Written by Sarah Jones
Last Updated

There are many different kinds of Asian massage but they all follow the ideas behind Asian medicine and therapy based on touch. Most are aimed at aligning the body’s energy flow and are generally performed fully clothed. 

There are a number of different types which aim to treat different ailments and different parts of the body so here is a quick overview of some of the main types of Asian massage which are commonly practiced:


Thai Massage

Thai massage is perhaps the most well-known Asian massage type and involves full-body contact with the practitioner who uses a combination of yoga, acupressure, and some of the other principles, to position the client in different ways to release the tension and energy in the body. 

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It is a fully clothed massage and the client will be physically manipulated in a variety of ways that may look extreme but will feel much better and relieved after a session, which can be around a couple of hours long.



This works in a similar way to acupuncture as it targets the same areas of the body, but instead of using needles, pressure is applied to the body to provide relief. It has been in use alongside Chinese medicine for thousands of years. 

The aim is to relieve tension in the areas of the body by applying pressure in the right place. It can also be learned so that you can apply it yourself and is used for relief with some types of health conditions.



Literally translated, it means “finger pressure” from the Japanese but it’s more complex than that and is a massage that can be carried out fully clothed. It involves a number of different techniques including tapping, kneading, and pressing, various parts of the body to provide relaxation. 

It is a commonly used massage technique and can be combined with other massage systems sometimes as well. It is frequently used in Western massage spas and health centers due to its relaxation properties.



From India, Ayurveda massage is focused on the chakras and marmas around the body, which are similar to the acupoints already mentioned. The massage focuses on more than 100 of these marmas in the areas where our bones, arteries, and joints all meet. 

Oil is used as part of this type of massage and the aim is to unblock and clear the body’s energy channels, allowing it to flow and heal, while the oil aims to stimulate the senses at the same time, as part of the overall experience.

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Chi Nei Tsang

The name of this massage translates as “working the internal organs” and it is aimed at detoxifying the body, and helping to focus the body on healing and recovery after any kind of illness, by targeting the organs. 

Traditional Taoist massage techniques are used to provide a gentle but strong massage to the internal organs and it’s said to provide physical, spiritual, and emotional relief to the patient. The abdomen is normally warmed up with oil before the massage begins


Jin Shin Jyutsu

This type of massage sees the masseuse working with 26 points around the body known as Safety Energy Locks, which sit along the body’s energy pathways. The practitioner will focus on these lock areas and massage through them, to release the energy flow and it is a relaxing and healing approach.



Amma combines applying pressure on the acu points in the body, with a deep tissue massage at the same time. It comes from a Japanese technique developed by a Buddhist priest. The aim of this massage is to re-balance and refresh the entire body. 



These are just examples of some of the different types of Asian massage which can be experienced and certainly some of the more commonly found ones, however, there are many others to look out for as well. 

However, all Asian massages work on the principle of relieving tension in the body and restoring the body’s balance and energy flow by using a variety of techniques. With a focus on wellness and health if you have been feeling under the weather it could well be worth trying one. 

While Western traditional massages focus on relaxation, an Asian massage is more about getting the body back into balance and alignment so might seem a bit more extreme and even painful at the time, but the end result is an improved physicality which in turn helps you to relax. 

If you are worried about any techniques or you have any medical issues then talk to your massage practitioner before going ahead so that they can give you the best advice and let you know which techniques would work best for your condition. Asian massages have been in use for thousands of years and will be here for many more. 


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