17 Unique and Interesting Types of Massage Therapy
Kathryn Vercillo Apr 27, 2013
1. Amma Therapy. This type of body therapy combines several different types of massage therapy in one session. It goes beyond this, however. It refers to a push-and-pull motion that is used within the massage. The goal of this type of massage therapy is to rejuvenate the energy flow of the body.
2. Ayurvedic Massage. This type of massage is similar to acupressure but it comes from India instead of from China. Like with acupressure, it uses massage on top of specific pressure points to heal the body. In Ayurvedic massage, these healing points are called marmas. There are two goals of this massage. The first is to heal pain. The second is to detoxify the body.
3. Balinese Massage. This is a type of massage that you don’t hear about very often. However, you may be familiar with the other types of massage that are combined together to create this unique massage. They include Swedish massage, Deep Tissue massage, acupressuremassage, energy work such as Reikiand even aromatherapy.
4. Belavi. This is the name for a unique type of facial massage. It is an age-defying rejuvenation massage. It reduces wrinkles and increases the healthy glow in your face. It is sometimes called “the facelift massage”. The massage is done on the face, limbs and upper body. A facelift including a mask and exfoliation are also done.
5. Body Electric Massage. This type of massage is a blend of two other types of massage. The first is Thai Massage, which is a type of clothed massage that uses stretching as its core. The second is Swedish massage, which is the more hands-on type of “body rub” that you may be familiar with. However, there’s more to the massage than this. It’s a spiritual based massage that derives from Buddhism and Tantra. The goal of this massage is to heal the body through attention to each chakra of the body. Another goal of this massage is to raise self-awareness of the sensual self.
6. Canadian Deep Tissue Muscle Massage. This type of massage is designed specifically for pain relief. The massage therapist is trained to heal specific muscle problems in the body. It is usually a quick, clothed massage that is done with the patient seated in a chair.
7. Craniosacral Massage Therapy. This is a massage that is focused on the head as well as the spine. It is probably the type of massage that is closest in nature to chiropractic care. Subtle adjustments may be done to the neck and spine during this type of massage. However, this is primarily a light-touch massage that often focuses on head massage.
8. Esalen Massage. This is a light-touch massage that is designed specifically to heal emotions. It is the physical equivalent of going to see a psychologist. Although you may not talk about your psychological, emotional and spiritual issues with your Esalen massage therapist, the goal is to heal them. The underlying belief is that the power of human touch is so strong that it has the power to heal these problems.
9. Five Element Shiatsu. This is a rhythmic motion massage doe to the back or stomach to heal the body. In the beginning stages of this massage, the massage therapist will use all of his or her senses to gain a complete understanding of the patient’s body. The healer will tailor the massage to the specific problems uncovered during these first stages. The goal of this type of massage is to create energy harmony in the body.
10. Lomi Lomi. This Hawaiian form of massage uses an undulating motion when rubbing the body. Think the waves of the ocean or the dance of the hula. As with many other forms of massage, the purpose of this massage is to unblock the body’s trapped energy.
11. Manual Lymphatic Drainage. This type of gentle massage is designed to improve the flow of the body’s lymph fluid. It uses a very specific amount of pressure that is applied in a circular motion to achieve the intended healing results.
12. Pfrimmer Deep Muscle Therapy. This rare type of massage is a deep body massage that is designed for advanced healing. This massage is designed to actually rejuvenate muscles that have been damaged and to give assistance to people suffering from paralysis of the body. It goes far beyond the basics of deep tissue massage and uses highly specialized techniques to heal the body at the cellular level.
13. Raindrop Technique Massage. This Native American massage technique is heavily focused on the use of aromatherapy. Scented massage oils are applied to the hands, feet and spine during this massage. The massage is a back massage that uses heat and motion to realign the spine. The goal of the massage is to release toxins from the spine to heal the whole body.
14. Rolfing. Another type of very deep tissue massage is rolfing. It is essentially chiropractics for the muscles of the body. The goal of this type of massage is to realign the body’s muscles the way that they are supposed to be. This type of massage is not a one-time deal; it is completed in a series of sessions over weeks or months.
15. Russian Massage. This type of massage is a pain-relieving massage. It alternates long deep strokes with short quick strokes to heal the muscles. It is sometimes described as a combination of Swedish massage and sports massage.
16. Thai Herbal Massage. Thai massage, a type of stretching-based massage, is very common. In contrast, Thai herbal massage may not be as easy to find at day spas in your area. Your best bet is to research skin care services because it is sometimes considered to be more of a facial than a true massage. However, it is notable that this type of massage is often done to the whole body and not just the face. It has the hallmarks of a facial in the sense that it uses heat and steam and a body wrap to offer a relaxing, rejuvenating experience. However, it does incorporate hands-on massage with deep muscle manipulation using hot oil and hot compresses.
17. Trigger Point Myotherapy Massage. This type of massage uses pressure-based muscle manipulation. The massage is focused on trigger points. These are areas where the muscle has gotten stuck in a spasm. The massage works out the spasm. This is a deep tissue massage that some people may find to be painful or too intense.