What are the 7 Types of Massage?
Health and Wellness

What are the 7 Types of Massage?

Jul 14, 2022

Whether you’ve had dozens of massages before or you’re doing research into your first experience, you may be unaware that there are a wide variety of different types of massage to choose from. Knowing how each is unique, what it’s best used for, and recognizing what you need from a massage is the best way to ensure a positive experience.

What are the different types of massage that will enhance your lifestyle most? How can you be sure to get the exact massage type you need each time? Today, we’re answering the question, “what are the 7 types of massage?” and exploring the ins and outs of each.


Before we hop into answering the question, “what are the 7 types of massage?” let’s discuss the benefits of getting a massage regularly. Like with any self-care routine, massages yield the best results when they’re experienced on a regular basis. While you’re sure to feel relaxed and great after a massage at any time, regular massages help keep your body in top condition. Unfortunately, this can become a burden for many people as regular massage therapy appointments can be difficult on a busy schedule and on the wallet.

This is why many people have turned to the benefits of owning a massage chair, instead. A luxury massage chair gives you all the benefits of massage therapy at home any time you want. While it’s important to note how often you can use a massage chair for maximum effectiveness and safety, these chairs are beneficial for any lifestyle. Whether you’re looking for recovery tools for athletes or a simple way to relax and recharge after a long day at work, today’s massage chairs pay for themselves many times over.

Offering a plethora of different types of massage programs, modern full body massage chairs effectively eliminate any difference between using a massage chair vs. human massage. Whether it’s a 2D massage chair you’re considering or you’re debating on a 3D vs 4D massage chair for more control over the rollers, you can’t go wrong. Furthermore, the options for S-track vs L-track massage chairs also give you more options for a true full body massage experience.

Bonus massage chair features like zero gravity reclining capabilities, the benefits of heat therapy, and more come together to give you an even better experience. There are even AI massage chairs that use two types of body scanning technology to assess your needs and deliver a custom massage each use!

With all these options available to you, it’s time to take a look at the question, “what are the 7 types of massage?” and see which one is right for you.


It’s great to hear the possibilities of massage chairs at home, but what are the 7 types of massage? While there are many types of massage that could be referenced, there are 7 common types of massage that you’re most likely to choose from. The main question you’ll want to ask yourself is what are the different types of massage that will benefit you the most?

To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of 7 types of massage commonly sought. They are:

  • Swedish massage
  • Thai massage
  • Sports massage
  • Reflexology
  • Deep tissue massage
  • Shiatsu massage
  • Lymphatic drainage massage

Swedish Massage

As we answer the question, “what are the 7 types of massage?” it makes sense we’d begin with the most common: Swedish massage. While you are most likely familiar with the term, you may be unsure of what Swedish massage actually is!

Known for soft, long, kneading strokes combined with shorter, rhythmic tapping strokes, Swedish massage chairs use light-to-moderate pressure and are ideal for those new to massage or looking to release tension from the body. The five major kinds of strokes for Swedish massage are:

  • Effleurage
  • Petrissage
  • Friction
  • Tapotement
  • Vibration

Thai Massage

Dating back at least 2500 years, you may be surprised to learn that the roots of Thai massage are actually based in India. Thai massage is known for deep stretching and is sometimes even referred to as “assisted yoga” because it’s a more active type of massage. In addition to helping with pain relief, Thai massage is also a common massage for people looking to improve blood flow throughout the body, increase flexibility, and boost energy levels.

A Thai massage is focused on a ​​rhythmic compression of muscles, the movement of joints, and using acupressure to reduce stress and improve flexibility. It’s a type of massage that is often used to treat back pain, balance problems, and even possibly an effective massage for migraine pain.

Sports Massage

Continuing along our journey to answer the question, “what are the 7 types of massage?” we’ve arrived at sports massage techniques. While the name may point towards sports and athletics, getting a sports massage isn’t solely reserved for athletes! It can be useful for anyone looking to recover from sports injuries faster, correct imbalances, or even reduce muscle pain from repetitive motion injuries.

Getting a sports massage, you’ll experience faster strokes than a traditional Swedish massage. It may also include compression, pressure point therapy, friction, and joint mobilization to target all the appropriate muscle groups you need worked on.


As we explore answers to the question, “what are the different types of massage?” we’ve come upon the first one that many people may not have heard of before. Whereas Swedish, Thai, and sports massage techniques are all relatively well-known, reflexology massage could be your best friend you’ve never heard of until now! A massage technique aimed at restoring natural energy levels, reflexology uses gentle-to-firm pressure on different pressure points of the feet and hands that are thought to be associated with various areas of the body.

Alongside benefits such as pain relief, reduced fatigue, and a better mood, reflexology massage can be a potentially effective method for helping your body relax. In fact, it’s a common part of how to massage feet for better sleep and may help you sleep through the night and wake up feeling more rested for the day ahead.

Deep Tissue Massage

When considering a deep tissue massage, some people shy away because they think it may be painful or uncomfortable. The fact is, however, that even though deep tissue massage benefits are aimed at particularly troubled spots along the body (like knotted areas between muscle fiber), the massage itself should never be painful regardless of the intensity of the strokes.

Whether you’re at a massage therapist appointment or using a full body massage chair at home, deep tissue massages make use of slow, firm, more intense strokes or friction to work out the body. These massages are ideal for those experiencing:

  • Soreness or injury
  • Muscle imbalance
  • Tightness along the body
  • Chronic muscle pain

Shiatsu Massage

Shiatsu massage is a centuries-old Japanese technique that means “finger pressure massage.” The goal of Shiatsu massage is to apply pressure to specific points of the body in order to alleviate pain and loosen muscles. Some of the biggest benefits of Shiatsu massage chairs and experiences include:

  • Back pain relief
  • Improved posture
  • Increased blood circulation
  • Better sleep quality
  • Less stress and anxiety

Since using a Shiatsu massage chair tends to be more therapeutic as compared to some other forms of massage making our list, it’s important to speak with your healthcare professional to ensure it’s safe for you to experience. While issues are uncommon, your doctor will tell you if you’re at risk or should consider other massage techniques, instead.

Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Last, but not least, as we answer the question, “what are the 7 types of massage?” we arrive at the practice of lymphatic drainage massage. As we go through our daily lives, our bodies build up toxins and unwanted waste. The lymphatic system flushes these toxins from our bodies through a network of organs and tissues. This process can help eliminate toxins and build a strong immune system to keep us healthy.

Lymphatic drainage massage refers to the massage technique aimed at stimulating lymph flow throughout the body. This type of massage technique involves long strokes to move the lymph fluid so that organs can process it and filter it out from the body. The rhythmic hand strokes re-stimulate a sluggish lymphatic system and can go a long way for how to build a strong immune system in the body.

While some may opt to go to a specialized massage therapist for this technique, you can perform lymphatic drainage self massage at home, too. Even though traditionally a manual massage method, you can experience some lymphatic drainage massage benefits while using a massage chair at home, as well. Therapeutic massage programs like Swedish massage or Shiatsu massage could be great ways to combine the benefits of multiple massage techniques in one!

We hope this guide has helped answer the question, “what are the 7 types of massage?” While there are other techniques and methods out there, these 7 types of massage are the most commonly sought and can be done with a massage therapist or by choosing a massage chair for home. Being able to experience these massage techniques at home whenever you need can be a major game-changer. Give it a shot and see how it enhances your lifestyle!

Want to learn more about the benefits of owning a massage chair? See how they can improve your life with these additional resources:

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