Around The World In 7 Massages

The Fumbling Generalist
3 min readMar 25, 2024


Photo by alan caishan on Unsplash

Massage is a universal language of relaxation and rejuvenation.

It is practiced in various forms across the globe, each with its own unique techniques and cultural influences.

Let’s go on a sensory journey and explore 7 iconic massages from around the world — each promising a blissful escape from the stresses of everyday life.

#1 Swedish Massage (Sweden)

Swedish massage is perhaps one of the most well-known and widely practiced forms of massage therapy.

Characterized by long, gliding strokes, kneading, and circular motions, Swedish massage aims to promote relaxation, improve circulation, and alleviate muscle tension.

The use of massage oils enhances the smoothness of the strokes, creating a sense of tranquility and rejuvenation for the recipient.

#2 Thai Massage (Thailand)

Thai massage is a dynamic and invigorating practice rooted in Buddhist tradition. Unlike Swedish massage, Thai massage is performed using the hands, elbows, knees, and feet to apply rhythmic pressure and stretch the body.

Thai massage promotes flexibility, energy flow, and deep relaxation, leaving recipients feeling balanced and revitalized.

#3 Shiatsu (Japan)

Shiatsu is a traditional form of Japanese bodywork that focuses on acupressure points and energy meridians.

Using their fingers, palms, and thumbs, Shiatsu practitioners apply gentle yet firm pressure to specific points on the body, aiming to restore balance and promote healing.

This holistic approach to massage is believed to alleviate stress, reduce muscle tension, and enhance overall well-being.

#4 Ayurvedic Massage (India)

Ayurveda is a holistic healing practice that originated in India over 5,000 years ago. Grounded in the principles of balancing the body’s doshas (energetic forces), Ayurvedic massage incorporates warm herbal oils and rhythmic strokes tailored to each individual’s unique constitution.

This nurturing and deeply relaxing massage aims to harmonize the mind, body, and spirit, promoting detoxification, rejuvenation, and inner peace.

#5 Lomi Lomi Massage (Hawaii)

Lomi Lomi means “rub rub” in Hawaiian. It’s a sacred healing tradition passed down through generations of Hawaiian healers.

Characterized by long, flowing strokes that mimic the ebb and flow of ocean waves, Lomi Lomi massage promotes deep relaxation, release of tension, and spiritual connection.

The use of coconut oil and aromatic flowers enhances the sensory experience, transporting recipients to a state of blissful tranquility.

#6 Balinese Massage (Indonesia)

Combining elements of acupressure, reflexology, and aromatherapy, Balinese massage utilizes firm kneading, stretching, and palm pressure to soothe tired muscles and calm the mind.

The use of exotic oils infused with indigenous herbs and spices adds a fragrant dimension to this rejuvenating experience, leaving recipients feeling deeply relaxed and rejuvenated.

#7 Reflexology (China)

This practice is rooted in Chinese medicine that focuses on stimulating specific points on the feet, hands, and ears to promote healing and balance in the body.

Reflexologists believe that these points correspond to different organs and systems, and by applying pressure to them, energy blockages can be released, and the body’s natural healing mechanisms can be activated.

Reflexology sessions are deeply relaxing and can help alleviate a wide range of ailments, from stress and anxiety to digestive issues and chronic pain.

Photo by Camille Brodard on Unsplash

From the soothing strokes of Swedish massage to the invigorating pressures of Thai massage, these 7 massages offer a tantalizing glimpse into the diverse and transformative world of bodywork.

So whether you seek relaxation, pain relief, or spiritual renewal, there’s a massage waiting for you.



The Fumbling Generalist

I write about random things that I feel suddenly passionate about. And I’m man with many passions. (About 204,753 of them…and counting!)