What Are Popular Forms Of Massage?

Relaxation Massage

A soothing Relaxation Massage is especially relaxing and pleasant because it helps reduce pain all over your body. According to the International Alliance of Healthcare Educators, this particular massage therapy promotes general wellness, vitality, and healing.

Relaxation Massage is what I mostly concentrate on in my studio, because 99% of my Ladies prefer a relaxing, soothing massage where they can relax, unwind and switch off for an hour.

Pregnancy Massage

Massage therapy can be of real benefit during your pregnancy, because it can reduce your anxiety, relieve muscle aches, and most importantly improve labor outcomes for you. Although the main goal of this massage is to improve your circulation and help you relax, it is also designed specifically to meet the needs of pregnant women.

Carrying a baby puts a lot of pressure on the shoulders, neck, back, and your abdominal muscles. This can leave lasting effects on the posture, which is exactly why you should consider booking a prenatal massage session with me.

Pregnancy Massage is the second most popular massage I offer, and many of my Ladies have come back to get that soothing relief from aches, pains and the stress of the pregnancy.

Please note: the following massage styles and practices are not a complete selection, I am sure there are more variations and techniques out there.

I do NOT use any of the other following techniques in my studio, I only do Relaxation Massage and Pregnancy Massage. if any of the following styles suit you more I encourage you to check out some of the other very capable massage therapists on the Kapiti Coast or Greater Wellington area.

Swedish Massage

Swedish massage is the most common type of massage therapy offered in the United States. If you haven’t taken part in massage therapy before, then Swedish massage is the place to start. The main goal of this technique is to help relax your superficial muscles and improve your blood circulation.

Swedish massage therapy is based around five different massage movementskneading movements, vibration, sliding movements, percussion, and rubbing.

Traditionally, Swedish massage also includes both active and passive joint movements and stretching with the assistance of your massage therapist.

Considering that this type of massage will improve blood circulation, it will have a positive effect on your soft tissues. Namely, good circulation will stimulate your body to clean and nourish soft tissues, such as the skin and muscles. Swedish massage is also known to significantly reduce stress, help heal injuries and relieve pain.

Swedish massage is considered to be the foundation for many other types of massage therapies, including deep tissue, sports, and aromatherapy massage methods.

Although most people choose to take part in a 60-minute Swedish massage, it might be better to book a 90-minute session, as it will give your therapist more time to properly work on your muscle tissue. 

Deep Tissue Massage

Although it’s somewhat based on Swedish massage therapy, deep tissue massage is different because it was designed to reach the deeper layers of your muscles and the connective tissues around them.

If you have ever taken part in a Swedish massage therapy, then deep tissue massage might feel similar, mainly since the strokes are often the same or incredibly similar. The main difference is in the pressure being applied, where the therapist uses more pressure to apply deeper strokes to physically break down muscle adhesions that are the cause of your pain, inflammation, and limited range of motion. Muscle adhesions can also cause poor circulation.

A typical deep tissue massage session starts off with the therapist applying light pressure in order to properly warm up your muscles, followed by deeper and stronger pressure. A regular deep tissue massage session lasts from 45 to 60 minutes. This massage technique is usually used to treat various injuries and chronic muscle pain.


Shiatsu is a massage technique that originated in Japan, but has become extremely popular in almost all parts of the world. When translated, shiatsu means “finger pressure,” which is a great way to describe this technique.

A shiatsu massage session involves the therapist using fingers, thumbs, palms, elbows, hands, knees, and/or feet in order to apply pressure to certain parts of your body. The therapist will also focus on stretching and rotating your joints, limbs, and pressure points.

The way eastern medicine views healing is much different from how it’s viewed in western medicine. While western medicine usually suggests that you take pills in order to fix your health problems, eastern medicine focuses on forming a balance between your mind and body in order to heal yourself.

This is why the theory behind shiatsu is much different from the previous two techniques that we’ve mentioned. Namely, shiatsu revolves around the belief that your body is completely made up of energy, and when that energy is blocked, you experience pain and discomfort. By participating in a shiatsu massage, you will remove these blockages and help the energy spread evenly throughout your body.

The theory behind shiatsu suggests that by balancing your energy, your body will heal itself, which will provide relief for both your mind and body.

Some of the most notable health benefits of shiatsu include pain relief, improved blood circulation, relaxation, and a decreased risk in developing arthritis. It also has a very positive impact on your mental health. Shiatsu will not only lower your stress levels, but it will also improve your mood.

Aromatherapy Massage

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils that’s scents stimulates the olfactory system, bringing various benefits including, stress relief, relaxation, and a variety of other health benefits.

Aromatherapy is commonly used to help you unwind, cure minor ailments, reduce your stress levels, improve your mood, and renew your energy. There are a few ways to include aromatherapy into your life, such as inhaling essential oils, adding them to your bath, and mixing them with a carrier oil to be used in massage therapy.

Aromatherapy massage is the perfect option for you if you’re not in the mood for a strenuous muscle-kneading massage. This massage technique doesn’t really revolve around the therapist physically working out all the sore spots in your body. Instead, the goal of aromatherapy massage is simply to help relax your mind and body. This is, of course achieved with the use of essential oils, which are basically highly concentrated plant essences.

Although you will experience the benefits of essential oils through contact with your skin, inhaling and absorbing them through your mouth and nose is what will actually help you get the most benefits. It’s not uncommon for different therapists to use different massage technique during aromatherapy massage.

Hot Stone Massage

Hot stone massage refers to a technique in which smooth, heated stones are positioned on specific parts of your body in order to maximize the healing effect of the massage. The therapist may also use these heated stones as an extension of their hands, meaning that they won’t just leave the stones on your body, but that they will actually apply pressure with them.

This type of massage therapy is based on a technique Native Americans use to treat muscle aches. The purpose of these stone is to relax tense muscles, which is easily achieved through the weight and warmth of the stones. River rocks are mostly used because they are notably smooth.

If you’re feeling muscle tension but would like to get a lighter massage, then you should definitely book a hot stone massage session. Most people find the warmth of the stones used in this massage to be very relaxing and comforting.

This technique is used to treat anxiety, insomnia, back pain, osteoarthritis, and depression. Despite what some people may think, this type of massage is not painful. If, however, you feel that the stones or your body is too hot, make sure to inform your therapist immediately.

Thai Massage

Thai massage is based on the same belief as shiatsu, which is that your body is completely made up of energy. By taking part in Thai massage, you will achieve a state of deep relaxation, which can improve your emotional state and can even help change your personal outlook on life in a positive way.

Thai massage is basically a mixture of assisted yoga postures, acupressure, and Ayurveda.

It is different from most other massages in the sense that it doesn’t involve the use of lotion or oil. It is also not performed on an elevated massage table, like most massages. Instead, it is performed on a futon or padded mat on the floor.

Throughout the duration of the massage, you remain fully clothed. During a Thai massage session, you can expect the therapist to use their knees, legs, hands, and feet, to move you into different yoga-like poses in order to provide your body with the stretching it needs.

Thai massage offers you unbeatable stretching, which is just one of the benefits it provides. Other notable benefits include improved mood, decreased cortisol levels, improved circulation, pain relief, and stress relief.

Note that Thai massage is not your typical massage therapy. It can be invigorating and painful. However, as long as you co-operate with your therapist and always let them know how much pain you’re experiencing (if you are experiencing any pain), then they will be able to adjust the movements and pressure accordingly. 


Most people believe that reflexology is just a fancy term for foot massage. However, reflexology is something much more.

This practice involves the therapist applying pressure on the specific reflex zones on your feet in order to induce a healing response in corresponding areas of your body. This massage therapy was invented by Europeans in the late 1800s.

Reflex zones are essentially areas that are connected to other parts of your body. They’re present on your hands, feet, and ears. The theory behind this massage therapy is that you can affect the nerves that carry signals to various parts of your body by applying pressure to reflex zones.

Some of the benefits of this type of massage therapy include improved circulation and relaxation.

Although many massage therapists have insight into reflexology, the best option is to find a reflexologist who is also a massage therapist in order to fully experience the benefits of this therapy.

Sports Massage

Sports massage is somewhat similar to deep tissue massage therapy, simply because it also focuses on reaching the deeper layers of your muscles.

As the name suggests, this type of massage is geared towards any kind of athlete. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional athlete or work out 3-4 days a week, as long as you’re engaging in physical activity often, then you can benefit from this massage.

Massage therapists use different techniques during sports massage, and the therapist will focus on specific areas of your body that are stressed and overused from repetitive movements.

Not only will this type of massage put you in a state of relaxation and offer pain relief, but it can also be of benefit before a sports event, such as a marathon. If you’re preparing for a specific event, then you need to add sports massage therapy into your preparation regimen, because it will improve you flexibility and endurance, reduce fatigue, and help prevent injuries.


Watsu is also known as aquatic massage, and refers to an aquatic bodywork treatment usually done in a private heated pool.

Watsu was created by an aquatic bodyworker and poet named Harold Dull. This massage technique was discovered in the early 1980s, and was based on shiatsu therapy. This treatment is fairly unique and is something that you should definitely experience at least once. Watsu is known for helping you deal with chronic pain, stress related disorders, and postural imbalances.

It involves the therapist using a number of techniques to mobilize and stretch your soft tissues and joints. Because of the low gravity and warm water, a Watsu session will allow you to enter a state of deep relaxation.

Lymph Massage

Also referred to as lymphatic drainage, lymph massage was designed to help eliminate your body’s waste. Lymphatic massage is typically the treatment of choice for swollen tissues as it helps remove proteins and waste products from the affected area and reduce the swelling.


Lymphatic massage is technique that was developed in Germany, as a treatment for a condition known as lymphedema, which is described as an accumulation of fluids that sometimes occurs after lymph nodes are removed as part of a surgical procedure. It is also a condition that can develop at any time during an individual’s life. The cause of this condition is currently unknown.

However, what is known is that lymphatic massage is proven to be quite effective when it comes to treating lymphedema. It should be noted that this type of message is not medically recommended for people who are suffering from any condition other than lymphedema.

Healing After Surgery

Lymph drainage massages is supportive of healing following surgery as regenerates tissues to reduce scarring that occurs as a result of surgical incisions. This therapy also reduces swelling, regenerates tissues and cells, and helps to detox the body, as reported by the International Alliance of Healthcare Educators.

Lymph massage should take place no sooner than six weeks following surgery and after a doctor has given approval.

Improved Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding complications as result of improper latching may include sore nipples, engorged breasts, and pain. Lymphatic massage can help reduce the swelling that results from engorgement and help to ameliorate plugged ducts, resulting in less pain of the nipples and breasts, and leading to better breastfeeding.

Improved Immune System Functioning

The immune system is intricately tied to the lymphatic system, so much so that when the flow of lymphatic materials slows down, it actually weakens your immunity.

Lymph massage helps improve immune function and stimulates the production of antibodies that help fight off infection and disease and it goes further to reduce inflammation inside the body that is linked to various chronic conditions, such as arthritis.

A lymph massage is very gentle and not at all painful. A typical session lasts 45 to 60 minutes.

Healing Touch/Energy Healing

Healing touch is an energy therapy that revolves around the use of gentle hand techniques in order to help re-pattern the energy field of the patient, thus helping him or her accelerate healing of the mind, body, and spirit.

This massage therapy is based on a theory that people are fields of energy that constantly interact with other people and the environment. Healing touch therapy focuses on helping restore harmony to your energy system.


Amma is a form of massage therapy that is based on the principles of Chinese medicine that date back around 5,000 years.

Amma massage therapy is a mixture of deep tissue manipulation and the application of touch, friction, and pressure to specific points of your body. This technique will help loosen your muscles, connective tissues, and joints, which will allow your body to function properly.

A great thing about Amma is that it’s for everyone.

  • You don’t have to be sick or suffering from ailments to take part in this massage therapy, you can book a session even if you’re just feeling stressed out.
  • Amma therapy is used to treat and manage conditions like fractures, strains, sprains, as well as some chronic disorders.
  • Some of the most notable health benefits of Amma massage therapy include pain relief, fewer headaches, stress relief, reduced anxiety, and improved sleeping habits.

Balinese Massage

Balinese massage therapy was developed in Bali, and is based on the traditional medicine systems of China, India, and Southeast Asia.

Balinese massage is a full-body, deep-tissue treatment that is based on a mixture of gentle stretches, aromatherapy, reflexology, and acupressure. It is designed to stimulate the flow of blood in your body and help you achieve a state of deep relaxation.

Balinese massage therapists may use a number of different techniques during a session, such as pressure-point stimulation, stroking, rolling, and kneading, along with using essential oils to further promote the positive effects of the massage. If you’re searching for a massage therapy that will help you relax, while offering you a chance to experience a variety of massage techniques, then you should definitely book a Balinese massage session.

Aqua Massage/Hydrotherapy

Aqua massage therapy doesn’t involve the presence of a therapist. Instead, you have this massage in an aqua massage machine.

This machine looks very similar to a tanning bed. To prepare for an aqua massage, you only need to take off your shoes and lay down on the bed of the machine.

The cover of the machine, which consists of more than 36 water jets, will close over you and the massage will begin, as those jets stimulate all the muscles of your body.

Know that you won’t get wet during an aqua massage, since there’s a waterproof barrier between you and the cover of the machine. Most aqua massages last around 20 minutes to 1 hour.

For for information about the Benefits of massage please check out my Blog Posts Page