15 Types Of Massage And Their Health Benefits

December 11, 2023

When choosing a massage the menu at a spa can be quite overwhelming. There are a lot of different types of massage that work with other body parts and have their own approaches to healing the body and mind. We want to help you find the right massage for your needs, so you will know what treatment is best for you.

A massage can serve two distinct objectives: alleviating symptoms or promoting relaxation.

Thai massage incorporates numerous yoga-like stretching techniques.

Aromatherapy massage utilizes essential oils to induce relaxation and promote therapeutic benefits.

The nerve-touch massage focuses on stimulating the nervous system by applying pressure to specific areas of the body.

The head, back & shoulder massage is a treatment that helps to relieve tension in the upper body.

In the ancient practices of a Bamboo Massage, therapist use heated bamboo sticks.

How Many Different Types Of Massage Are There?

If you have ever been to a massage parlour or taken a look at the massage treatments RLAX offers, you probably realize that there are a lot of different massages out there. Some of them work your entire body, while others tackle a specific area of your body, for example, your head, neck, and shoulders.

There are so many types of massage that it is impossible to give you a specific number. However, some of them are popular worldwide, and we want to show you 15 of the best types of massage and how you can benefit from them mentally and physically.

1. Thai Massage

Thai massage is probably the most “active” type of massage you can get; some people even compare the stretch it contains with yoga. You will definitely feel just as refreshed after a Thai massage because stretching can help reduce pain in different parts of your body and improve your flexibility. Moreover, it is the perfect treatment to reduce stress and release emotional burdens.

It works your entire body and your massage therapist will use their palms, fingers, and elbows to apply firm pressure. Sometimes they will even walk on you, so don’t be surprised. During a Thai massage, you are typically dressed, so either wear loose clothes or change into the shirt and pants combination your massage therapist hands to you at the beginning of your treatment.

2. Swedish Massage

Swedish Massage

This western style massage is one of the most classic types you can get. If you have never received a massage before or if Thai massage is a bit too firm for you, then this gentle full-body massage is perfect for you.

Swedish massage is ideal to help release muscle knots, and muscle tightness, and to increase blood flow in your body. Further, it can help you relax not only your body but also your mind. Your massage therapist will use some oil, that will make your massage even more relaxing.

During Swedish massage, you will have to remove your clothes and only wear your underwear. However, your massage therapist will cover your body with a sheet and only move it when they are actively working on a specific body part.

3. Aromatherapy Oil Massage

Oil Massage

If you like essential oils and want a healing experience in stressful times, then aromatherapy oil massage is the right choice for you. This massage can help boost your mood, reduce stress and anxiety, and relieve pain, and muscle tension.

It is the perfect choice for you if you prefer a gentle full-body massage with nice-smelling essential oils. Inhaling them will further your relaxation and help you truly unwind. During an Aromatherapy massage, you will only wear your underwear because the oils could stain your clothes. So make sure you take a shower afterwards to avoid staining your clothes or wearing clothes that can be ruined.

4. Sports Massage


For professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts who undergo rigorous training, sports massage is an excellent way to enhance their potential. This specialized form of massage aids in the body's recovery from injuries and promotes improved flexibility.

Sports massage encompasses various techniques tailored to maintain muscle strength and increase flexibility, unlike other massages that focus on relaxation. By choosing a massage that targets the energy line or the Prasat Sib line, athletes can provide comprehensive care for their bodies. This type of massage enhances concentration, facilitates muscle restoration, and leaves one feeling refreshed and energized.

5. Nerve Touch Massage


Nerve-touch or Jap Sen massage is a kind of massage similar to Swedish massage, however, it uses more pressure. So if you suffer from chronic problems, for example after an injury or because of an imbalance, then Deep Tissue massage can help to relieve tight muscles, chronic muscle pain, and anxiety.

Your therapist will use slow strokes and firm finger pressure to reach the deepest layers of your muscles and connective tissues. So it can be quite intense, you shouldn’t feel any pain though. Since it is related to Swedish massage, you also have to be undressed and only wear your underwear for deep tissue massage.

Tips: RLAX offers massage services at home in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Hua Hin, RLAX brings the ultimate massage experience to your doorstep. Book a massage service through our website and app now!

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6. Prenatal Massage

Are you a mommy-to-be? Then prenatal massage is tailored specifically to your needs. Not all types of massage are recommended during pregnancy, so Prenatal massage ensures that you and your baby are safe. It helps reduce stress and all kinds of pregnancy body aches.

We wouldn’t recommend getting it in your first trimester, because in that stage of your pregnancy, there is a higher risk for miscarriage. Either way, you should always consult your doctor before getting a prenatal massage, to be on the safe side.

During the massage, you are usually fully or partially undressed. A lot of massage therapists, that offer Prenatal massage, have a specifically designed table for you, so you and your belly can rest comfortably.

7. Hot Stone Massage


If you suffer from muscle pain and tension, then this type of massage is the perfect relief for you. It is similar to Swedish massage, however, as the name refers, it includes heated stones in lieu that your massage therapist will use.

Hot stone massage eases any tension in your body, improves blood circulation, and relieves pain. Further, it promotes emotional well-being and relieves stress. You are only wearing your underwear and be covered with a sheet during your treatment. In addition to the hot stones, your therapist might also use cold stones in between.

8. Office Syndrome Massage

If you have a very sedentary lifestyle, for example, because of working in an office, then office syndrome massage is tailored just for your needs. It helps stretch out your body and relieve any tension in your neck, back, and shoulders from sitting all day long.

At RLAX we offer you Office Syndrome Relief massage that you can order directly to your office. Our massage therapists are trained to identify your problems and help you release any pain and tension due to sitting all day in front of your computer.

9. Shiatsu Massage


This Japanese type of massage is perfect to promote emotional and physical calm and relaxation, by reducing muscle tension and relieving stress, anxiety, and depression. It can even help ease headaches and migraines.

Shiatsu massage works your whole body, however, your trained massage therapist will be able to identify the areas that need extra attention and focus especially on those. During your treatment, you can stay fully clothed, as there is no oil included.

10. Head, Back & Shoulder Massage

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The head, back & shoulder massage is a treatment that focuses on specific areas in the upper body & feet. This helps to relieve tension in the muscles, stimulate the nerves, improve blood circulation, restore comfort and alleviate any discomfort in this typically tense area.

This therapeutic treatment involves a thorough massage along your head, scalp, neck, shoulders and upper back area. This massage treatment is ideal for office employees who spend long hours hunched at their desks and sitting in their chairs. This particular focus on the upper body will aid in relaxation and assist in the decrease of stress hormones in the muscles which can create a lot of discomfort and pain.

11. Thai Herbal Compress Massage

A Thai Herbal Compress Massage offers a fusion of heat, herbs, and massage. This ancient tradition from Thailand combines warm compresses and therapeutic touch, leading to immediate relief and long-term benefits. Experience physical ease as tension melts away, skin rejuvenates, and mental stress diminishes. 

From lemongrass’s calming touch to turmeric’s  anti-inflammatory prowess, herbs play a vital role. This holistic approach nurtures not only the body but also the mind. Dive into this unique wellness experience of a Thai Herbal Compress Massage.

12. Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage is a popular therapeutic technique known for alleviating chronic pain, reducing stress, and enhancing overall well-being. 

This specialized massage targets deep muscle layers and connective tissues, benefitting those with persistent pain or tension. By breaking down scar tissue and reducing tension, it improves mobility, posture, and blood pressure regulation. It’s especially helpful for injury rehabilitation, promoting flexibility and healing. 

Deep tissue massage emerges as a powerful avenue for physical and mental revitalization.

13. Bamboo Massage

Discover the realm of bamboo massage, where ancient practices meet modern wellness. Using heated bamboo sticks, therapists employ a versatile method that originates from Asia, incorporating rolling and kneading.

The history of bamboo massage is deeply rooted in Asian culture, evolving over time and continents. The technique involves applying pressure with warm bamboo sticks, targeting muscle knots and tension points. The advantages include relief from muscle tension, improved circulation, and stress reduction. 

This comprehensive approach rejuvenates both the body and mind, promising a holistic experience for those seeking enhanced well-being.

14. Reflexology Massage

Step into the realm of reflexology massage - an ancient practice resonating in modern times. This unique therapy, focusing on pressure points in the feet, hands, and ears, offers a treasure trove of physical and emotional benefits.

Originated from Asia, reflexology massage taps into energetic pathways, with points corresponding to different organs. From stress reduction to enhanced circulation, its advantages are diverse. Delve into the past, where early pressure therapy found its roots in ancient civilizations, evolving into today’s reflexology. Discover the soothing effects of applied pressure, the circulation-boosting stimulation, and the potential pain relief offered by specialized practitioners.

15. Lomi Lomi Massage

Lomi lomi massage is a Hawaiian tradition offering more than relaxation. Rooted in holistic healing, lomi lomi massage addresses the entire body through rhythmic, continuous strokes, breaking from conventional massage practices.

The method’s benefits span physical healing, including muscle tension relief and improved circulation, as well as emotional well-being, such as stress reduction and enhanced sleep quality. The practice’s spiritual aspect, involving prayer and energy channeling, amplifies its effectiveness. 

From personalized discussions to incorporation of hula movements. Lomi lomi massage harmonizes tradition, spirituality, and comprehensive well-being, providing a pathway to inner tranquility.