Types of Massage

Learn about different types of massage.


Massage therapy is the practice of applying pressure, motion and vibration to many different parts of the body.  There are close to 200 different types of massage therapy.  Massages are commonly performed on the soft tissues of the body such as muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints.The main purposes of massages are to relieve stress, manage pain, improve circulation and help heal injuries.  In addition, erotic massages are often used in the art of lovemaking.  Massages are predominately performed manually, but sometimes by using mechanical devices.

Professional massage therapists, known as male masseurs and female masseuses, usually have their clients lie on tables on sit upright in a massage chair.  Many massage therapists provide a variety of styles of massage.  Listed below are descriptions of some of the most popular styles.

Swedish Massage

The Swedish massage was developed in the 1700s by a Swedish doctor named Per Henrik Ling.  This type of massage involves long, flowing strokes designed to increase circulation and blood flow to the heart.  It is characterized by a series of techniques designed to relax muscles by rubbing in the same direction and applying pressure to the deeper muscles and bones.   Swedish massage can shorten the recovery time from muscular strain as it stretches the ligaments and tendons.  It also stimulates the skin and nervous system and also soothes the nerves.  One of the most common purposes of Swedish massage is to relieve stress, both emotional and physical.

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy that focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue.  Its goal is to relieve chronic tension in the body through slow deep pressure on the affected areas.  Techniques often include opposing thumbs, a flat elbow, a heel of the hand and the use of a forearm.  Deep tissue massage usually concentrates on specific areas such as stiff necks, lower back tightness and sore shoulders. A masseur usually begins by working the upper layers of a joint or muscle and then working down to the deeper tissue.  Some of the same strokes are used in deep tissue massage as in classic massage therapy.  However, the strokes are slower and the pressure is greater.

Erotic Massage 

Erotic massage is intended to sexually arouse the subject by using sensual stimulus.  Erotic massage focuses on the genital area and other intimate parts of the body which are normally not touched in therapeutic massage therapy.  Unlike other types of massages, the person’s body is usually naked and undraped.  It may be used to increase an individual’s ability to respond to sensual stimulation or to heighten the sensitivity in future sexual encounters.  Erotic massage may also be used to help men address issues such as premature ejaculation and relaxing the muscles around the pelvis to prolong arousal and increase pleasure.


Sports Massage

Sports massages are generally performed on athletes to relieve pain, increase flaxibility or to hasten the healing process of an injury.  Stress and tension can build up in an athlete during physical activity and sports massage therapy can help relieve them quickly and effectively.  Each sport’s activity has varying demands on its athletes.  Each sport utilizes muscle groups in different ways. A sports massage should be designed to concentrate on the specific areas of the body that the respective sport involves.  With proper sports massage therapy, strained muscles can be healed more quickly and healthy muscles can be maintained while reducing the risk of injury.


 Rolfing is a valuable treatment for back pain and repetitive stress injuries.  It balances the body in gravity and enables people to function at successfully higher levels of efficiency and ease.  Rolfing is a common method of therapy for athletes and has extended their careers and has made competing in sports much more pain-free.  Rolfing is based on the theory that physical and emotional health depend on parts of the body being properly aligned.  With the head, shoulders, spine, hips, knees, ankles and other areas of the body properly aligned, rolfers believe the the body will be healthy and a positive emotional state will result.

Make sure to search through our large directory of masseurs so you can get your male massage or gay massage and start feeling great.

Thai Massage

Thai massage involves deep massage and stretching. You will want to wear comfortable clothing as your body will be put in many different positions. Many people compare it to a type of yoga but not doing any of the work. It is typically preformed on the floor or on a mat. Oil is not something you use with a thai massage.

The benefits and effects of thai massage include: increases your flexibility, relaxes you, reduces stress, gives you more energy, improves your circulation, and more.

Make sure that your massage therapist knows of any health problems you have had in your past. This type of massage could reinjure a past problem. If you feel any pain or discomfort during the massage, make sure to tell your massage therapist.


History of Massage


Massage therapy is one of the oldest forms of medical care.  Egyptian tomb paintings show people being massaged.  The ancient Chinese book, The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, recommends “massage of skin and flesh and exercises of hands and feet as appropriate treatment.  Some have placed its origin with the Chinese around the 1400 BC era, near the start of the Shang dynasty. 


Massage therapy can also be traced to Ancient Greece.  Aesculapius practiced medicine in Thessalay in the 5th century BC.  Along with treating patients with relaxation, diet, hydrotherapy and herbs, he is also said to have used massage to help cure them.  Hippocrates, who lived in Thessalay from 460 BC to 377 BC, used friction to treat sprains and dislocations.  He is also acknowledged for using kneading to treat constipation.  Douglas Graham, M.D., an early-20th-century American physician, interpreted the words of Hippocrates thusly, 'The physician must be experienced in many things, but assuredly also in rubbing.”


The Romans were also known for their use of massage.  Claudius Galen who lived from c. AD 130 to c. AD 210, was a Greek physician who moved to Rome to revive the methods of Hippocrates.  He emphasized exercise and encouraged massage in the treatment of various injuries.  Romans who could afford massage would have their stiff muscles rubbed with warm oil.  They would also have full body massages to awaken nerves and stimulate circulation.  Some form of massage appeared in every country that the Romans conquered.


The teachings of the benefits of massage therapy can also be found in Persia in the middle ages.  Galen’s manuscripts were translated into various languages from the 9th century through the 16th century.  And much can be found in 16th through 20th century Western European writings about massage techniques and the positive impact of massage.


The therapeutic values of massage continue to grow today.  Massage is used for children, elderly people, in intensive care units, and is frequently used in health centers and pain clinics.  Types of massage and uses for this therapy have expanded and flourished in recent years.  Millions each year enjoy the many benefits of this renowned treatment.



More Massage Information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massage - Massage Wiki

http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos295.htm - Massage Therapist Occupational Outlook Handbook

http://nccam.nih.gov/health/massage/ - Intro to Massage Therapy