Types of Massage Therapies | Functional Categorization

Published: Feb 5, 2021 | Revised: Feb 17, 2023
Written by: Marce Ferreira

Types of Massages | Functional Categorization

When you search the Internet for the various types of massages that exist in the world, you will usually only find rather “light” articles that enumerate a limited, arbitrary mixed set of individual massage modalities, massage treatment functional groups, and massage techniques. At best you’ll find websites that have given it more than a superficial effort, but even those tend to compare apples and pears, as the saying goes.

I think this is somewhat confusing, to say the least. I found, that if one wants to come to a useful, clear overview of massage types, one needs to distinguish between functional types (applications), individual treatment modalities, and types according to the massage techniques used. Surely one could also categorize otherwise, such as per region, for instance, massages of Asia or Europe, or traditional and modern, and what not, and I do realize that our approach is of course only one of many.

Nonetheless, in our eBook The Art of Massage, I have tried to come to a meaningful categorization, and you’ll find, besides an overview of massage concepts and massage tools, sections that distinguish between massage types according to their applications (functional types) and massage types according to the massage techniques used.

In this post, below, I give you a list of the functional types recognized, with links to a range of articles (posts) we’ve published, which further explain these specific massage types.


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