, treatments are usually shorter and more intense than Western types of massage. The aim is to provide a form of medicinal remedy to ailments rather than to be a luxurious treat or general stress reducing therapy.

 

6. Female Focused Massages


 

Types of massage: Massages for Women


Best For: Women (naturally) but in some cases also men!
Target: Soothing relaxation, improved skin appearance, weight loss
Ideal Duration: 60 minutes
What to Wear: Undress to level of comfort 


Pregnancy, slimming, anti-cellulite, and lymphatic drainage massage are three types of massage which whilst not all exclusively for females are by far and away more popular with women than men. 


For pregnant women who are in their second or third trimester, pregnancy massage offers gentle relaxation and rebalance through empathetic touch during what is usually a highly demanding period both physically and mentally.  


Slimming anti-cellulite and lymphatic drainage massage are the two other types of massage which are very popular with females. 


Slimming massages use specialist techniques to improve the appearance of skin by reversing the effects of cellulite


Lymphatic drainage massage uses soft flowing strokes to gently energise and awaken the lymphatic system, which in turn can improve immunity to common issues such as colds and reduce water retention.

 

HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR MASSAGE THERAPY AT HOME

 

We hope the guide above helps demystify some of the many types of massage. Read through it to gain more confidence about which type of massage might suit your requirements the most. 


Even after you feel confident about the different styles of massage that are available, it can still be daunting to receive your first massage at home. 


But there really is no need for concern. The summaries above also include tips on what to wear for each type of massage and the ideal duration to book. For more advice, simply check out how to easily create a massage room at home in just a few minutes, how much to tip or answers to the most common or embarrassing questions about massage. 

 

HOW TO FIND A THERAPIST NEAR YOU 

 

Finding a mobile massage therapist who can perform one of the above popular styles for you in the comfort of your own home is easier than you think. There are several options for finding massage nearby, but the quickest and simplest is to type your postcode into the online booking system, select the style you are interested in and see which qualified therapists are near you now.