The Most Popular Massage: A Ranking of Highly Sought-After Massage Techniques

Choose the massage you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 14, 2024 07:20
Welcome to StrawPoll, your ultimate destination for discovering the most popular massages! We know how much you love a good massage to relieve stress, rejuvenate and pamper yourself. That's why we've brought together thousands of polls and rankings on a wide array of topics just for you. Today, we're excited to present our latest ranking - "What is the most popular massage?" Delve into the world of relaxation as you browse through the various massage techniques and styles that have been tried, tested, and loved by people around the globe. Cast your vote for your favorite massage, or even suggest a new option to make our list more comprehensive. Don't wait any longer – dive into this sea of tranquility and discover the ultimate massage experience that awaits you!

What Is the Most Popular Massage?

  1. 1

    Swedish massage

    Per Henrik Ling
    This is the most popular type of massage, known for its long, flowing strokes and gentle kneading. It is designed to relax the entire body and improve circulation.
    Swedish massage is a popular massage technique that uses firm pressure with long gliding strokes, kneading, tapping, and circular movements to promote relaxation and improve blood circulation. It is commonly known for its soothing and therapeutic effects.
    • Pressure: Firm
    • Strokes: Long gliding strokes
    • Techniques: Kneading, tapping, circular movements
    • Purpose: Promotes relaxation
    • Benefits: Improves blood circulation
  2. 2

    Deep tissue massage

    Per Henrik Ling
    This type of massage is popular among those who suffer from chronic pain or muscle tension. It uses deep pressure to release tension in the deeper layers of muscle tissue.
    Deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy that focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. It uses slow, firm pressure and targeted techniques to release chronic muscle tension and knots. This massage is particularly beneficial for those with chronic muscle pain, injury rehabilitation, and limited mobility. It aims to break down adhesions and restore normal movement and range of motion in the muscles.
    • Pressure: Deep and firm pressure
    • Techniques: Various targeted techniques
    • Purpose: Release chronic muscle tension and knots
    • Beneficial for: Chronic muscle pain, injury rehabilitation, limited mobility
    • Target: Deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue
  3. 3

    Hot stone massage

    Mary Nelson
    This is a type of massage that involves placing heated stones on various parts of the body to help relax muscles and increase blood flow.
    Hot stone massage is a popular massage technique that utilizes heated stones to apply pressure and heat to the body. The stones are typically smooth and made of basalt, a type of volcanic rock. The heat from the stones helps to relax muscles, improve circulation, and promote a sense of deep relaxation and well-being. The therapist may place the stones on specific areas of the body or use them as an extension of their hands to massage the client.
    • Origin: Developed in the United States
    • Stones used: Smooth basalt stones
    • Heating method: Usually heated in water or with a specialized stone heater
    • Temperature: Stones are typically heated to around 130-140 degrees Fahrenheit (54-60 degrees Celsius)
    • Placement: Stones may be placed on specific areas of the body such as the back, hands, or between toes
  4. 4

    Thai massage

    Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha
    This type of massage is popular in Thailand and involves a combination of stretching, acupressure, and yoga-like movements. It is designed to improve flexibility and relieve stress.
    Thai massage, also known as Nuad Bo-Rarn, is a traditional therapeutic massage technique that originated in Thailand. It combines elements of acupressure, yoga-like stretching, and Ayurvedic principles to provide a deep and invigorating full-body massage experience. The focus of Thai massage is to release energy blockages within the body and promote physical and mental relaxation.
    • Origin: Thailand
    • Technique: Combines acupressure, yoga-like stretching, and Ayurvedic principles
    • Purpose: Therapeutic treatment and relaxation
    • Clothing: Clients usually wear loose and comfortable clothing
    • No oils: No oils or lotions are used during the massage
  5. 5

    Shiatsu massage

    Tokujiro Namikoshi
    This is a type of Japanese massage that involves applying pressure to specific points on the body to relieve tension and improve circulation. It is designed to balance the body's energy flow.
    Shiatsu massage is a form of therapeutic bodywork that originated in Japan. It involves the application of pressure using fingers, thumbs, palms, and sometimes knees and elbows, along specific points and meridians of the body to stimulate the body's natural healing abilities. Shiatsu is often referred to as 'acupuncture without needles' and is known for promoting relaxation, reducing stress, and alleviating various physical and emotional ailments.
    • Origin: Japan
    • Technique: Application of pressure using fingers, thumbs, palms, knees, and elbows
    • Focus areas: Specific points and meridians of the body
    • Benefits: Promotes relaxation, relieves stress, improves circulation, reduces muscle tension, balances energy, alleviates pain
    • Principles: Stimulates body's natural healing abilities, balances the flow of energy
  6. 6
    This type of massage involves applying pressure to specific points on the feet, hands, and ears to improve overall health and well-being. It is believed that different points on the body correspond to different organs and systems in the body.
    Reflexology is a holistic therapy that involves applying pressure to specific points on the feet, hands, or ears to promote healing and balance in the corresponding areas of the body. It is based on the principle that these points, known as reflex points, are connected to various organs, glands, and structures within the body. Stimulating these reflex points through gentle pressure or massage can help improve circulation, relieve tension, and stimulate the body's natural healing processes.
    • Focus: Targets specific reflex points on the feet, hands, or ears.
    • Pressure Techniques: Uses various pressure techniques, including thumb and finger pressure, kneading, and gentle stretching.
    • Benefits: Promotes relaxation, reduces stress, improves circulation, enhances overall well-being.
    • Non-Invasive: Does not involve the use of drugs or invasive procedures.
    • Individualized: Tailored to the specific needs and condition of each person.
  7. 7

    Aromatherapy massage

    René-Maurice Gattefossé
    This type of massage involves the use of essential oils to enhance the massage experience. The oils are chosen for their therapeutic properties and can help to relax, energize, or uplift the body and mind.
    Aromatherapy massage is a popular massage technique that combines the benefits of massage therapy and the use of essential oils. It involves the application of gentle pressure and long, flowing strokes, accompanied by the inhalation and absorption of aromatic essential oils.
    • Purpose: Promotes relaxation, stress relief, and overall well-being.
    • Essential oils: Uses a blend of carefully selected essential oils based on individual needs and preferences.
    • Technique: Involves slow, rhythmic movements and kneading to ease muscle tension and improve circulation.
    • Absorption: Essential oils are absorbed through the skin and inhalation, providing various therapeutic benefits.
    • Customization: Tailored to address specific concerns, such as relaxation, stress relief, pain reduction, or energy enhancement.
  8. 8

    Sports massage

    Jack Meagher
    This type of massage is popular among athletes and involves a combination of techniques designed to improve flexibility, reduce the risk of injury, and enhance performance.
    Sports massage is a type of massage therapy that is specifically designed for athletes and individuals involved in regular physical activity. It is aimed at enhancing athletic performance, preventing injuries, and promoting recovery. Sports massage involves a combination of techniques such as deep tissue massage, stretching, and joint mobilization to target specific muscles and areas of tension in the body.
    • Target Audience: Athletes and active individuals
    • Purpose: Enhance athletic performance, prevent injuries, promote recovery
    • Techniques: Deep tissue massage, stretching, joint mobilization
    • Focus: Specific muscles and areas of tension
    • Benefits: Increased flexibility, reduced muscle soreness, improved circulation
  9. 9
    This is a type of massage designed specifically for pregnant women. It can help to relieve back pain, reduce swelling, and promote relaxation.
    Prenatal massage is a specialized type of massage therapy designed for pregnant women to address their unique needs and promote relaxation. It focuses on providing physical and emotional support during all stages of pregnancy and can help to alleviate discomfort and prepare the body for childbirth.
    • Targeted Area: Full body
    • Pressure: Gentle to medium
    • Positioning: Side-lying or semi-reclining
    • Massage Techniques: Swedish, deep tissue, and acupressure
    • Benefits: Reduces muscle tension, relieves back and joint pain, reduces swelling, improves sleep, reduces anxiety and stress
  10. 10

    Lymphatic drainage massage

    Dr. Emil Vodder
    This type of massage involves a series of gentle, rhythmic movements that help to stimulate the lymphatic system and improve circulation. It is often used to reduce swelling and improve immune function.
    Lymphatic drainage massage is a type of therapeutic massage technique that aims to enhance the natural drainage of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in the body's immune system, by removing waste, toxins, and excess fluids from the tissues. This massage technique utilizes gentle, rhythmical strokes and movements to stimulate the lymphatic vessels and encourage the flow of lymph fluid. It is a specialized form of massage that is typically performed by professional therapists.
    • Purpose: To promote lymphatic system drainage and detoxification
    • Gentle strokes: Utilizes light pressure and rhythmic movements
    • Direction: Strokes are typically performed towards the lymph nodes
    • Location: Can be performed on various body areas, including the limbs and torso
    • Benefits: Reduces swelling, boosts immune system, improves circulation

Missing your favorite massage?


Ranking factors for popular massage

  1. Technique
    Different massage techniques cater to different preferences and health needs. Assess the popularity of specific techniques like Swedish, deep tissue, sports, hot stone, or trigger point massages.
  2. Accessibility
    The availability of trained and qualified practitioners for specific massage techniques, as well as the cost and affordability of sessions, can influence popularity.
  3. Client satisfaction
    Customer reviews and testimonials can give insight into the overall satisfaction of clients and the effectiveness of massage types.
  4. Adaptability
    A massage that can be easily customized to individual needs and preferences might be more popular than a one-size-fits-all approach.
  5. Safety
    Consider the safety of the massage technique, including the potential for injury or adverse effects, which may impact popularity.
  6. Popularity within specific groups
    Certain massages may be more popular among specific populations, such as athletes, pregnant women, or individuals with particular health conditions.
  7. Cultural influence
    The historical roots and cultural significance of certain massage techniques may also contribute to their popularity.
  8. Media influence
    The portrayal and promotion of specific massage techniques in popular media can impact public perception and popularity.
  9. Trends and innovations
    Emerging trends, such as the use of technology in massage techniques or unique massage styles, can influence the popularity of certain massages.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular massage. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Massage is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 171 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Massage once every 24 hours. The rank of each Massage is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular massage

Massage therapy has been practiced for centuries and is believed to have originated in ancient China. Today, there are various types of massages available, each with its unique techniques and benefits. The popularity of massage therapy has grown significantly in recent years, with more and more people seeking it as a way to relax, alleviate pain, and improve overall well-being. In this article, we explore the most popular types of massages and the benefits they offer. Whether you're a seasoned massage enthusiast or a newcomer, there's something for everyone in the world of massage.

Share this article