Types of Massage Techniques

Neck Massage Technique

This site has a lot of articles about the types of massage techniques and bodywork. These techniques fit a variety of needs and can help you on your holistic healing journey. The following list is mostly Western types of massage. Also, see Asian Massage.

Massage Articles

Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy is a deep compression massage using the feet.

Baby Massage and Pediatric Massage are great for babies, children, and parents.

Bowen Technique is a pain-relief technique developed in Australia.

Breema Bodywork uses rhythmic movement sequences to enhance the flow of life energy.


Chair Massage is convenient, fast, and affordable and typically focuses on tension areas in the back, neck, shoulders, and arms.

Cupping Massage uses negative pressure to provide a type of deep massage.

Deep Tissue Massage releases deep tension patterns in the body.

Dog Massage is great for our canine friends.

Esalen Massage is a mindful massage developed from the influences of many types of bodywork.

Equine Massage Therapy improves the performance of horses.

Geriatric Massage focuses on the needs of older adults.

Hot Stone Massage Therapy combines the healing benefits of massage and heat.

Injury Massage discusses how massage therapy can help heal soft-tissue injuries.

Shoulder Massage

Jin Shin Do is an energy healing technique that combines the pressure techniques of acupressure with the body armoring theories of Wilhelm Reich.

Lomi lomi massage is part of the Native Hawaiian healing tradition.

Manual Lymph Drainage is a specialized technique useful for swelling when other massage is not appropriate.

Polarity Therapy views health as a reflection of the condition of the energy field. Therapeutic methods designed to balance the field for health benefit involve energy-based bodywork, diet, exercise, and self-awareness. 

Pregnancy Massage Therapy is great for the mom-to-be.

Reflexology is based on the principle that your hands, feet, and ears have reflex points that correspond to every part, gland, and organ of your body.

Scar Tissue Massage helps get rid of excess scar tissue and adhesions due to injury, surgery, or repetitive motion.

Swedish Massage Techniques increase the flow of oxygen in the blood, stretches the muscles, keeping them supple and pliable, stimulates the skin, and soothes the nervous system.

Sports Massage Therapy can improve your workout and help prevent and treat injury.

Trigger Point Massage relieves trigger points that refer pain.

Visceral Manipulation uses gentle pressure to release tension from the organs and surrounding connective tissue.

Water Massage techniques include Watsu, Aquassage, Waterdance, Jahara Technique, and Healing Dance.

More Massage Techniques

The following bodywork and massage techniques are ones I haven't yet written about on this site.

Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy uses pressure on trigger points and corrective exercises to relieve pain and correct dysfunction.

Cerebrospinal Fluid Technique Massage is designed to free up the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) around the brain and spinal cord.

Craniosacral Therapy is a technique for correcting cerebral and spinal imbalances or blockages that cause pain. Strictly speaking, craniosacral therapy is not massage, but massage therapists frequently learn this technique.

Kurashova Method is Russian medical massage for correcting physical dysfunction and improving athletic performance.

Myofascial Release uses sustained pressure to release myofascial restrictions, thereby eliminating pain and restoring motion. (Fascia is connective tissue that covers just about everything in the body. Myofascial refers to fascia covering muscles.)

Neuromuscular Technique (NMT) is a specific deep tissue massage type that recognizes that location of the pain is not necessarily the source of the pain. NMT is also used to treat trigger points that often cause referred pain.

Ortho-Bionomy uses gentle pressure and movements to release chronic stress, help injuries heal, and relieve pain or correct problems due to imbalances in posture and structure.

Pfrimmer Deep Muscle Therapy uses a specific series of cross-fiber movements on the muscles designed to correct damage to soft tissues.

Soft Tissue Release is a specialized technique that uses stretching, movement, and pressure to create freedom and looseness and reduce pain.

Structural integration techniques seek to re-educate the body through movement and touch and systematically release patterns of stress and impaired function. Structural integration techniques require specialized training and are not taught as part of a general massage school curriculum. These techniques include Rolfing, Structural Integration, Hellerwork, SOMA, Aston Patterning, and Kinesis Myofascial Integration (KMI).

Swe-Thai Massage blends traditional Thai medical massage with specific, advanced soft tissue therapies. The Swe-Thai routine was designed specifically by Margie Meshew in 2001 to treat general neck and back conditions.



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