How Massages Vary Across Cultures


When you are feeling less than 100% and need a little nudge to help you relax, what can be better than a soothing massage? Massages can be just as relaxing as taking a calm hike through the cool swiss alps or getting your own houseboat rentals for the weekend to stream down the rivers of America, but massages are certainly more affordable. Those magic fingers do their thing and before you know it you are drifting off to a more chilled place. Each culture has their own version of this fantastic therapy activity and each type has a few special benefits that are unique to that source. This article looks at some of the more popular types of massage and what they can bring to that special relaxing table.

Thai Massage

thai massage

The Thai massage is one of the most popular ways to relax and it certainly does that in spades. It involves some serious stretching movements that press our limbs to the absolute limits. A good Thai massage starts at our feet and works its way up to our neck, face and skull. Although it seems a tad strenuous at times, it will always leave us feeling ready for anything.  Your flexibility will improve and those all-important ‘energy lines’ will be balanced nicely. If you tend to spend most of the day in a sitting position, a Thai massage will be the one to float your boat!

Shiatsu Massage

shiatsu massage

A proper shiatsu massage will concentrate on your pressure points, and the benefits will be worth the effort you make to book the appointment. Our energy channels become blocked when we have a stressful event at work or at home. Shiatsu unblocks these channels in a way that gets rid of headaches and other annoying signs of stress. Shiatsu used to be a secret therapy for those in the know, these days it is one of the most popular types available, and for good reason!

Swedish Massage

swedish massage

If you have experienced a sporting injury recently, you might want to try a Swedish massage to relieve the pain. By rubbing the muscles against each other, this deep tissue therapy promotes the flow of blood towards your heart. This clever technique speeds up the recovery of most injuries and gets rid of excess lactic/uric acids, and that can only be a good thing! You needn’t wait for an injury before booking a Swedish massage, because they can work just as well for getting over a hectic day at the office!


This is a less common massage but has been proven to achieve some great results. Trager works by moving your limbs and body in a regulated pattern, it can be somewhat physical at times. This activity increases the motion range of your body and limbs and is very good at improving your flexibility and reducing the stiffness in your joints. If you are lucky enough to find a Trager practitioner in your area, pick up the phone and enjoy the experience.

Stone Massage

stone massage

These are becoming more popular and have started to get some amazing results. The stones are either hot or cold and are usually treated with specific oils for a soothing experience. The stones are pressed against your body with Swedish style massage movements. You should have an open mind when receiving a stone massage as they are believed to have mystical powers, and who are we to doubt this?

Peter Phillips-Rees is a specialist in natural therapy. He is more fondly known as the naturopath and for a good reason. He is a fine exponent of massages and has listed some of the best in this post.



    • Anne-Marie @ This Mama Cooks!
    • May 28, 2013

    I also noticed that there are differences in how much you’re draped. Here in the US, the therapist only uncovers the area she’s working on. In Europe they drape you less and don’t always cover up your “private” areas.

    • Laurie
    • May 23, 2013

    I really like this article… very informative. Happy to see you included Trager– something that is not often mentioned.

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