This article will blow your mind and change your perception of massage. You will learn about different types of massage in different countries of the world, why they are needed, and what techniques exist. You will also find unusual and extreme types of massage that you have never heard of. Let’s start!
Massage is an entire art form, and an experienced master learns this craft over the course of his entire life. It could be based on different techniques (European-, Eastern-, Western-, etc.) and for various purposes: therapeutic, preventive, sports, cosmetic, relaxation, and more.
In common usage, massage can be done by hand or by other tools, such as special electric massagers, stones, needles, or cans. But the range of methods is much wider than you can imagine. There are many types of massage that can be varied and unusual. In this article, you will learn about almost all types of massage that exist in the world. Let’s start!
1. Qigong Massage
What is Qigong massage?
Chinese Qigong massage, also known as Dao’s massage, is an interesting phenomenon based primarily on the exchange of energy. As part of Dao’s teachings, it is based on the circulation of energy across the human body. Its task is to ensure the unimpeded flow of qi (energy) through the channels of the body, which is the basis of health, mental balance and rich, saturated life of the person. It has its structure corresponding to the main phases of energy transformation: movements are produced in accordance with the direction of energy meridians linking all vital organs and systems of the body.
In the healthy practice of the Chinese, “Qi” (energy) is a collection of innate human energy, as well as one that we absorb together from food and inhaled air, and its transformation and circulation through the body is the basis of all internal processes occurring in the body.
What is Qigong massage technique?
Qigong massage techniques are more like a meditative practice than a massage in a usual sense. The movement of qi occurs through certain channels, called meridians in Eastern medicine. Ancient Dao healing, known in the West as Chinese medicine and acupuncture, uses meridians to regulate the amount of qi in a particular part of the body. Today’s popular bodily practices of Qigong and Tai-chi (Tai-ji quan) also offer exercises that work with the body and breathing, which are based on the direction of energy flow.
The Dao’s energy massage clears the way for the unfettered flow of qi energy, restoring its elusive flow through the channels. In the highest sense, it is involved in “three treasures”: ‘Qi’, ‘Jing’, and ‘Shen’, combining sexual energy, seed, and spirit. It is their proper improvement, according to Dao’s teaching, that underpins enlightenment.
In addition to energy, this massage has a similarly deep relaxing effect on all muscle groups, liberates joints, and eliminates long-standing pain and tension in the whole body. A feature of the Qigong technique is a soft, painless, but effective effect on both the muscle corset of the body and the internal organs, allowing the whole body to be brought to a harmonious state in a coordinated way.
Qigong massage is a basic relaxation massage that normalizes the functional and energy state of the body simultaneously. Such massage removes fatigue, irritation, emotional tension, normalizes lymph and blood circulation, restores energy balance, and instills energy and peace. This type of massage is recommended to be taken regularly to keep your body and soul awake, prevent stress, and increase the immune forces of the body. We recommend having it no more than once a week.
Qigong massage benefits:
- Relieves fatigue, irritation, emotional tension;
- Relieves pain, muscle spasms, frees joints, gives a feeling of ease and strength;
- Normalizes lymph and blood circulation;
- Normalizes blood pressure for long-term
2. Aromatherapy Massage (aromatouch massage)
What is aromatherapy massage?
Aromatherapy massage is a kind of massage that uses essential oils and their mixtures to positively affect a person’s health and mood. To date, aromatherapy is widely known around the world.
Aromatherapy massage techniques combine the benefits of massage manipulations and the curative power of aromatic substances for a beneficial effect that works on the whole body and the psychoemotional state of man. By means of special massage techniques, essential oils are introduced into the skin, after which they are absorbed into the lymph and blood circulatory system and spread throughout the body, leading to absolute harmony of the soul and body. The secret of aromatherapy is that essential oils contribute to faster warming of muscles and skin, and the influence of certain smells allows you to calm down and relax.
Aromatherapy massage benefits:
- Beneficial effect on a person’s health regardless of age or body characteristics
- Oils quickly penetrate the skin, relax the body, and help to remove negative substances
- Full relaxation effect, a feeling of rest
- Stress goes away and overall improvement is achieved
- Prolonged action – massage performed with essential oils has a longer therapeutic effect (on average, more than an hour longer compared to the effects of standard massage).
- Not limited to surface exposure: essential oils easily penetrate tissues unavailable for physical exposure
3. Tata Face Massage
Enterprising masseuse Tata from Thailand offers an unusual service of aesthetic face massage with the help of slaps. One session costs an average of $350. If you buy a monthly ticket, you can get hit on the face as many as four times for a thousand bucks. According to the masseuse, slaps reduce wrinkles and increase the overall elasticity of the skin. Customers in San Francisco go to her in droves!
The masseur claims that the tata face massage has been used in Thailand for thousands of years. The method reduces the number of wrinkles, reduces pores, and pulls the skin tighter. Customers can choose which area of the face they would like to “hit,” such as the eyebrows, cheeks, and forehead. One session of this type of massage lasts 15-20 minutes, and the results can last from six months to a year.
During the session, which is accompanied by Thai pop music, a masseuse quickly hits the customer on different areas of the face. She then heavily pinches the client’s cheeks and hangs a few more strong slaps.
Although she argues that the results can be seen immediately, there is no medical evidence that this type of face massage has a proven effect. However, experts argue that perhaps the massage slaps provoke increased circulation in the facial area, which explains the youthful blush.
4. Shiatsu Massage
So what is shiatsu massage technique?
Translated from Japanese, the word ‘Shiatsu’ means “push fingers.” It is a traditional method of therapy that has been used in Japan since ancient times. Various methods of this therapy arose long before the advent of the Chinese acupuncture technique. The first official mention in the literature of the Shiatsu technique appeared in 1915.
In 1940, the founder of the local medical college and lecturer from Japan, Tokujiro Namikosi, developed a special classification of shiatsu therapy that relied on the foundations of human physiology and anatomy. As a child, Namikosi helped cure his mother, who suffered from arthritis. They invented a special technique, the essence of which was to press the body with palms and thumbs to treat and relieve pain.
Still, in practice in modern Japan, the system developed by Namikosi has been successfully developed and confirmed by a special legal status. In the early 1980s, Shiatsu massage technique found its followers in North America and Europe.
Shiatsu massage techniques involve affecting and stimulating a person’s body with the palms and fingers. Pressing special intensity on vital points of the body, it helps not only to maintain but also to strengthen human health. The difference between Japan’s Shiatsu technique and China’s acupuncture technique is that pre-diagnosis of the recipient is optional under Shiatsu.
Shiatsu massage benefits:
- Stimulates the human immune system.
- According to practitioners in the sphere of Shiatsu, such massage affects the cardiovascular and nervous system, muscles, endocrine system, etc., thus stimulating the body for early cure.
- A versatile, restoring effect on the body.
5. Couples Massage
A couples massage is a great way to spend unforgettable moments alone with a close person in a romantic environment while also experiencing health benefits. This procedure combines care for health, spiritual harmony, peace, and beauty.
This kind of massage is a unique and peculiar ritual, allowing you to balance body energies and conditions. During the procedure, you will feel how the spiritual body together with the physical body will gradually move to a state of complete harmony. This approach allows you to not only take care of physical health but also of the psychoemotional state by sharing positive emotions with your family and friends.
Rest becomes many times more comfortable if you can share emotions with a close person during the couples massage and know that he or she experiences the same enjoyment as you. And it will be doubly more pleasant to realize that you are spending time communicating with each other and also taking care of your health.
6. Colon Massage
massage affects the human body through the abdominal wall on the
divided areas of the colon in areas where they are near to the
anterior abdominal wall.
The massage has a beneficial effect on bowel movement function. In addition, colon massage affects other organs located in the abdominal cavity.
Colon massage implies exposure to 5 main points, each massage duration lasting about five minutes. By acting on these five characteristic points in a certain way, this massage is able to remove stagnation, restore peristalsis, and establish working order of the intestine, thus normalizing the work of the whole organ in harmony with the body. This immediately affects skin color, facial expression, mood, and even success in work.
How to do a colon massage?
the colon massage, the patient must empty the intestine.
This type of massage is performed 1 hour after consuming a meal. During the massage, the patient should not talk, as it interrupts the rhythm of breathing and prevents the correct performance of the massage.
Colon massage is used in the following cases:
- intestinal atonia,
- spastic condition,
- chronic constipation,
- colon massage for constipation
7. Turkish Massage
What is Turkish massage?
Turkish massage is a kind of bath massage. It was widely practiced throughout Central Asia. It is currently very popular in the Western world, as well.
Types of Turkish massage:
Classical Turkish massage
This type of massage is held in SPA centers, hotels, and national Turkish baths. The session duration is 50 minutes. This massage is carried out using massage oils. It is used to relax and improve skin structure. Often, women use it to achieve good body shape as well. Usually, the massage session is accompanied by national Turkish music.
Turkish soap massage with peeling
kind of massage is very popular. It is held in the SPA centers of
Turkish hotels. The session lasts for about an hour and is also
accompanied by national Turkish melodies.
This massage requires a special heated massage table. First, a washing ritual is performed. Then the masseuse, with the help of rigid bats, performs peeling by circular movements along with thick soap foam.
This type of massage is used to improve skin structure and rejuvenation. The skin is effectively cleaned from the corneal particles of the epithelium. It also relaxes, improves the condition in rheumatic diseases, muscle pain, arthrosis, osteochondrosis, and helps with recovery after physical activity.
Turkish SPA relax massage
Relax massage is based on Turkish classic massage. It is used most
often for relaxation, meditation, and recreation. Usually, a session
of this massage lasts for about an hour.
It is common to carry out this massage with the use of heated oil. This kind of massage serves as an excellent addition to bath treatments. It can be carried out in the conditions of the hammam, Russian bath. During the session, there should be calm music that promotes relaxation. The room must be darkened, and candles and eastern flavors are also an excellent addition to the ambiance.
Turkish SULTAN massage
Sultan massage is named after the title of a Muslim secular ruler. It is also based on Turkish classical massage. This style of Turkish massage is performed by two masseuses. Depending on the client’s preferences, it could be two women or two men.
The session duration is 50 minutes. National Turkish music is playing during the session. This kind of massage is intended for relaxation and improvement of skin structure. It also helps women adjust their figures.
Turkish classic foot massage
or classic massage is based on the Turkish national massage school
technique. It is used in fitness centers, SPA centers, and Turkish
baths. The average session duration is 20-30 minutes.
This kind of massage is carried out on the floor or on a hard mat. Foot massage techniques affect various parts of the spine and large muscle groups.
It should be noted that in order to perform all massage receptions, it is necessary to have support. As a support, the masseuse can use a stick, bars, or rings. The weight of the masseuse should be comfortable for the client. Before starting the massage session, the customer must warm up well in the bath. His body is exposed up to the legs through a towel. After the end of the session, the client must rest or even sleep for a while.
is also held in a bath, and algae is used.
Algae contains a large amount of various vitamins, amino acids, phytohormones, minerals, salts, and other useful substances. The Turkish bath causes a person to sweat quite profusely, causing all pores to open.
The masseuse then starts rubbing algae into the skin. This helps to moisturize the skin, improves its elasticity, and improves its natural structure. This kind of massage also helps to “strengthen” the skin and calms it down. It is suitable for all skin types.
Various types of fruit juices, vegetables, and aromatic oils are also used with algae. This massage helps to get rid of local edema and cellulite, helps to remove toxins, and reduces excess fat located near the stomach.
Turkish massage ALOE VERA
This massage is performed in a Turkish bath or a massage salon. A mixture of honey and aloe vera essence is used for it. It is suitable for all skin types. Vitamins and minerals contained in the mixture have rejuvenating properties. Aloe vera helps moisturize the skin and eliminates small wrinkles. It is especially recommended for protection against sunburn.
8. Sports Massage
Sports massage is a special massage technique which is carried out to people actively engaged in sports. Sports massage can be done not only for professional athletes but also for ordinary people engaged in athletic training.
Sports massage is one of the procedures that assist in body recovery before and after physical exertion, and for professional athletes, it is an integral part of the sports process. It is used to increase endurance, improve general conditioning, and eliminate injuries.
What is the difference between sports massage and classic massage?
The differences are not so significant. If you consider both massages as types of mechanical impact, sports massage is almost identical to classic massage. However, the nerve nodes involved and deeper development of muscle groups make sports massage more effective.
Sports massage techniques:
- Training massage: mechanical impact on muscles that are at work. The priority is given to gentle rubbing movements. The main goal of this type of sports massage is to remove the effects of pumping and to disperse lactic acid which aids in the increased endurance of the athlete, allowing muscle groups to issue peak force on the final attempts.
- Pre-training massage: mechanical impact on muscle groups that will work in the forthcoming training. Additional effect on spinal muscles. The main goal of pre-training massage is to stretch and blur muscle groups, which will reduce warm-up time and reduce injuries of training exercises.
- Warm-up massage: considered an additional warm-up, thanks to mechanical impact that allows to bring muscles into tone even before the beginning of training.
- Pre-launch massage: serious mechanical effects on major muscle groups and nerve centers associated with working muscle groups. The main goal of this massage is to influence deep muscle groups and to disperse blood, which leads to the improvement of muscular performance at competitions.
- Recovery massage (after training): mechanical massage effect on exhausted muscle groups. Reduces the pain factor after training.
9. Lomi Lomi (Hawaiian massage)
What is lomi lomi massage?
Among the most popular therapeutic and relaxation methods used today, the healing Hawaiian massage of Lomi-Lomi takes a special place. The influence of this massage extends not only to the physical but also to the emotional and spiritual spheres.
Lomi-Lomi helps painlessly free oneself from unfortunate memories and traumatic events and focus on what is happening here and now, that is, to return to reality and be in the present.
Hawaiian technique releases positive energy that contributes to rediscovering the joy and desire of life and also contributes a lot of light and love to your consciousness for everything that surrounds you.
Normally, the Lomi-Lomi massage is carried out to make all your wishes come to fruition. The master advises you to focus on some intangible desire – women are often asked to think about a future child or imagine a desirable reality, like being a wife at home.
It is believed that the Lomi-Lomi massage has a magical ability to fulfill desires – during an hour-long session you will relax deeply, and your new life role will be recorded in your subconscious. A Hawaiian massage session is recommended in difficult life situations. After all, it is believed that the ability to change your life and overcome difficulties is rooted in the self and released in a state of deep rest.
The history of Lomi Lomi massage
For a long time, bodywork has played a very significant role in Hawaii. It covered not only the techniques of massage and dance known today but also a whole range of spiritual aspects of human life. Behind this lies the philosophy of so-called practical magic – a hunk, according to which the whole world permeates the energy of mana.
Mana is a life force, it can be used to fulfill desires and influence the world around us.
The art of the Lomi-Lomi massage in ancient times was owned by Kahunas – guardians of secret knowledge and the system of self-education. Hawaiian shamans combined massage with dance that was traditionally performed around a stone altar.
This ritual was conducted for community-elected men and women who had to perform a special task. Kahunas danced and conducted a massage ritual for many hours, and sometimes even many days, under the accompaniment of healing songs.
“Lomi” is a Hawaiian word that denotes massage. Verbatim, it translates as “press, grinds, rubs, works on the inside and outside,” and also as “touch the soft paw of a satisfied cat.”
Lomi Lomi massage naturally treats the patient’s psyche, and the session is a celebration for the senses. During the massage, candles burn, pleasant Hawaiian music plays, the room smells like oils and pleasant scents, and you feel a tropical warmth directly affecting different parts of the body.
Lomi Lomi massage benefits:
- Rejuvenating, stimulating the lymphatic and blood system
- Purifies cells from toxins
- Helps tissue healing
- Positively affects the cardiovascular, digestive and nervous systems
- Joints become more elastic
10. Ayurvedic Massage
What is ayurvedic massage treatment?
What is ayurvedic massage? The answer to this question is found in ancient Indian medicine – Ayurveda (in Sanskrit “ayur” means Life, and “veda” means Science). Ayurveda has now spread far beyond ancient India, and in 1985 it was recognized by the WHO as the most effective system of non-traditional medicine. Ayurveda is characterized by a holistic approach to health as a comprehensive equilibrium. The main focus is on “health,” not “disease.” In ancient times there were no pills or injections, and the sensitive fingers of the masseur could bring man back to life.
Ancient Indian medicine offers Ayurvedic massage based on deep work with soft tissues (skin, subcutaneous fiber, muscles, and internal organs). Massage, with the Arabic meaning of “gentle pressure,” is strong force for tense muscles. Active stimulation of blood and lymph occurs, energy flow is increased, and toxins that have accumulated in muscles are released and washed out by blood flow.
Ayurvedic massage techniques
Ayurvedic massage is done with a large amount of oil and herbs (oil is carefully selected). More than 26 types of medicinal oils are used in Ayurvedic massage, each containing 7 to 30 medicinal plant-based components that have no toxic effect on the liver as they penetrate directly into the blood.
In addition, the constituent oils are strong sorbents and have a pronounced detoxification effect. Essential oils affect peripheral nerve endings of the skin and nose, capillaries and biologically active points. The oldest kind of Ayurvedic massage is abyanga. Abyanga massage requires oil and is carried out all over the body, from head to toes.
Traditionally, Ayurvedic massage is carried out in a relaxing environment to achieve maximum relaxation of the patient – muted light, warmth and comfort, music for relaxation. If you decide to give yourself to masseuses (usually two people), be prepared to be literally soaked with oils during the procedure. Massage includes not only smooth rubbing of oil and activation of sensitive points but also movements to open joints and restore the elasticity of tendons.
Ayurvedic massage benefits:
- The body is saturated with life energy.
- The level of serotonin (the hormone of happiness) is increased.
- Cortisol (stress hormone) production is suppressed.
- Blood microcirculation is improved.
- The subcutaneous fat layer decreases.
- Experience more pleasant dreams.
- Chronic migraines are eliminated.
- Osteochondrosis is eliminated.
- Clears your mind.
11. Mandara Massage
What is mandara massage?
Mandara is a word that goes back to the ancient Sanskrit legend of the god who sought an elixir of immortality and the eternal youth of Mandara. Mandara SPA was established in Bali and brings together more than 80 SPA centers around the world today. Exotic treatments are based on traditional massage techniques using cosmetics from fresh tropical fruits prepared according to ancient Polynesian recipes. Mandar massage is carried out by two masseuses who use their hands, fingers, elbows, and palms in the massage process. This is a combination of the massage technique of the Japanese Shiatsu system and foot massage.
12. Alpine Massage
Alpine therapeutic massage came to us from Austrian SPA resorts. Massage with pieces of ice with the addition of berry juices, fruits, and medicinal plants perfectly treats any form of cellulite. It is also seen as one of the more effective rejuvenating procedures. Cosmetologists recommend doing alpine massage sessions once the first signs of skin wilting and age changes appear, such as the loss of a clear facial oval and the first wrinkles.
Cold therapy cures body and spirit
Since ancient times, ice from pure spring water has been considered a therapeutic and cosmetic remedy. Hippocrates and Avicenna also wrote about its application. Presently, cryotherapy methods (use of cold and ice in cosmetology) are successfully applied throughout the beauty industry.
Scientists from the Canadian University of Toronto have found that in addition to beneficial effects on the skin, ice also treats depression because during the massage session it contributes to the release of hormones of happiness – endorphins.
Cold procedures during alpine massage cheer the body and spirit, temper, raise the mood, relieve anxiety and irritability, and improve sleep.
Cosmetology uses ice with the addition of juices of citrus fruits, berries, digs of medicinal herbs prepared from pure artesian water.
In the SPA industry, alpine ice cube massage is used to correct cellulite, as cold perfectly enhances blood flow to the skin and accelerates metabolism.
Ice massage after a bath or hot thermal springs is particularly useful. Alternate exposure to heat and cold provides an excellent movement and exercise for the blood vessels. Even the most long-standing forms of cellulite are cured by the fact that exposure to ice stimulates blood circulation of adipose tissue and muscles. Ice massage is many times more effective than lymphodraining in the beauty salon.
Anti-cellulite alpine massage is performed for 2 to 5 minutes at one site to avoid the persistent narrowing of vessels. It strengthens the walls of the vessels and therefore helps to cope with varicose veins in the legs.
13. Pythons Massage
In one of the zoos in the Philippines, visitors can order a massage service with Burmese tiger pythons. The session lasts 10-15 minutes and has no “soothing” effect. You can take such a session in the Philippines at Cebu City Zoo.
The procedure is as follows. The person wishing to receive services is positioned on a bamboo bed. A dozen Filipino guys release four giant Burmese tiger pythons with a total weight of about 250 kg from a box and put them next to and on top of the client. Then the pythons lazily cover the brave man from his feet to his head. All snake movements, according to Filipinos, have therapeutic and calming effects. At the same time, there is allegedly almost no risk of being strangled. Before the massage, the pythons are fed ten chickens.
Of course, there is no “calming” effect of this massage. The client is in a state close to panic throughout the entire time, and the process is watched by a whole team of zoo workers.
14. Hakali Massage
At first glance, this seemingly unusual procedure with cactus is offered in many Spa salons of Mexico. Advertising of Hakali massage claims that it restores strength and gives energy and vigor. The procedure has long-standing roots and is based on the tradition and healing practice of local Indians – thus it revolves around the use of cactus plants to improve the body.
It turns out that everything is simple and natural, and each person can use local plants to obtain different aspects. As is commonly known, the cacti in Mexico are used to produce the world-famous beverage, tequila. By the way, before Hakali massage you will be offered a drink of tequila with lime and salt or with a piece of orange and cinnamon.
For the procedure, the leaves of the Nonal cactus (also known as Opunition) are used. Cactus barbs are removed, and the purified leaves are warmed in hot water. The leaves are then folded in half and slightly rubbed, thus removing the upper protective layer to allow access to the healing properties of the cactus, particularly its juice. After such preliminary preparations, the cactus leaves are applied to the body – the feeling is pleasantly relaxing. Cactus juice has a rejuvenating, anti-inflammatory effect, it is rich in vitamin C, it is perfectly absorbed and moisturizes the skin, and it heals sunburn. The properties of heated cactus leaves are the same as those of aloe vera, and in some regards are superior.
Hakali massage technique
During the procedure, tequila is sprayed several times on the body, and in the end, light smoothing movements are made by Nonal leaves for 10-15 minutes. The procedure lasts 40-50 minutes, and after it is carried out there is no need to shower. After all, given the positive and healing properties of cactus leaves, they leave no sticky, unpleasant spots on the skin. On the contrary, the skin becomes fresh, soft, pleasant to touch, and can be summarized in one word – pleasure.
They can also offer a kind of acupuncture, using removed cactus needles (only at your request). One way involves needles installed under the leaf, and the masseuse carefully ensures that the pressure on the needle is small and the pain is minimal. Some may think it is only for extremely brave and fearless people, but after a shot of tequila many have a desire to try it.
Mexican masseuses claim that such massage provokes only positive changes in the body, resulting in a great healing effect. Fatigue and weakness flies away, replaced by cheer and ease of body movement.
15. Knife Massage
China is again eccentrically surprising the whole world. Knife massage was the first to be used by residents of Xinchu Province in northern Taiwan to prevent and treat many diseases. For Europeans it seems exotic – before the beginning of therapy, the masseuse soaks the teasel against the wet stone and wipes it with iodine. The patient’s body is covered with special tissue to avoid skin damage.
The massage technique is rhythmic blade impacts on a person’s body, using a blend of chopping and vibration, the masseuse’s movements are accurate and worked out with precision. A knife of different weight and thickness is selected for each patient.
Many customers find it difficult to stay calm at the beginning of the Chinese knife massage and look forward to the end of the session by holding their breath. The massage lasts up to 30 minutes, and its cost in China is up to 15 dollars. According to masseuses, the procedure is completely safe and painless.
The blade of the knife affects the acupuncture points of the human body – this principle is borrowed from the ancient Chinese method of acupuncture. When properly applied, life energy is activated, leading to the recovery of the body. Massage helps to normalize blood circulation, remove toxins, and slags. According to Chinese therapists, the procedure contributes to the treatment of internal organ diseases and is able to defeat cancer.
So, this was the first part of our trilogy ’50 types of massage from all over the world’. We hope you enjoyed reading it. In the next part, we will write about more interesting and even exotic types of massage.
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