Therapeutic Massage: Types And Benefits

A therapeutic massage will vary according to the physiotherapy technique used to treat physical ailments. Today we are going to look at the most common types you should know about.
Therapeutic massage: Types and benefits

There are different types of therapeutic massage and they are all divided into many subcategories. However, all of these techniques are good in the treatment of physical ailments, as they can be quite effective in reducing pain.

A massage is the manipulation of soft tissue that consists of performing a rhythmic action with sufficient intensity at certain body points. The manipulation takes place either in the superficial layers of tissue or in the deep layers. Massages have therapeutic, hygienic and sporting purposes. Hygienic massage has a primary aesthetic goal, while sports massage is good for before and after physical activity.

In this article we will mainly discuss the different types of therapeutic massages. But before we start classifying them, let’s see what their impact is on the human body.

The effects of therapeutic massage on the body

In general, there are no contraindications to massage, except for specific conditions that can prevent certain maneuvers. So, some modality may be more indicated because it may be more convenient within the different types of therapeutic massages.

It is a mistake to think that you can only use massage to treat muscle problems. The benefits of therapeutic massage are also physical and psychological. In fact , you can even combine two or more types of massage in the same treatment to improve uneven tissue.

Some of the benefits of a therapeutic massage are:

  • Muscle development
  • Distension of compound muscles
  • Long-term flexibility in the tissue
  • Analgesic effect
  • A feeling of general well-being
  • Improvement of blood and lymphatic circulation

Types of therapeutic massage

A woman massaging another.

Although the classification of the types of therapeutic massages varies, this is a general list that describes them according to their mechanics:

  • Classical
  • Chasing
  • Friction
  • Compression
  • Percussion
  • Vibrations

Let’s take a closer look at each of them:

Therapeutic massage: Classical

This is about smooth and slow rubbing of a body area. In general, it can be longitudinal or circular. It is very important not to rub any tissue that does not need treatment.

Deep tissue is a type of massage in this category. Thus, its purpose is to make the muscles relax and work with the blood and lymph circulations. For a circulatory effect, the goal of the massage is to promote the venous return that often stops.

In the superficial variant, frictional slippage can increase the surface circulation in external tissues such as the skin, as well as promote dermal regeneration.


Overall, this is one of the most energetic types of therapeutic massages, along with percussion.

Kneading aims to loosen superficial tissue from the deep layer, as well as displace the muscle fibers. Thus, this technique combines distribution, torsional and stretching movements, all performed rhythmically.

You can use kneading to remove toxic substances from tissues, to promote muscle nourishment and to promote relaxation. Deep kneading can increase the contractile capacity of your muscles.

A man massaging another's leg.


This technique is static, so there is no tissue displacement. Here the therapist maintains the compression of the area for half a minute to a minute without moving to the sides.


Within the various types of therapeutic maneuvers that include kneading, percussion is one of the most energetic. There are two ways to do this: banking and hacking.

Therapists pound with their palms in a hollowed-out position. In the same way, they do chopping with the ulnar edge on their hands, and maintain constant pressure and high energy. In addition, they do this without losing contact between the therapist and the skin.

Thus, percussion increases circulation in the treated area, nourishes the muscle, increases muscle contraction and normalizes the tone. So, as a result of these effects, many people also consider it a stimulating massage. This is because it improves the overall well-being of the person receiving it.


The movements of this technique are short and rhythmic. The hands also have constant contact with the skin and the therapist’s forearms perform static contractions that create vibrations. However, therapists quickly get tired when performing this maneuver. Muscle relaxation, stimulation of circulation and release of lung secretions for patients suffering from respiratory conditions are just some of the effects of this type.

Did you know about therapeutic massages? As you can see, their benefits go beyond muscle rehabilitation. Contact an expert to find out which type of massage is best for you if you want to include it in your therapy.


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