Do You Know These Basic Massage Therapy Techniques?


By: Kennita Leon

6 Min Quiz

Image: PeopleImages / Digital Vision / Getty Images

About This Quiz

The art of massage is one that has been practiced for thousands of years. Believed to have started on the Asian continent, this movement has crossed both borders and continents and is available on even the tiniest of islands. But because of the time that has passed on how widespread the practice has now become, there are so many techniques available that we sometimes have a hard time choosing what exactly it is that we want. 

But we won't go into all the massaging techniques that exist. We're only going to quiz you on the more common or basic ones, like the Swedish, the shiatsu, the hot stone, the deep tissue and more. We'll tell you a bit about each massage in the question and it will be up to you to guess which one we're talking about. If you can do this with all our questions, and answer them correctly, you'll be a certified massage therapist in our books. Let's just hope that it doesn't take you the duration of a massage to get this done. 

So. if you're ready to begin, let's get to the first question!

This technique is known as the classic massage and is offered everywhere massages are done. What is its name?

The Swedish massage, also known as the classic massage, is one of the most commonly taught massage techniques. It utilizes five basic strokes to loosen tight muscles, promote relaxation and stimulate circulation.


Which massage technique uses heated rocks?

The hot stone massage involves the use of smooth, flat, heated rocks placed at specific points of the body, such as the back or hands, in order to relieve muscle tension and pain. The stones may also be incorporated into the Swedish massage technique.


Essential oils are key in this technique. To which one are we referring?

Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that utilizes a blend of therapeutic essential oils and other aroma compounds to improve the physical and emotional well-being of the patient. The oils may be applied to the skin, inhaled or immersed in water.


Similar to a Swedish massage, this one relieves tension in the muscles. Which is it?

Deep tissue massage is a technique similar to the Swedish massage. It is used to relieve chronic muscle tension by utilizing slow, deliberate movements that focuses deep pressure on the muscles, tendons and fascia.


Which of these techniques was made specifically for athletes?

A sports massage is geared toward athletes with specific techniques for the athlete's sport of choice. It is used to reduce fatigue, prevent injuries, improve endurance and performance during training and after an event.


Also known as the water cure, what's the more common name of the technique that uses water?

Hydrotherapy is a type of alternative medicine known by many names, including water cure, water therapy, pool therapy, aquatic therapy and balneotherapy. It is used in physiotherapy and occupational therapy to relieve pain and improve blood circulation.


It's a holistic massage technique developed in India thousands of years ago. What is its name?

The ayurvedic massage, also known as Ayurveda, is one of the oldest holistic healing systems and was developed in India more than 3,000 years ago. It is a type of alternative medicine with the main goal of not fighting disease, but promoting good health.


Which method aims to promote the movement of qi or chi in the body?

Traditional Chinese massage is a type of Chinese manipulative therapy that aims to promote circulation of the qi, or vital energy, by balancing the left and right, front and back, top and bottom sides of the body.


Which of the options below is a clinical treatment designed to treat specific health conditions?

Medical massage, also called clinical or treatment massage, is an outcome-based massage designed to treat a specific problem(s).


Which of the following techniques is also known as zone therapy?

Reflexology, or zone therapy, is a form of alternative medicine based on pseudoscientific system reflex areas and system zones that reflect an image of the body on the feet and hands. It involves the application of pressure to the feet, hands, toes and fingers.


Which massage technique deactivates certain points of the body to stop pain?

Trigger point massage, not to be mistaken with pressure point massage, involves the use of vibration, manual pressure, injection or other treatment to deactivate trigger points that may cause pain or sensations in the body.


A form of alternative medicine that makes use of acupuncture, which technique clears blockages?

Acupressure, similar in technique to acupuncture, is a form of alternative medicine which involves applying physical pressure to the acupuncture points of the body. This is done with the aim of clearing the blockages in the meridian (life energy).


This technique specifically treats complications of cancer and its treatments. What is it called?

An oncology massage is a combination of massaging techniques specially modified to safely work with the complications of cancer and cancer treatment. It is open to anyone who has received cancer treatment, whether in recovery or survivorship.


This technique is Japanese and means "finger pressure." What is its name?

Shiatsu massage is a Japanese bodywork meaning "finger pressure." This form of alternative medicine includes the use of the fingers, thumbs, palms and feet in a variety of techniques, stretching, joint mobilization and manipulation.


Named after a country whose capital is Bangkok, but is actually a mix of Chinese and Indian techniques, what kind of massage are we talking about?

Thai massage or Thai yoga massage, is a type of healing system which combines Indian and Chinese traditions of medicine. It is used to improve pain, fatigue, flexibility, joint movement and blood circulation.


A massage meant to alleviate pain and other maladies, which technique was developed for pregnant women?

Prenatal massage is a massage therapy performed during pregnancy to alleviate joint pain, muscle aches, depression, anxiety, improve labor outcomes and the health of newborn babies. The Swedish massage technique is commonly used during prenatal massaging.


A traditional massage named after a country that is also known as Myanmar, which of the following techniques is it?

The Burmese massage is a full body massage technique with ancient origins from Chinese, Thai and Indian medicine. This traditional massage starts from head to toe and encompasses acupuncture, reflexology, kneading to promote better skin quality and loosen tight muscles.


This kind of massage focuses on the muscles surrounding our joints. Which is it?

Orthopedic massage is a massage technique used in the treatment of pain, injuries and soft tissue dysfunction. It is similar to sports massage and focuses on the tissues and muscles surrounding the joints of the body.


By using pressure on certain parts of the body, this kind of massage alleviates pain. To which of the following are we referring?

Pressure point massage is a massage technique used to alleviate pain by applying pressure with the finger, elbow or tool, to specific trigger points. It is used to relieve headaches, shoulder pain, foot pain and achy knees.


Which of these massages requires one to be fully clothes and seated?

Chair massage is a type of massage performed while seated and fully clothed in a portable, specially designed chair. It usually uses other massaging techniques on the back, neck, shoulders, arms, and hands.


A type of massage created by Joseph Heller that is more mental and emotional. Can you name this technique?

Hellerwork, created by Joseph Heller, is a technique used to retrain a person's emotional, physical and physiological patterns. This leads to a reduction of stress, fatigue, stiffness and an improvement in posture.


This technique helps bonding with babies. What is it called?

Infant massage is a type of alternative and complementary treatment that involves the use of massage therapy for babies. It is used to promote bonding, nurturing touch, communication and improve recovery from health problems.


This traditional tropical massage uses many parts of the hands and feet. What is its name?

Lomilomi Hawaiian massage is a traditional practice which incorporates the use of the palms, fingers, knuckles, forearms, elbows, knees and feet. The practice of the technique varies by island and family.


Developed in the former Soviet Union, do you know the name of this kind of massage which uses reflexology and pressure point techniques?

The Russian massage, often classified as a sports massage, is a massage therapy technique developed in the former Soviet Union. Depending on the technique used, it may be referred to as a point massage, reflexology massage, or a connective tissue massage.


Which massage uses Taoist principles for balance in specific aspects of one's life?

Tui Na is a type of Chinese manipulative therapy that uses Chinese Taoist principles in order to balance the eight principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is used in combination with acupuncture, Chinese herbalism and fire cupping.


Which of these massages, as the name suggests, was designed for the elderly?

Geriatric massage is a type of massage specifically designed to meet the needs of elderly persons. It involves the use of light, gentle applications in order to improve blood circulation, increase the range of motion and relieve pain.


Meant to help with muscle immobility, which technique helps with stretch reflex?

Myofascial release is an alternative medicine therapy specifically designed to treat skeletal muscle immobility, pain, stimulate the stretch reflex in muscles, and improve blood and lymphatic circulation.


Which of the following techniques is meant to help lymphatic drainage?

Lymphatic massage also known as lymphatic drainage or manual lymph drainage, is a technique developed in Germany to treat the build-up of waste fluids after surgery or lymphedema (an accumulation of fluid that may occur when the lymph nodes are removed during surgery).


This kind of treatment makes the use of passive water therapy. Can you tell us its name?

Watsu is a type of one-on-one aquatic bodywork used in passive aquatic therapy and deep relaxation. It involves the use of gentle stretches, moves, cradles, and massages in deep, warm water.


As the name suggests, this kind of massage combines a variety of techniques. What is its name?

An eclectic massage is a therapeutic technique that combines a number of therapeutic principles and philosophies in order to achieve a specific treatment suited for the patient's needs and wants.


This is a combination of massage and yoga. What do you think it is?

Yogassage is a therapeutic session that combines the techniques of both yoga and massage. It involves a yoga teacher and massage therapist who adjusts and guides the patient with every pose.


Done by a religious healer who aims to clean body, mind and spirit, which kind of technique is it?

Spiritual massage healing is a type of alternative medicine done by a religious healer to cleanse the client's body, mind, and spirit from a variety of issues stemming from those three areas.


Although this kind of massage sounds somewhat mechanical, it works to heal emotional, spiritual and physical wounds. Which is it?

Biodynamic massage is a type of psychotherapeutic massage developed in the 1950s by Gerda Boyesen of Norway. Like spiritual massage healing, it is used to heal an individual's physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual well-being.


What type of massage works on clearing energies or "chi"?

Reiki massage is different from traditional massage because it focuses on the energy flows of the body. Often the therapist barely touches or hovers over the body in various position to calm the persons energy.


This is a kind of deep tissue manipulation that is meant to release tissue adhesions. What is its name?

Active Release Techniques, patented by Dr. P. Michael Leahy, is a type of deep tissue manipulation that uses specific moves and techniques in order to release soft tissue adhesions.


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