11 Expert Types of Massage Therapy (With Costs!)

September 11, 2020


With all the different types of massage, it can be difficult to choose which one is best for you. Should you go with a Swedish massage or aromatherapy massage? If you’re not sure then don’t worry you are in the right place. To prevent confusion we created this handy guide to 11 expert types of massage therapy. Then, read all the way to the end for a bonus section including a cost guide! 


1. Swedish Massage

If you aren’t familiar with massage therapy then you might be wondering, what is a Swedish massage? A Swedish physiologist came up with this form of massage therapy in the 1800s. Today it is one of the most common types of massage in the West.

In particular, Swedish massage treatments targets soft tissues like the skin and muscles. According to Massage Therapy UK, it uses these five massage techniques, “effleurage (stroking), petrissage (kneading), friction, tapotement (percussion), and vibration.”

Swedish massage techniques are versatile and often serve as a base for other types of massage. It is a gentle form of massage designed to relax you.  An increase in circulation is one of the associated Swedish massage benefits. In addition, Swedish massage therapists also often treat sports injuries.

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2. Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage targets chronic pain in deep muscle layers. During the massage, a massage therapist will apply intense pressure to the painful area. They will also use slow movements to soothe these areas.

This type of massage is more intensive so it can cause some pain for a few days following the treatment. Still, a good therapist will communicate to manage pain levels and ensure your comfort. This type of massage and can help break down scar tissue. It is also designed to help with pain management when you are recovering from injuries or surgery. Get bids from massage therapists in your area.


3. Thai Massage

Thai massage originated during Buddha’s lifetime 2,500 years ago. The system was likely created by Buddha’s friend, a doctor named Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha. Thai massage focuses on the concept of ‘chi’ or energy flow and the removal of blockages in the chi.

It is one of the most energising types of massage. This is because the therapist gradually moves you into a series of positions. These positions resemble yoga postures. The massage therapist will invite you to lie on a mat, fully clothed while they stretch your limbs. A full session can take one to two hours.

Thai massage treatments are especially beneficial if you want to increase your flexibility and circulation. It can also help reduce stress and lift your energy levels!


4. Reiki Healing

Reiki is a traditional Japanese holistic healing treatment. During a session, the Reiki practitioner will guide healing energy to the affected area. Sometimes they will also incorporate crystals. Reiki practitioners use crystals based on the idea that they direct healing energy.

Reiki focuses on the principle that the key to a healthy life incorporates body, mind and spirit. According to the University of Minnesota, the science behind Reiki still remains unproven.

There is no hard science to back up Reiki as of yet. So, it is mostly described as a method of healing emotional and mental stress. It is thought that when Reiki alleviates these stresses they stop compromising the immune system.

Would you like to address your stress and find emotional or spiritual healing? Get bids for Reiki healing in your budget.


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5. Hot Stone Massage

A hot stone massage treatment uses smooth, heated stones to soothe muscles. Some hot stone massage therapists use water to heat their stones. Very Well states that many others use an electrical heater. This way they can control the stones’ temperature with a thermostat.

To make sure that the stones are not too hot for you, the massage therapist will hold them first. If the stones still feel too hot to you, make sure to speak up, your comfort is important!

Sometimes your therapist will also use cold stones. Cold stones can help to reduce the pain of inflammation,

During the professional hot stone massage services, a therapist will apply a massage oil to your back. Next, they will place heated stones. With the oil, the hot stones will glide comfortably. The heat from the stones will then work to relax your muscles.

After your muscles have relaxed the massage therapist may or may not use their hands to work out tension.

Do you have back pain, arthritis, or poor circulation? Then this type of massage can benefit you!


6. Prenatal and Pregnancy Massage

During pregnancy, the body undergoes significant changes. This can bring aches, pains, and tenderness. Prenatal massage is also known as pregnancy massage. It can help soothe these pregnancy pains.

Many massage therapists attend specific training courses before offering pre-natal massage services. When looking for your massage therapist, be sure to ask about their qualifications.

It is best to lay on your side during the massage. Some therapists will offer you a table with a hole so that you may lay on your stomach. However, many find this position uncomfortable.

The benefits of prenatal massage include improved circulation which can lead to reduced swelling. It can also help increase energy levels during the daytime. If you have difficulty sleeping at night, a massage can help improve your sleep too!

Remember it is always best to consult with your doctor about massage therapy when you are pregnant.

Are you all set for a pregnancy massage? Click to get bids from local massage therapists.


7. Postnatal or Postpartum Massage

Postnatal massage is intended to help a mother relax after giving birth. This type of massage is also referred to as postpartum or perinatal massage.

There are several benefits to a postnatal massage. Some of these benefits include increased relaxation, reduced swelling and improved breastfeeding.

A postnatal massage can also help soothe muscles from tension associated with childcare.

As with a prenatal massage, it is always best to consult with a medical professional before a postnatal massage. This way you can have a discussion with someone who is aware of your medical history beforehand.


8. Aromatherapy Massage

An aromatherapy massage merges massage with scent. So, it will leave you feeling relaxed and smelling amazing!

Aromatherapy massage therapists use essential oils. Your therapist will mix these oils in a base or carrier oil to soothe muscles.

Essential oils are highly concentrated oils made from plants, resins, and flowers. It is because of this high concentration that your therapist will mix the oils in a base. This ensures the essential oils will be gentle on your skin.

An aromatherapy massage can give you higher energy levels and a sense of deep relaxation. They can also help improve circulation!


Aromatherapy Massage

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9. Sports Massage

Sports massages are designed for athletes. They can prepare athletes for performances, and help rehabilitate sore, stressed, and overused muscles.

Each massage is tailored to the specific needs of the athlete. Just as each sport is different from the next, so too is each kind of sports massage.

There are several different types of massages available for athletes. The kind of sports massage an athlete can receive depends on their goals.

A sports massage therapist can help you maintain your muscles and prepare for an event. They can also help relax you after an event and even rehabilitate your muscles in the case of injury.

The benefits of a sports therapy massage depend on your goals. If you receive a massage for muscle maintenance a therapist can help increase flexibility.

On the other hand, if you receive a massage for an injury the sports massage therapist will have a different focus. Rather than improving flexibility for the game, they will focus on increasing your range of motion and reducing pain.

This type of treatment can improve endurance and flexibility, and help prevent injuries.

Are you considering signing up for a session of sports massage therapy in London or the UK? Submit a free request on Bidvine and get custom, detailed bids from reputable sports massage therapists.


10. Reflexology Massage

Take your shoes off! Although reflexology massages occasionally soothe hands they mainly target your feet.

Reflexology is similar to acupressure because it focuses on pressure points or reflexes. It is believed that these points correspond to other parts of the body like organs. So by applying pressure to these regions on the foot, the therapist is trying to treat other areas of the body.

Like Reiki, this is an alternative healing method designed to help heal the body as a whole. Some possible benefits include reduced symptoms of back pain, migraine headaches and stress disorders.

Are you looking for a reflexology massage therapist in London or the UK? Click to get custom bids from reflexologists in your area.


Shiatsu Massage

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11. Shiatsu Massage

When translated from Japanese shiatsu means “finger pressure”.  Besides finger pressure, a shiatsu therapist may also incorporate their thumbs, knees and feet.

During a shiatsu massage, your therapist will invite you to sit fully clothed on a mat. Then the massage therapist will use stretching techniques to work out muscle stiffness.

This form of massage is beneficial for self-healing. It can also help release toxins, improve circulation and reduce stress.

Has one or more of these types of massage caught your eye? Bidvine can help connect you with a local massage therapist!


12. Bonus: How Much Does Massage Therapy Cost?

If you are looking into hiring a massage therapist chances are you have asked yourself, how much does a massage cost? So, we gathered information on the average cost of a massage in the UK to make sure you have the knowledge you need.

Through Bidvine the price of a massage averages around £55 per hour. However, this cost can vary based on the type of massage you receive. For sessions longer than an hour, the cost of massage is usually around £71. It is important to remember that this cost can also differ depending on the length of the session. For instance, a 2-hour session will likely more than a 90-minute session.

Disclaimer: All massage therapy requests are manually vetted by the Bidvine team to ensure they conform to our respect and conduct standards. Please note that either party can report messages that are in suspected violation to support@bidvine.com. 


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